Friday, 4 December 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 4th December 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 4th December 2020.

The UK added 16,298 cases today and now has reported a total of 1,690,432 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 389,476 tests yesterday. 

14,917 people were in hospital on Wednesday 2nd, with 1,261 using a ventilator yesterday, 3rd December. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 504 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 60,617 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 73,228 cases and 2,080 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 65,944,911 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,519,156. Already 45,652,023 people have been reported as recovered.

041220 potential case rates in England following lockdown

“The decisions we make right now can change the course of the next six months. The steps that we take now mean life or death for us and mean life or death for our families. As we enter into this critical holiday period right now, really consider what you do over this period, and who you interact with. If you can modify your contact patterns, you can modify the virus's ability to spread."
Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organisation. 

"The fight against climate change is a truly global challenge, and it's one we're only going to win if every country on every continent does its bit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. So I'm very happy to say that we in the UK are going to lead by example, going further and faster than ever before, with a new target to cut emissions by at least 68% by 2030. 
That's considerably more ambitious than the targets set by other major economies, and it will set us on course to hit net zero by 2050."
Boris Johnson, UK PM. This is the reduction from 1990 to 2030, so we're 3/4 of the way there already, and it's impressive stuff. Nice one. 

The World Health Organisation has asked the UK's MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) to share their approval data about the Pfizer/ BioNTech vaccine, as it could speed up their own approval. Once WHO issue an 'emergency use listing' for a vaccine, countries can use it to approve vaccines themselves - helping the poorer nations most of all. 

From today hospitality in Wales closes at 6pm, and alcohol is not allowed to be sold unless it's to take home. Leisure and entertainment are closed. 

The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine supply has arrived in Northern Ireland, and immunisations will begin next week.

041220 new cases by nation indie SAGE

Today's indie SAGE is a lot more positive, with good signs everywhere, but possibly with the exception of Wales. (It seems prudent that they have imposed extra  restrictions.) Positivity rates are also going up a little in Wales, so it isn't just because of increased testing. 
Hospitalisations are going down in all areas of the UK, and daily reported deaths do look like they've reached a plateau (hopefully next week it will be going down). 
Plotting what happened following the English tier restrictions, all areas in tier 3 showed a reduction in cases. Tier 2 was a bit of a mixed bag, tier 1 did nothing to visibly make a difference. 
Kent shows a very different pattern to just about anywhere else, with a big rise in cases, (It HAS dropped. It's around 298 per 100k popn. at latest figures.)
All of the mass testing may make it more tricky to assess how we are doing with the number of cases, as we'll catch far more than we have in the past. 
Hopefully we will be around 10,000 cases a day by the end of next week, but that's still quite high, and it's possible the new restrictions will only keep case numbers stable, not reduce them. 
Next week we should see the effects of the US Thanksgiving, and that will give us a lot to think about for our own Christmas break. 
They talked a lot about vaccine safety, and how that can be communicated to the public. They called for all data to be released in a format that's accessible for everyone to read and understand. 
We have a caution - 2.5m students will be going home over the next few days, and they'll all go back in January. We need to avoid a repeat of September. indieSAGE believe all universities should, where possible, put courses online and give students the choice as to whether they attend in person.

041220 positivity rates uk

Dr Anthony Fauci has apologised for his comments yesterday which were a bit rude to UK vaccine regulators. In an interview on the BBC he said:
"Our process is one that takes more time than it takes in the UK. And that's just the reality. I did not mean to imply any sloppiness even though it came out that way."
I stand by what I said yesterday,  he was attempting to bolster support and trust in the US regulators by saying how thorough they were, and it came out wrong. We've all made that error, just not usually on Telly. 

Anthony Fauci has had a hell of a year. His advice has been ignored and ridiculed repeatedly by Trump and his followers, and the result is the United States has 282,000 losses of life to COVID, which is now rising at around 2,800 every day - that's almost the same number of people who died in 9/11. Day after day. 
Over 100,000 US citizens are currently hospitalised with COVID and healthcare workers are exhausted.  Some have been at this for months. 
El Paso is using 10 mobile mortuaries. Los Angeles yesterday imposed emergency, and very strict, lockdown/closure/stay at home orders because healthcare facilities are at the tipping point of becoming overwhelmed. . 
In many areas across the USA the percentage of COVID+ people who are admitted to hospital is visibly shrinking. That sounds like good news, but they're still admitting as many patients. Healthcare is stretched, so more borderline patients are being sent home, and will die. That will apply to anyone who is borderline, whatever their condition, illness or accident, they don't just pick out COVID patients. 
A lot of America is really in an horrific place right now, and misinformation is rife. Today thousands of people are sharing posts suggesting the mortality is not above usual figures, but it really is. A quick check of the CDC figures shows it's been above average every week since the end of March, and wave 3 is currently happening. 
Still yet Trump is not prepared to stand on TV and say this is serious, he doesn't wear a mask, and all he's interested in is mardying about the fact he didn't win the election. He could save the lives of his own supporters, and he's too bloody arrogant. 

041220 excess mortality all causes the usa

South of the American border Mexico is having a really bad time. Infections there suddenly jumped about 10 days ago, and the CDC on Wednesday advised US citizens against all but essential travel into Mexico. 

The Bank of England has lost track of around £50bn. They are meant to keep tabs on how much cash is in circulation, but they haven't really been keeping up, and now it seems around £50bn is under mattresses, buried under large X's or is being used for trade abroad. If anyone happens to have an 800 mile tall pile of fivers in a suitcase, can you let them know. Also, "hi"... 
 
"New Business Traveller exemption: From 4am on Sat 5th Dec high-value business travellers (certain performing arts professionals, TV production staff, journalists, and recently signed elite sportspersons) will no longer need to self-isolate when returning to ENGLAND from a country NOT in a travel corridor, allowing more travel to support the economy and jobs. Conditions apply."
Sounds fair, because obviously high-value business travellers don't spread COVID - in your dreams!  Business people going around the world from meeting to meeting spread it more effectively than a travelling choir.... ooh, travelling choirs - possibly also exempt. 
Scotland have decided not to join in with this one, you will still need to quarantine on arrival. 

Rita Wilson (Tom Hank's wife) recovered from COVID 9 months ago, and donates her blood to an antibody study. Excitingly she still tests positive for antibodies now. (9 months, it's good!)

The first England and South Africa one day international cricket match has been called off after a South Africa player tested positive for COVID-19. The three-game series will now start on Sunday.

041220 positivity rates scotland tier system

Seaweed is being tested to see if it can help reduce the effects of COVID - or more correctly Boots Dual Defence over the counter cold remedy. It's easy to forget that Boots are actually a genuine chemist, and a lot of their own-brand products are made with better ingredients than some of the big names. The remedy contains Carragelose, from edible red seaweed, and it's been proven to reduce severity or likelihood of other coronavirus' in the past, so it's definitely worth a shot. 

Mary Trump of the Yesterday:
“We’re seeing a very desperate man. (He’s) somebody who knows that his best option is to cling to power no matter who gets hurt in the process. Obviously, there really isn’t any way for him to do that legitimately. So, he’s going to pursue whatever illegitimate means that he has at his disposal. And, you know, it’s really troubling because it’s not just that Donald is hurting himself, which he is doing by continuing to play this out to these absurd lengths, he’s doing serious damage to our democracy, to people’s faith in the American electoral process, and he’s also undermining the legitimacy of the incoming administration ..."
Mary Trump, Donald's niece and qualified psychologist. We know they don't get on, but ouch. 

Bad, but very useful, news from South Korea. They are incredibly brilliant at Track & Trace, possibly even 'world-beating', and have published a study examining spread in a restaurant. They discovered that with the aircon in the room, there was a direct line of airflow from 'patient zero' towards the other people who caught COVID that day. That isn't startling news, but what is striking is that one of the infected people was sitting 21ft away, and left just 5 minutes after patient zero arrived. Another was sitting at the same table as patient zero, and another in the direct line of airflow 15ft away. Other people in the restaurant didn't catch COVID, even though they might have been closer, or sitting directly in front of patient zero. 
Airflow is REALLY important. COVID travels incredibly well on a barely noticeable breeze. Bear this in mind for Christmas, or whenever you are in a space with other people. If the air is pretty still, it will likely take about 20 minutes before COVID breath crosses a 2m gap. If it's blowing away, it'll never reach, but if it's being blown directly to someone's face, it's really quick. Use your own common sense. (No singing.)

The CHANEL ‘Le Château des Dames’ 2020/21 Métiers d’art show had just one guest, Kristen Stewart, due to social distancing rules. It's hard to tell what she thought of the frocks because she's physically incapable of smiling. 

Across Europe most countries celebrate Christmas, and everyone wants to be able to do so safely, but with loved ones. Measures to clamp down on COVID right now, and relax towards the end of December, have been planned in many places: 
England - Partial lockdowns by region, followed by “Festive bubbles” - up to 3 households can mix December 23-27 in homes and gardens, places of worship and outdoor public spaces.
Scotland - Local restrictions until limited relaxation of the COVID-19 rules 23rd to 27th December for UK "Christmas Bubbles” of up 8 people from up to 3 households
Wales - Local restrictions and nation ban on sale of alcohol for consumption on the premises, 6pm closing time, closure of leisure and entertainment, until limited relaxation of the COVID-19 rules 23rd to 27th December for UK "Christmas Bubbles” of up to 3 households.
Northern Ireland - Local and national restriction, followed by UK “Festive bubbles” - up to 3 households can mix December 23-27 in homes and gardens, places of worship and outdoor public spaces.
Republic of Ireland - local restrictions and national ban on household visitors until 18th December, when up to 3 households can come together to celebrate.  
Italy - they were due to come out of partial lockdown yesterday, but have more COVID cases now than at any other time. Guiseppe Conte has announced movement between regions between December 21 to January 6 can only be for work, medical reasons or emergencies. Travel between towns is barred on Christmas Day, St Stephen’s Day and New Year’s Day. You can have houseguests, but it's discouraged. Larger gatherings are banned, including Midnight Mass. There will be a nationwide curfew on New Year’s Eve from 10pm to 7am. (I am so sorry to any Italians.)
France - Emmanuel Macron has announced that the lockdown will be lifted on December 15 if new infections per day fall to 5,000, and patients in intensive care drop below 3,000. (Currently new cases per day are just below 13,000 and they have just under 3,500 patients in intensive care. They can do this.) 
Germany - Until December 20th, gatherings with friends and relatives are limited to one 1 household, and a maximum of 5 people. Bars, restaurants and gyms remain closed. They have a "mini-amnesty" from December 23 to January 1, when up to 10 people can meet (children under 14 are not counted).

Weekly confirmed COVId cases per 1200k by region England


"Vaccines should give us hope, but those countries currently in the fight of their lives: You have got to stick with this! You've got to try and control this transmission, or your health systems will not be able to cope."
Dr Mike Ryan, the World Health Organisation. 

The first Pfizer /BioNTech vaccine delivery is already on UK soil, and we will begin vaccinating on Tuesday. As Mr Jonathan Van-Tam says, 'the train is in the station and the doors are open ready for people to get on'... just don't forget your mask. Not for now... but it's coming.... 

Have a good weekend, back Sunday. Stay well, make someone surprising smile, save the NHS. 

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

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

USA 14,617,223 (+82,027) 283,805 (+976)
India 9,606,810 (+35,030) 139,700 (+473) 
Brazil 6,496,050 (+8,534) 175,432 (+125)
Russia 2,402,949 (+27,403) 42,176 (+569)
France 2,257,331 not yet reported today 54,140
Spain 1,699,145 (+5,554) 46,252 (+214)
UK 1,690,432 (+16,298) 60,617 (+504)
Italy 1,688,939 (+24,099) 58,852 (+814)
Argentina 1,447,732 not yet reported today 39,305
Colombia 1,343,322 not yet reported today 37,305
Mexico 1,144,643 (+11,030) 108,173 (+608)
Germany 1,143,116 (+14,374) 18,492 (+232)
Poland 1,041,846 (+13,239) 19,359 (+531)
Iran 1,016,835 (+13,341) 49,695 (+347)


Sources:


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

https://twitter.com/grantshapps/status/1334543848333332482?s=19
https://jkms.org/DOIx.php?id=10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e415
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-54966876
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-9015669/Rita-Wilson-reveals-COVID-19-antibodies-nearly-nine-months-beating-virus.html
https://www.lamayor.org/COVID19Orders
https://www.jhunewsletter.com/article/2020/11/a-closer-look-at-u-s-deaths-due-to-covid-19
https://twitter.com/i/events/1334802562424291329
https://twitter.com/BBCandrewkerr/status/1334611268322422787
https://twitter.com/NancySinatra/status/1334548760018341889
https://www.rawstory.com/2020/12/mary-trump-reveals-presidents-psychological-status-to-the-view-he-cant-admit-to-himself-that-he-lost-but-wont-run-again-in-2024/#.X8ke_r0Y-wM.twitter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHtQ_NIduO8
https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/amp/entry/europe-christmas-lockdown-relaxation-germany-italy-france-spain-greece_uk_5fc0e0e3c5b61d04bfa8fbe5
https://www.statista.com/topics/6126/coronavirus-covid-19-in-france/
https://www.neweurope.eu/article/italy-tightens-curbs-for-christmas-as-covid-deaths-hit-record-high/
https://twitter.com/kakape/status/1334908006933336064
https://twitter.com/CHANEL/status/1334560478585122819
https://twitter.com/kakape/status/1334907582146891779
https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-to-get-christmas-reprieve-but-restrictions-continue/


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