Sunday, 20 December 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 20th December 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 20th December 2020.

The UK added 35,928 cases today and now has reported a total of 2,040,147 positive cases of COVID-19. 

18,771 people were in hospital on Thursday 17th, up from 16,531 a week earlier. We had 1,364 people using a ventilator on Friday 18th, up from 1,275 a week earlier. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 326 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have an official total of 67,401 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 79,542 (+766) cases and 2,158 (+4) losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 76,914,030 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,696,536. Already 53,948,365 people have recovered.

Tier 4 Lockdown Restrictions December 2020 UK Gov

The new COVID variant which has caused such a nightmare in England has also been spotted in South Africa, and in older samples from Australia and Denmark. We know Australia locked down thousands of people last week over 17 standard cases, so we can see how they managed to stop it dead. Denmark so far have found only 1 case of the new strain, at the beginning of December. 

The Netherlands were the first country to impose restrictions on arrivals from the UK. Air passengers are barred until January 1st at the earliest.

Belgium were 2nd. All all flights and trains to and from the UK were suspended from midnight last night.

I know this may affect some of you. I'm sorry. Ireland's transportation minister has just confirmed that flights and passenger ferries from Britain to Ireland have been suspended for at least 48 hours.

French officials made an announcement a short while ago:
"Given the new health risk, and pending its assessment, all flows of people from the United Kingdom to France are suspended from midnight tonight, for 48 hours, and for all means of transport." 

Austria and Italy have also banned flights from the UK
Germany are expected to make an announcement on limiting numbers from the UK and South Africa imminently
Israel, Kuwait....
EU leaders will meet next week to discuss the situation. 

Boris CANNOT do anything other than be incredibly proactive. Apart from the massive increase in hospitalisations and overwhelming of the NHS which would no doubt occur, the entire world is watching one of the richest economies - we are expected to contain this. 

Wales Level 4 Very High Risk Restrictions

In respectfully flattering yet quite disturbing news, the view of scientists discussing the UK strain overwhelmingly seems to be along the lines of:
"The UK has arguably the world’s best genomic surveillance of SARSCoV2. You would expect to find it there first even if it is many places."
Kai Kupferschmidt. 

As reported yesterday. UK Christmas bubbles are now only allowed on Christmas Day. 3 households can mix, except in Wales where it is limited to 2. 

There have been people sharing a misleading headline about masks not working against potential new strains of virus. Virus aren't made of magic, masks and face coverings will always help prevent you breathing them in. They'll never be a 100% effective barrier, and it's a natural evolution that virus which are better at getting past face coverings (smaller for example), will survive to reproduce more often, so their genetics is passed on in greater numbers. Virus gain other dominant mutations in the same way. So do humans. 

Trains leaving newly Tier 4 London and other areas were packed last night, as people attempted to escape and take COVID as far around the country to their loved ones as possible. I apologise now. Guilty. 

Call me irresponsible but we got our Uni student back from London. They were due back anyway, and couldn't come back in the Uni travel window because of part time work supporting a young lad. Because we've been under restrictions limiting garden visitors, we've not seen them for a year, and it wasn't good for mental health. I feel terribly guilty, and spoilt, but we did actually check with all relevant authorities, and they were allowed to come home. They had a test on Thursday, but we have now adopted a new level of home comfort. It involves leaving the back door open and all living mainly in the kitchen. 

On Friday the World Health Organisation advised Europeans delay Christmas celebrations until Spring. 

On Friday Italy announced a hard national lockdown for the Christmas period. No-one will be able to leave their homes except for essential reasons (work/health/food) from December 24th until January 6th.
Households will be allowed 2 visitors.
Inessential shops, leisure and hospitality are obviously all closed.
That is hard. Very hard. 

NHS Test and Trace FAQ Can I Leave isolation early

Trump of the Last Night:
"We don’t want to have lockdowns. The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself!"
This was in response to the UK's announcement of Tier 4 restrictions. Miss all our usual Christmas traditions for a year, or lose lots of human beings... It's a tricky one...
How can there actually be anyone left who doesn't understand that you cannot separate economy and health? You need healthy people to have a healthy economy. 

The idea of any post-Christmas instore sales terrifies me. 

The New York Times and ProPublica say they've seen thousands of Chinese documents that show Chinese authorities wanted to make the virus look less severe and themselves more capable.
Of course they did! Which country wouldn't? (Which country really hasn't?) I'm finding a lot of respect for any government who is prepared to admit they are having a problem. It takes a lot of courage, but it gets far quicker results. 

There is little doubt that Europe is having a bit of a disaster. The UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Ukraine, Poland, Czechia and Romania all reported over 5,000 new cases yesterday, as did Russia, which just came ahead of the UK with 28,209 cases. 

If anyone finds themselves with no-one to talk to on Christmas Day, you can #JoinIn with comedian Sarah Millican and loads of other people chatting on Twitter - it's their 10th year. They rock at small talk with plenty of smiles...

After yesterday, I'm very glad there is very little new news... fingers crossed for next week. Don't forget to get outside and look for Saturn and Jupiter! Southwest, on the horizon, best around an hour after sunset. Tomorrow night they'll align perfectly, creating the Christmas Star... 

Some numbers. They all understand what it is to feel scared:

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

USA 18,113,099 (+35,090) 323,806 (+402)

India 10,056,162 (+24,503) 145,843 (+330)

Brazil 7,213,155 not yet reported today 186,367

Russia 2,848,377 (+28,948) 50,858 (+511)

France 2,460,555 not yet reported today 60,418

UK 2,040,147 (+35,928) 67,401 (+326)

Turkey 2,024,601 (+20,316) 18,097 (+246)

Italy 1,953,185 (+15,104) 68,799 (+352)

Spain 1,817,448 not yet reported today 48,926

Argentina 1,537,169 not yet reported today 41,763

Germany 1,502,463 (+8,502) 26,535 (+121)

Colombia 1,496,062 not yet reported today 40,268

Mexico 1,313,675 (+12,129) 117,876 (+627)

Poland 1,202,700 (+8,594) 25,397 (+143)

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.Sources:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

https://twitter.com/SarahMillican75/status/1330841523940888577

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-announces-tier-4-stay-at-home-alert-level-in-response-to-new-covid-variant

https://twitter.com/i/events/1340458388702986245

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/20/belgium-italy-and-netherlands-ban-flights-from-uk-over-new-covid-strain

"Italy becomes the latest European country to announce a Christmas lockdown" https://twitter.com/i/events/1340215972771160065?s=

https://twitter.com/kakape/status/1340656687984893959

https://twitter.com/DrEricDing/status/1340487062903001090

https://twitter.com/i/events/1340426988545142784

https://twitter.com/i/events/1340307533081292802

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1340377186847625218

https://twitter.com/ReavleyNigel/status/1340716796542935040

https://twitter.com/AFP/status/1340725598889664523

https://twitter.com/JeanCASTEX/status/1340721381546323970




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