Sunday 4 April 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Easter weekend 2nd / 3rd / 4th April 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Easter weekend 2nd / 3rd / 4th April 2021.

Some data isn't updated because of the Easter weekend. Some data reported is incomplete.

The UK added 2,297 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,359,388 positive cases of COVID-19.

The counter says 31,523,010 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 5,381,745 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

3,536 people were in hospital on Thursday April 1st, with 517 using a ventilator.

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 126,836 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 237,695 cases and 4,715 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 131,652,423 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,862,872. Already 106,022,299 people have recovered.

Wash your hands this Easter colourful drawing o easter eggs in a basket with hand sanitiser

"The arrival of Easter brings with it new hope.
And, this year more than ever, it brings the promise of brighter days ahead for us all.
So stay safe, keep following the rules, and have a very happy Easter."
Easter message there from Boris.
He also filmed a longer version where he thanked religious leaders, venues and congregations for everything they've done over the past year, holding their communities together and fighting disinformation, and supporting the sick, vulnerable and bereaved.

"Care home residents in England will be able to receive 2 visitors indoors from Monday 12 April as Covid restrictions continue to be cautiously eased.   Regular visits are being extended from one to 2 people under carefully designed conditions to prevent transmission of Covid-19.
Visitors will be asked to provide a negative test result and wear PPE during the visit to keep themselves, staff and residents safe."
Special message for anyone with toddlers or lockdown babies:
"Visitors who are parents will also be able to visit with babies and very young children, who will not count as one of the visitors."

Chris Whitty did a webinar on Friday, from which his words are being cherry-picked and he's being quoted a bit more spectacularly than what he was actually saying. He was talking generally and said that the public won't lock down to prevent flu deaths, and even when we have a really bad year and lose 25,000 people to flu (average is around 7,000), no-one really notices. If COVID reaches those low levels, restrictions are unlikely to feature. He did also remind us that an evil rogue variant could change that instantly. (He used different words.)

England has banned travel from 4 more countries - Philippines,  Kenya, Bangladesh and Pakistan, bringing our Red List total up to 39. Once it is legal to travel again, no-one who has visited those countries will be allowed entry for 10 days. 

The Netherlands has paused rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine until April 6th, while they await their investigation into the blood clotting disorder. Several European countries have now already completed investigations and resumed vaccinations. 

040420 covid vaccine doses administered in the uk

Latest figures from Public Health England show 30 cases of the rare blood clotting disorder among 18 million vaccinations. Of those, 7 people died.  This is the lowest ratio we've been given this week, so clearly the message remains that benefit of vaccination far outweighs risk of potential blood clot. (And as several people should have developed the condition anyway, this again seems to suggest risk is no higher than would be anticipated.) 

The UK NHS have released updated guidance for medics dealing with the rare blood clotting disorder. It is incredibly clear and if nothing else comes from this, the attention will have done wonders for sharing best practise and hopefully saving some extra lives in the future.

The ONS report on Long COVID, and the full report published in the British Medical Journal, make for fascinating and terrifying reading - sort of like watching a car crash off a bridge, while standing in the river.
The Guardian have a great article if you prefer it more easily digested, but the team studied the medical records of:
"47 780 individuals (mean age 65, 55% men) in hospital with covid-19 and discharged alive by 31 August 2020". They compared them to averages using 50m matched UK hospital records:
- Within 4 months, almost 1 in every 3 had been readmitted to hospital (14,060 / 47,780). 4 x greater than anticipated in this population.
- Within 4 months, almost 1 in every 8 people had died (5,875). This is 8 x greater than anticipated in this population.
- "Rates of respiratory disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease were also significantly raised in patients with covid-19".
- Rate ratios were greater (the increase was bigger) for individuals aged under 70 compared to those 70 or older, and in ethnic minority groups compared with the white population.
I've said it many times - we really don't yet know just how costly Long COVID is likely to be... 

Shielding has now lifted in England image of huge open doorway

Matt Hancock is spending quite a bit of time in court at the moment, and his latest visit will be to justify opening shops before pubs.
I honestly don't see how he can, aside from by claiming we need new things more than we need a night out. Clearly small, busy shops can't be made any safer than pubs, and there are many options which can make your local pub a safer environment than your corner shop. That said, your average drunk person is substantially less safe than your usual shopper. 

California has their own variants CAL20.C (B.1.427/B.1.429) and numbers are soaring. A recent study (not yet peer-reviewed), has found that both of the closely-related Californian variants were far less likely to be 'neutralised' by antibodies either from infection or current mRNA vaccines (Pfizer / Moderna) - one of the mutations was far less likely to be neutralised, and one to escape antibodies entirely. This was done using blood samples in a lab, so it isn't real-world and real-life-human, but it's not at all encouraging. 

After much "oh yes we are", "oh no we aren't", the UK Government are trialling a form of "Vaccine Passport". It will entitle people to attend some large scale events, and they will give us more details tomorrow, including 9 trial events they're planning to see how well this works. It is likely to include venues and events such as football finals, nightclubs, theatres, festivals and cinemas.
The passport will reportedly prove vaccination, recovery from COVID or recent negative test, and they are going to have a form of exemption for people who can't be vaccinated and would struggle to supply regular test results. The government have said it is not ever intended to be used for public transport or essential shops.
And while we are at it, when hospitality in England reopens, it is intended that everyone over 16 will have to sign in and give your details.
If we want to avoid spread of any antibody or vaccine-resistant variants, we may have to pay a small price for bigger rewards. Obviously neither of these suggestions is meeting universal approval, and they will have to be incredibly careful in order to keep it fair, legal, and popular. 

Enjoy Easter outdoors - image of Spring flowers peeping bottom of the screen

Happy Easter, whether you celebrate the religious aspects or the fact Spring is here, or anything else. It is the time for everything to start up again, and for new hope. I hope you have had an eggcellent weekend, and that you managed to make the most of the sunshine - which was very kind to most of us.

Have a good bank holiday tomorrow - thank you from me to everyone who has to go to work. For those who don't - enjoy the lie in... 

Some numbers. They all have a face:

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

USA 31,388,268 (+5,142) 568,531 (+18)

Brazil 12,953,597 not yet reported today 330,297

India 12,574,457 (+90,330) 165,044 (+389) 

France 4,741,759 not yet reported today 96,493

Russia 4,580,894 (+8,817) 100,374 (+357)

UK 4,359,388 (+2,297) 126,836 (+10)

Italy 3,668,264 (+18,025) 111,030 (+326)

Turkey 3,445,052 not yet reported today 32,078

Spain 3,300,965 not yet reported today 75,698

Germany 2,887,729 (+1,709) 77,505 (+3)

Poland 2,438,542 (+22,947) 54,941 (+204)

Colombia 2,437,197 not yet reported today 63,932

Argentina 2,383,537 not yet reported today 56,106

Mexico 2,249,195 (+1,838) 204,011 (+157)

Iran 1,932,074 (+11,680) 63,160 (+161) 

Ukraine 1,745,709 (+13,738) 34,333 (+258)

Peru 1,573,961 not yet reported today 52,625

Czechia 1,551,896 (+2,149) 26,945 (+44)

South Africa 1,551,501 not yet reported today 52,954

Indonesia 1,534,255 (+6,731) 41,669 (+427)

Netherlands 1,302,146 (+6,822) 16,622 (+16)

Chile 1,026,785 (+7,307) 23,644 (+120)

Canada 1,002,806 (+1,161) 23,059 (+9) 

Romania 974,375 (+4,151) 24,070 (+97) 

Belgium 897,474 (+4,889) 23,130 (+47)





UK reopening passports and sign ins

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