Sunday 6 December 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 5th / 6th December 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 5th / 6th December 2020.

The UK added 17,272 cases today and now has reported a total of 1,723,242 positive cases of COVID-19. 

14,556 people were in hospital on Thursday 3rd, with 1,274 using a ventilator on Friday, 4th December.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 231 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 61,245 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 74,246 (+298) cases and 2,099 losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 67,192,860 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,539,553. Already 46,470,892 people have recovered.

Richard RP131 on Titter table showing top 25 authorities and case numbers

Russia have delivered their Sputnik V vaccine to clinics, and on Saturday morning started mass immunisation. They say they've got 2m doses in this first batch. First on their list are doctors and medical workers, teachers, and social workers - the people deemed to have highest risk of catching COVID. (The UK are prioritising risk of death.)
Rumours are that the Navy are also being immunised before they leave port. 
This vaccine has not yet completed Phase 3 trials - although so far everything seems okay. They're getting a lot of side eye and tutting from regulatory bodies around the world. 

Latest ONS data shows we have a lot of new cases of COVID among the age group 11-17 (high school). While I can see this is true myself (4 of my 12 year old's friends have tested positive in the last fortnight), remember we just had a lockdown. Most people didn't go out - but schoolchildren did. 

SAGE advisory member Professor Robert West of University College London has said that we should carefully consider taking high school pupils out of school early,  to protect vulnerable family members over Christmas. 
I have to agree. The mental health aspect of infecting your own relatives, and at best feeling like you've "ruined Christmas" is massive. Spending the rest of your life feeling responsible for the demise of a family member far more so. 
Winter asthma carry your inhaler

None of the vaccines are currently suitable for pregnant women or children, because they haven't yet been tested, and no official testing has started (although there may have been a few surprises, and who really knows what some countries are up to?). 
It's not just as easy as decreasing the dose for kids, they might need their own vaccine. Their immune systems react differently, and if adults experience a rough hangover 24 hours after vaccination with the current vaccines, it's possible kids (and therefore their parents) would experience a far worse 24 hours. 
We know in very rare cases (around 1 in every 50,000), children who get COVID develop Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome. Almost all children recover completely, but still we'd expect a kids' vaccine wouldn't cause it at all. 

Just a guess, but looking at all of the crowds enjoying their newly returned ability to drink hostelry beverages and queue outside shops, we may find cases jump up a bit towards Christmas. You can see it coming, so it won't scare you as much as disappoint you. But it may make people twitchy depending on how bad it is this time next week, and what the trajectory looks like. There may be warnings from the government and possibly schools. Fingers crossed eh...

I'd do a Trump Of The Day, but although he's posting around 20odd tweets a day, only about 5 in the last week have referred to COVID. All I've got is:
"Vaccines are on their way starting next week!"
Which may be true, the FDC are planning to meet and decide on their evaluation of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine. Word is that they are ready to start vaccination as soon as it happens. 

An Observer opinion poll has found that double the usual amount of people in the UK expect to be alone on Christmas Day. If you are likely to be alone and you don't want to be, could you help someone else? Even in times of COVID, people still want company, meals, and support. 
- Crisis At Christmas pairs up people who need support with volunteers (and helps find homeless people somewhere to stay)
- Royal Voluntary Service need volunteers to drive non-COVID patients to hospital appointments
-  Re-Engage is on a mission to ensure no-one over the age of 75 spends Christmas alone. Become a 'Call Companion' to someone living alone. 
- The Trussell Trust will still need to feed our poorest people.
- FoodCycle need people to pick up surplus food and bring it back for distribution. 
- The Salvation Army need people to collect and distribute presents to families who can't afford Santa this year. 
- Your local council should be able to tell you who might need help in your area, and the UK Government recommend Do-it dot org for a database of UK opportunities which is searchable by area. 

061220 positives by specimen date Richard RP131 from Twitter

Argentina has decided who is going to help pay for the COVID response, and it isn't the poor. They are imposing a one-off tax on anyone with assets worth over 200 million pesos ($2.5 million / £1.8 million). They'll pay an incremental rate up to 3.5% on assets in Argentina, and up to 5.25% on assets held elsewhere. It will affect around 12,000 people, and should raise around 300 billion pesos ($3.75 billion / £2.4b).
Go Argentina.... can you imagine that here? Not a chance. A huge number of UK MP's of all sides would lose out, and probably vote against.... 

The Financial Times are covering Women Of The Year and I admit I shed a tear. Among the recipients are:
- Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand PM, and Tsai Ing-Wen, Taiwanese PM, for rapid response to COVID. They acted with speed and empathy, and refused to risk their population's health. They have reaped the rewards in all ways, including financially. Taiwan amazingly hasn't seen any drop in GDP this year.
- KK Shailaja, Indian Politician and Angela Merkel, German Chancellor,  for their effective COVID response and messaging to their population, which has seen them perform far better than neighbours. 
- Several US politicians and law-makers, for getting people out to vote. People who may never have voted before, and didn't understand how important it was for their own communities, and how they can have a say in their own country. 
- Working Mothers EVERYWHERE. We think we live in the modern world, and your situation may be different, but the clear fact is that worldwide when the schools started to close, it was overwhelmingly the women who picked up the vast majority of the childcare and schooling. We added those hours to our working day. It's been incredibly hard. I know I'm utterly exhausted, and I'm sure (whichever sex you are) that you are too. Take a big warm hug. We are far closer to the end than the beginning. You have got us so far, I have every confidence we'll get to the end - together.

Matthew Perry, actor bloke from Friends, is selling a range of specially designed Friends-inspired T-shirts, mugs and things for the next 2 weeks. All profits go to the World Health Organisation COVID response. Find it on 'represent dot com /store/MatthewPerry'. (International shipping is available.) Guess he really is there for you... 

The first Pfizer / BioNTech COVID vaccines arrived at UK hospitals today. I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Some numbers. Every number represents an individual human being:

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

USA 15,027,733 (+44,308) 288,144 (+319) 
India 9,676,801 (+32,272) 140,590 (+374)
Brazil 6,582,606 (+5,429) 176,721 (+80)
Russia 2,460,770 (+29,039) 43,141 (+457)
France 2,292,497 (+11,022) 55,155 (+174)
Italy 1,728,878 (+18,887) 60,078 (+564)
UK 1,723,242 (+17,272) 61,245 (+231)
Spain 1,699,145 not yet reported today 46,252
Germany 1,175,733 (+5,638) 19,034 (+59)
Mexico 1,168,395 (+11,625) 109,456 (+593) 
Poland 1,063,449 (+9,176) 20,089 (+228)
Iran 1,040,547 (+11,561) 50,310 (+294) 
Turkey 828,295 (+30,402) 14,900 (+195)
Ukraine 813,306 (+11,590) 13,588 (+167)
Belgium 589,942 (+2,503) 17,254 (+112)
Indonesia 575,796 (+6,089) 17,740 (+151)
Netherlands 557,224 (+6,779) 9,687 (+25) 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you SO much for all your brilliant reporting on this over this awful year. You've been a star x


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