Friday 27 November 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 27th November 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 27th November 2020.

The UK added 16,022 cases today (DOWN from 20,252 a week earlier) and now has reported a total of 1,589,301 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 383,521 tests yesterday. 

16,064 people were in hospital on Wednesday 25th (DOWN from 16,444 a week earlier), with 1,456 using a ventilator yesterday, 27th November (UP from 1,426 a week earlier).  

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 521 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 57,551 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 71,494 cases and 2,036 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 61,631,826 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,443,856. Already 42,617,154 people have recovered.

The Rebel Bear (Glasgow) drawing of a nurse in a mask with her hands making a heart
The Rebel Bear (Glasgow)

There are big UK headlines today about "some areas could come out of Tier 3 before Christmas" and "PM refuses to rule out harshening of restrictions before Christmas" yada yada. It's a pandemic. We can guess what's going to happen next, but we can't know. That's the hardest bit for all of us. Any politician making promises is a fool who will struggle to back down if they need to, and that could be very costly.

There are also headlines saying "we might have to lockdown in January". Again, this is not new news. We knew this, it's been predicted as probable for weeks, and unfortunately it makes obvious sense. None of us want to see hospitals overwhelmed and thousands more people die in the first 2 months of the year, just before we roll out vaccinations. Sod that. You aren't safe crossing the road until you get both feet on the kerb. 

If everyone is super careful over Christmas, it might never happen. If infection rates are brought right down by the lockdown and Tiers, it might never happen. 
Let's watch what occurs in the USA post-Thanksgiving. By mid-December we'll see any spike start to form and it'll be either reassuring or "ooh eck". Bearing in mind the USA is already in a bad place with a whopping 175,000 new cases a day, and not getting any better right now. 

Alireza Pakdel 2 (Iranian artist) image of Doctors in relay race with patient, attempting to beat death
Alireza Pakdel (Iran)

This afternoon Reuters report that suspected North Korean hackers have attempted to steal data from the Oxford / AstraZeneca Vaccine. This morning The South Korean National Intelligence Service said they have also caught hackers attempting to break into vaccine company data, and they believe they're also from North Korea. Naughty! But, lives... It's not really a surprise. South Korea have several vaccines in development, and they didn't say how many had been attacked. 
Barely a couple of weeks ago Microsoft said they'd foiled hack attempts by North Korea against 7 different vaccine companies.  
North Korea still claim not to have any COVID-19 cases. My guess is they could be lying, and increasingly worried. They have been offered help by various countries, including China, South Korea and the USA, they really should put down that misplaced pride and accept if they need it. 

Talking of overly-proud leaders,  Donald Trump has publicly said he will leave the White House if he loses the vote. He said 'if that happens, they'll have made a mistake', but they might not have to drag him out kicking and screaming at least. 
Hang on a minute, he already has lost the vote.... guess he's not ready to give up just yet then. Someone cut his nails just in case - think of the carpet...

Naked Pastor artist image of Jesus and a sheep saying "hugs" and holding out gloved arms
Naked Pastor (USA)

And while we're on the subject of leaders who don't believe they've lost, after many weeks of mass protests, President Lukashenko of Belarus has said he will step down and allow a new constitution. He couldn't argue with tens of thousands of people outside his door forever, and the whole world wasn't impressed. He had very little support. The Belarusian election result on August 9th, where Lukashenko apparently got 80% of the votes, was not accepted as free and fair by a large amount of the world. 
Lukashenko will oversee the changes, and isn't expected to simply hand over power to someone he doesn't choose himself, but hopefully they'll have a more realistic view of COVID. Lukashenko said that the best ways to stay healthy include drinking 50ml of vodka a day, eating breakfast on time, working in the fields and regular trips to the sauna. 

Lukashenko's Belarus is possibly the only country in the world which hasn't taken any restrictive measures to prevent spread of coronavirus - although many of the citizens chose to stay at home anyway. It's actually coped very well with COVID, and this is suspected to be in large part because they have loads of hospital beds and routinely immediately quarantine infectious people. They have 11 hospital beds for every 1,000 people (Germany have 8 and the UK just 2.5), they are well-used to contact tracing, and started mass testing for COVID really early. Their usual safe behaviour has so far prevented tragedy, meanwhile in the UK where we think we're clever, we just send everyone back home to mingle...  Like most of the Northern Hemisphere, cases are now sadly steadily going up. Belarus has so far reported a total of 131,633 (+1,621) cases and lost 1,136 (+8) people. 

Big Rex 1 image of TV "Nueva Normalidad"
Big Rex 1 (Spain) "New Normal"

Trump of the Yesterday:
“Don’t let him take credit for the vaccines because the vaccines were me and I pushed people harder than they’ve ever been pushed before.”
Gertcha... It was scientists Donald! Joe Biden doesn't get the credit for the vaccines, and neither do you, not unless you want credit and blame for EVERY action that happened in America while you were in charge. You do get credit for the ineffectual response and laissez-faire attitude which has killed over 269,000 Americans though. All yours. 

Scientists are now deep in debate over how much of a population need to be immunised in order to have 'herd immunity' (by vaccination). Some estimates are around 60-70%, and in some areas of the UK, that would mean we only needed to immunise another 35% (because 25% already show antibodies), but you'd have to get the right 35%. It all gets very complex very quickly. We can all see the benefit of vaccinating all residents and staff of a care home, but within a healthy and more diverse population, for example in a village somewhere in rural Britain, you might be far better off immunising the postman, shopkeeper, bar staff and bus driver. 

Huff Post are claiming that the UK Government want the Union Jack flag on the vials containing the Oxford Vaccine, in an effort to bolster Britishness and presumably show off our fairly-priced gift to the world. It's what's inside is more important. The regulator was asked officially today to assess the jab, so final trial data will be along any minute.... 

Charlie Mackesy artist image Did we get through the last part, we'll get through this.
Charlie Makesey (UK)

Trump Of The Day:
Donald has really lost it with Twitter. He's lost support of all the main news channels now, so he's reached the stage of retweeting the One America News Network stories. (He's about one step away from retweeting The Sunday Sport or Fortean Times.) They had an account banned from Twitter for promoting a fake COVID cure, and then Trump's mate Senator Doug Mastriano was also banned (for fake news, ooh, the irony).
"Wow! Twitter bans highly respected Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano after he did a great job of leading a hearing on the 2020 Election fraud. They and the Fake News, working together, want to SILENCE THE TRUTH. Can’t let that happen. This is what Communist countries do!"
It's not really Donald. Working with 'fake news' to silence the truth is just what lying liars do (or desperate ex-Presidents), whichever political persuasion they affiliate with. Numpty. 

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) have agreed a deal for Indian pharmaceutical company Hetero to manufacture more than 100 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V COVID vaccine EACH YEAR. Production will start in early 2021, after final trial data and regulatory approval, and it will cost around $10 per dose ($20 per patient - very fairly priced).

MJ Hiblen Art Medics stands and raises the finger against giant monster COVID
M.J.Hiblen (UK)

Marcus Rashford:
"Sir Alex has announced that, in a joint fund of up to £2 million created with his close friend Sir Michael Moritz, a British philanthropist, they will “match every pound” of reader donations to FareShare through the Times appeal.’
I can't say I'm a big Times reader myself, and they annoy me by constantly 'leaking' Government news like a rusty sieve, but fair play - and thank you to Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Michael Moritz. Now is exactly the time for a bit of philanthropy. 
If you haven't heard of Fare Share, they are a UK charity "fighting hunger and food waste by redistributing good quality in-date surplus food to frontline charities across the UK." And they're brilliant. 

The world carries on, and UK scientists have developed the Galleri blood test. It can detect 50 different early stage cancers and will be piloted with 165,000 patients. With Cancer time is vital, and we are massively behind now with testing. If this proves as effective as it sounds, it could be epic. Excellent news. 

Banksy has created another couple of images, so today I'm bringing you just a handful of the amazing artworks that have been produced this year in response to COVID. All of it powerful. We WILL get there. 

Have a good weekend. Ring A Friend, Open The Windows, Save The NHS. 

Some numbers. They are all different shapes, but they are all people: 

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

USA 13,283,783 (+34,859) 269,843 (+283)
India 9,325,786 (+15,915) 135,906 (+154) 
Brazil 6,209,404 (+4,834) 171,564 (+67)
Russia 2,215,533 (+27,543) 38,558 (+496)
France 2,183,660 not yet reported today 50,957
Spain 1,646,192 (+8,348) 44,668 (+294)
UK 1,589,301 (+16,022) 57,551 (+521)
Italy 1,538,217 (+28,352) 53,677 (+827)
Argentina 1,399,431 not yet reported today 37,941
Colombia 1,280,487 not yet reported today 36,019
Mexico 1,078,594 (+8,107) 104,242 (+645)
Germany 1,013,582 (+8,275) 15,911 (+144)
Poland 958,416 (+17,060) 16,147 (+579)
Peru 956,347 not yet reported today 35,785
Iran 922,397 (+14,051) 47,095 (+406) 



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