Sunday 29 November 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News weekend update 28th / 29th November 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News weekend update 28th / 29th November 2020.

The UK added 12,155 cases today and now has reported a total of 1,617,327 positive cases of COVID-19. 

15,712 people were in hospital on Thursday 26th, with 1,417 using a ventilator on Friday 27th November. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 215 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 58,245 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 71,942 cases and 2,050 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 62,882,389 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,463,107. Already 43,431,307 people have recovered.

Cristmas bubble UK Gov small illustrated snow globe with house inside, and test

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed that since the Welsh 'Firebreak lockdown', cases have risen far more quickly than was expected, and more measures are necessary to bring the reproductive number back under one and stop cases rising exponentially. At the moment the R rate is 1.4, meaning each infected person is passing it to an average of 1.4 more. Cinemas, bowling alleys and other indoor entertainment venues will close ahead of Christmas, and pubs, bars and restaurants will face extra restrictions from Friday 4th December. Final decisions are yet to be made, an announcement will be along early next week. 

There isn't any conclusive evidence that Vitamin D helps you fight COVID, but it was long ago proven to be essential for a healthy immune system. The UK Government will be offering supplements to millions of people, including all care home residents, and those people extremely vulnerable to COVID. 
Most of our Vitamin D comes from sunlight, so if you have darker skin, low levels of sunlight in your area, or you've spent little time outside, you are more likely to be deficient. It you've been recommended to take supplements, do it. 

Hospitals in England have been told to prepare for vaccine rollout from as early as December 7th. This came as official approval has been requested from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for the USA's Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine (which has an effectiveness of over 94%). As soon as the MHRA give the green light, it's on. 
Despite what the Government previously said, it is expected NHS Staff will be first on the list, followed by care home residents and staff. Everyone needs 2 jabs, 2 weeks apart, and will only be fully protected around 2 weeks after the second dose. 

"We’re buying a further 2 million doses of Moderna's vaccine to help the whole UK in our fight against coronavirus. 
We've now secured 357 million vaccine doses & are ready to deploy a vaccine if approved by MHRA."
Matt Hancock, UK Health Secretary. 
cover face bin mask UK gov 4 part illustration

The World Health Organisation have named the team of 10 scientists forming the committee for the "Global Study of the Origins of SARS-CoV-2". They will investigate early signs and evidence, and it is hoped be able to at least pinpoint where it came from, geographically and biologically. Pangolin, bat or elsewhere... The 10 scientists are from Denmark, UK, Netherlands, Australia, Russia, Vietnam, USA (they're rejoining the WHO on Jan 20th when Biden is inaugurated), Germany, Qatar and Japan.

“NHS Test and Trace has contacted 1,311 individuals who were incorrectly told that the result of COVID-19 tests, taken between Nov. 19 and Nov. 23, were positive. An issue with a batch of testing chemicals meant their test results were void.” 
A department of Health and Social Care spokesperson in an email to Reuters. 

Trump has said that the first deliveries of the COVID vaccine are due next week, with front-line workers, medical personnel and senior citizens first on the list.

The UK has appointed a 'Christmas Travel Tzar' and the lucky winner is Network Rail chief Sir Peter Hendy. I have no idea why he accepted, because his name is bound to be as popular as Dido Harding's by Christmas. The amount of people who are going to attempt travel in an incredibly short period of time will be insanely huge. Millions of people in the UK will go to visit relatives, and the first and last days of the 23rd Dec - 27th Dec Christmas Bubble period are likely to be the most busy. 
Buy tickets in advance - there is very little hope of any walk ons.  Plan your route, don't expect a swift journey if you travel during this period, especially between 10am and 5pm. Have an excellent time. 

Bird Flu has resurfaced in Europe. This strain 'Influenza A(H5N8)' has not ever been known to infect a human, so the risk to us is very low (if it wasn't Covid-19 era, we'd say 'incredibly low', but wording is cautious at the moment). 
Over the past 6 weeks it's affected hundreds of thousands of birds in Germany and the Netherlands. The bird flu has reached the UK, with poultry farm outbreaks in Kent and Frodsham at the beginning of the month, a large outbreak in a turkey farm in Yorkshire, the swans in Blackpool etc etc. 
Although the risk from Influenza A(H5N8) is miniscule for humans, bird flu can be deadly for birds, whether they are on farms, in aviaries, or wild birds. DON'T HANDLE DEAD BIRDS, and be very cautious with sick birds (you know how it works. Wash your hands, wear a mask and gloves). If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the 'Defra helpline'. 
Cooking kills the flu virus, so there is no risk from bird meat or eggs as long as they're cooked properly. The turkeys were just about due for the chop anyway. 

Key facts on vaccines protecting people

If Boris says "You should work from home if you can", it's government advice and your employer isn't wise to go against it. If they force you to go in when you are as productive at home, and you catch COVID, it could all get legally messy. It's also not in their best interest, because if there's a workplace outbreak, they could be without enough staff to run very quickly. 
Likewise there are many reasons why people can't work from home, mostly because your job can't be done remotely, but some of them are deeply personal. 
Under lockdown and after December 2nd across ALL TIERS:
"Everyone who can work from home should do so. Where people cannot do so – including, but not limited to, people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, or manufacturing – they should continue to travel to their workplace. Public-sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary."
Working from home when you can doesn't just protect you personally and your employer,  it makes it safer for everyone who doesn't have that option. 
ASDA supermarkets are giving their delivery drivers the option to wear a badge that says "happy to chat". Drivers wearing this badge won't mind spending 5 minutes discussing the weather or the price of beans. Human contact is especially important if you are isolating. 

 Boris has appointed Nadhim Zahawi MP as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care - or 'bloke in charge of making sure the vaccine rollout goes well'. 
 The biggest ever immunisation programme in the UK, what could possibly go wrong? There's another job I wouldn't fancy... best of luck! 

Russia has announced they are going to vaccinate more than 400,000 military personnel against Covid-19. Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the plans on Friday. He says 2,500 military personnel have been vaccinated against COVID-19 already, and that is expected to reach 80,000 by the end of the year. Putin's own daughter received a vaccine as part of that trial. 

How to behave with COVID to mitigate risk UK Government advice

The UK Government's SAGE advisory group has issued guidance to help protect people from spreading COVID-19 to their nearest and dearest over Christmas. They have 10 points we should consider carefully, and remember, even after a few sherbets: 
"Ten principles for reducing household transmission during social interactions
1. Consider whether in-person interactions are essential and cannot be postponed or replaced by safer forms of interaction. (Can you not just zoom it?).
2. Consider replacing indoor events with outdoor activities or using community spaces to host events. (Why not go for a walk together instead of sitting indoors? A Kickabout on the lawn? Trip to the park?)
3. Recognise that most transmission occurs due to prolonged, close interaction with familiar people in a home environment. (The longer you sit in a room together, the more chance you have of spreading COVID amongst yourselves.)
4. Take special care to protect people who are particularly vulnerable to serious consequences from infection. (Sit Uncle Pat over by the open window and don't let the kids maul him.)
5. Ensure people who are emotionally vulnerable have social support. (Ring everyone you don't see in person, or go out and wave at the neighbours, take a walk together. Some people won't fit in a Christmas bubble, don't forget them.)
6. People who have to self-isolate or quarantine should not have any in-person social interactions. (Normal isolation rules apply - if you have symptoms or close contact with COVID, don't take risks. You may have to live with the consequences.)
7. Limit interactions to the same small group of people as far as possible. (The smaller the group, the less chance of introducing infection.)
8. Limit the duration of time spent together, especially if meeting indoors. (All go for a walk, open the doors, move about. No sitting in the same spot for a 6  hour Christmas movie marathon.)
9. Manage the home environment and how people interact together. (Try to spread out, open windows and doors, let the fresh air in. Encourage regular hand-washing. Don't share food.)
10. Negotiate and communicate with family, friends, and other visitors to create a safe meeting plan where responsibilities are appropriately shared. (Discuss it beforehand, and find out what everyone expects, and agree on what you are all comfortable with. EVERYONE needs to feel secure.)

SAGE advice for mitigating transmission risk over Christmas

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas... 

Some numbers. Every one born under the same sky as you:

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

USA 13,641,996 (+31,639) 272,519 (+265)
India 9,430,724 (+37,685) 137,152 (+419)
Brazil 6,295,695 (+5,423) 172,706 (+69)
Russia 2,269,316 (+26,683) 39,527 (+459)
France 2,208,699 not yet reported today 52,127
Spain 1,646,192 not yet reported today 44,668
UK 1,617,327 (+12,155) 58,245 (+215)
Italy 1,585,178 (+20,648) 54,904 (+541)
Argentina 1,413,375 not yet reported today 38,322
Colombia 1,299,613 not yet reported today 36,401
Mexico 1,100,683 (+10,008) 105,459 (+586) 
Germany 1,047,806 (+5,836) 16,444 (+67)
Poland 985,075 (+11,483) 17,029 (+283)
Peru 960,368 not yet reported today 35,879
Iran 948,749 (+12,950) 47,874 (+389) 


1 comment:

  1. Interesting reading. It is starting to change a little I think x


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