Thursday 7 January 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 6th / 7th January 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 6th / 7th January 2021.

The UK added 52,618 cases today and now has reported a total of 2,889,419 positive cases of COVID-19. 

We completed 557,441 tests yesterday.
As of 3 January 1,296,432 people had been vaccinated with their 1st dose. 

30,370 people were in hospital on Tuesday 5th (up from 23,813 8 days earlier), with 2,821 people using a ventilator yesterday, 6th January (up from 1,847 9 days earlier).  

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 1,162 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 78,508 officially reported losses of life in all settings. 

Country / Cases / Losses of life as per death certificates.
Wales 163,234 / 4,357
Scotland 143,715 / 6,298
Northern Ireland 84,646 / 1,649
England 2,497,824 / 70,320

Rep. Of Ireland 121,154 cases and 2,299 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 87,994,422 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,898,400. Already 63,341,769 people have recovered.

070121 1 million vaccine doses uk

MPs were recalled to parliament yesterday to vote on England’s latest national lockdown restrictions. They were approved 524-16. The lockdown is now law. 

I'll start with the worst news. London has just 2 weeks before it is overwhelmed by COVID patients, according to a leaked NHS England briefing shared by the HSJ (Health Services Journal). This is a pretty grim position to be in, because we know cases haven't yet stopped going up, and losses of life lag behind by 2-3 weeks, so we can't make this go away, whatever we do right now.
We managed without needing to use the Nightingales or ration care before, we would need a miracle this time. Projections estimate a shortfall of between around 400 and 4,000 beds - after opening the London Nightingale. Patients are, right now, being moved from London around the country in an effort to spread the load, but as cases rise elsewhere too, that can only happen for a limited time. 

There was a UK Briefing today with Boris, Sir Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England and Brigadier Phil Prosser, Commander of Military Support to the Vaccine Delivery Programme.
Boris started by explaining we have a right to know what's going on. He reminded us the top 4 key groups will be vaccinated by Feb 15th. We have now added hundreds of GP surgeries to the list of vaccination centres. Our limits may come with supply not being available yet, but that'll be after 15th Feb (in a fair wind / Godwilling / disasters aside).
Already 1.26m people in England, 49,000 in Wales, 113,000 in Scotland, 46,000 in Northern Ireland have been vaccinated. Together, almost 1.5m people have received their 1st dose (what about the second doses though Boz?).
The Astra-Zeneca vaccine is now being deployed in care homes, and all residents and staff should be vaccinated by the end of Jan. He thanks everyone involved. 

Good News!! We have helped with research and trial of 2 new lifesaving drugs - Tocilizumab and Sarilumab.
Both of these drugs are immuno-suppressants, which help prevent your body over-reacting. They have been proven to reduce mortality by almost 1/4 and length of stay in intensive care by as much as 10 days - that's excellent stuff! These drugs are available now via the NHS. 

Sir Simon says thanks to the health service in this serious situation.
We have 50% more patients in hospital than at the peak. In all areas we now have more patients, and the number is increasing very rapidly. We have an extra 10,000 hospital in-patients since Christmas Day. "The pressures are real and they are growing."
In April for every COVID patient we had 2 other patients, now we have 3 other patients for every COVID patient. This is the NHS' busiest time every year.
You will be invited when it's your turn to be vaccinated. 

Our vaccination programme is really good, but still needs expanding and speeding up. By the end of next week we'll be vaccinating in over 1,000 sites, from local GP's and pharmacists to larger vaccination sites. (Israel have vaccinated bajillions already using the mass vaccination sites.)
St John's Ambulance and the Armed Forces will assist in vaccination and logistics (transporting and delivering vaccines).

Brig Phil told us all aspects of the military work have been with the NHS as 1 team. He's a proper army bloke, right shouty. He's also wearing camo, but a joke about not being able to see him won't work here.
The aim is to get vaccines dispensed as soon as they arrive, rather than leave any sitting in a warehouse when it could be in an arm. He lists all the jobs they've done, and they have set up over 700 vaccination centres as well as delivery of PPE and vaccines, so it's pretty impressive. 

Public asked how early years can be safe? Boris says "we believe all education provision is safe". Early years provision continuing is so that vital workers can continue to work, including NHS workers. 

Public also asked about students. They are paying 3 x as much for online courses as they could have paid the Open University, and paying for accommodation they aren't even legally allowed to return to. Boris says he will be looking into this (there's also a well-signed petition going around online asking him to). 

Press asked if Boris has a message for disbelievers who think the hospitals aren't full, and this is a hoax. Boris says "they need to grow up". Sir Simon is quite emotional. He says:
" are not only responsible for potentially changing behaviour that will kill people, but it is an insult to the nurse coming home from 12 hours in critical care, having worked her guts out in the most demanding and trying of circumstances. There is nothing more demoralising..."

London has the equivalent of an entire St Thomas' hospital full of new COVID patients being admitted every day, around 800 patients. Over 13,000 surge capacity beds are now in use across the UK.

Stay at home guidance UK Govt

If you want to visit Ireland you will need a negative COVID test within 72 hours of your trip. This will start on Saturday and initially only apply to visitors from Great Britain and South Africa.
Travellers to Great Britain may also need a negative test before they land soon, according to Michael Gove. Most sensible countries already require negative tests before you arrive, or before you are allowed out in public. 

The Education Secretary, Mr Gavin "Burns" Williamson on Wednesday announced that BTEC exams due this month are at the discretion of the provider. Students for these exams and for the Summer 2021 exams can instead be graded using teacher assessment.
The National Education Union instantly replied with a statement which pretty much said a sarcastic 'thanks for discussing it with us' (they did not).
Year 6 SATS have also been cancelled. (Thank heavens.) 

The Office for National Statistics hasn't released much data on occupations recently, but the NASUWT have gathered data about school staff from 3 local authorities.
"The data shows that the prevalence rate was, on average, 1089.5 for primary staff and 1750.5 for secondary staff, compared with 404.3 for the local authority as a whole. This average was taken for a period spanning from the week ending 19 October to the week ending 20 November."
Leeds was worst, the rate for secondary school staff's risk of COVID was more than 4 times that of the general population. In Birmingham it was more than 3 times general population. Greenwich was best of the 3, but still the risk of having COVID was over 2 1/2 times that of the general population.
Whoever said kids didn't spread COVID deserves a really hard stare... 

Coincidentally Parliament is going to debate “Prioritise teachers, school and childcare staff for Covid-19 vaccination" on 11th January, after a public petition. In light of the recent data my guess is they'll accept it...

Stay at home guidance UK Govt

Wednesday morning GMT NBC News:
A hospital in Los Angeles County has begun care rationing by initiating “Crisis Standards of Care”. A triage team will assess patients every day to ensure they are making, “effective use of scarce resources.”
America is really in a bad place and not about to improve. Trump has almost completely ignored COVID since he lost the election, and sensible national messaging has only applied to vaccination, not the fact you can still catch COVID and die in the meantime. 

The team from the World Health Organisation had started leaving for China, to investigate the virus origins, but they have now been delayed. China says some of their visas aren't yet processed. WHO aren't happy. It's expected once they are granted entry, they'll have to quarantine. 

Rumours that Donald Trump was planning a trip to Scotland resulted in Nicola Sturgeon using it as an example on her COVID briefing on Tuesday: 
"We are not allowing people to come into Scotland without an essential purpose right now... Coming to play golf is not what I would consider to be an essential purpose."
Nice one Nippy

The US FDA has approved the Dxterity Home Saliva Testing Kit, so it is now available over there on Amazon, for $110 each, or $1k for 10. Results within 72 hours. (Thank heavens for the NHS.)

Yesterday's Trump rally in Washington D.C. was the most boring 6 or 7 hours of livestream ever, so standing there in the freezing cold it must have been hellish. In the rare moments anyone was actually on stage, they just riled up the crowd. Trump continued to be less than helpful, and his political supporters did not back him. His loyal public followers had a half-hearted attempt at a coup, the Capitol building was invaded, Congress were evacuated through the underground tunnels, and 4 people lost their lives. When it was all secured, Congress returned to continue certifying Joe Biden as the new president.
Donald broke every rule there was, his Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts were locked for 12 hours, and he had tweets deleted for inciting violence - including a 2 minute video he released (after the world begged him to), which was meant to calm the crowds. He did tell them to go home, but he also reiterated several times that of course they were feeling bad, because the election had been stolen from them.
His conspiracy theories, hatred, racism, mad ramblings and plans for world domination have been amusing, but increasingly scary. He still believes he won the election, and he still believes a fair vote is theft. His mismanagement of COVID has so far seen 370,000 Americans die - 4,100 of them just in the 24 hours up until midnight yesterday. 

Trump of the Day
Via Official Statement, and it was long - he must have been dictating. He promises "an orderly transition on January 20th", which is what everyone had their fingers crossed for. This is his parting shot:
“While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!”
Didn't notice the riots, fires, COVID and near civil war? No? See you Donald. Don't let the door hit you repeatedly in the face on the way out.
He did get the last bit right, it's going to take one heck of a broom to sweep up the mess. Biden had better be good at COVID... 

Public Health England have denounced a story in the Telegraph stating they wouldn't be doing COVID vaccinations on Sundays. It's hogwash. 

Japan has responded to a recent rise in cases by declaring their second COVID state of emergency. The Tokyo Metropolitan area will have a soft lockdown until early February, with early closing, work from home if you can and limits on events. Tokyo reported 2,447 cases yesterday.  

Clarification for Muslim, Jewish and Sikh people, and everyone else this affects - both vaccines being using the UK contain no pork or pork products.
No vaccine can be deemed "vegan" because it has to, by law, be tested on animals. The Vegan Society are cool with that:
"The definition of veganism recognises that it is not always possible or practicable to avoid animal use."

On Wednesday The Netherlands started their vaccination programme, which means every country in the EU has now started vaccinating.
Movement on vaccination worldwide has been impressively swift. The USA CDC says that 5,306,797 Americans have already been vaccinated.

The UK NHS have an interactive website to help children understand COVID, how to keep yourself safe and what testing entails. You can find it at storicise dot com

The weekly clap is back, but not only for carers, it's now for everyone who has helped anyone else. The heroes. You know who you are. Thank you. 8pm tonight and for the next few Thursdays.  

Some numbers. All with families,  friends, neighbours and nurses:

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

USA 21,892,869 (+35,253) 370,652 (+662)

India 10,405,097 (+9,159) 150,470 (+98)

Brazil 7,886,067 (+11,528) 199,315 (+272)

Russia 3,332,142 (+23,541) 60,457 (+506)

UK 2,889,419 (+52,618) 78,508 (+1,162)

France 2,705,618 not yet reported today 66,565

Turkey 2,296,102 (+12,171) 22,264 (+194)

Italy 2,220,361 (+18,020) 77,291 (+414)

Spain 1,982,544 not yet reported today 51,430

Germany 1,860,019 (+18,791) 38,852 (+653)

Colombia 1,719,771 not yet reported today 44,723

Argentina 1,676,171 not yet reported today 43,976

Mexico 1,479,835 (+13,345) 129,987 (+1,165) 

Poland 1,356,882 (+12,054) 30,241 (+186) 




"Japan declares second COVID state of emergency"

1 comment:

  1. Here's hoping we can get a few slow news days soon. Hugs xx


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