Tuesday, 22 December 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 22nd December 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 22nd December 2020.

The UK added 36,804 cases today (up from 18,450 a week earlier) and now has reported a total of 2,110,314 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 423,675 tests yesterday. 

18,943 people were in hospital on Friday 18th, with 1,364 using a ventilator also on Friday 18th December. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 691 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 68,307 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

Up until Friday December 11th, a total of 79,349 people had COVID as a cause of death on their death certificate. 

Rep. Of Ireland 80,267 cases and 2,158 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 78,045,694 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,715,901. Already 54,856,475 people have recovered.

How to access a pharmacy over Christmas search Pharmacy NHS

Most of the Western world has now imposed a ban on UK arrivals, including France, who have a 48 hour bar on humans crossing the border. 

Hundreds of lorries are parked on disused Manston Airport in Kent, and hundreds more have been stacked on the M20 J11-9, ready to move to Manston. Estimates earlier were that around 1,500 lorries and drivers in total are currently waiting to cross to France..
A decision on what happens next is expected before 11pm tonight. 

Northern Ireland last night advised against all but essential travel to and from Great Britain / Republic of Ireland, with immediate effect. They are keeping the situation under review, but so far have not actually barred travel.
The situation will be kept under review and further updates will be provided.

It goes without saying, but if you had any plans to leave the UK, or return, you may no longer be able to travel, and your plans will be affected. Contact your airline or travel provider. 

Being apart from family and friends is tough. Care for your mental health

Panic buying doesn't appear to have actually occurred in any significant amount *phew*. It would be tragic to think people would be throwing out 15 soggy cucumbers next week, when someone else's Christmas Day gin is ruined.
Why would anyone panic buy lettuce?
Just cos. 

The English government's next Tier review is due for 30th December, and it seems very likely that at least 44 areas currently in Tier 2 or Tier 3 will move to Tier 4, as they now have higher numbers than Hertfordshire. Areas most at risk are Burnley and Lincoln.

MENCAP have produced an easy to read visual online leaflet with the Tier 4 stay-at-home guidance. 

President Bolsonaro of Brazil said on Saturday that people were idiots for getting vaccinated because the pandemic is almost over, and as Pfizer are not responsible for any side effects, "If you become an alligator, it is your problem". For reference, he also said COVID wouldn't bother him because he's "an athlete". 
Brazil have lost over 187,000 people to COVID, including 549 yesterday alone. 

Antarctica has COVID. It was the world's only remaining continent free of the disease, but media are reporting that up to 36 people from the Chilean Army base 'General Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme' (snappy name) tested positive for the virus on Monday.

221220 Travel is affected check your travel now

One of the mutations in the new COVID variant affects one of three targets used by some of the PCR tests. This means that with those tests, we could get a higher percentage of false negatives. They're on it. 

Latest ONS (Office for National Statistics) figures were high, but going the correct way. Sadly we know that even at just 10 days delay, they're already out of date, and the picture is not as good.
"The number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 11 December 2020 (Week 50) was 12,292; this was 11 fewer deaths than in Week 49.
In Week 50, the number of deaths registered was 14.3% above the five-year average (1,542 deaths higher).
Of the deaths registered in Week 50, 2,756 mentioned "novel coronavirus (COVID-19)", accounting for 22.4% of all deaths in England and Wales, a decrease of 79 deaths compared with Week 49; this is the second consecutive decrease."
"Using the most up-to-date data we have available, the number of deaths up to 11 December 2020 was 579,491, which is 67,864 more than the five-year average. Of the deaths registered by 11 December 2020, 72,546 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate. This is 12.5% of all deaths in England and Wales."

221220 France suspended travel from the UK

From tomorrow 90 members of the Army will be assisting the Welsh Ambulance Service as drivers. Wales are struggling a bit and this should help relieve pressure on services.

There are some comments floating around about the new UK COVID strain being more transmissible by children. They are only comments at the moment, no evidence, and certainly positive rates among children have gone up, but don't forget that over the last few weeks, for a lot of households, only the children have gone out and mixed. Children are also regularly asymptomatic, so were tested far, far less often than UK adults until recently. Studies are ongoing. 

The US had vaccinated 272,000 people by Saturday morning. 6 have had a severe allergic reaction. People in the UK who have a history of severe allergic reactions are advised NOT to accept the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine for now. All patients have recovered (the best time to have any severe allergic reaction is when you're already in a hospital). 

Marcus Rashford won a special award at last Night's Sportsperson Of The Year Awards, for his charity work. He has given it to his Mum. 

Taiwan has reported their first locally transmitted case in 253 days. Darnit. They've responded includes cancelling all outdoor gatherings at Christmas Land in New Taipei City. Bah humbug COVID. 

221220 more nurses and doctors HM Govt.

Scientists are cute. They absolutely will not say something for definite unless they have undeniable proof. One of the heads of BioNTech, Ugur Sahin, was asked at a press conference if his vaccine would work against the new UK strain:
“We don't know at the moment, if our vaccine is also able to provide protection against this new variant, but scientifically it is highly likely that the immune response by this vaccine also can deal with the new virus.”
"“The vaccine contains more than 1270 amino acids, and only 9 of them changed, so that means 99% of the protein is still the same.”
I think those are probably the best odds we've seen all year. They are, just to be sure, already conducting lab tests to see if it's reduced efficacy and should have results within a fortnight. 

 UK Students who decided to stay at uni for Christmas have been sharing photos of amazing Christmas dinners they've cooked for their housemates. My daughter cooked her housemates Christmas Dinner the other day. I'm proud to say she contacted me to ask how to make fluffy crispy roasties. (For parents with younger kids, this is the same level of pride you feel when they say a new word).

Coronavirus Tier 4 UK Stay At Home

The Sikh community living in Gravesend in Kent have come together this afternoon to make 800 hot meals for the lorry drivers stuck in Dover. You blooming stars. Thank you. 

If you have a medium or bigger frozen turkey you may need to get it out now to defrost it. You're welcome. 

I plan to be back tomorrow with a short update report, hopefully no unexpected news, but we should have an agreement on international travel, at least within the EU. Fingers crossed the UK situation settles, but there are no guarantees. 

Keep your own self safe, and behave as if you have the virus, to help keep everyone else safe. And open a window...

Some numbers. All were their parent's most precious gift:

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

USA 18,503,777 (+30,061) 327,327 (+555) 

India 10,097,581 (+22,159) 146,438 (+293)

Brazil 7,284,166 (+19,945) 187,685 (+363)

Russia 2,906,503 (+28,776) 51,912 (+561)

France 2,479,151 Not yet reported today 60,900

UK 2,110,314 (+36,804) 68,307 (+691)

Turkey 2,062,960 (+19,256) 18,602 (+251)

Italy 1,977,370 (+13,318) 69,842 (+628)

Spain 1,830,110 not yet reported today 49,260

Germany 1,548,342 (+14,226) 27,832 (+535)

Mexico 1,325,915 (+5,370) 118,598 (+396)

Poland 1,214,525 (+7,192) 25,783 (+309)

Iran 1,170,743 (+6,208) 54,003 (+187) 

Ukraine 979,506 (+8,513) 16,897 (+232)

Netherlands 710,683 (+9,810) 10,633 (+114)

Indonesia 678,125 (+6,347) 20,257 (+172)

Czechia 635,414 (+7,860) 10,562 (+55)

Belgium 626,911 (+981) 18,697 (+71)

Romania 598,792 (+5,009) 14,636 (+155)

Canada 519,699 (+4,385) 14,380 (+48)

Switzerland 418,266 (+4,275) 6,864 (+83)

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Sources: 

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

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

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-12-22/coronavirus-cases-confirmed-in-antarctica/13007596

MENCAP easy to read Tier 4 guidance: 

https://www.mencap.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-12/Tier%204%20guidance.pdf

https://twitter.com/i/events/1341057351667884032

https://metro.co.uk/2020/12/22/army-drafted-to-help-welsh-ambulance-service-cope-with-extreme-pressure-13790428/amp/

https://twitter.com/FCDOGovUK/status/1341032367641780227?s=19

https://nypost.com/2020/12/19/brazilian-prez-bolsonaro-claims-covid-vaccine-could-turn-people-into-alligators/amp/

https://twitter.com/kakape/status/1341303838008094722?s=19

https://twitter.com/WilliamYang120/status/1341294512836988929?s=19

https://twitter.com/niexecutive/status/1341190192728838144

https://twitter.com/mencap_charity/status/1341020517298520065?s=19

https://twitter.com/i/events/1341380195366813696

https://www.quora.com/q/coronavirus?__ni__=0&__nsrc__=4&__snid3__=15355329435&__tiids__=17715190

https://www.itv.com/news/meridian/2020-12-22/sikh-community-prepare-hot-meals-for-stranded-lorry-drivers-on-m20

https://twitter.com/RaviSinghKA/status/1341379881301647363

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending11december2020




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