Tuesday, 24 November 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 23 / 24 November 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 23 / 24 November 2020.

The UK added 11,299 cases today (a good drop, but testing was a little low. Still looks very hopeful) and now has reported a total of 1,538,794 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 212,533 tests yesterday. 

16,158 people were in hospital on Sunday 22nd, with 1,487 using a ventilator yesterday, 23rd November. 
 
In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 608 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 55,838 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

Up until Friday 13th November, 66,713 people had COVID written on their death certificate. 

Rep. Of Ireland 70,930 (+219) cases and 2,028 (+6) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 59,846,963 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,408,656. Already 41,389,630 people have recovered.

Cloth masks How to wear a non medical mask safely

Michael Gove has confirmed that the 4 UK nations have reached an agreement over Christmas, and up to 3 households will be able to come together indoors over a 5 day Christmas period 23-27 December (there is a 1 day extension either end for people travelling between the mainland UK and Northern Ireland)  

Russia had good vaccine news today from their Sputnik V vaccine study, although it doesn't seem quite as robust as some of the other vaccine data. They have released their findings with just 39 infections during the trial. (Most seem to be hoping for around 100 or more.) Bizarrely for the worldwide press conference, one of the developers was sat in the back of a car with the camera pointing up his nose. It makes Boris' cupboard press conference yesterday seem very well-organised. 
Russian figures are:
Placebo group 4,699 people/ 31 infections. 
Vaccine group 14,095 people / 8 infections. 
That actually works out at an excellent 91.4% efficacy - slightly higher than the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, and slightly lower than BioNTech or Moderna, but all flipping marvellous. 
Sputnik V costs less than $10 a dose, can be stored at 2-8 degrees C in a fridge and up to 500m doses will be available for international use next year. 
(See yesterday's post for more about the other vaccines). 

If you're in the USA then you can get a 15 minute COVID antibody test (did I have it 2 or more weeks ago?) for $25 at loads of pharmacies, including Pick 'n' Save and Metro Market. 
That's not bad actually. 

The CEO of QANTAS has said that proof you've been vaccinated for COVID-19 will be compulsory for international air travel onboard his aircraft. Oooooohh... 
I honestly think within a few months that'll be fairly standard on many air carriers. 

Talking of flying:
"From 15 December, people returning to England can take a private COVID19 test on day 5 after their return.
If the person receives a negative test result they can stop self-isolating."

The planned 'Travel Bubble' between Hong Kong and Singapore was paused a few days ago, after a spike in cases in Hong Kong. They both agreed to suspend the bubble if either country had 5 cases a day averaged over a week (Cases among travellers in quarantine don't count.) Hong Kong hadn't actually reached 5, but everyone's very jittery, and rightly so. COVID is incredibly expensive. 
5 though. Sheesh. It's a way off for us yet that. 
Other travel bubbles being suggested or discussed include Taiwan (no locally transmitted cases for over 225 days *respectful round of applause*) and New Zealand (go Jacinda!). New Zealand and Australia were hoping to arrange something, but the recent outbreak in South Australia has put that plan on the back-burner. 

Take care refresh the air

The Focus Trust is a UK multi-school academy running 15 schools in the north west of England and West Yorkshire, and they made the decision to close their schools on 11th December. Since September 28% of the trust's children and 38% of staff have had to self-isolate, and they wanted to prevent students or staff having to self-isolate over Christmas. The Department for Education were not happy and have now said under the Coronavirus Law it would be illegal, the schools have to close on 17/18 December as previously planned. 
Honestly, my boys will have missed at least 5 weeks IN SCHOOL each since September, and with 3 uni students hoping to come and stay over Christmas, I think we'll be a bit twitchy once it gets past the 11th too. 
Let's revisit this in the 2nd week of December, and I have a sneaking suspicion a lot more people will think it's a great idea by then....

The Trump administration has finally seen some sense. They've agreed to allow Biden's team access to briefings and funding. There's a lot involved in running a country, and it's essential to have a period of transition if you don't want everything to just stop, when power hands over on January 20th. 

A hairdresser in Kirklees put a sign in her window saying she was staying open during lockdown because the Magna Carta allows her to. The police fined her £1,000. She reopened and again quoted the Magna Carta, so they fined her £2,000. She has continued to open, and to quote the Magna Carta. She now owes £27k in fines.
We've covered this before - the Magna Carta only gave rights to the 25 rebel Barons who were arguing with the King at the time, and she ain't no 800 year old Baron. It was also edited massively before it was enacted, so the wording she's quoting was never law anyway. 
A spokesperson for Kirklees Council has been pretty blunt in the Yorkshire Examiner: 
"Kirklees currently has the fifth-highest rates in the country, with 135 people admitted to hospital last week and 25 sadly losing their lives to a COVID-19 related death."
"The law set by the Government is there so we can bring infection rates down, ease pressure on our health services and save lives. But it only works if we all stick to it and realise that no one is above the law. Frankly, the actions taken by this business are selfish and irresponsible."
And a bit thick, let's be honest. A quick Google would have saved her £27 grand. Step away now love, you lost this one.  

slow the spread with a drop of soap uk government

It's now common knowledge that the 3,000 Oxford vaccine trial participants who received a half dose /full dose combo, did so by accident. The fact that it seems far more efficient at protecting against COVID is entirely serendipitous. Lady luck was shining on someone. 
Just as exciting, could other vaccines also work more effectively if you get a half dose kick start, and then a full booster shot? What about other pandemic and epidemic killers? Measles, Swine flu, MERS, SARS, Ebola? HIV? Flu? The advances in vaccines have soared this year, and 2020 will benefit mankind forever. There is plenty to try, and I assure you scientists are already on it... It's never all bad news. 

I promised I'd cover the UK Tiers. I've squeezed it as small as I can, and it's still mahoosive, so it's below the people down there... We should find out on Thursday which Tier everyone will be in on December 2nd - but remember it will always be subject to change at short notice.... 

Some numbers. Each number represents a single, unique, human being: 

Countries / Cases / Losses of life (some countries / states /provinces yet to report):

USA 12,811,433 (+34,062) 264,217 (+530)
India 9,216,049 (+38,327) 134,661 (+407) 
Brazil 6,090,197 (+2,193) 169,569 (+28) 
France 2,144,660 not yet reported today 49,232
Russia 2,138,828 (+24,326) 37,031 (+491)
Spain 1,606,905 not yet reported today 43,131
UK 1,538,794 (+11,299) 55,838 (+608)
Italy 1,455,022 (+23,232) 51,306 (+853)
Argentina 1,374,631 not yet reported today 37,122
Colombia 1,254,979 not yet reported today 35,479
Mexico 1,049,358 (+7,483) 101,926 (+250) 
Germany 956,407 (+9,759) 14,803 (+220)
Peru 950,557 not yet reported today 35,641
Poland 909,066 (+10,139) 14,314 (+540) 
Iran 880,542 (+13,721) 45,738 (+483) 
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The UK Tier System: 

All tiers have the 'Rule of 6'. No more than a maximum of 6 people may gather. Exceptions include: 
Larger households and support bubbles
Work, Education or Training
Supervised activities for under 18's (including wraparound care)
Formal support groups, including parent and child groups
Contact with parents or guardians, or siblings in care. 
Prospective adopting parents
Birth partners
To see someone who is terminally ill or at the end of life
Emergency assistance, avoiding injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm
Legal obligations, such as attending court or jury service
Providing care or assistance to someone vulnerable or to provide respite for a carer
To move home

ALL TIERS: 
- If you travel between Tiers, you follow the rules for the stricter Tier. 
E.g. Travel from Tier 1 to Tier 2, follow Tier 2 rules, or if you go from Tier 3 to Tier 2, you follow Tier 3 rules. 
- Avoid inessential travel or overnight stays in Tier 3 areas. Essential reasons include work, education, youth services, medical treatment, caring responsibilities (including parenting and support bubbles).
-  Religious venues can remain open.
- Weddings limit 15 people. Funerals limit 30 people. Events linked to funerals (e.g. stonesettings /wakes) maximum 15 people. 
-Takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through and delivery services can continue in all tiers.
- ALL entertainment/leisure that the tier permits closes at 11pm, except cinemas, theatres and concert halls when performances started before 10pm, but end after 11pm.
- ALL hospitality that the tier permits, table service only. In premises that serve alcohol, last orders 10pm, close 11pm until 5am (exemption for airports, ports, on transport services and in motorway service areas). 
- Leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open in all tiers. Organised outdoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes can continue. Strict rules may apply. 

Tier 1: Medium alert
- Very few businesses legally required to close e.g. nightclubs. 
- Public events and sports (e.g football) limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, 4,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
- Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes - rule of 6. Exceptions for indoor disability sport, educational purposes, and supervised under-18s.
 
Tier 2: High alert
- No indoor mixing with other households (support bubbles exempt), includes places of worship. 
- Pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals. 
- Public events (performances and shows) permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
- Spectator sport and business events subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
- Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes only permitted if people can avoid mixing with other households. Exceptions for indoor disability sport, education and supervised under-18s.
- You can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible

Tier 3: Very High alert
This is for areas with a very high or very rapidly rising level of infections, where tighter restrictions are in place.
- You must not meet socially indoors with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble.
- Social mixing (rule of 6) IS allowed outdoors, but ONLY in the following: Parks, beaches, public countryside, grounds or gardens, or sports facilities.
- Hospitality, and all indoor entertainment/ tourist venues are closed.
- Indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close (shops, through-ways and public toilets can remain open).
- Accommodation is closed except essential stays (main residence, work, education and training).
- No group exercise classes (including fitness and dance), saunas or steam rooms.
- No public spectators or audiences. No large business events. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators
- No large outdoor events (performances and shows) except drive-in.
- Organised outdoor sport, physical activity and exercise can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place
- Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes cannot take place. Exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s
- You can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible.
- Avoid inessential travel to other parts of the UK.

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Sources: 


https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/
https://www.astrazeneca.com/media-centre/press-releases/2020/azd1222hlr.html
https://twitter.com/kakape/status/1330804166537699330?s=19

https://www.forbes.com/sites/katiejennings/2020/11/17/how-much-will-a-covid-19-vaccine-cost/
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-11-22/hong-kong-singapore-bubble-delay-shows-uphill-battle-for-travel
Flying https://t.co/hoIjRwWdMf https://t.co/s5OQRG3IAi
https://twitter.com/kakape/status/1331186641982152704?s=19
https://twitter.com/RP131/status/1331191293326864384?s=09
https://fullfact.org/online/did-she-die-in-vain/
https://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/evolutionofparliament/originsofparliament/birthofparliament/overview/magnacarta/magnacartaclauses/
https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/kirklees-schools-not-shut-early-19335050


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