Sunday, 14 February 2021

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

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

The UK added 10,972 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,038,078 positive cases of COVID-19.

The counter says 15,062,189 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night, and 537,715 had received 2 doses.

23,341 people were in hospital on Thursday 11th, with 2,943 using a ventilator on Friday 12th Feb.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 258 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 117,166 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 208,796 cases and 3,931 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

140221 daily UK government update cases deaths vaccinations

There have now been a total of 109,252,019 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,408,087. Already 81,314,537 people have recovered.

The UK have met their target of vaccinating 15 million UK adults before mid February. Well done, and thank you, to everyone involved. It really is a fantastic achievement. 

The Telegraph have a couple of unconfirmed "leaks". They say that the UK Government will soon be publishing a colourful 'road map out of lockdown' dashboard showing pertinent information. They also say limited outdoor mixing in public places will be among the first things allowed when restrictions start to relax on March 8th.
Remember this is always (and should always be) subject to change  - and it's all "government sources say" - so until Boris says it, it isn't so.

Dominic Raab has confirmed that the UK is on course for our planned reopening, with schools admitting more pupils in person from March 8th. 

The big USA news is that the UK's Kent variant B117 is probably deadlier as well as more transmissible, according to studies. We knew it was more deadly already, we've been told several times it looks like it will kill 13/1000 people who catch it, as opposed to 10 with wild original COVID. Bad news is that latest figures suggest it's at least 13, and possibly as many as 17 per 1,000. Or 1.7% of all cases, which is really pretty high.
The B117 variant has now spread to at least 83 countries.

Positive cases with that pesky E484K mutation (which is more resistant to antibodies and vaccines) have been found in two more UK areas - surge testing is now happening in a lot of postcodes. Check with your local authority website or social media,  or put your postcode into the Test & Trace app. to check if this includes your area. Surge testing includes door to door testing in the immediate neighbourhood of known cases. 

Sweden can't escape scandal. A group of well-known scientists and ordinary citizens who were unhappy with Sweden's COVID response formed what seems to be a social media group. In an effort to save the world,  they discussed such things as 'writing letters to Irish and UK immigration to make sure they knew they were reopening borders to Swedish arrivals based on old data'.
It's not likely they've actually broken any laws, but discrediting your lead scientists and country's parliament isn't really going to be popular all round.
It appears to have really kicked off because it's been revealed a well-known anti-mask supporter, who has previously shared hoax videos, was advising the government in some capacity.
Sweden's (lack of) COVID response has been quite "uh, oh"throughout. The head of the COVID response last June apologised and said he would do it differently if he had the chance again, and in December the Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf said "I think we have failed". 

NHS Vaccination programme is the fastest in Europe test and smiley man in suit representing doctors

There is brand new research out today (and its not yet peer-reviewed), which suggests "vaccine hesitancy" among health workers is substantially higher in BAME groups. We need to find out why? BAME people are up to twice as likely to die if they catch COVID than white people. Frankly that should be considered during vaccine rollout and workplace job allocations. To have any proof that these groups are less likely to accept vaccination is saddening, as it will only make that disparity worse.

A reminder that the vaccines made by Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna that were recently approved for use in the UK do not contain any animal-derived ingredients.  No foetal cells, eggs, pork or beef. 

The death rate from COVID in the Spanish region of Andaluc√≠a has significantly dropped according to a new study, following the introduction of a Vitamin D policy in November. However, they also introduced a lockdown and travel restrictions,  so, ermmm. This shows the real importance of peer-review (checking over by other scientists).
Vitamin D is cheap and easy to buy, and we know we all need a sufficiency to have a healthy immune system, but still very little solid evidence on vitamin D and COVID specifically - mainly because no-one is crazy enough to try Vitamin D as their sole protection against COVID!
The darker your skin, and the less sunshine in your area, the more likely you are to be deficient. The NHS suggest you top up, and it could definitely do some good. 

Outbreak in New Zealand. Auckland has entered a 3 day level 3 lockdown (work from home, social distancing, schools closed) and the entire country has been moved to level 2 (social distancing).
They have 3 new cases of community transmission - a father, mother and daughter. They have published their workplaces and school, and what else is known about their movements. This is what it takes to keep COVID-free, and the sane among their population will be more than happy to comply.
Going fast and hard has proven to also be swift and less costly in all ways. 

UK Lockdown table of regulations sorted by type Jan 2021

The ZOE Symptom App. has some promising news. Tim Spector, the guy in charge says their preliminary 'real-world' data suggests a single vaccine dose provides 46% protection after two weeks and 67% after three weeks.
Marvellous news...

Our World In Data's charts show just how impressive the speed of vaccination is (especially in some of the world's wealthiest nations). At last report, this is the number of doses that have been administered per 100 of the population (remember most vaccines need 2 doses):
Israel - 72.6
United Arab Emirates - 50.6
United Kingdom - 22.2
United States - 15.1
Chile - 9.9
China - 2.8
Russia - 2,7
Brazil - 2.4
World average - 2.2

Telly person and ex-wife of Les Dennis, Amanda Holden, travelled 215 miles to see her aging parents, breaking lockdown regulations. She says she's "devastated" she broke the law, people are saying you can't be devastated when you knowingly break the law.
I'm no fan of her work, but she claims she received a worrying call from her father and felt it necessary to go and sort out the problem. Even if society had fallen and there had been a zombie outbreak, I'd move heaven and Earth to see my kids if they rang me in trouble.
I think this just highlights the difficult decisions we've all had to make over the past year. We all love and care for people who legally we aren't allowed to mix with. We've all had to try and solve problems and soothe people remotely. It's not been easy. Give yourself a hug, it's from me.

Some numbers. All with a face, and a name:

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

USA 28,211,089 (+14,125) 496,209 (+146)

India 10,915,805 (+11,067) 155,752 (+79)

Brazil 9,811,255 not yet reported today 238,647

Russia 4,071,883 (+14,185) 80,126 (+430)

UK 4,038,078 (+10,972) 117,166 (+258)

France 3,448,617 not yet reported today 81,647

Spain 3,056,035 not yet reported today 64,747

Italy 2,721,879 (+11,068) 93,577 (+221)

Turkey 2,586,183 (+6,287) 27,471 (+94) 

Germany 2,337,508 (+603) 65,438 (+23) 

Mexico 1,988,695 (+9,741) 173,771 (+1,214)

Poland 1,588,955 (+5,334) 40,807 (+98)

Ukraine 1,271,143 (+3,094) 24,330 (+45)

Czechia 1,088,009 (+5,118) 18,143 (+47)

Netherlands 1,029,284 (+3,447) 14,816 (+23) 

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Sources:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

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

https://www.peta.org.uk/blog/vegans-covid-19-vaccine/

https://www.vegansociety.com/news/news/vegan-society-response-covid-19-vaccine

https://twitter.com/kamleshkhunti/status/1360926907978682372?s=19

https://f7td5.app.goo.gl/tKHLbV

https://www.businessinsider.com/uk-coronavirus-variant-likely-deadlier-than-original-strain-2021-2

"Johnson starts lifting lockdown with schools to reopen in three weeks" https://twitter.com/i/events/1360879345951195139?s=09

Simple dashboard with coloured boxes will plan UK's route out of lockdown

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/dashboard-hope-key-metrics-boris-johnson-will-want-hit-easing/

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2021/02/13/picnics-coffee-park-lockdown-lift-march-8-government-confirms/

https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2020-06-03/man-behind-sweden-s-virus-strategy-says-he-got-some-things-wrong

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/17/king-sweden-failed-covid-strategy-rare-royal-rebuke-lockdown-hospitals-cases

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/436412/blog-recap-covid-19-community-cases-in-auckland

https://t.co/2Q0DpreFwl

https://twitter.com/JamesMelville/status/1360841605251497987?s=09

https://twitter.com/DavidDavisMP/status/1360647462197878791?s=19

https://twitter.com/martinenserink/status/1360307294567817219?s=19

https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-amanda-holden-reported-to-police-after-travelling-215-miles-to-visit-parents-12217602

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/covid-vaccine-single-shot_uk_6028fba8c5b6f88289fc5a1a

https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations




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