Since the beginning of the pandemic, Prof. Dr. Florian Krammer has been writing weekly updates in German for family and friends. Metropole was kindly granted the permission to translate and publish these updates.
May 1, 2021
Here again is our weekly SARS-CoV-2 update.
Worldwide, 152 million official SARS-CoV-2 infections have now been detected. 3,200,000 people have officially died from COVID-19 so far. Globally, we are currently on the strongest wave yet, driven by cases primarily from India and South America. 1.15 billion doses of vaccine have been administered so far.
Things Looking Up in Europe
In Europe, things are actually looking pretty good. Some countries are keeping case numbers very low and stable (UK, Portugal, partly Denmark). Many countries have decreasing numbers of cases, some are still in the middle of a wave – but at least infections are not going up anywhere.
Good News & Waves in the Americas
The US looks great, vaccination coverage seems to be making a difference there now. Canada is on the crest ofa wave, but the numbers are no longer going up. Cases in Mexico continue to go down. Central and South America are in the middle of a wave. But with a few exceptions (e.g., Costa Rica), case numbers are stable or falling.
In Asia, the situation is a bit more tense.
Thailand is in the middle of the first wave, but the number of new cases seems to be decreasing. Infection numbers in Malaysia and Japan are on the rise. Pakistan also has a lot of cases at the moment, but is not seeing an increase in cases per day. The situation in India is extremely tense, as we know from the media, and I hope that the number of cases will stabilize soon.
Muddled Middle East
In the Middle East, the number of cases in Iran, Iraq and Turkey is decreasing. In individual states such as Bahrain and Egypt however, unfortunately, numbers continue to go up. Otherwise the situation is relatively stable. In Israel, the pandemic is basically over (less than 100 cases per day on average, with about the same population as Austria).
In Africa, Cameroon and Angola have reported increasing numbers of cases. Cases in other countries are either going down or are low and stable. South Africa, by the way, is a country to watch. It is autumn now and they could hardly vaccinate. Let’s see if cases go up again.
Vaccines for the Young
Pfizer, by the way, applied last week for approval of the vaccine for 12-15 year olds in Europe. In the USA it should be approved for this age group soon.
Furthermore, the Brazilian regulatory authorities last week rejected the approval of Sputnik V. Among other things, because partially replicable adenovirus was found in the vaccine (which should not actually be replicable), but also for other reasons. This is not necessarily dangerous, but inconsistent with the product specification.
Stay healthy! Greetings!