Wed, 02 Dec 2020

COVID-19 Caused Nearly 300,000 More US Deaths, CDC Says

Voice of America
21 Oct 2020, 23:05 GMT+10

A new study released Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says nearly 300,000 more people in the United States died between late January and early October - two thirds of them due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The federal health agency estimates that of the 299,028 "excess" deaths in the country during that period, more than 198,000, or just over two-thirds, could be attributed to COVID-19, although they were not recorded that way on official death certificates. The study says the other excess deaths were due to other causes.

The CDC found that the number of excess deaths of adults between 25 and 44 years of age rose 26.5 during that time frame, the biggest increase among all age groups. There was also a high percentage of excess deaths among people of color: Hispanics experienced a 56% increase, while Blacks sustained a 33% rise, far higher than the 12% increase among white Americans.

Hispanics and Blacks, as well as elderly Americans, have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United States officially leads the world with more than 221,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Research Center.

Reinfection case in Australia?

In Australia, Premier Daniel Andrews of the southern state of Victoria told reporters Wednesday that a man who first tested positive for COVID-19 back in July tested positive for a second time earlier this month. Premier Andrews said Tuesday that the diagnosis could be a case of the person shedding, or getting rid of, a dead virus. But he now says doctors are treating the case as a reinfection "out of abundance of caution."

Experts are conducting genomic sequencing and other tests to determine if the man has been reinfected. If the preliminary diagnosis is confirmed, the man would be the first Australian to be reinfected with the disease, and just the sixth case of reinfection in the world.

Impact on travel industry

The global coronavirus pandemic continues to extract a toll on the travel industry. Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways announced Wednesday that it is cutting 5,900 jobs and shutting down its regional Cathay Dragon brand.

Cathay Pacific is also cutting another 2,600 unfilled positions from its payroll, which adds up to about 24% of the company's total workforce.

The global coronavirus pandemic continues to extract a toll on the travel industry. Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways announced Wednesday that it is cutting 5,900 jobs and shutting down its regional Cathay Dragon brand.

Cathay Pacific is also cutting another 2,600 unfilled positions from its payroll, which adds up to about 24% of the company's total workforce.

The airline has been losing between $193 million to $258 million a month since the start of the outbreak, and it plans to operate at less than 50% of its pre-pandemic capacity in 2021. Officials say the restructuring plan will cost nearly $284 million to implement.

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