Sunday 17 January 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 16th / 17th January 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 16th / 17th January 2021.

The UK added 38,598 cases today and now has reported a total of 3,395,959 positive cases of COVID-19. 

Up until midnight last night we had vaccinated 3,857,266 people with at least their first dose. 

37,475 people were in hospital on Thursday 14th, with 3,789 using a ventilator on Friday 15th January. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 671 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 89,261 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 169,780 cases and 2,595 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 95,173,803 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,034,893. Already 67,938,678 people have recovered.

Total number of vaccine doses today

“We are in the final stages of the coronavirus. Israel, with the scale of its vaccine drive, is showing the world that there is an exit strategy.”
Ronni Gamzu, Israel’s previous COVID Czar and the director of Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, after a clear drop in hospitalisations among immunised groups. 

I reckon UK studies have discovered something about how people are catching COVID, because the messaging is clearly changing. We are being reminded to wash our hands, and we are being asked not to handle anything in shops unless you intend to buy it. Remember kids "you look with your eyes". 

Vaccination news is the big news, and it's not entirely positive. Side effects and reactions are making headlines, especially deaths as a possible result of a COVID vaccination.
The US CDC say severe allergic reaction is very uncommon, at around 11 occurrences per 1 million vaccinations. A few countries with large scale vaccinating have reported 1 or 2 events, so that seems to ring true.
Norway are warning of another danger. They are using the Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations, but we know all of the COVID vaccines can be quite rough. A young, healthy person may feel ill for a day or two. For some of the most elderly and frail patients this in itself may be too much (relatively common vaccine side effects include fever, nausea and diarrhoea). Norway has reported 23 occasions where the patient died shortly after receiving the vaccination.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health have said: "For those with the most severe frailty, even relatively mild vaccine side effects can have serious consequences.”

Fantastic early signs from Israel regarding vaccination and new daily cases, and hospitalisations. They have now vaccinated over a quarter of their eligible population (those people who can be vaccinated). The number of people over 60 admitted to hospital has dropped substantially.
Health-care provider, Clalit Health Services, compared test positivity rates among 200,000 people over 60 who received their first vaccine dose, and 200,000 who didn’t. For 14 days they were similar, but after day 14 there was a 33% drop in the vaccinated group.
They still need that second dose though... 

140 vaccine doses every minute January 2021

NHS England's Sir Simon Stevens was on telly on Andrew Marr this morning talking about vaccinations and hospital occupancy. He says:
- We are vaccinating 140 people a minute
- We will have vaccinated a total of around 1.5m people over the past week.
- Staff are 'definitely not' being told to throw away vaccines - they can give 6 doses from a vial if it is possible.
- We are admitting a patient to hospital with COVID every 30 seconds.
- We have 15,000 more COVID in-patients now than we did on Christmas Day. 

"I call for a collective commitment so that within the next 100 days COVID19 vaccination for healthworkers & those at high-risk in ALL countries are underway. We must ACTogether & create the greatest mass mobilization in history for equitable vaccination"
Dr Tedros, Head of WHO.

Earlier in the pandemic, UK MP's voted for a temporary uplift in Universal Credit of £20 a week. Tomorrow they vote on whether to extend that or let it stop. If you have an opinion about this or anything else MP's vote on - email your MP. They are meant to defend and fight for the needs of their constituents. They represent you. 

UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, have assisted Jordan to begin vaccinating refugees. UNHCR say 90 countries are currently developing national COVID-19 vaccination strategies, and 51 have committed to include refugees.
As the vast majority of refugees are hosted in developing or lower income countries, the COVAX initiative to equitably share vaccines will be especially vital to displaced people. 

Ian Mackay Twitter @mackayIM Swiss cheese COVID response - each layer has it's own holes, but adds more defence
Ian Mackay Twitter @mackayIM Swiss cheese COVID response

India has started mass vaccination. They're a smidgen bigger than the UK, and their first phase should include around 300m people. They are vaccinating around 30m health care and frontline workers, and around 270m people who are over 50 or have illnesses making them more vulnerable. India's total population is around 1,380,000,000 people - about 20 times the UK population. They are the world's biggest drugs manufacturer, and are using the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine, which they call Covishield, and their own Bharat Biotech vaccine, Covaxin. 

COVID Lung is being talked about this weekend. From day 1 there has been concern about the long term and possibly permanent damage done by COVID, as close relative SARS was famous for 'blowing holes in lungs'. More medics are coming forward with concerns, including Dr Bankhead-Kendall of Texas Tech University. She has imaging of COVID affected lungs which shows how much worse they are compared healthy lungs, and how much worse compared to a smoker. Even more sobering news is, COVID doesn't only affect lungs, it's been seen to affect several organs, and there are plenty of images of heart tissue damage especially.
Your body can work on repairs for a considerable amount of time, but for the millions of Long COVID sufferers we already have, and all the rest who will join them, that's a slow trip back and no guarantee you'll ever get fully back to previous levels of health. 

Trump is really working hard in his last hours in office, by all reports attempting to make as big a mess as possible and tie up some loose ends before he goes.
His administration have said that they've got evidence some Wuhan researchers fell ill with Covid symptoms long before we knew anything about a virus.
Maybe they have got evidence, or maybe someone is there now with the crayons drawing something up, but I'm not believing anything until I see it. Especially as we know how much screaming racist Trump hates and wants to blame China.
As an aside he called his impeachment a hoax today - proving that he never actually even understood what 'hoax' meant all along. 

170121 1 million vaccine invites last week UK Govt

Joe Biden isn't even officially in office for another 3 days, but he's already stepping up COVID response. He's announced an intention to set up COVID vaccination clinics across the USA. 

That fictional film which was going to be made, which was set in 2023 and about life with super contagious COVID 23, is out. It's an Amazon exclusive and I enjoyed it. It has really mixed ratings and a lot of people do think it's a bit "too soon"...
The world has altered massively in the last year since this film script was written, and we have ALL learnt a huge amount.
Cleverly the characters had little two-way UV sanitisers built into the wall, to accept parcels without opening the door - UV is being used to sanitise everything from medical equipment and mail to airplanes and coaches (vehicles not people Donald).
Not so cleverly the characters didn't have a stock of face masks in the home... I don't believe that one for a second... 

I've shown yesterday's total 24 hour figures below, so that you can see the 'full' picture for the 24 hours up until midnight last night. These are most of the countries in the biggest struggle to contain COVID right now, the ones with the most reported cases. Some countries simply don't have the testing capacity to report this number of cases in a single day, some of these countries may be at the limits of their testing capacity, and the total population sizes vary massively, so a single number is only a small part of the true picture. 

Every number is a real human being: 

Countries / Cases / Losses of life:

USA 24,306,043 (+202,767) 405,261 (+3,377)

Brazil 8,456,705 (+62,452) 209,350 (+1,059) 

UK 3,357,361 (+41,346) 88,590 (+1,295) 

Russia 3,544,623 (+24,092) 65,085 (+590)

France 2,894,347 (+21,406) 70,142 (+193)

Mexico 1,609,735 (+21,366) 139,022 (+1,106)

Colombia 1,891,034 (+20,855) 48,256 (+388)

Italy 2,368,733 (+16,310) 81,800 (+475)

India 10,558,710 (+15,051) 152,311 (+181)

Germany 2,038,672 (+14,871) 47,121 (+584)

Indonesia 896,642 (+14,224) 25,767 (+283)

South Africa 1,325,659 (+13,973) 36,851 (+384)

Portugal 539,416 (+10,947) 8,709 (+166)

Czechia 883,960 (+9,267) 14,271 (+137)




There's a fantastic vaccine info round up on Twitter (cheers Cathy)

SA Variant media coverage

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