Sunday 18 April 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 17th / 18th April 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 17th / 18th April 2021.

The UK added 1,882 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,387,820 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 988,311 tests yesterday.

The counter says 32,849,223 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 9,930,846 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated. (It's been announced this afternoon that we have now vaccinated over 10 million people with their 2nd dose.)

2,186 people were in hospital on Thursday 15th, with 332 using a ventilator on Friday 16th.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 10 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 127,270 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 243,508 (+270) cases and 4,836 (+1) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 141,804,907 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 3,029,133. Already 120,344,234 people have recovered.

Serious side effects from vaccination are rare call 111 if you are concerned

I made an error the other day when I did rough vaccine price estimates. CanSino is single dose, so only around £5 per patient. Covaxin is overall cheaper than I thought also - depending on where something is manufactured and the price of labour, it does vary a lot. Thanks to Hilda Bastian PHD, these were the (understandably low by Western standards) prices offered to the African Union (like the EU, but made up of 55 African nations). Per person for bulk orders:
$6 (£4.34) for Indian versions of Oxford-AstraZeneca (Covishield) and Novavax
$10 (£7.25) for J&J (single dose vaccine)
$13.50 (£9.75) for BioNTech-Pfizer
$19.50 (£14.10) for Sputnik V
Moderna was unaffordable ($32/£23 to $37/£27 per dose)
Bear in mind logistics and setting up vaccinations, especially in remote communities, can be ridiculously expensive, and so a single dose vaccine can save tens of dollars a patient.
Covaxin (around $2/£1.45 in India) and CanSino (single dose vaccine around $4/£2.90) are the cheapest vaccines available in the world - just undercutting the Oxford-AstraZeneca.
Novovax is the vaccine which will be packaged in the UK from later this year. 

More information about the rare blood clotting disorder is coming in, and scientists think they have found a link.
21 of 23 people studied, who had the disorder after the AstraZeneca jab, had developed an immune response which attacked their own PF4 (Platelet Factor 4). 20 of them developed blood clots. Your body won't make more PF4 until it's used up, and patients end up with low levels of platelets in their blood.
5 out of the 6 people who developed the condition in the USA after the Johnson&Johnson jab also had antibodies to P4.
The good news is that it's easy to test for - so any patients with unusual symptoms after vaccination can swiftly have it ruled out, or be treated correctly. 

Usual COVID vaccination side effects - feel rough a bit like flu for 48 hours, less rough 1 week

Scientists in Brazil have identified two cases where people were simultaneously infected with two different variants of COVID.
Co-infection is very bad. Chances are you'll be very poorly, and it raises the likelihood of *recombination* a mixture creating a new variant.
Brazil has been struggling for many months, and President Bolsonaro has little compassion. On Thursday Sao Paolo Governor Joao Doria is quoted as saying "Brazil is collapsing".

Indigenous people in the Brazilian Amazon are really suffering from COVID, and they've lost a lot of people, but are still understandably wary of Western medicine. It turns out misinformation had reached them before the health workers did.
I'm not sure most of them had even heard of Bill Gates or 5G 6 months ago, but the more exciting the story, the quicker it travels...

UK Environment Secretary George Eustice was on the telly news saying that there is nothing so far to say the Indian variant is more contagious or can get around vaccines.
That's true, because we don't really know very much at all about it, it was only first spotted a couple of months ago. What we do know is that case numbers in India have suddenly shot through the roof, and last year they really managed to control COVID very well. Whenever that happens, you have to place a red flag.

The position in India is so bad that the Government have announced special Oxygen Express trains to transport liquid medical oxygen, and industrial oxygen is being diverted for medical use.
Quite honestly it's so much worse than you'd believe. There are doctors on Twitter begging for beds for patients.

vaccine facts Scotland NHS

Ontario, Canada, is really making the news. They are also struggling under increasing cases and full hospitals. Prime Minister Trudeau has apparently been on the phone today helping to arrange assistance from other states.  

The sight of a 94 year old woman, sitting alone to grieve the loss of her husband of 73 years, in an almost empty church, will be one of the most heartbreaking, and defining moments of this pandemic. Not only because she is Queen Elizabeth II, but because of the millions of people she represents. Those who have also experienced a loss during restrictions. To not be able to properly mourn your loved ones, or get the support you need from those around you, are possibly the cruellest aspects of this entire pandemic.
You all have my thoughts. Don't be embarrassed to ask for help when you need it - support is out there. 

It IS still going okay in the UK. We are beginning to see the effects of schools reopening and vaccinations going into arms, and it's staying pretty static. As ever, fingers crossed...

Some numbers. Every number is a person:

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

USA 32,370,715 (+9,435) 580,838 (+82)

India 15,040,918 (+258,457) 178,567 (+1,399)

Brazil 13,900,134 not yet reported today 371,889

France 5,289,526 (+29,344) 100,733 (+140)

Russia 4,702,101 (+8,632) 105,582 (+389)

UK 4,387,820 (+1,882) 127,270 (+10)

Turkey 4,268,447 (+55,802) 35,926 (+318)

Italy 3,870,131 (+12,694) 116,927 (+251)

Spain 3,407,283 not yet reported today 76,981

Germany 3,146,414 (+8,507) 80,574 (+48) 

Poland 2,688,025 (+12,153) 62,032 (+207) 

Argentina 2,677,747 not yet reported today 59,164

Colombia 2,636,076 not yet reported today 67,931

Mexico 2,304,096 (+4,157) 212,228 (+535)

Iran 2,237,089 (+21,644) 66,732 (+405)

Ukraine 1,946,510 (+10,282) 39,786 (+250) 




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