In late December 2019, people in Wuhan, China began to get sick with a previously unknown pneumonia, marking the beginning of a new infectious disease, later identified as a new type of coronavirus.
The International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses selected the name severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to represent that the new virus is a sister of the original SARS virus. The disease the virus causes was named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by the World Health Organization (WHO).
As of May 2022, the whole profile is updated every other week unless there is a major development. The U.S. and worldwide summary sections will be updated weekly.
(Photo credit: U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Amouris Coss)
What we’re watching: Weekly disaster update, August 29
What we’re watching: Weekly disaster update, August 22
Announcing round 12 of COVID-19 grants totaling more than $6.3 million
How CDP funded COVID-19 in 2021: Vaccine access
How CDP funded COVID-19 in 2021: Equity
About the numbers
The numbers change quickly and vary depending upon which source you use to track. The following are the latest updates and numbers, as of Dec. 8, 2022, from Worldometers and a variety of other sources:
- In the Dec. 7 Epidemiological Update, the WHO said, “Globally, the number of new weekly cases remained stable (-3%) during the week of 28 November to 4 December 2022 as compared to the previous week with just under 3 million new cases reported. The number of new weekly deaths decreased by 17% as compared to the previous week with about 7800 fatalities reported. As of 4 December 2022, over 641 million confirmed cases and 6.6 million deaths have been reported globally.”
- There are cases in 228 countries and territories. There are 71 countries with more than 1 million cases, with 27 of those having more than 5 million cases each.
- There is a total of 651,804,394 cases with 6.7 million deaths and 628 million recoveries. The countries with the most cases after the U.S. (which has 101.1 million cases) are India (44.7 million cases), France (38.3 million cases), Germany (36.7 million cases) and Brazil (35.53 million cases).
- Japan remains in the first spot for countries with the highest number of new cases in the past seven days, with 761,567 new cases (5% increase) and France moved up to second with 413,034 new cases for a 16% increase. South Korea dropped to third with 384,834 new cases (3% increase), the U.S. remained in fourth despite a 3% decrease (310,864 new cases) and Brazil stayed in fifth with 224,896 new cases (23% increase). The countries with the highest level of deaths over the previous seven days are the U.S., Japan, Brazil, Germany and France.
- According to the New York Times as of Dec. 1, “Cases, hospitalizations and test positivity are all rising at the national level, suggesting that the relative stability seen this fall could be coming to an end. Daily case and death data are subject to fluctuations around Thanksgiving that do not affect other metrics. It is therefore particularly concerning to see hospitalizations and test positivity — the most reliable data at this time of year — rising sharply. Most states have seen hospitalizations increase in the past two weeks. In California and New Mexico, these increases have been especially pronounced. Deaths so far have run counter to this upward trend. The average number of deaths reported each day has fallen by seven percent in recent weeks, to around 260.”
- On Dec. 6, there was a daily case average of 54,369 new cases (a 28% increase) over 14 days. The U.S. has reached 100 million cases since March 2020 (according to Worldometers and Johns Hopkins University, although CDC is slightly lower in its numbers).
- The daily death average is 287, a 10% decrease over 14 days.
- The U.S. case total is 101,104,275 million with more than 1.11 million deaths and more than 98.41 million recoveries. This means about 1% of resolved (confirmed) cases have ended in death.
- As of Dec. 6, a daily average of 36,433 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, a 29% increase compared to the previous 14 days. During this same period, there were 4,146 people in ICUs with COVID-19, a 21% increase. You can see ICU rates at hospitals near you here.
- Throughout 2022, Africa has gone up and down with new cases. As of Dec. 8, it had decreased by 24% with 7,352 new cases reported in the past seven days. The overall change in deaths was a 13% decrease with 53 new deaths reported.
- South Africa had the highest number of new cases at 1,653, a 35% decrease. Réunion was second with 1,217 cases, a 36% increase.
- As of Dec. 8, cases in Europe decreased 19% to 815,316 new cases. Deaths were down 27% over the past seven days (2,352 new deaths).
- Over 600,000 of the cases in Europe were in France and Germany.
- During the past seven days, 25 European countries saw increases in new cases.
Asia and Middle East
- Two-thirds of countries in Asia and the Middle East are seeing decreases in cases, while the other third is seeing increases. Regionally, there was a 3% increase in new cases (1,436,127) and a 7% increase in new deaths (2,581) as of Dec. 8.
- Japan has the highest number of cases with 761,567, a 5% increase.
- South Korea, Taiwan and Japan have all but 191,000 of new cases in Asia and the Middle East.
- As of Dec. 8, there was a 29% increase overall (352,041) in new cases and a 35% increase (1,177) in deaths in South America.
- All but five of the 13 countries saw an increase in the percentage of new cases.
- Nearly 64% of the new cases are in Brazil, which had 224,896 new cases, a 23% increase and 782 deaths (48% increase). Peru was second and had a 59% increase with 78,138 new cases with 152 new deaths (37% decrease).
- Overall, there was a 28% decrease (79,678) in new cases and a 15% decrease (142) in deaths as of Dec. 8. Almost all the cases were in Australia (53,151 new cases/46% decrease) or New Zealand (24,641 new cases/16% decrease).
North America (including Central America and the Caribbean)
- As of Dec. 8, North America had had 357,155 new cases (a decrease of 2%) with the majority of the cases in the U.S. (310,864 new cases). Second-highest was Mexico with 16,094 new cases (111% increase) and Canada was third with 10,555 new cases (31% decrease).
- The first vaccine was given on Dec. 8, 2020. As of Dec. 8, 2022, 68.6% of the world has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. This drops significantly for people in low-income countries where only 24.9% of people have received a first dose.
- More than 13.03 billion vaccine doses have been administered to fight the pandemic; currently at a rate of 2.08 million doses daily.
- The U.S. vaccination rate is 722,000 doses a day which includes vaccines and boosters.
- According to the CDC, 267.4 million people (or 80.5%) in the U.S. have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Dec. 8. Of those, 228.37 million people (or 68.8%) have received their primary series. As of Dec. 8, 39.72 million people (12.7%) had received a bivalent booster; a big increase from mid-October when only 15 million boosters had been administered. This is still a very low rate of uptake, even though it offers enhanced protection against the Omicron variant and its sub-variants.
- The New York Times is tracking vaccine distribution on a state-by-state basis within the U.S.
The CDC has four levels of classifications for variants: Variants Being Monitored (VBM), Variants of Interest (VOI), Variants of Concern (VOC) and Variants of Consequence (VOHC). As of Dec. 8, 11 variants are being monitored, one variant of concern – Omicron including its variants (B.1.1.529, BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2, BA.3, BA.4 and BA.5 lineages) – and no VOIs or VOHC.
For the week ending Dec. 3, 31.9% of studied cases in the U.S. came from the Omicron sub-variant BQ.1.1. Additionally, 30.9% were from BQ.1. and 13.8% from BA.5. The remaining cases were distributed as follows: 6.3% from BF.7, 5.5% from XBB, 4.6% from BN.1, 2.3% from BA4.6, 1.8% from BA.5.2.6, 0.9 from BF.11, 0.8% from BA.2, 0.7% from BA.2.75, 10.5% from BA.2.75.2 BQ.1 and BQ.1.1. are sub-variants of Omicron’s BA.5 variant. The bivalent booster will increase protection against both sub-variants.
According to USA Today, “The symptoms of BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 appear to be the same as for other COVID-19 variants. The most common symptoms include exhaustion, fever, a cough, congestion, shortness of breath, sore throat, nausea, diarrhea, and muscle aches or headache. Loss of smell, which originally characterized COVID-19 infections, is no longer as common.”
WHO is tracking one VOCs (Omicron B.1.1.529) and no VOIs or Variants Under Monitoring (VUMs). WHO has created a new category, Omicron sub-variants under monitoring and is currently tracking five in that category.
They say, “Latest VOCs have largely replaced other co-circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants. Delta reached almost 90% of all viral sequences submitted on GISAID by October 2021, and Omicron is currently the dominant variant circulating globally, accounting for >98% of viral sequences shared on GISAID after February 2022. As transmission of these VOCs has been sustained, this has led to significant intra-VOC evolution. Since its designation as a VOC by WHO on 26 November 2021, viruses part of the Omicron complex have continued to evolve, leading to descendent lineages with different genetic constellations of mutations. Each constellation may or may not differ in the public health risk it poses, and each lineage that includes substitutions in key sites may need further investigation to assess whether its characteristics diverge or not from those that define the variant of concern they stem from. In light of the widespread transmission of the Omicron VOC across the globe and the subsequent expected increased viral diversity, WHO has added a new category to its variant tracking system, termed “Omicron subvariants under monitoring” to signal to public health authorities globally, which VOC lineages may require prioritized attention and monitoring. The main objective of this category is to investigate if these lineages may pose an additional threat to global public health as compared to other circulating viruses. If any of these lineages is proven to have distinct characteristics as compared to the original VOC it belongs to, the TAG-VE will convene and may advice WHO to give it a separate WHO label.”
In their Dec. 7 Epidemiological update on COVID-19, the WHO said, “Globally, from 5 November to 5 December 2022, 105 224 SARS-CoV-2 sequences were shared through GISAID. Among these, 92 399 sequences were the Omicron variant of concern (VOC), accounting for 87.8% of sequences reported globally in the past 30 days. Unassigned sequences (presumed to be Omicron) accounted for 12.2% of sequences submitted to GISAID in week 46. The trends describing the circulation of Omicron descendent lineages should be interpreted with due consideration of the limitations of the COVID-19 surveillance systems. These include differences in sequencing capacity and sampling strategies between countries, changes in sampling strategies over time, reductions in tests conducted and sequences shared by countries, and delays in sequence submission. The majority of sequences submitted to GISAID are from countries with high sequencing capacity, mostly high-income countries. Therefore, sequencing information provided may not be representative of the global situation of SARS-CoV-2. During epidemiological week 46 (14 to 20 November 2022), BA.5 and its descendent lineages continued to be dominant globally, accounting for 70.1% of sequences submitted to GISAID. The prevalence of BA.2 and its descendent lineages increased from 9.6% in epidemiological week 45 (7 to 13 November) to 10.5% in week 46 (14 to 20 November 2022). During the same period, BA.4 descendent lineages declined from 2.8% to 2.0%. Among the Omicron subvariants under monitoring, a comparison of sequences submitted during weeks 45 and 46 shows an increase from 27.6% to 36.2% for BQ.1 and its descendent lineages. During the same period, the prevalence of XBB and its descendent lineages increased from 4.2% to 5.0%. BA.2.75 increased from 6.8% to 7.8%, while BA.4.6 decreased from 2.5% to 1.7%. BA.2.3.20 remained stable at 0.3%.”
The newest COVID-19 sub-variant XBB is present in both the United States and across the globe. It is distinctive because it can avoid antibodies in the body developed from prior infections.
As we approach the end of year three of the pandemic, this virus continues to spread across the world, despite the implementation of vaccines. The vaccine disparity continues to highlight the inequities around the globe and here in the U.S. that will continue to create ongoing needs for philanthropic support.
Unrestricted access to timely, accurate and appropriate information
Many people around the world do not have accurate information about COVID-19 – specifically vaccine access – because they may not have access to it or the information may only be available through a gatekeeper. Even when they do have access, the information may be out of date or not factually correct. People have the right to unrestricted access to accurate and timely information so that they can make informed decisions about their health.
Even in the U.S., there is significant misinformation about the virus and vaccines. This rhetoric has been spurred by conspiracy theorists and people with a vested interest in distributing false stories.
Vaccine hesitancy/equitable access to vaccine
There are significant concerns about the equitable distribution of vaccines both in the U.S. and around the world.
On an international level, this means supporting the production and distribution of vaccines (see data on vaccine distribution inequities above), supporting the medical infrastructure and building vaccine awareness. Given that vaccines are being rolled out globally, it is important that vaccine confidence is built in communities and vaccine hesitancy is addressed in order to increase uptake.
Given that vaccine rates are so low in many countries, programs designed to prevent and limit transmission should continue to be prioritized, particularly in fragile countries and countries with weak health systems and infrastructure along with high caseloads and death rates.
As the focus of vaccine support moves to lower- and middle-income countries, supporting a strong health system will be critically important. This includes ensuring adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), clean syringes and injection supplies, training for personnel and staffing needs.
On the domestic level the focus is on education and supporting targeted distribution. This education includes providing accurate vaccine implementation information to encourage hesitant populations to get the vaccine and support immunity for the greater good. Funders in the U.S. should also look at providing support for organizations providing vaccination access for children between the ages of six months to five years, as well as children through the age of eighteen. Additionally, they should support organizations advocating for and providing equitable access to populations who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, such as Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people.
Income, basic needs and livelihoods
This continues to be a critical need. Research about COVID-19’s impact on poverty is mixed. Prior to the pandemic, about 34 million Americans, 10.5% of the population, lived in poverty. While this had been decreasing (2018’s rate was 11.5% and it was 14.8% in 2014), 2020 saw the largest annual increase since the 1960s.
Eight million people fell into poverty in 2020 increasing the rate to 11.8% in December 2020. While there was some temporary relief following a trillion-dollar investment in social programs these are already rolling back. The rates of poverty are even more extreme internationally, both before and after the pandemic started. In 2019, 8.2% of the world’s population lived on less than $1.90 a day (the threshold for extreme poverty). While this is an incredible reduction from the 1960s when 80% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty, the pandemic has set back decades of declining poverty rates.
It was already unlikely that the world would achieve its sustainable development goal of eliminating poverty by 2030, despite the great progress to date. COVID-19 reversed the decline and has added an estimated 124 million more people into extreme poverty.
In the U.S. as businesses reopened, they struggled to find workers due to low wages, lack of child care or fear of exposure to COVID-19 for frontline workers, especially those who are unvaccinated. In all countries, a large percentage of people are daily wage workers who are struggling due to quarantines, reduced incomes of their customers and decreased tourism. This has affected women more than men, across the globe. Supports are needed to provide economic opportunities through both direct cash giving and supporting employment including entrepreneurial options.
Mental health/psycho-social support/physical health
Intimate partner violence/Child abuse/Trafficking
There are also increased reports of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and child abuse. In both instances, many people are required to spend more time with their abusers. Those who work in these areas have also reported to CDP staff concerns about human trafficking, especially of young girls being sold by their families and young women being trafficked across borders.
Children and youth
The needs of children and youth include access to education, as well as concerns about mental health, digital literacy, foster care, immigration and abuse. Family poverty is also a concern as it impacts basic needs around access to housing, food, medical care, etc. Programs to provide additional support to children and their families are critical in all of these areas.
While the U.S. has been getting a much better handle on PPE, respirators, medical staffing, etc., however, each surge has created challenges in this area. PPE and medical support continue to be an extreme challenge internationally as new hot spots emerge.
In the U.S., many hospitals do not have enough staff to meet demand. Many international NGOs working in multiple countries have told CDP staff that respirators, oxygen and PPE are in extremely short supply. Additionally, they have indicated that very little testing is being done due to a lack of equipment or labs and therefore numbers being reported are severe undercounts, especially in low and middle-income countries.
Medical needs also continue to be a concern in terms of access to healthcare and prevalence of pre-existing health conditions. Support in this area includes provision of medical equipment, supplies and medication, and supporting the deployment of emergency health teams to areas needing support.
Maria DeJoseph Van Kerkhove, an infectious disease epidemiologist working at the WHO, says that 2-3 people are likely to develop long COVID symptoms for every 10 people who develop COVID-19.
Long COVID is an area of the disease that requires more research, as well as support for those individuals who contract it.
CDP has a COVID-19 Response Fund that provides an opportunity for donors to meet the ongoing and ever-expanding challenges presented by this virus. As of July 2022, CDP has granted more than $38 million to more than 150 organizations working in the U.S. and abroad, including grants made to fund projects in collaboration with other CDP funds.
(Photo: Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) distributes hygiene kits in the Beka’a Valley in Lebanon to assist refugees with personal protection and household sanitization. Source: SAMS)
If you are a responding NGO or a donor, please send updates on how you are working in this crisis to Tanya Gulliver-Garcia.
We welcome the republication of our content. Please credit the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.
If you are a donor looking for recommendations on how to help in this crisis, please email Regine A. Webster.
Note: If you are an individual within the U.S. affected by this disaster, we encourage you to call your local 211 to see what resources are available in your community or look at the 2-1-1 COVID-19 Resources Page.
More ways to help
Plan your giving in response to COVID-19. Do not just react to the latest media report. Research the facts and the organizations that are responding. There is a lot of misinformation being circulated. The WHO and the CDC COVID-19 websites are recommended sources of timely, reliable information. CDP works to stay updated on who is responding and is happy to discuss needs with responding funders.
There are going to be multiple phases and needs in this crisis – the medical response situation, support for research and assisting vulnerable people who have been impacted. Match your giving to one of these areas or decide how you will transition funds as needs change. You may want to allocate your giving in a few ways:
- Give to Funds: Not everyone is an expert or has time to invest in researching the many organizations that are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. By donating to a fund, you can pool your donation with other donors to have a more impact. Let the grants management experts conduct the research and due diligence to find the best organizations. In addition to our own COVID-19 Response Fund, CDP is aware of many large international funds or funds responding on a broad level. Funders should also consider specialized intermediary funds that are tackling key issues. Intermediary funds can allow donors to provide a grant that will be divided into multiple, smaller grants to support grassroots, frontline organizing or service delivery within organizations that may not have the capacity to receive a large grant.
- Fund local NGOs: As with all disasters, this epidemic started and will end locally. Think about the local NGOs that you already support in the areas of housing/homelessness, healthcare, nutrition/food support, mental health, domestic violence, care for seniors etc. There has been an increased need for their services during this outbreak, which will continue for years, if not decades, to come. They need flexible, unrestricted funds that can provide additional dollars to deal with this epidemic. Support operating funds and capacity building when possible. This is also critical on an international level to develop or support the ongoing capacity of those organizations that will remain after international agencies leave.
- Expand existing giving: Be innovative in supporting your grantees. Reach out to your existing grantees to see how the crisis has affected them. Consider issuing additional funding to help them meet the latest needs of their clients. Or change their reporting requirements, deadlines and expectations to allow them to redirect funds.
- Partner with other funders: Our friends at the Communities Foundation of Texas shared that 20 funders and local United Ways in North Texas have created a funder collaborative called North Texas Cares with a joint application form and system. Funders can fund independently or pool funds, but NGOs need to only complete an application once.
CDP has also created a list of suggestions for foundations to consider related to disaster giving.
Pandemics and Infectious Diseases
A pandemic is the sustained transmission of an infectious disease across a wide area of one country or across international borders. Pandemics may be either naturally occurring or the result of human intervention through genetic engineering or biological warfare.
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