Sunday 31 January 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 30th / 31st January 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 30th / 31st January 2021.

The UK added 21,088 cases today and now has reported a total of 3,817,176 positive cases of COVID-19. 

he counter says 8,977,329 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 491,053 have received both doses. We have vaccinated 5out of every 6 people aged 80 or older, and 2 out of every 3 people aged 75-89. 

34,783 people were in hospital on Thursday 28th Jan, with 3,832 using a ventilator on Friday 29th January. . 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 587 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 106,158 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 196,547 (+1,244) cases and 3,307 (+15) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 103,345,761 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,233,676. Already 74,951,851 people have recovered.

UK Government the NHS will NEVER charge you for a vaccine

It was exactly a year ago yesterday that the World Health Organisation declared a PHEIC - the highest level of alert they are actually in a position to declare under international law. COVID, or the Novel Coronavirus, became a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The year was marked by Dr Tedros, the Head of WHO.
"In the outbreak’s first two weeks, WHO issued wide-ranging guidance to stem the spread, care for patients and equip healthworkers.
The WHO helped scientists publish the first PCR tests days after Chinese scientists shared the genetic sequence of the virus. This led to the rapid development and rollout of tests and the promise offered today by the lifesaving potential of COVID19 vaccines.
We have since witnessed tragic milestones as the world has passed more than 2 million deaths and over 100 million confirmed cases of what we call today COVID19.
When we succeed, we will be on track to bring the COVID19 pandemic under control, and by this time next January, we will find all countries and communities of the world on a healthier, safer and more sustainable path for the future."
WHO move very slowly, and when your adrenaline is running, that seems even slower. They NEVER declare anything fact unless it is beyond all doubt. They have a huge responsibility and some countries with poor health infrastructure rely almost solely on the WHO to look after billions of people. Over the past year they have received masses of abuse for their inaction, but all the information was out there. We knew Asia was taking it incredibly seriously, and a lot of Western nations took the view they were over-reacting. 

Boris has written a letter to everyone looking out for the little people:
"I want to say a huge thank you to the parents, carers and guardians of children.
Millions of you have coped with the pressures of home schooling and childcare while also doing your day jobs. And by staying at home you are, quite literally, saving lives."
It's had a mixed reception...

Letters to parents from Boris Johnson

'Vaccine nationalism' is this weekend's key phrase. With announcements of shortages coming alongside good trial data and countries finalising authorisations, it's become a bit of a bun fight out there. We are all people, and we're all a bit scared. Squabbling is definitely anticipated.

The EU triggered a Brexit deal clause to prevent exports of vaccines to the UK, but that really messed up the situation in Ireland, because it required border checks - something you can't just decide to impose at whim. The EU retracted triggering the clause. Now it's all about everyone getting their pre-orders in, and THEN they'll start getting angry if we still buy all the vaccines and try to ship them from Europe. 

WHO commented on the EU:UK spat, as well as being a bit miffy with a couple of countries who are surging ahead with vaccinating everyone, rather than just the priority groups. Yesterday Dr Tedros made his point again:
"I reiterated my commitment to Sana and Harriet (two health workers he was visiting), and ALL health workers around the world that we, in WHO, will do everything we can to ensure they are vaccinated as soon as possible. Protecting the people who protect us is the right and smart thing to do. VaccinEquity!"

310321 vaccine doses uk

The imaginatively named state of Western Australia is on alert after an employee at a Perth quarantine hotel has tested positive. The hotel currently has 4 confirmed cases of COVID, including 2 UK variant and 1 South African variant. The employee lives with 3 other people who have been put into quarantine already.
Premier Mark McGowan has announced a state-wide 5 day lockdown starting tonight. Masks are mandatory outside the home, and people should work from home if they can. All leisure and recreation is closed, food is takeaway only. Schools are closed and there is no household mixing.
This is for 1 case which has escaped via a quarantine hotel. There are currently 15 new arrivals in quarantine in Australia with confirmed COVID. 

The first 2 known cases of South African COVID variant have been found in the USA. Officials in South Carolina have announced they have found 2 cases. This variant is more transmissible, same as the UK variant, but it is also potentially a little more resistant to the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) which are being used in the USA. 

France closes it's borders to all countries outside the EU today. They are closing all large shopping malls and strictly enforcing the 12 hour a day curfew. Despite restrictions, cases have continued to rise very slowly, and they are desperate to avoid imposing another full lockdown. 

There is a new pre-print (not yet peer-reviewed) study from California which found that because of COVID, a local working age adult's risk of dying has increased by 22%.
They found the most dangerous professions included those in food and agriculture, which had a 39% increased risk of death compared to working the same jobs before the pandemic. Very similarly to the recent UK study, they found Chefs had the highest risk, with a 60% increase. (Takeaways have been pretty much universally open, even under lockdowns.) Other higher risk professions include first responders (frontline medical), cleaners, factory workers, bartenders, military (the USA has had several really huge outbreaks in military facilities, ships and submarines) and teaching assistants. 

Good news for pregnant women. The World Health Organisation have again re-worded their vaccine advice in an article about the Moderna vaccine (the Pfizer / BioNTech is also an mRNA vaccine), and it aligns with the US CDC advice:
“While pregnancy puts women at higher risk of severe COVID-19, very little data are available to assess vaccine safety in pregnancy. 
Nevertheless, based on what we know about this kind of vaccine, we don’t have any specific reason to believe there will be specific risks that would outweigh the benefits of vaccination for pregnant women.
For this reason, those pregnant women at high risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 (e.g. health workers) or who have comorbidities which add to their risk of severe disease, may be vaccinated in consultation with their health care provider."

Nothing to do with COVID, but US Senator Bernie Sanders is getting a lot of press.
First he wore some cute mittens to Joe Biden's inauguration, became a meme, speed-printed thousands of cash-in-merchandise T-shirts and mugs, sold them in 1 hour and gave every penny to charity, and now he's caused a ruckus with some simple numbers. The numbers are:
"McDonald’s worker in the US: $9/hr
McDonald’s worker in Denmark: $22/hr, 6 weeks of annual vacation, a union, 1 year of paid family leave, life insurance and pension."
For anyone wondering what that difference means to the cost of your burger, a Big Mac in America costs $4.80 and in Denmark $5.15...

Simple tips for improving mood when things out there arent so good

Loads of people have been fined £800 each under the new UK COVID restriction breach fines. The Evening Standard reported 72 guests having a boat party on Saturday night in Acton, and in Leeds 2 blokes who organised a mass snowball fight have been fined £10k each. 

Famous People With COVID:
Captain Tom Moore, the one-man saviour of the NHS has been taken to hospital after testing positive. Best wishes to you Sir. We'll be thinking of you. 

For nations with very little COVID, there is every chance to eradicate it and live a normal life.  Barbados has to date reported 1,523 cases and lost 12 people. They currently also have an outbreak of Dengue Fever, which has some very similar symptoms. In an effort to prevent cases of both diseases rising, and hopefully stop them both, they have decided on an incredibly ambitious door-to-door testing plan. The nation will lockdown for 15 days, during which time the population will be offered testing and screened for both diseases. Best of luck to you guys too. 

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

Countries / Cases / Losses of life (since midnight GMT. In larger countries some states /provinces have yet to report today):

USA 26,673,919 (+18,037) 450,637 (+253) 

India 10,752,827 (+5,736) 154,394 (+82) 

Brazil 9,184,112 (+7,137) 224,124 (+153)

Russia 3,850,439 (+18,359) 73,182 (+485)

UK 3,817,176 (+21,088) 106,158 (+587)

France 3,197,114 (+19,235) 76,057 (+195)

Spain 2,830,478 not yet reported today 58,319

Italy 2,553,032 (+11,252) 88,516 (+237)

Turkey 2,477,463 (+6,562) 25,993 (+128)

Germany 2,220,169 (+2,935) 57,576 (+64)

Mexico 1,857,230 (+15,337) 158,074 (+1,495)

Poland 1,513,385 (+4,706) 37,180 (+98 )

Ukraine 1,219,455 (+3,177) 22,707 (+79)

Indonesia 1,078,314 (+12,001) 29,998 (+270)

Czechia 984,774 (+4,025) 16,308 (+50)

Netherlands 978,475 (+3,700) 13,998 (+39)

Canada 778,119 (+3,071) 20,016 (+74) 

Romania 728,743 (+1,825) 18,335 (+71)




1 comment:

  1. The stats really make for some sad reading, but at least there are some positives too. And how nice of Boris to write a letter for parents. hmmm


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I read every one and try my best to reply!