Friday, 16 April 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 16th April 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 16th April 2021.

The UK added 2,596 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,382,732 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 988,311 tests yesterday.

The counter says 32,574,221 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 8,931,547 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

2,281 people were in hospital on Wednesday 14th, with 329 using a ventilator yesterday, 15th April.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 34 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 127,225 losses of life in all settings.

The R range for England is 0.7 to 1.0 and the growth rate range for England is -6% to -1% per day as of 16 April 2021.(It's still going down on average.)

Rep. Of Ireland 242,402 cases and 4,820 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 140,216,387 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 3,005,636. Already 119,114,668 people have recovered.

Black official UK GOv notice Participate in the 1 minute silence 3pm Saturday 17th April

Lots of Government updates and actions have been held on pause while the UK is officially mourning. We've had no UK COVID briefings, and public appearances have mainly been in regard to statements about the death of Prince Philip. It turns out that potentially more urgent information isn't being updated too though, including alerts for pharmacists on medicine safety, and SAGE reports and COVID updates. Everything will be back to normal from Sunday, but questions are being asked as to whether it was really necessary or wise to go to some of the extremes, especially during a pandemic.

Thursday, 15 April 2021

April #TBCSmiles. 80 Months...

We're coming out of lockdown, our hospitals are back to more normal occupancy levels, the sun has been shining and it certainly feels a little easier from where I'm sitting. The pressure has lifted a bit, and everyone can take a bit of a breather. 

We might not have a bump-free path ahead, but I think we're all enjoying the respite, and it was definitely needed - as was Easter, a break and maybe a little chocolate...

April #TBCSmiles. 80 Months...

Something else to make us smile are other people's smiles, and you haven't let us down. We had Easter and good weather, and it's great to see so many outdoor photos this month - barely anyone shared photos indoors. 

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 14th / 15th April 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 14th / 15th April 2021.

The UK added 2,672 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,380,976 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,162,840 tests yesterday.

The counter says 32,444,439 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 8,513,864 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

2,393 people were in hospital on Tuesday 13th April, with 351 using a ventilator yesterday, 14th April.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 30 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 127,191 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 242,105 cases and 4,812 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 139,377,426 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,992,053. Already 118,500,382 people have recovered.

uk nhs image of line drawing pill bottles and text covid vaccine will potentially save thousands of lives#

As no-one worldwide seems to call the rare blood clotting exactly the same name, I've referred to it mainly as "rare blood clotting", but it also goes by VITT, Cerebral Venous Thrombosis, CVT, CVST, and other names. They'll decide on a standard name eventually.

Northern Ireland have JUST confirmed relaxation of some restrictions from 23rd April. I've not written them up, but there is a summary in the images below! 

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

(Review Visit) Simulator Adventures, Manchester. Airbus A320 Flight Simulator Review - now with Hydraulics!

We had an epic time when we first visited Simulator Adventures in Manchester, so we were delighted to be invited back to try out their Airbus A320 Flight Simulator now that they've added the hydraulics. It felt like you were actually moving before, and this really does add another dimension of reality to the experience. 

Messy text over image of man flying sitting in pilot seat

Our visit was actually 6 months ago, but COVID has kept leisure activities off the menu for a while. Simulator Adventures is used for pilot training, so has been in use during lockdown, but pretty soon (May 17th) they can reopen to the public and let anyone have a go... and bookings are being taken now. 

These guys keep changing their waiting room seating, so it wouldn't surprise me if they've upgraded again, but you get into the mood for flying as soon as you arrive. 

waiting room full of flight seats from aeroplane with my 2 boys sitting politely, wearing COVID masks

There's no age 'limit', but you need to be around 4ft6 / 10 years old before you are tall enough to actually use the flight simulator, and it's not a place for little ones. This is grown up playtime. 

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 12th / 13th April 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 12th / 13th April 2021.

The UK added 2,472 cases today and has now reported a total of 4,375,814 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 874,399 tests yesterday.

The counter says 32,250,481 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 7,857,396 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

2,537 people were in hospital on Sunday 11th, with 377 using a ventilator yesterday, 12th April.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 23 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 127,123 losses of life in all settings.

Up until Friday 2nd April, the ONS report that 150,419 people had COVID listed as a cause on their death certificate.

Rep. Of Ireland 241,684 (+354) cases and 4,803 (+18) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 137,730,943 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,964,848. Already 110,767,414 people have recovered.

COVID vaccine doesn't break fast, contains no animal products image showing relevant Ramadan gold items on dark background

The UK government has confirmed that ALL over 50's have now been offered a vaccine, which means they met the 15th April target 3 days early.
Phase 2 begins. People in England aged 45-49 are now invited to book their vaccination.
The NHS website crashed within minutes of that announcement this morning, but was back up and running swiftly. My partner and I are both 49, so that's us. (I hope I get a sticker!)

There is an urgent message for anyone living in Lambeth or Wandsworth. Over 70 cases and suspected cases of the South African variant have recently been detected, which means it has escaped into general community. They are asking EVERYONE aged 11+ who lives, works, studies or travels in those areas to arrange a PCR test immediately, whether you have symptoms or not. Door-to-door testing will be taking place.
PCR tests are the ones sent to a lab - so they can check which variant any positive results are. All evidence so far suggests the South African variant B1351 is much more robust against current vaccines. We really don't want it spreading if we can help it. 

Sunday, 11 April 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 10th / 11th April 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 10th / 11th April 2021.

The UK added 1,730 cases today (DOWN from 2,297 last Sunday) and now has reported a total of 4,369,775 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 931,579 tests yesterday.

The counter says 32,121,353 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 7,466,540 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

2,862 people were in hospital on Thursday 8th, with 406 using a ventilator yesterday, 9th April.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 7 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. This is lower than last Sunday's total of 10, and the first time we have lost so few people since September last year. We now have an official total of 127,087 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 240,945 (+302) cases and 4,785 (+2) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 136,426,846 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,945,571. Already 109,686,470 people have recovered.

Dr Mary Ramsey says get your vaccine text only

Hot on the heels of Pfizer's 6 month results, we now have Moderna's - and their vaccine also shows excellent efficacy 6 months after immunisation. In the first 33 patients studied:
"Antibody activity remained high in all age groups at day 209."
(That's actually just under 7 months.)
Great news for the new technology mRNA vaccines. 

Friday, 9 April 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 9th April 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 9th April 2021.

The UK is now removing any cases who tested positive by Lateral Flow test, which was then confirmed by PCR test, as they were counted twice. In future any positive Lateral Flow test won't be included, just the confirmatory PCR. Because the numbers have some adjustments, I won't do a week on week comparison today, I'll do one on Sunday when it'll be more realistic.

The UK added 3,150 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,365,461 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 931,579 tests yesterday.

The counter says 31,903,366 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 6,541,174 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

3,005 people were in hospital on Wednesday 7th, with 421 using a ventilator yesterday, Thursday 8th.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 60 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 127,040 losses of life in all settings.

The UK ONS figures show that up until Friday 26th March, 149,968 people had COVID listed as a cause on their death certificate.

Rep. Of Ireland 240,192 (+469) cases and 4,769 (+32) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 134,914,658 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,920,789. Already 108,617,082 people have recovered.

090421 Death of Prince Philip official announcement by the royal family social media

The Queen's husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Phillip, has died aged 99. He had recently been unwell and spent a large amount of time in hospital, but had returned home, and Buckingham Palace have confirmed that he died peacefully in his sleep early this morning.
Whatever your views on The Royal Family, he was a husband, father and grandfather. He had some less favourable moments, but the Duke Of Edinburgh Award is a brilliant legacy that anyone could be proud of.

The UK will now enter an official period of Royal Mourning, which will last for 8 days, until the Prince's funeral. This mourning period would usually be extended to 30 days for the Queen and Royal Family.
Noteworthy for the country during a pandemic, while she is not dealing with matters of the state, the Queen cannot sign off any new laws. This may become important later.

The public are asked not to congregate or attend royal residences, and not to leave flowers at this time.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

(Ad | Review) Backstories by Simon Van Der Velde Fictional Biographical Book Review

Backstories is a brand new book from Simon Van Der Velde, and he's sent me a copy for review. Subtitled "Intimate Stories About People You Think You Know", this is imagination and poetic licence, coupled with what we know to be factual biography, and intertwined with a bit of puzzle.

Definitely a book for the grown ups, Backstories is a collection of short stories, each detailing an event or time in a well-known person's life. The twist is that you aren't told who it is, although you get enough hints to work it out at some point before the end....

Backstories fiction biography by Simon Van Der velde

Each story is very well written, and paints a scene which is usually normal and everyday at first, leading into the actions and outcomes which have shaped a very important part of who that person is. Their backstory. The author takes known facts, and relates 'as it may have happened'.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 7th / 8th April 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 7th / 8th April 2021.

We have new advice about the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine today in the UK, so pay attention to that part.

The UK added 3,030 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,370321 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,034,088 tests yesterday.

The counter says 31,807,124 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 6,091,905 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

3,124 people were in hospital on Tuesday 6th, with 440 using a ventilator yesterday, Weds 7th April.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 53 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 126.980 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 239,723 (+398) cases and 4,737 (+5) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 134,092,613 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,906,902. Already 108,059,594 people have recovered.

Prof Wei Shen Lim under 30's should be offered alternative vaccine to oxford astra zeneca

The UK, and specifically Wales, has received the first of our 17 million dose order of the Moderna vaccine. Immunisation started yesterday, with a 24 year old female unpaid carer.  

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 5th / 6th April 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 5th / 6th April 2021.

The UK added 2,379 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,364,529 positive cases of COVID-19.

The counter says 31,622,367 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 5,496,716 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 20 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 126,882 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 238,907 (+441) cases and 4,727 (+9) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 132,674,529 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,878,031. Already 106,955,639 people have recovered.

dont delay get vaccinated today UKaround 100 rough drawn people walking, riding, scooting etc Gov image of

Twice weekly lateral flow testing is being offered to anyone in England from 9th April. You'll be able to collect them from some larger vaccination centres and some pharmacists, or order online, as well as obtaining testing through workplace or school testing as before.
(Nicola Sturgeon is also reported to be keen on doing the same with Scotland.)

Monday, 5 April 2021

UK Roadmap Update Briefing Monday 5th April 2021

UK Briefing Monday 5th April 2021 - Boris has leaked and hinted at lots of announcements, so we knew this was coming.

1. Domestic 'Safety Certification' for mass events is being debated and trials are being arranged (theatres, sports, cinemas, festivals etc with vaccination, testing or exemption).
2. International Travel 'Vaccine Passports' are being debated
3. Twice weekly Lateral Flow testing is now being offered to any UK adults.
4. When they reopen, hospitality and leisure will require every adult to sign in.
5. Roadmap progress update

Vaccination 1st Dose: 31,581,623
Vaccination 2nd Dose: 5,432,126
Cases: 4,362,150 (+2,762)
Losses Of Life: 126,862 (+26)

050421 UK Gov briefing variants of concern chart

Today's UK Briefing was with Boris, Chris and Patrick, and it had a big build up, so it was clearly important. The new 1 million quid briefing corridor is looking resplendent - although on the telly the carpet is a bit more purple than it is blue. (Just saying.)

Sunday, 4 April 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Easter weekend 2nd / 3rd / 4th April 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Easter weekend 2nd / 3rd / 4th April 2021.

Some data isn't updated because of the Easter weekend. Some data reported is incomplete.

The UK added 2,297 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,359,388 positive cases of COVID-19.

The counter says 31,523,010 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 5,381,745 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

3,536 people were in hospital on Thursday April 1st, with 517 using a ventilator.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 10 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 126,836 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 237,695 cases and 4,715 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 131,652,423 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,862,872. Already 106,022,299 people have recovered.

Wash your hands this Easter colourful drawing o easter eggs in a basket with hand sanitiser

"The arrival of Easter brings with it new hope.
And, this year more than ever, it brings the promise of brighter days ahead for us all.
So stay safe, keep following the rules, and have a very happy Easter."
Easter message there from Boris.
He also filmed a longer version where he thanked religious leaders, venues and congregations for everything they've done over the past year, holding their communities together and fighting disinformation, and supporting the sick, vulnerable and bereaved.

Thursday, 1 April 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 31st March and 1st April 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 31st March and 1st April 2021.

The UK added 4,479 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,350,266 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,266,685 tests yesterday.

The counter says 31,147,444 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 4,513,458 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

3,957 people were in hospital on Tuesday 30th March, with 547 using a ventilator yesterday, 31st March.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 51 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 126,764 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 236,600 (+746) cases and 4,705 (+18) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 129,853,409 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,833,034. Already 104,659,703 people have recovered.

Easter holidays access a pharmacist by googling 'find a Pharmacist NHS'

No April Fools below - it's after lunchtime for goodness sake. Also I'm pretty certain Facebook wouldn't like it...

“Our position has not changed. According to the current scientific knowledge, there is no evidence that would support restricting the use of this vaccine in any population."
Director of the European Medicines Agency, Emer Cooke, talking about the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine yesterday.

“Much of the messaging around COVID-19 has been about the risk of death, and I think that’s created a perception that if you recover from infection, you’re fine.
We need to rethink this."
Dr Zoe Hyde, Epidemiologist and biostatistician

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 29th / 30th March 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 29th / 30th March 2021.

The UK added 4.040 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,341,736 positive cases of COVID-19.

30,680,948 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 3,838,010 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

4,153 people were in hospital on Sunday 28th March, with 583 using a ventilator yesterday, 29th March.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 56 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 126,670 losses of life in all settings.

Up until Friday 19th March, 149,168 people had COVID listed as a cause on their death certificate. 

Nation / Cases / Losses of Life:

Wales: 209,285 / 7,741
Scotland: 217,890 / 9,880
Northern Ireland: 117,166 / 2,885
England 3,797,395 / 127,616

Rep. Of Ireland 235,078 cases and 4,667 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 128,522,353 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,808,803. Already 103,673,162 people have recovered.

300321 vaccinations in  the UK image of person being jabbed by nurse

Today a joint letter has been published around the globe. It is co-signed by 26 of the world's political leaders, and the head of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros. It calls for a "Pandemic Treaty" - a unanimously agreed process of working together in the future against global threats.
"Our solidarity in ensuring that the world is better prepared will be our legacy that protects our children and grandchildren and minimizes the impact of future pandemics on our economies and our societies.
Pandemic preparedness needs global leadership for a global health system fit for this millennium. To make this commitment a reality, we must be guided by solidarity, fairness, transparency, inclusiveness and equity."
We aren't safe until we are all safe. 

Monday, 29 March 2021

29th March 2021 UK Briefing with Boris, Chris and Pat.

29th March 2021 England COVID Briefing with Boris, Chris and Pat.

Cases: 4,337,696 (+4,654)
Losses of Life: 126,615 (+23)
Vaccination 1st Dose: 30,444,829
Vaccination 2nd Dose: 3,674,266
In Hospital: 4,560
Using a Ventilator: 615

It is 'next stage of the English roadmap' day, so a briefing was anticipated. We also have the news that we are expected to have deliveries of the Moderna vaccine next month.

Boris was in his shiny new million quid briefing room. It has 2 large Union flags, a bright blue wall, and slightly different coloured wooden podiums. 

29th March 2021 UK restrictions change text only messaging as below.

Boris started by saying in England we are now allowed to meet - up to 6 people or 2 households OUTDOORS. Gorgeous day for it. Remember to still socially distance, protect each other.

Yesterday we recorded the lowest number of hospital admissions for 6 months.

The wave across the channel is still rising, and it's inevitable as we advance along the roadmap, that there will be more infections and more deaths. (That really isn't the message we're hoping for Boris.)

April will be the month of mainly second doses, but all adults will be offered at least 1 dose by the end of July.

The Novovax vaccine is going to be made at Fujifilm in the North East, and then bottled by Glaxosmithkline nearby. This should give us 50-60m doses of UK-made vaccine (subject to approval by the MHRA). He mentions no timeframe.

Boris reminds us to follow the rules - "Hands, face, space, and fresh air".

Chris Whitty does the slides. Everything is currently going down (except vaccinations obviously). He doesn't sound like Captain Confident. He's stuttery.
He compares slides showing numbers of cases and deaths across age groups. He stresses that the vaccinated people are those who would be most likely to die - the majority of any transmission now is among younger age groups who haven't yet been vaccinated.
He says, as we unlock, it is inevitable that there will be more cases. There has been a flattening and 'slight uptick' in cases among school age children. (I've got one here who's just had a test today.)
Patrick continues with more slides showing the difference vaccination is making. Far, far less vaccinated people have been hospitalised than would have been prior to vaccination.

Figures show how many people are hospitalised within 4 weeks, out of every 100,000 people, by age:

Age 25-34 - 7 unvaccinated / 1.4 vaccinated

Age 35-44 - 13.9 unvaccinated  /2.8 vaccinated

Age 45-54 - 21.2 unvaccinated / 4.2 vaccinated

Age 55-64 - 28.9 unvaccinated / 5.8 vaccinated

We are reminded that vaccines are never 100% effective. 

Photo of woman sitting at home table working

Public asked about travel abroad to see relatives. Boris says it's still illegal to leave the country except for essential reasons, but he will say more on April 5th.

Chris talked about COVID variants that 'might' have a problem with the vaccine - we don't want any of them. "That is the principle thing driving border concerns at this stage."

Public also expressed concern about 2nd doses - Boris says EVERYONE will get their 2nd dose.

Patrick explains we really need 3 weeks 'doing it' and a week to assess data before we can say exactly what effect something has had, so we will know better about the effect of schools reopening to all pupils by next week. It will be 4 weeks from today before we really know what effect this reopening has had.
Chris talks about how sensible people have been so far, and thinks the "uptick will be modest", but it's "not realistic" to think it won't happen. Pat adds that everyone has to remember it takes about 3 weeks before your vaccine takes full effect.
Chris adds that everyone has to get their 2nd dose for their best level of protection. 

Chris again with vaccines - they are never 100%. In some people a vaccine just won't work, or won't work as effectively. If we have a small surge then sadly a few people who have been vaccinated will still catch COVID and die. The bigger that surge is, the more people will be caught up and the more people will die. Pat adds we also have to protect against creating variants. We need to keep numbers low. 

Press ask about health and social care staff who haven't been vaccinated. The vast majority have. Chris says they should think about the risk to their own families, and ignore myths. Talk to reliable sources and medical people. Your risk from not being vaccinated is substantially greater than your risk from vaccination. He also feels that people who are caring for others have a professional responsibility to be vaccinated with all of their jabs, not just COVID, in order to protect vulnerable people at work. 

person in swimming costume about to dive into a pool

Boris mentions a wave spreading in from "the continent" a lot, despite the fact COVID cannot cross the channel unaided. He also uses the word 'caution' approximately 400 billionty times. It must be engraved inside his eyelids. Chris' word of the day is 'uptick'. That's a more friendly word for 'rise'. Chris mentions 2nd doses, and 'no vaccine is 100% effective' many times. Pat mentions the 3 week gap between vaccination and full protection many times. These are the important messages you would be tested on if this was a GCSE. What they didn't stress, even though there's been a government release, was the OUTDOORS bit. You can only meet outdoors - fresh air is a win.

Back with the usual report tomorrow. I hope your evening is as good as that of the Captain of Egypt's Suez Canal Tugboats... The Ever Given Container Ship was finally moved at high tide, and is currently pootling across the massive 'Bitter Lake' under it's own power. Bitter Lake is a good few miles North of where it was stuck, and it looks like ships are already lining up at the North end of the Suez ready to go as soon as they get the all-clear. There'll be a lot of happy people tonight...  No-one needed any shortages or rationing of anything just now... we've had a lucky break there. 



Sources:

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/public-reminded-they-must-stay-outside-when-meeting-others-to-reduce-the-spread-of-coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-at-coronavirus-press-conference-29-march-2021



Sunday, 28 March 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 27th / 28th March 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 27th / 28th March 2021.

The UK added 3,862 cases today (down from 5,312 last Sunday) and now has reported a total of 4,333,042 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,275,285 tests yesterday.

30,151,287 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 3,527,481 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

4,560 people were in hospital on Thursday 25th (down from 6,162 a week earlier), with 615 using a ventilator on Friday 26th March (down from 830 a week earlier).

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 19 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days (down from 33 last Sunday), making a total of 126,592 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 233,937 cases and 4,653 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 127,519,912 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,792,568. Already 102,778,932 people have recovered.

280321 chart of reported cases by WHO region, showing peak, trough, and new rise in worldwide cases

"I keep hearing that B.1.1.7 in Austria is to blame for the increase in cases. Yes, B.1.1.7 is a bit more infectious and can lead to a slightly higher rate of severe infections. But in the end you can stop B.1.1.7 with exactly the same means as  like 'normal' SARS-CoV-2 too. The last strong wave in Great Britain was caused by B.1.1.7. And broken by stricter corona measures. So it is quite possible. You just have to take measures and the people have to stick to it."
Florian Krammer, Professor at the Department of Microbiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (and one of the world's leading COVID scientist folk).

Friday, 26 March 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 26th March 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 26th March 2021.

The UK added 6,187 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,325,315 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,275,285 tests yesterday.

The counter says 29,316,130 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 3,009,863 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

4,852 people were in hospital on Wednesday 24th (down from 6,544 a week earlier), with 630 using a ventilator yesterday, 25th March (down from 879 a week earlier).

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 70 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 126,515 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 233,327 (+569) cases and 4,651 (+20) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 126,488,927 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,773,505. Already 102,002,868 people have recovered.

March 2021 shops will be able to open until 10pm when they reopen image of shop with Open sign

To enable collective remembrance for those lost over the past year, the Scottish Government will help fund a national memorial garden in Glasgow, and they will support other COVID community memorial projects in locations across the country.

From tomorrow, Saturday 27 March, people in Wales can play out.
- Stay local requirement lifted, moving Wales into alert level 3
- First phased opening of the tourism sector as self-contained accommodation opens (for Welsh people only - no leisure travel over the border).
- Organised outdoor children’s activities resume
- Limited opening of outdoor areas of some historic places and gardens
- Libraries re-open 

Thursday, 25 March 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 24th / 25th March 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 24th / 25th March 2021.

The UK added 6,397 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,319,128 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,813,842 tests yesterday.

The counter says 28,991,188 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 2,775,481 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

5,122 people were in hospital on Tuesday 23rd, with 683 people using a ventilator yesterday, 24th March.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 63 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 126,445 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 232,164 cases and 4,628 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 125,796,833 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,761,392. Already 101,515,732 people have recovered.

from 29th March England UK Gov Outdoor exercise, including swimming pools can reopen Photo of swimmer by pool in costume

"We are basically entering a new pandemic. The mutation from Great Britain has taken over, which means we have a new virus. Of course of the same kind, but with very different properties. It is clearly more lethal, more contagious, and contagious for longer."
Angela Merkel, German Chancellor.

"The reason we have the vaccine success is because of capitalism, because of greed my friends."
"Actually I regret saying it. Forget I said that."
Boris Johnson in a zoom call to the 1922 Committee (according to The Sun). It's the raw, honest truth, and he's a politician. A rare combination. Not winning any respect though...

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK Briefing with Boz and World News Update 22nd /23rd March 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK Briefing with Boz and World News Update 22nd /23rd March 2021.

The UK added 5,379 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,307,304 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,191,048 tests yesterday.

The counter says 28,327,873 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 2,363,684 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

5,461 people were in hospital on Sunday 21st, with 748 using a ventilator yesterday, 22nd March.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 112 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 126,284 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 231,484 (+365) cases and 4,610 (+22) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 124,596,272 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,740,161. Already over one hundred million (100,500,856) people have recovered.

230321 Deaths by date in the UK bar chart little colour, graph shows huge rise and fall.

"I think one thing worth stressing is that, on the continent right now, you can see sadly there is a third wave under way, and people in this country should be under no illusions that previous experience has taught us, that when a wave hits our friends, I'm afraid it washes up on our shores as well... I suspect we will feel those effects in due course, that's why we're getting on with our vaccination programme as fast as we can.
A vaccination campaign, developing vaccines, rolling them out, these are international projects and they require international cooperation."
Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister and friendly friendly Euro ally - who also led the UK's Leave campaign. (Bring me another ambassador,  this one's broken. Good speech though Boris, well done.)

It may have been a good speech, but as the wave across Europe is being driven by the UK/Kent B117 variant, we've actually already had that wave - hence our strict lockdown for the past few weeks. It's up to 70% more catchy, so it doesn't respond as you'd like to restrictions that worked with original wild COVID, which is why Europe is having a disaster, and our reopening is very cautious.
Any further wave, or spread of a new variant in the UK, will be due to government decisions - including quarantine rules.

Monday, 22 March 2021

(Sent for review) Ends Of The Earth Young Fiction (Changeling Saga Book 2) by Ian P Buckingham

Ends of the Earth is the second book in Ian P Buckingham's Changeling Saga. Old world Cornish myth and fantasy meets modern Cornish reality, with the Savage family, descendants of the ancient Trelgathwin family.

In the first book, Legends Of The Lost, we met the family, split in two halves many years earlier.  The incident had been wiped from all of their minds - but shadows and glimpses of something 'not quite right' had always remained.

Memories and relationships restored, Ends Of The Earth finds everyone living a comfortable and cosy 'normal' life. Lovely as it is, young Savannah (who is a bit of a mermaid) longs to be back in the sea, and parents Elouisa and James are both wilting with the lack of adventure.

Cover photo with striking image of flames and fire over a building which looks detroyed, with sihouette of person with arms stretched out wide

James has an opportunity to go to Africa with his Lecturing work, and can take some of the family with him. The rest, Nanna Jo decides, can go with her down to Cornwall for some seaside time. Everyone is happy.

Naturally it isn't long before strange things start to happen... In Africa Henry (who is a bit of a werewolf) spots not only poachers, but a strange, rude, maggoty person type creature. Down in Cornwall, sea creatures inform Savannah and her sister Lucy that problems are afoot under the sea. 


Sunday, 21 March 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 20th /21st March 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 20th /21st March 2021.

The UK added 5,312 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,296,583 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,437,257 tests yesterday.

The counter says 27,630,970 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 2,228,772 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

6,162 people were in hospital on Thursday 18th (DOWN from 8,029 a week earlier), with 830 using a ventilator on Friday 19th March (DOWN from 1,110 a week earlier)..

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 33 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 126,155 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 229,831 (+525) cases and 4,585 (+9) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 123,635,163 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,724,508. Already 99,616,614 people have recovered.

ANYONE can catch COVID World Health Organisation

"What COVID has done, it's peeled back some of the covers we've had over the existing prejudices in our society, the existing stigmas. I've seen terrible instances of discrimination against people of Asian descent... So on the one hand I'm really, really upset, particularly about the profiling of groups which has been politically motivated. But I'm also heartened by what I believe is still in the heart of most humans: is a desire to connect, a desire to understand, a desire to support each other."
Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of WHO Health Emergencies Programme, Dad, and Irishman. 

Over half of the UK's adults have now received at least 1 dose of vaccine. Well done to everyone who has played a part in making this happen so swiftly.
On Saturday the UK vaccinated the most people ever - 756,873. Over 3/4 of a million in one day. They included 56 year old Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.
"Nurses, doctors, pharmacists and countless others delivered 96,834 jabs between 11am and 12pm yesterday, an average of 1,614 a minute or around 27 jabs a second."

Friday, 19 March 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 19th March 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 19th March 2021.

The UK added 4,802 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,285,684 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,437,257 tests yesterday.

The counter says 26,263,732 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 2,011,070 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

6,544 people were in hospital on 17th March, with 879 using a ventilator yesterday, Thursday 18th.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 101 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 126,026 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 229,306 (+510) cases and 4,576 (+10) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 122,662,807 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,707,166. Already 98,862,774 people have recovered.

WHO it is always COVID safer to: (small images) blow into an elbow, use a mask, stay apart, open a window

"The available data do not suggest any overall increase in clotting conditions such as deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism following administration of COVID-19 vaccines. Reported rates of thromboembolic events after COVID-19 vaccines are in line with the expected number of diagnoses of these conditions. Both conditions occur naturally and are not uncommon. They also occur as a result of COVID-19.  The observed rates have been fewer than expected for such events."
The WHO statement regarding the Oxford / AstraZeneca Vaccine.
They add that "very rare and unique thromboembolic events in combination with thrombocytopenia, such as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), have also been reported".
"The EMA’s Pharmacovigilance and Risk Assessment Committee has reviewed 18 cases of CVST out of a total of more than 20 million vaccinations with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Europe. A causal relationship between these rare events has not been established at this time."

Thursday, 18 March 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK Briefing with Boris, and World News Update 17th / 18th March 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK Briefing with Boris, and World News Update 17th / 18th March 2021.

The UK added 6,303 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,280882 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,635,141 tests yesterday.

The counter says 25,735,472 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 1,879,054 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

Healthcare hasn't been updated today. 7,218 people were in hospital on Monday, with 968 using a ventilator on Tuesday 16th March.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 95 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 125,926 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 228,215 cases and 4,566 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 122,127,611 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,696,832. Already 98,376,487 people have recovered.

180321 PHE weekly hospital admissions by age chart showing current very low levels after large hump

In case you missed yesterday's UK briefing and associated news - the EU threatened to only export vaccines to countries which haven't got very many already. The UK NHS sent out a letter to vaccination centres warning there may be very few 1st doses over April, so don't book in anyone under 50. And Matt Hancock announced the UK are now vaccinating anyone over 50.

Today Mr Hancock has said the UK will be able to continue with first doses of vaccines all through April, despite any 'delivery bumpiness', including that regarding vaccines from India...

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

UK COVID Briefing with Hancock 17th March 2021

Well, I did complain yesterday that I thought it was awful they hadn't bothered...

Cases: 4,274,579 (+5,758)
Losses of Life: 125,831 (+141)
In hospital: 7,218 (15th March)
Using a Ventilator: 968 (16th March)
First Vaccination: 25,273,226
Second vaccination: 1,759,445

The Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine is continuing to make headlines, mainly with the WHO and other health bodies continuing to insist that even if we do prove a link between the cases of blood clotting and vaccination, that miniscule risk (7 in 5 million) is massively overshadowed by the actual risk if you catch COVID - however young and healthy you are. No link has yet been proven, investigations are ongoing.

The EU have threatened to restrict vaccine exports to any countries which have already achieved a high rate of vaccination - clearly this includes the UK.
This is not the first time this threat has been made, and it's understandable.
Cases are rising across Europe and some countries are having a real nightmare - Paris is rumoured to be running out of hospital beds, and Italy are reporting 20,000+ new cases a day. The EU received only a portion of the vaccines they were due in the first quarter, and only around 10% of EU citizens have yet been vaccinated. Exporting vaccines under those conditions must feel like a kick in the teeth. 

BT Tower 2 Tank you NHS banner strung around top wide section of large grey tower

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 15th / 16th March 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 15th / 16th March 2021.

The UK added 5,294 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,268,821 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,573,774 tests yesterday.

The counter says 24,839,906 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 1,663,646 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

7,281 people were in hospital on Sunday 14th March (down from 9,418 a week earlier), with 1,016 using a ventilator yesterday, 15th March (down from 1,356 a week earlier).

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 110 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 125,690 losses of life in all settings. ONS figures up until Friday 5th March show 146,487 people had COVID listed as a cause on their death certificate.

Nation / Cases /Losses of life (until 5th March by death certificate):
England 3,736,240 / 125,276
Northern Ireland 115,181 / 2,838
Scotland 210,605 / 9,710
Wales 206,795 / 7,624

Rep. Of Ireland 227,316 cases and 4,534 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 121,020,477 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,676,327. Already 97,597,214 people have recovered.

JCVI Pref Jeremy Brown response to pausing of AZ vaccine in some nations

“While we need to continue to be very closely monitoring this, we do not want people to panic. We would, for the time being recommend that countries continue vaccinating with AstraZeneca.”
Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, The World Health Organisation. 

Latest Public Health England figures are showing an increase in cases in 104 of the 315 logical authorities.
Before you panic, it is a little early for school transmission to make a difference, but these figures will reflect some of those secondary school students who were tested before they returned to in-person learning last week. It's not going to be very accurate until that settles, so next week may not look pretty either.  

So, today's big world news is still the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, and mostly it's people running about like headless chickens in a panic over what to do.
People need to feel secure. They need to feel safe, and several countries have paused vaccinations while investigations take place. That is an easy decision if you have no COVID, but could prove really costly in places where infections are spiralling.

Monday, 15 March 2021

March 2021 79 Months. #TBCSmiles

I don't know how it was for you, but this last month has felt like a hard one to me. The last of Winter meant the cold, wind and freezing rain was no fun, and we didn't get the quantity of snow that makes for much play.

School from home, while trying to work and run a house, means late nights and tens of thousands of unread emails for me. We had got into a routine of going out for more walks, but really my boys needed younger company.

When it's seeming like the mud is getting thicker and thicker, and you can barely go on, voila.... just like that they're back at school and already a week in. We had the usual lost shoe and 'dead sandwich in bag' discovery this morning, someone panicking about a P.E.kit, then add in bartering about who gets the PlayStation at 4pm, and it feels very much like school from home never happened. Back to a normality. 

The world hasn't stopped turning. The Spring sun is OUT and it sounds like hundreds of birds have chosen my garden to woo suitors and shout about Spring. All at once, the gloom is beginning to lift....

A murder of crows


Sunday, 14 March 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 13th / 14th March 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 13th / 14th March 2021.

The UK added 4,618 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,258,438 positive cases of COVID-19.

The counter says 24,196,211 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 1,584,909 people have received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

8,029 people were in hospital on Thursday 11th, with 1,110 using a ventilator on Friday 12th March.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 52 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 125,516 losses of life in all settings. This is the lowest daily loss of life since October 12th - 5 months ago.

Rep. Of Ireland 226,741 (+383) cases and 4,534 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 120,279,615 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,662,612. Already 96,850,479 people have recovered.

Image of phone screen with text explaining the NHS won't randomly turn up to vaccinate you

Ireland has become the latest country to pause rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, after Norway reported 4 cases of blood-clotting among recipients. All health authorities involved are being clear any pause is while it's checked out, and NOT because they actually see evidence there is an issue.
Astrazeneca say:
“An analysis of our safety data of more than 10 million records has shown no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis in any defined age group, gender, batch or in any particular country with Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. In fact, the observed number of these types of events is significantly lower in those vaccinated than what would be expected among the general population.”
(We are currently having less operations, long journeys and flights, which could bring down numbers below average.)
Each country which has paused delivery will now undertake their own investigations before vaccinations can resume. The WHO are also investigating, but have advised there is no reason to pause vaccinations while this is ongoing.
Everything I've seen really makes this seem likely to be a panic over nothing, but one that has to be taken very seriously in order to fully reassure the public.
I know personally 2 people who have died from COVID, and many more friends have lost people from their lives. I haven't yet heard a single account of anyone with a blood clotting reaction to vaccination. I can't help but feel that if there was an issue, the UK press and public would have already found it. 

Friday, 12 March 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 12th March 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 12th March 2021.

The UK added 6,609 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,248,286 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,614,145 tests yesterday (remember all of the secondary school pupils are adding massively to this number).

The counter says 23,314,525 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 1,445,078 people were fully vaccinated (both doses).

8,408 people were in hospital on Weds 10th, with 1,194 using a ventilator yesterday, Thurs 11th March.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 175 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 125,343 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 225,820 (+641) cases and 4,518 (+9) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 119,383,210 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,645,889. Already 95,630,168 people have recovered.

Your Weekend at home is making a difference thank you

"More than 335 million doses of COVID19 vaccines have been administered globally so far, and no deaths have been found to have been caused by covid19 vaccines.
But at least 2.6 million people have been killed by the COVID19 virus."
Dr Tedros, head of WHO.

Today the World Health Organisation (WHO) listed the COVID19 vaccine developed by Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), for emergency use in all countries and for COVAX roll-out.
Excellent news - this is another single dose £10 vaccine, and doses are ready to roll. 

AD | Indoor Tea Garden: 8 Herbal Plants You Can Cultivate At Home

Image source

Cultivating an indoor tea garden is a great way to keep you productive while you're stuck at home. Different types of herbal teas can be used to help with all kinds of health-related issues. This post by Maria Ames explains why she recommends that you invest in these teas and make your indoor space a place for treatment and relaxation.

Research has shown that herbal teas can also boost your immune system and make your skin healthier. They are a great alternative to packaged teas and coffees, and anyone can cultivate a tea garden in the comfort of their homes. Check out these easy-to-care flowers and herbs for a happy and healthier lifestyle.

Chamomile


Chamomile is an easy to grow herb and a well-known herbal tea. Chamomile tea is best consumed before bedtime because of its potential sleep benefits. It also helps you to be more relaxed. If you have diabetes, it is recommended to drink at least one cup of this tea after meals.

Compared to other tea plants, Chamomile does not grow too high and needs only four sun exposure hours. For maintenance, ensure that its soil is moist enough and not over-watered. You can also add organic matter when planting for healthier leaves. 

Thursday, 11 March 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 10th / 11th March 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 10th / 11th March 2021.

The UK added 6,753 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,241,677 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,554,080 tests yesterday. This is a little higher than last Thursday, but that will be due to the extra testing of secondary pupils returning to school, and catching far more asymptomatic cases which otherwise would have just spread COVID - it's actually a good thing. It's good to see the mass lateral flow testing working.

The counter says 23,053,716 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 1,351,515 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

8,977 people were in hospital on Tuesday 9th (down from 12,136 the same time last week), with 1,237 using a ventilator yesterday, Wednesday 10th (down from 1,647 the same time last week). 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 181 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 125,168 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 224,588 cases and 4,499 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 118,908,424 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,636,186. Already 94,395,221 people have recovered.

UK Government roadmap square image March 8th 2021

"The information available so far indicates that the number of thromboembolic events in vaccinated people is no higher than that seen in the general population."
The European Medicines Agency statement regarding the Oxford / AstraZeneca jab (also known as Covishield). More below.

Exactly 1 year ago today, the COVID outbreak was officially called a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. It was a few weeks later than a lot of us would have liked, partly because it wasn't ever really WHO's 'decision' to make. There wasn't anyone with the official role. WHO's highest warning is to declare a PHEIC - Public Health Emergency of International Concern - which they did on January 30th 2020.

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 8th / 9th March 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 8th / 9th March 2021.

The UK added 5,766 cases today (DOWN from 6,391 a week ago, 8,489 two weeks ago) and now has reported a total of 4,228,998 positive cases of COVID-19.

We completed a staggering 1,529,525 tests yesterday. This massive total is thanks in large part to the efforts of volunteers testing school returners - cheers all of you who volunteer your time!
Good news is that it hasn't resulted in a massive hike in daily reported positive cases, but it does look like they may have picked up a few hundred.

The counter says 22,592,528 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 1,181,431 have been fully vaccinated.

9,418 people were in hospital on Sunday 7th, with 1,356 using a ventilator yesterday, Monday 8th March.

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, making a total of 124,797 losses of life in all settings.
Up until Friday 26th February, the UK Office for National Statistics report that 143,259 people had COVID listed as a cause on their Death Certificate.

Rep. Of Ireland 223,957 (+306) cases and 4,452 (+30) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 117,949,082 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,615,948. Already 93,628,809 people have recovered.

Action fraud warning against bogus NHS test messages

"A lot of people may think this is all over. It is very easy to forget how quickly things can turn bad."
Chris Whitty, England's Chief Medical Officer, warning that he expects another wave of COVID cases later this year. More below. 

Monday, 8 March 2021

UK Coronavirus Briefing with Boris 8th March 2021

UK Coronavirus Briefing with Boris 8th March 2021 - the day that:

- UK Pupils and students went back to in-person tuition en masse.
- Care Home residents can have 1 regular visitor
- Anyone wishing to leave the UK via England must fill in a Travel Declaration Form
- Outdoor exercise and recreation is allowed with 1 other adult, who does not have to be in your bubble.

Cases: 4,223,232 (+4,712)
Losses of life: 124,566 (+65)
In hospital: 10,898 (Thursday 4th March)
Using a ventilator: 1,452 (Friday 5th March)
Vaccinated 1st dose: 22,377,255
Vaccinated 2nd dose: 1,142,643

UK Government COVID Road Map 8th March 2021

We had a COVID briefing today with Boris De Pfeffel Johnson and Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England.

Boris started by saying it's a 'big day', and an 'emotional day' as pupils go back to school and see their friends. He thanks teachers for getting everything ready, and teaching in all the ways they have. He also thanks parents, especially women, who have faced the brunt of the burden (thanks Boz). 

Sunday, 7 March 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 7th March 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 7th March 2021.

The UK added 5,177 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,218,520 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 992,812 tests on Thursday 4th March.

The counter says 22,213,112 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. Over 1 million people are now fully vaccinated, having had both doses - 1,122,402.

10,898 people were in hospital on Thursday 4th, with 1,542 using a ventilator on Friday 5th March.

UK data on death is delayed (again) today. Up until 5pm on Friday, we officially reported the loss of a total of 124,419 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. ONS data shows that up until 18th February, 140,062 people had COVID listed as a cause on their death certificate.

Rep. Of Ireland 222,699 cases and 4,419 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 117,263,514 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,602,486. Already 92,790,235 people have recovered.

Weekend at home is making a difference

“In our everyday lives, we have had to become more accustomed to connecting and communicating by our innovative technology, which has been new to some of us."
Queen Elizabeth II

People in the UK aged 56-59 will be invited to have a COVID vaccination from next week (although I know some people have already had their jabs because your area is running ahead of schedule). Letters have started to go out this weekend. Anyone 60+ who hasn't yet received an invitation, you are allowed to book an appointment online. 

Friday, 5 March 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK Briefing, UK and World News Update 5th March 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK Briefing, UK and World News Update 5th March 2021.

The UK hasn't updated the dashboard today yet - I'll edit it in when they do.

Rep. Of Ireland 221,649 cases and 4,396 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 116,447,544 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,585,023. Already 92,040,158 people have recovered.

Immunisation saves lives UK Government Key facts data

Variants of Interest (VOI - This is new, what does it do?)
Variants Under Investigation (VUI - lets just check that)
Variants Of Concern (VOC - we've had a look and this seems a bit concerning)

Yesterday Public Health England added a 4th Variant of Concern to the watchlist. The strain is called B.1.1.318, and although it has emerged in the UK, it doesn't have the N501Y mutation which makes our regular UK/Kent mutation B117 more transmissible and deadly. It does however have that pesky E484K mutation, which keeps cropping up and makes it escape some antibodies.
The UK currently has 4 VUI and 4 VOC - people in areas where VOC appear will be offered surge testing.
As of 3 March:
- "a total of 59 cases of the variant VOC-202012/02, first detected in South Africa, have been found in England where no travel links could be established." (We refer to this as South African Variant B1351)
- "a total of 26 cases of the variant VUI-202101/01, the P2 variant first detected in Brazil, have been found in England where no travel links could be established."
(Brazil's first variant split 2 ways, so they now have 2 main variants, P1 and P2, but the more concerning one is P1. We know there have been cases of P1 in the UK, but they aren't mentioned here as they had links to travel, so we could work out where they came from.)

Thursday, 4 March 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 3rd / 4th March 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 3rd / 4th March 2021.

The UK added 6,573 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,201,358 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 863,658 tests yesterday.

The counter says 20,982,571 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 963,862 had received 2 doses.

12,136 people were in hospital on Tuesday 2nd, with 1,647 using a ventilator yesterday, 3rd March.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 242 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 124,025 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 221,189 cases and 4,357 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 115,980,436 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,575,302. Already 91,702,474 people have recovered.

Tips for dealing with stress - every mind matters

"Don't be such a chicken squat.
Get out there and get your shot."
Dolly Parton, country music singer, actor, and creator of The Imagination Library, which has already donated over 100 million books to the world's children.

Today's lucky 'surge testing because they found cases of South African variant in your area' people are.... Stockton-on-Tees (TS19) and Brent (North Wembley). 

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 1st /2nd March 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 1st /2nd March 2021.

The UK added 6,391 cases today (DOWN from 8,489 a week ago) and now has reported a total of 4,188,400 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 727,972 tests yesterday.

The counter says 20,478,619 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 844,098 people had received 2 doses.

12,748 people were in hospital on Sunday 28th Feb (DOWN from 16,797 a week earlier), with 1,806 using a ventilator yesterday, Monday 1st March  (DOWN from 2,273 a week earlier).

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 343 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, (DOWN from 548 a week earlier) making a total of 123,296 losses of life in all settings.

The ONS record cause of death and up until Friday 19th February, 140,062 people had COVID listed on their death certificate.

Rep. Of Ireland 220,630 (+357) cases and 4,333 (+14) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 115,191,510 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,554,472. Already 90,854,912 people have recovered.

Jeane Freeman Scottish Health Secretary says we are all doing a grand job.

Today's unlucky winners in the COVID Variant of Concern lottery are - "targeted areas within Merton (Wimbledon Park) and Barnet (East Finchley), where the COVID-19 variant first identified in South Africa has been found".
You will be offered surge testing, which may include door-to-door delivery of postal testing kits. Please remember to register online before you do the test. Register first, snot second.

Nicola Sturgeon has today confirmed that everything is still currently on track, and school pupils in Primary 4-7 will return to school full time from March 15th. Wraparound childcare will also resume for all Primary pupils.
Secondary pupils are anticipated to return fully after the Easter break, but it's intended they will all spend some time within school between March 15th and Easter. Exam years will be given priority. 

Monday, 1 March 2021

UK COVID Briefing 1st March 2021 with Matt Hancock

UK Briefing 1st March 2021 with Matt Hancock

(Remember it is Monday, so some figures are artificially a little low because of weekend reporting.)

Cases: 4,182,009 (+5,455)

Losses of Life: 122,953 (+104)

In Hospital: 14,808

Using a Ventilator: 1,971

Vaccinated 1st Dose: 20,275,451

Vaccinated Fully: 815,816

Matt Hancock did indeed lead a COVID briefing today, with the unusual supporting combo of Prof Jon Van Tam, Deputy CMO for England, and Susan Hopkins of Public Health England.

URGENT need to find person with SA Variant UK Feb 2021


Matt led with yesterday's exciting news that the NHS has now vaccinated over 20m people across the UK, including 17m in England alone. It is super impressive - not far off world-beating. Well done to all nations for such a fantastic achievement.
Matt 'pays tribute' to all of the teams involved across the whole of the UK. "Insight and hard work." He used the phrase entrepreneurial something, I forget. He thanked Business.

94% of those eligible (according to a recent survey) say they have had, or will have, the jab. All of Matt's friends keep sending him photos of themselves having their vaccination apparently. That's nice.

Sunday, 28 February 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 27th / 28th February 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 27th / 28th February 2021.

The UK added 6,035 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,176,554 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 731,410 tests yesterday. 

The UK has now vaccinated over 20m people. The counter says 20,089,551 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 796,132 people had received 2 doses. 

14,808 people were in hospital on Thursday 25th, with 1,971 people using a ventilator on Friday 26th.

 In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 144 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 122,849 official losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 218,980 cases and 4,313 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 114,552,911 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,540,282. Already 90,051,580 people have recovered.

Regular rapid testing for households and bubbles of schoolchildren text box

"Anyone who took a Covid test on February 12 or 13 and has not received a result, or did not complete their test registration card, is being asked to call 119 in England or 0300 303 2713 in Scotland as soon as possible."
(If that's you, it's not great news - see below.)

Recent reporting is that 6 more cases of Brazilian Variant (with the pesky E484K) have been found in the UK, 3 in England and 3 in Scotland.
They've yet to trace one of the English cases, hence the request above, and the 3 cases in Scotland bypassed quarantine hotels by travelling from Brazil via London to Scotland.
Nicola will be furious....