JUST GIVE ME POSITIVE NEWS

There is so much negativity in the news about COVID-19, we want to give you all the positive good news that is happening with research, clinical trials, improvements, vaccines and anything that we can be positive about that you may not have seen.

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Latest stories

Ireland – More than 250k vaccines administered in one week, as hospitalisations drop to 106

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The vaccine rollout hit a crucial target in the past week, as the HSE reports a total spend of €500 million on Covid-19 measures so far.

Almost 261,000 doses were administered in the week leading up to 10 May, according to the latest data. The government previously indicated the rollout will be at this scale by the end of the month.

This suggests the government’s target of having 80% of the eligible population with a first dose by 30 June is within grasp.

According to analysis of the figures by The Journal, the 80% figure will be passed on 3 July, if the pace of the rollout continues to improve in line with expectations.

Even if no improvement is made, the 80% figure will be reached on 17 July at the current pace of vaccination.

https://www.thejournal.ie/total-covid-spend-hse-hospitalisations-fall-5434925-May2021/

French Covid infections slow as vaccinations open up to all ages

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New Covid-19 infections in France have dropped to the lowest rate in a year, with the government banking on a stepped-up vaccination drive to bring the epidemic under control. From Wednesday, all adults, regardless of age or health status, are allowed to be vaccinated, if they can find an appointment within 24 hours.

“Today the evolution of the epidemic is rather favourable. The downward trend is clear. I am vigilant and I am optimistic,” Prime Minister Jean Castex told France 2 television on Tuesday, after health ministry data showed the number of new coronavirus infections increased 2.11 per cent this week, compared to last week, the the slowest pace since June 2020.

Covid hospitalisations are falling, down 638 to 25,028, with 4,743 patients in intensive care units.

Castex said the numbers show the situation in France is improving, and the government is hoping increased vaccinations will continue the trend.

https://www.rfi.fr/en/france/20210512-rise-in-french-covid-cases-slows-as-vaccinations-open-anyone-finds-an-appointment

Brazil’s average daily Covid-19 deaths drops 28% in last 30 days

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The number of daily deaths by Covid-19 in Brazil dropped 28.3% in a month, according to the 7-day rolling average released by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz). The data show that on May 9th, the daily average stood at 2,100 deaths, down from 2,930 on April 9th.

In 14 days, the rolling average of deaths dropped 15.8%, given that on April 25th the daily number of deaths reached 2,495.

The peak of deaths was recorded on April 12th (3,124). Since then, records have been showing a downward trajectory.

https://riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/miscellaneous/covid-19/daily-covid-19-deaths-average-drops-28-in-one-month-in-brazil/

Eat out, work out, see a film: Belgium to ease lockdown

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Belgium plans to ease nearly all lockdown measures from June 9 provided the country’s vaccination campaign keeps up its momentum and the number of people in intensive care units remains under 500, the government said on Tuesday.

The plans to reopen mark a turnaround for Belgium, home to NATO and the European Union headquarters. It has one of the world’s highest per capita death rates from COVID-19, but its vaccination drive is now among the most efficient in the bloc.

“The more people are vaccinated, the faster we will get our freedom back,” Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told a news conference.

He said all sectors could reopen then if 80% of the population with a pre-existing medical condition could be vaccinated and the maximum number of people in intensive care units was 500.

He called on Belgians to get vaccinated and said the goal was for all measures to disappear on Sept. 1.

Already, from June 9, Belgians will be able to dine at restaurants until 10pm and outdoor terraces will remain open until 11.30pm.

Large events will be authorised, such as shows, exhibitions and theatres with a maximum of 200 people permitted inside.

The seven-day average of daily infections stands at just under 3,000, a 4% drop from last week, and more than 3.6 million Belgians, almost 40% of the adult population, have received a first dose of vaccine.

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/dine-out-work-out-see-movie-belgium-ease-lockdown-june-9-2021-05-11/

Germany – one in three people has now been vaccinated for the first time

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Germany’s vaccination campaign is making progress: According to Health Minister Jens Spahn, one in three people has now been vaccinated for the first time. According to him, if the prioritization falls in June, it will take until July before everyone who wants to be vaccinated has received a first shot.

In Germany, around a third of the population is vaccinated against the coronavirus. According to the Robert Koch Institute, a total of 557,612 people received a corona vaccination at the beginning of the week – around 110,000 more than on Monday last week. While 381,100 received the first injection, it was already the second for 176,512. This means that the vaccination rate across Germany is now 33.3 percent. Around one in ten (9.6 percent) is now fully immunized.

As Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Deutschlandfunk, two thirds of people over 60 are now vaccinated. That leaves around five to six million people in this age group who could be vaccinated in the coming weeks.

https://www.n-tv.de/panorama/Jeder-dritte-Deutsche-erstgeimpft-article22547481.html

There’s growing confidence that the worst of COVID-19 is behind California

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California’s battle against coronavirus has progressed so rapidly in the last few months that many experts are optimistic the state has experienced the worst of the pandemic and that another disastrous wave is unlikely as vaccinations increase and case rates keep plunging.

If those forecasts hold fast, California will enter the summer in a better place than many thought. State officials hope to have the economy largely reopened by June 15. And while coronavirus variants caused concerns earlier this year, officials and experts say they have generally been less aggressive than feared and vaccines seem to be offering protection against the various variants.

“I am optimistic,” said Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, medical epidemiologist and infectious diseases expert at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. “I think that we are going in the right direction — we will never have a surge like we had during the viral tsunami of the post-holiday season, just because now we have so many people vaccinated, and so many people have got natural immunity from having had the disease.”

On Monday, officials said Los Angeles County could reach “herd immunity” from the coronavirus by mid- to late July. Herd immunity, sometimes referred to as community immunity, occurs when enough people have been inoculated or have obtained natural immunity to protect the larger population against the virus.

With about 400,000 shots administered weekly, the county has about 2 million first doses to go before 80% of all residents 16 and older will have received at least one shot, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a news briefing.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-05-11/vaccines-boost-california-confidence-for-covid-19-recovery

New Jersey, one of the hardest hit states last year, is seeing cases decline significantly

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New coronavirus cases have fallen drastically in New Jersey, where at times this spring the virus was spreading faster than anywhere else in the United States.

Over the past two weeks, the state has seen its average number of new daily cases drop by 61 percent, according to a New York Times database.

New Jersey’s case numbers are dropping along with the rest of the country’s. But the state’s decline is the steepest in the United States and its rate of new daily cases per person is now just above the national average.

“Clearly vaccinations are playing a role in this,” said Dr. Edward Lifshitz, medical director of the New Jersey Department of Health Communicable Disease Service.

Behind New Jersey is neighboring New York, with a 48 percent decline, and Michigan, which despite a 41 percent drop still has the highest rate of new cases in the country. In Puerto Rico, cases are also down 61 percent.

“The good news is now becoming almost overwhelming, and that’s a good thing,” Gov. Philip D. Murphy said in public remarks on Thursday.

Mr. Murphy has cited the state’s rising vaccination rates as the cause of the reopening. As of Friday morning, more than 3.4 million New Jersey residents had been vaccinated, according to state health data.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/07/nyregion/nj-covid-cases.html

Average daily U.S. Covid cases fall below 40,000 for the first time since September

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The rate of new Covid cases in the U.S. fell to an average of 38,800 per day Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the first time daily case counts have been below 40,000 since September.

Federal data found the country is averaging 2.1 million daily reported vaccinations over the past week, down 37% from its peak level but showing signs of steadying in recent days.

The U.S. is reporting 38,800 daily new infections, based on a seven-day average of data compiled by Hopkins, down 22% from a week ago and 46% from the most recent high, when the country was seeing about 71,000 daily cases in mid-April.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/11/covid-19-cases-deaths-vaccinations-daily-update.html

Zero Covid deaths for England, Scotland and NI

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Zero coronavirus deaths have been announced in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Monday.

Wales recorded four deaths meaning that, overall, the UK showed a slight increase on the two deaths recorded on Sunday.

It comes as Boris Johnson has confirmed England will proceed to lift more lockdown restrictions next week.

Meanwhile, the UK’s coronavirus alert level has been lowered from four to three on the advice of experts.

Alert level three means that although the virus is still in general circulation, transmission is no longer high or rising exponentially.

Experts say cases, hospital admissions and Covid-related deaths have all decreased and vaccines are having the desired protective effect, with the latest figures showing a third of UK adults are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and two-thirds have had their first of two doses.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-57055340

New U.S. COVID weekly cases fall to lowest since September

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New cases of COVID-19 in the United States fell for a fourth week in a row, dropping 17% last week to just under 290,000, the lowest weekly total since September, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county data.

Deaths from COVID-19 fell 1.3% to 4,756 in the week ended May 9, the fewest deaths in a week since July. (Graphic with state-by-state details)

More than a third of the country’s population has been fully vaccinated as of Sunday, and 46% has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The lowest rates of infection based on population were in Oklahoma, California and Mississippi.

The average number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals fell 9%, the second weekly drop in a row.

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/new-us-covid-weekly-cases-fall-lowest-since-september-2021-05-10/