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)
CDP announces $510,000 in grants to support COVID-19 recovery in the US
What we’re watching: Weekly disaster update, January 17
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
About the numbers
The numbers change quickly and vary depending on which source you use to track. The following are the latest updates and numbers, as of Jan. 26, 2023, from Worldometers and a variety of other sources:
- In the Jan. 25 Epidemiological Update, the WHO said, “Globally, nearly 1.9 million new cases and over 12 000 deaths were reported in the week of 16 to 22 January 2023. In the last 28 days (26 December 2022 to 22 January 2023), over 11 million cases and over 55 000 new deaths were reported globally – a decrease of 25% and an increase of 13%, respectively, compared to the previous 28 days. As of 22 January 2023, over 664 million confirmed cases and over 6.7 million deaths have been reported globally.”
- There are cases in 229 countries and territories. There are 73 countries with more than 1 million cases, with 28 having more than 5 million cases each.
- There is a total of 674,139,239 cases with 6.75 million deaths and 646.14 million recoveries. The countries with the most cases after the U.S. (which has 104.02 million cases) are India (44.7 million cases), France (39.5 million cases), Germany (37.72 million cases) and Brazil (36.78 million cases).
- Japan remains in the first spot for countries with the highest number of new cases in the past seven days, with 528,136 new cases (40% decrease) and the U.S. moved up to second with 184,149 new cases despite a 34% decrease. South Korea fell to third with a 42% decrease (142,414 new cases). These three countries represent over half of the new cases in the world (854,699 of 1,411,813). Taiwan stayed in fourth with an 17% decrease (118,914 new cases) and Brazil stayed in fifth with 83,784 new cases (27% decrease).
- The countries with the highest level of deaths over the previous seven days are Japan, U.S., Brazil, Germany and France.
- According to the New York Times as of Jan. 20, “Most metrics are heading downward at the national level, following a period of growth just after the holidays. Cases, hospitalizations and test positivity are all down by around 20 percent in the past two weeks. New deaths are slightly higher than they were two weeks ago, but they have begun to level off in recent days. These improving conditions are most pronounced in the Northeast. New Jersey and New York had some of the country’s worst outbreaks for much of December and early January, but in recent weeks, reported cases have fallen by around 30 percent in both states.”
- On Jan. 25, there was a daily average of 46,920 new cases (a 27% decrease) over 14 days. Although the exact numbers vary by source, the U.S. has exceeded 100 million cases since its first case in March 2020.
- The daily death average is 548, a 1% decrease over 14 days.
- The U.S. case total is 104,015,451 million with more than 1.13 million deaths and more than 101.03 million recoveries. This means about 1% of resolved (confirmed) cases have ended in death.
- As of Jan. 25 a daily average of 35,232 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, a 25% decrease compared to the previous 14 days. During this same period, there were 4,512 people in ICUs with COVID-19, a 20% decrease. You can see ICU rates at hospitals near you here.
- Throughout 2022, Africa went up and down with new cases. As of Jan 19, 2023, cases had increased by 30% with 9,723 new cases reported in the past seven days. The overall change in deaths was a 13% increase with 26 new deaths reported.
- Tunisia had the highest number of cases (2,488), a 2,862% increase. Given the significant increase, the country must be monitored to determine if this is due to delayed reporting or increasing cases.
- As of Jan. 19, cases in Europe decreased 46% to 209,254 new cases. Deaths were down 48% over the past seven days (2,788 new deaths).
- More than half of the cases in Europe were in France and Germany.
- During the past seven days, only 4 of 41 European countries saw increases in new cases.
Asia and Middle East
- Only 15% of countries in Asia and the Middle East are seeing increases in cases.. Regionally, there was a 33% decrease in new cases (1,331,772) but a 3% increase in new deaths (4,363) as of Jan. 19. Given that deaths follow cases by a few weeks, this is on trend after the high levels of cases in Japan, China and South Korea (although Chinese cases remain highly underreported).
- Japan still has the highest number of cases reported with 876,186, a 31% decrease.
- As of Jan. 19, there was a 34% decrease overall (163,278) in new cases and a 21% decrease (950) in deaths in South America.
- Over 70% of the new cases are in Brazil, which had 114,920 new cases, a 15% decrease and 541 deaths (21% decrease). Chile was second and had a 29% decrease with 19,065 new cases with 171 new deaths (20% increase).
Overall, there was a 66% decrease (25,860) in new cases and a 62% increase (162) in deaths as of Jan. 19. Almost all the cases were in New Zealand (13,699 new cases/35% decrease) or Australia (11,969 new cases/77% decrease).
North America (including Central America and the Caribbean)
- As of Jan. 19, North America had 236,055 new cases (a decrease of 48%) with the majority of the cases in the U.S. (182,925 new cases). Second-highest was Mexico with 23,449 new cases (16% increase) and Canada was third with 11,791 new cases (28% decrease).
- The first vaccine was given on Dec. 8, 2020. As of Jan. 11, 2023, 69.3% of the world has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. This drops significantly for people in low-income countries where only 26% of people have received a first dose.
- More than 13.22 billion vaccine doses have been administered to fight the pandemic; currently at a rate of 2.07 million doses daily.
- According to the CDC, 268.6 million people (or 80.9%) in the U.S. have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Jan. 11. Of those, 229.36 million people (or 69.1%) have received their primary series. Additionally, 49.56 million people (15.9%) 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 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 Jan. 19, 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 Jan. 14, 43% of studied cases in the U.S. came from the Omicron sub-variant XBB.1.5. It appears to be more resistant to antibodies developed from previous infections and is more easily transmitted than other COVID-19 strains.
Additionally, 28.8% were from BQ.1.1., 15.9% were from BQ.1., 3.9% from XBB and 2.6% from BA.5. The remaining cases were distributed as follows: 2.1% from BN.1,1.4% from BF.7 and 1.3% from BA.2.75. All the remaining variants, BA.5.2.6, BA.2, BF.11, BA.4.6 and BA.2.75.2) are under 1%.
WHO is tracking one VOC (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 four in that category – XBB, BA.2.75, BQ.1 and BF.7.
In their Jan. 18 Epidemiological update on COVID-19, the WHO said, “The current global epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 is characterized by the emergence and rapid spread of the Omicron variant on a global scale, continued decline in the prevalence of the Delta variant, and a very low level of circulation of the Alpha, Beta and Gamma variants. Following the identification of travel-related cases of the Omicron variant, many countries are now reporting community transmission. Countries that experienced a rapid rise in Omicron cases in November and December 2021 are beginning to see declines in cases. The Omicron variant includes Pango lineages B.1.1.529, BA.1, BA.2 and BA.3. BA.1 accounts for >99% of sequences submitted to GISAID as of 18 January 2022. All these variants are being monitored by WHO under the umbrella of ‘Omicron’. Among the 405 739 sequences uploaded to GISAID with specimens collected in the last 30 days, 291 600 sequences (71.9%) were Omicron, 113 652 (28%) were Delta, 47 (<0.1%) were Gamma, ten (<0.1%) were Alpha and three sequences (<0.1%) comprised other circulating variants (including VOIs Mu and Lambda). To note, global VOCs distribution should be interpreted with due consideration of surveillance limitations, including differences in sequencing capacities and sampling strategies between countries, as well as delays in reporting.”
As we enter year four 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. The Public Health Collaborative’s Misinformation Alerts are a great way to stay informed about the truth.
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.
The uptake on the bivalent booster is very low, despite the added protection it provides for Omicron variants. Targeted outreach will be important for improving this.
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. Since our first round of COVID-19-related grants in April 2020, CDP has made more than 200 grants totaling $42,489,478 to more than 170 organizations worldwide.
(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
While we may be in year four of the virus, it is far from over. But the state of the crisis has changed. Funders need to think about how to embed COVID-19, and future pandemic planning, into all of the work that they do.
Plan your giving thoughtfully in response to COVID-19. You do not need to deviate from your normal focus. For example, if you are an education funder, what are organizations you support doing about learning loss? If you normally focus on food security, this is an area that has been multiplied because of the pandemic.
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.
CDP recently held a webinar “COVID-19 year four: Implications for philanthropy” that addressed the past, present and future of COVID-19 response and funding both
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.
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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