Friday 12 February 2021

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

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

The UK added 15,144 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,013,799 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 730,223 tests yesterday.

The counter says 14,012,224 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night, and 530,094 are fully vaccinated (2 doses).

24,352 people were in hospital on 10th Feb, with 3,036 using a ventilator yesterday, 11th February.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 758 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 116,287 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 207,720 (+919) cases and 3,865 (+19) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 108,518,001 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,384,450. Already 80,505,462 people have recovered.

indieSAGE losses od life per week showing from first peak to date

The UK R (reproductive) Rate has definitely and officially fallen below 1 for the first time since last June. Finally each infected person is infecting less than 1 other, on average.

"Some people thought a vaccine could not be produced within a year but it happened. Now, some people say that vaccinating the world is not possible.
They are dead wrong."
Dr Tedros, Head of the World Health Organisation.

Don't say anything out loud, but the decrease in COVID deaths among people in the UK over age 80 does appear to be dropping faster than under age 80. (As we know, vaccination takes 2 or 3 weeks to kick in....) 

Now we also have a Bristol variant, the 'UK variant' B117 will now be known as the 'Kent variant'.

A new study published by University of Oxford has some good news regarding vaccination, and the Kent B117 and South African B1.351 variants. They tested the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine on the variants, and found that it produces an antibody response, and a T cell immunity response, and seems to offer better protection than the natural antibodies of patients who have recovered from original wild COVID.
They did see a slight reduction in efficacy, especially in the South African variant, and here's the important bit - the vaccines were far more effective after 2 doses.
So with the Kent variant the UK can just about get away with splitting doses (and latest figures support that), but in South Africa they really need both doses quickly. Bad news was antibodies really weren't incredibly effective against the South African variant with that pesky E484K mutation. 

It appears 7 areas of the UK have performed so well at vaccinating people aged 75-79, that they are reporting coverage figures over 100%.... ermmm. Something not quite right about that data. It's actually most likely these people have a local surgery or vaccination centre which they have travelled to in a neighbouring area. Some authorities would never reach 100% of expected numbers, even if they vaccinated every single eligible person. Those numbers are likely to become even more weird once all the fully mobile people are being vaccinated. 

120221 indieSAGE england deaths within 28 days of test by age group

Today's indieSAGE "Kind of a good news week". It really is.
We are back down to new case numbers at the same rate as early December. The rates of people testing positive are now below 10% for all 4 nations, and the ONS random study data supports that. We really are doing a grand job.
We are reminded that although it's all going really well, we're still only a few steps down a very tall staircase.

Hospitalisations are going down,. but we are still well over usual 'full' capacity, and using surge capacity, and every nation still has more people in hospital with COVID than at the height of the first peak. This has been a very long and shattering battle for NHS staff. New hospital admissions have been below 2,000 a day for almost a week - half the peak in January. Only 2 areas still have double the number of patients they had this time last year - London and the North West.

Losses of life are going down. During both the worst 4 weeks of the first peak last April and the peak this January, we lost 32,000 people - 64,000 in all, around half of the people who have died from COVID in total. 
"Vaccinations and treatments SHOULD mean we never have to experience such high numbers of deaths again, and if we do do, we can say it is a failure of Government policy".

We have met and exceeded all vaccination targets, we have vaccinated an immense amount of people, almost half a million a day. It's a fantastic job. We are still short of efficacy data though - why hasn't it been provided? It's a bit shifty, and adds to mistrust.

We ARE beginning to see a good drop in cases in care homes, and as I mentioned before, losses of life among older people does appear to be dropping more quickly than unvaccinated groups.Data from Israel shows a clear difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated groups. (Table below). It's all looking really as we'd hope right now.

They looked at the international picture regarding the more transmissible Kent B117 variant, and how it might affect us when we come to try and reopen. Some countries are not really seeing a decrease in cases with a partial lockdown - we should take this as a warning, although vaccinations WILL have a BIG effect. 

120221 indieSAGE experience in Israel over 90% of over 60s vaccinated

Trump of the Past:
The New York Times is reporting that Trump was sicker than we realised when he had COVID. (Well, maybe they think that, but we were in little doubt he was really struggling to maintain his composure.) We could see that he was having trouble breathing, and he had every single drug going, but apparently his blood oxygen levels were down below 90%, and there was some talk of putting him on a ventilator.
Yet he still stood there and told everyone it was nothing, including his crowds of hoax-believing anti-mask supporters.
A report in The Lancet is pretty damning of Trump, and says 40% of the nearly 500,000 Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. over the last year were avoidable. (Although I think New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern would say that estimate was low.)
"During Trump’s first 3 years in office, the number of US residents without health-care coverage rose by 2.3 million and 726,000 children became uninsured."

LBC are reporting that the UK Government really had quite a struggle to locate people who needed to shield, as it simply wasn't part of any rehearsals for a pandemic, so they didn't have a system in place. Instead they had to use things like repeat prescriptions and old hospital notes.

The UK's REACT study has looked at symptoms in 1 million people who tested positive since June 2020. They found:
- "chills, loss of appetite, headache and muscle aches were together most strongly linked with being infected, alongside the four classic symptoms" (persistent cough, fever, anosmia - change or loss of smell and/or taste).
-  there was variation in symptoms with age. While chills were all ages, headaches in young people 5-17, appetite loss in 18-54 and 55+, and muscle aches in people aged 18-54. Infected 5-17-year-olds were also less likely to report fever, persistent cough and appetite loss.

There is a hoax that thousands of elderly people might have died after being vaccinated. If you forget anything official, which all shows no problems or evidence whatsoever, where are the thousands of grieving and potentially annoyed relatives? It's simply NOT TRUE. 

President Biden yesterday announced the purchase of 200m more vaccines - 100m Moderna, and 100m Pfizer.
"We're now on track to have enough supply for 300m Americans by the end of July." 

120221 indieSAGE international measures and B117

After a delay of a year and all the nightmare that came with it, the head of the Tokyo Olympics said something really stupid and sexist, and has stepped down from his role. During an online meeting he said women talk too much. It was not a popular comment. He has since apologised and says he's stepped down because the games are the most important thing, and controversy over him can't be what prevents the 2020/2021 Olympics from happening.
Well, he gets full marks for integrity - something leaders in the West often lacks. The Olympic Games are still expected to go ahead this Summer, they're adamant. 

A year ago is where I came in. I'd been mentioning COVID on my personal Facebook and people started sharing the posts, so I moved it to the blog page. I don't know if any of you are still around from that time?
The main news in mid Feb 2021 was 'how real were Chinese numbers?', and outbreaks among passengers on board the Diamond Princess and Westerdam ships - the first of the Luxury Cruise News. I also had estimates using the data from China:
"Best guess is around 1/5 will need hospital admission and around 1/5 of those will become seriously ill. 75% of the seriously ill are over 60 with pre-existing conditions."
Pretty accurate as it goes, although we didn't understand the extent of asymptomatic cases back then, so those estimates only accounted for people with symptoms.

120221 indieSAGE international measures and B117 1 of 2

Happy Chinese New Year to all who celebrate it! 春节快乐! Let's hope the powerful and stubborn Ox brings us all some strength - we have come a really long way and we're all tired, but we can do this. The lights are twinkling in the distance, I see them.

Have a good weekend. Don't forget to treat yourself, because you rock and you've really earned it.
Spring Is Coming, Stay Home, Save The NHS.

Some people. They're shown as numbers because I don't have the space for all of their names:

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

USA 28,026,988 (+24,748) 487,701 (+779)

India 10,891,462 (+11,049) 155,569 (+85)

Brazil 9,716,298 not yet reported today 236,397

Russia 4,042,837 (+15,089) 79,194 (+507)

UK 4,013,799 (+15,144) 116,287 (+758)

France 3,406,685 not yet reported today 80,803

Spain 3,056,035 (+14,581) 64,747 (+530)

Italy 2,697,296 (+13,908) 93,045 (+316)

Turkey 2,572,190 (+7,763) 27,284 (+97)

Germany 2,325,454 (+4,239) 64,806 (+293)

Colombia 2,179,641 not yet reported today 56,983

Argentina 2,008,345 not yet reported today 49,874

Mexico 1,968,566 (+10,677) 171,234 (+1,474)

Poland 1,577,036 (+6,379) 40,424 (+247)

Iran 1,503,753 (+7,298) 58,809 (+58) 





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