Tuesday, 9 March 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 8th / 9th March 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 8th / 9th March 2021.

The UK added 5,766 cases today (DOWN from 6,391 a week ago, 8,489 two weeks ago) and now has reported a total of 4,228,998 positive cases of COVID-19.

We completed a staggering 1,529,525 tests yesterday. This massive total is thanks in large part to the efforts of volunteers testing school returners - cheers all of you who volunteer your time!
Good news is that it hasn't resulted in a massive hike in daily reported positive cases, but it does look like they may have picked up a few hundred.

The counter says 22,592,528 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 1,181,431 have been fully vaccinated.

9,418 people were in hospital on Sunday 7th, with 1,356 using a ventilator yesterday, Monday 8th March.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 231 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 124,797 losses of life in all settings.
Up until Friday 26th February, the UK Office for National Statistics report that 143,259 people had COVID listed as a cause on their Death Certificate.

Rep. Of Ireland 223,957 (+306) cases and 4,452 (+30) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 117,949,082 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,615,948. Already 93,628,809 people have recovered.

Action fraud warning against bogus NHS test messages

"A lot of people may think this is all over. It is very easy to forget how quickly things can turn bad."
Chris Whitty, England's Chief Medical Officer, warning that he expects another wave of COVID cases later this year. More below. 


Nicola Sturgeon has announced relaxation of rules IN SCOTLAND FROM FRIDAY:
- up to four adults aged 18+ from up to two households can meet outdoors, including in private gardens.
- up to four young people aged 12-17 from up to four households can meet outdoors,
- Non-contact and group sports can resume (groups of up to 15).
- Communal worship will resume from March 26th, limited to 50 people maximum with 2m distancing.

"The NHS is sending text messages to some people to invite them to book a COVID19 vaccine appointment. The text will:
- be sent from 'NHSvaccine'
- include a link to NHS dot uk
- give you the option to call 119"
Personally I would always advise people that you don't click links in texts unless it's your mate AND they told you they sent it. Scammers are having a blast right now. When your text arrives, to be on the safe side - just close it and call 119 to book, or open the internet and go to www dot NHS dot UK, click on 'get the latest advice about Coronavirus' and it'll take you through to where you book your appointment exactly the same.

The HSJ is reporting that NHS officials in London have been told to draw up plans in case of a 3rd wave of COVID patients, possibly beginning around April. 
This morning Chris Whitty warned MP's that there is likely to be a 3rd wave, possibly as soon as late Summer.
"All the modelling suggests there is going to be a further surge and that will find the people who either have not been vaccinated or where the vaccine has not worked.
Some of them will end up in hospital and sadly some of them will go on to die.”
SAGE modelling predicts that England is likely to lose another 30,000 people to COVID in a best case scenario. 
We still have a fair amount of COVID in the community, so any reopening will cause new cases as fresh groups of people mix together.
It is wise to have plans in place, especially if we do suddenly have an escape of one of the Brazilian or other variants with that pesky E484K mutation which is resistant to current antibodies.
The vaccinations are going really well, but it'll still be a while before all of the people out there mixing are vaccinated - especially if at some point, somewhere else in the world takes offence at our mass vaccination and does deny us deliveries. 
These plans and warnings are just that, and in the best case scenarios it won't be needed, but if cases do start to pick up to uncomfortable levels, we have to remember that they did warn us, and they made it very clear. 

NHS Text messages telling you to book

Telegraph Global Health have delved into children and Long COVID. A report looking at thousands of schoolchildren is underway, but results won't be with us for a long while yet. Common symptoms still present 5 or more weeks after initial diagnosis can include headaches, dizziness, fatigue and stomach problems. They warn that because children typically appear to shrug off COVID, it can be easy for us to miss lingering effects.
Around 1 in 10 adults diagnosed with COVID still report symptoms 3-6 months later. We literally have no clue yet how many children might be affected, although they seem very certain it will be a substantially smaller percentage than the adults. 

The US CDC have gone for it - they have made some big changes to their recommendations for FULLY vaccinated people IN AMERICA:
- You can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask (no large or medium sized gatherings).
- You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
However, if you live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms."
Any workplace or other rules specific to where you are still apply, and when out in public, all social distancing and mask-wearing is as normal.

The Irish Health Information & Quality Authority have published a report which examines a handful of reinfection studies. They find that reinfection rates remain 'low' at 7 months after the patients first had COVID - very few people report catching it again. Good stuff. Sadly that's as far as it goes at the moment, although some data does go up to 8 months, and that looks good too.

Not great news from a not-yet-peer-reviewed study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. We have known for a little while now that the UK's B117 variant is more deadly, and the estimate we were given was around 70%. LSHT's study found it to be on average 67% more deadly, and as with original wild COVID, it's really weighted depending on your risk factors. (This is '28 day mortality' - people who die within 4 weeks of testing positive).
A healthy person under 65 with no comorbidities has a mortality rate of 0.09 (male) or 0.05 (female) with wild COVID.
A healthy person under 65 with no comorbidities has a mortality rate of 0.14 (male) or 0.07 (female) with B117.
A person aged 85 and above with two or more comorbidities has a mortality rate of 16.7% (male) or 9.7% (female) with wild COVID.
A person aged 85 and above with two or more comorbidities have mortality rate of 24.3% (male) or 14.7% (female) with B117

Image of person dressed as medic passing testing swab to lady seated on a chair

Yesterday when talking about schools, I used 'UK' when I should have used 'England', please accept my apologies. The majority of English school pupils went back to in-person learning at school yesterday (except for secondary pupils still undergoing lateral flow testing).

In Wales:
Some younger primary children have already returned to in-person learning.
"From 15 March, all remaining primary school children will be able to be back learning onsite. From that date, we will also enable learners in qualifications  years, and more learners in colleges and training to return to onsite learning. There will also be flexibility for some learners in year 10 and 12 to return. This is of course, subject to Covid-19 evidence continuing to move in the right direction.
However, we are concerned about the amount of time learners have been away from school. This is why from 15 March secondary schools will now have the flexibility to provide learners in years 7, 8 and 9 with the opportunity of a check-in focused on support for wellbeing and readiness for a return to their onsite learning after Easter."

In Scotland:
Some younger primary children have already returned to in-person learning.
"From March 15th children in primary 4 to 7 will go back to school on a full-time basis.  All primary school children will also be able to return to regulated childcare, including after school and breakfast clubs.
There is also expected to be a phased return to secondary school from 15 March.  It is the intention that all secondary school pupils will return to spend some time in school from 15 March until the Easter break.  All pupils are expected to return to full-time schooling after Easter, subject to continued suppression of the virus and the requirement for 2m physical distancing between young people being removed."

In Northern Ireland:
Some younger primary children have already returned to in-person learning.
Young people completing qualifications return full time from March 22, when pre-school, nursery and P1-3 will return to remote learning,  from the week of March 22 until after the Easter Break.
Other students will return to school as soon as can be arranged after Easter. I can't find any further details just yet, but it is expected to be a phased return.

India are really showing how it can be done, as yesterday they vaccinated over 2m people in a single 24 hour period. Nice work. They have 20 times the UK population, so you can see just how impressive our half a million people vaccinated in a single day is.
India's priority groups are:
Healthcare workers
Frontline Workers
People over age 60
People over 45 with comorbidities (clinically vulnerable)

Matt Hancock on huge flatscreen overlooking rows ofNHS workers at the opening of one of the nightingale hospitals,

Israel are sharing all of their data with the world, so are attempting to vaccinate at top speed. They started vaccinating Palestinian workers today, and have now administered 102.3 doses per 100 people. The UAE are second at 63.6, with the UK third at 34.6 per 100. The USA are 4th, with 27.5 and Chile are 5th. They have administered 25.9 doses per 100 people. All other countries are at 5 doses per 100 or below. 

Today Boris announced a fond goodbye to the Nightingale Hospitals. The fact we never had to fill them with patients, and whatever volunteers we could get, is not a sign of failure. No-one really wanted thousands of people lying there coughing and being treated by 'Bob who usually does car bodywork' because there's no-one else. They were always our insurance policy and we didn't need them. We stayed home and did our part, and we will never know how many lives we personally might have saved. We do also owe gratitude for the hard work from NHS staff reassigning hospital wards and fitting in thousands of extra patients - thank you all.
Sunderland and London Nightingales will continue as vaccination centres.
Exeter will be used for diagnostics 
Harrogate, Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester will close.

Some numbers. All people very much like you:

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

USA 29,753,053 (+8,401) 538,914 (+286)

India 11,260,750 (+16,126) 158,075 (+109)

Brazil 11,055,480 not yet reported today 266,614

Russia 4,342,474 (+9,445) 89,809 (+336)

UK 4,228,998 (+5,766) 124,797 (+231)

France 3,909,560 not yet reported today 88,933

Spain 3,164,983 (+4,013) 71,727 (+291)

Italy 3,101,093 (+19,749) 100,479 (+376)

Turkey 2,793,632 not yet reported today 29,094

Germany 2,515,208 (+1,440) 72,763 (+65)

Colombia 2,278,861 not yet reported today 60,598

Argentina 2,154,694 not yet reported today 53,121

Mexico 2,130,477 (+1,877) 190,923 (+319)

Poland 1,811,036 (+9,954) 45,599 (+282)

Iran 1,706,559 (+8,554) 60,867 (+81) 

.

.

.

Sources:

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

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

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/

https://www.nhs.uk/

https://gizmodo.com/cdc-says-fully-vaccinated-people-can-socialize-indoors-1846432358/amp

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

https://www.rte.ie/news/coronavirus/2021/0308/1201613-immunity-duration-hiqa/

https://www.hiqa.ie/sites/default/files/2021-03/Duration-of-protective-immunity_Evidence-Summary.pdf

https://www.hsj.co.uk/quality-and-performance/exclusive-nhs-in-london-asked-to-plan-for-possible-covid-surge-later-in-2021/7029605.article

https://twitter.com/BBCHughPym/status/1369226549912891394?s=19

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/covid-cases-uk-summer-chris-whitty-b1814442.html

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/uk-news/coronavirus-live-updates-nightingale-hospitals-19995071

"Increased bed capacity in existing NHS hospitals mean that four Nightingale hospitals will close from April" https://twitter.com/i/events/1369226890473402374?s=09

https://twitter.com/SharonBarbour/status/1368990253659328513?s=19

https://t.co/LJOLGlLNTq

https://www.hsj.co.uk/quality-and-performance/revealed-most-nightingales-in-500m-programme-to-close/7029643.article#.YEZLmRaaHho.twitter

"India marks the milestone of completing 2m COVID-19 vaccinations in a single day" https://twitter.com/i/events/1369232139871416324?s=09

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-schools-reopening/

https://gov.wales/schools-coronavirus-guidance

https://www.gov.scot/news/phase-2-of-schools-return/

https://www.itv.com/news/utv/2021-03-02/nis-roadmap-out-of-lockdown-revealed

https://www.belfastlive.co.uk/news/northern-ireland-school-reopening-dates-19867883

https://www.armaghi.com/news/northern-ireland-news/northern-ireland-lockdown-restrictions-extended-april-1-schools-return-march-8/128296

https://twitter.com/DHSCgovuk/status/1369226459944869888

https://www.scotsman.com/health/coronavirus/nicola-sturgeon-announces-new-rule-of-four-in-relaxation-around-outdoor-gatherings-as-communal-worship-also-to-return-3159703

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.03.04.21252528v1.full.pdf

https://twitter.com/NAChristakis/status/1369092064512774144

https://twitter.com/Quicktake/status/1369276785418993665

https://twitter.com/TelGlobalHealth/status/1368489603238334464?s=19

Before and now:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/amphtml/hannahmarder/before-and-after-pandemic-photos

Vaccinations:

https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations



No comments:

Post a comment

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