Tuesday, 6 April 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 5th / 6th April 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 5th / 6th April 2021.

The UK added 2,379 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,364,529 positive cases of COVID-19.

The counter says 31,622,367 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 5,496,716 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 20 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 126,882 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 238,907 (+441) cases and 4,727 (+9) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 132,674,529 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,878,031. Already 106,955,639 people have recovered.

dont delay get vaccinated today UKaround 100 rough drawn people walking, riding, scooting etc Gov image of

Twice weekly lateral flow testing is being offered to anyone in England from 9th April. You'll be able to collect them from some larger vaccination centres and some pharmacists, or order online, as well as obtaining testing through workplace or school testing as before.
(Nicola Sturgeon is also reported to be keen on doing the same with Scotland.)


To support the Test & Trace teams and the rollout of universal free Lateral Flow COVID testing in England, the NHS COVID-19 app is being updated.
From 8 April in England:
- Everyone in a group must check in to hospitality venues, either by scanning the official NHS QR code poster with the NHS COVID-19 app, or by providing their contact details.
- If an app user tests positive, they will be asked to share their venue history in a privacy-protecting way via the app.
- If a person has been at a venue on the same day as several other people who have since tested positive for COVID-19, they may receive an alert advising them to book a test immediately, whether they are showing symptoms or not.
- There will be new posters displaying QR codes for hospitality venues in England. All venues in England in scope of the regulations are legally required to display an official NHS QR code poster.

FROM 12th April in ENGLAND, the roadmap out of lockdown Step 2 changes will be:
- non-essential retail, personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons, and public buildings such as libraries and community centres will be able to reopen
- outdoor hospitality venues will be able to reopen, with table service only
- most outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks, and drive-in (e.g. cinemas and concerts) will be able to reopen
- some smaller outdoor events such as fetes, literary fairs, and fairgrounds will be able to take place
- indoor leisure and sports facilities will be able to reopen for individual exercise, or exercise with your household or support bubble
- all childcare and supervised activities will be allowed indoors (as well as outdoors) for all children. Parent and child groups can take place indoors (as well as outdoors) for up to 15 people (children under 5 will not be counted in this number)
- weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, wakes and other commemorative events will be able to take place for up to 15 attendees, including in indoor venues that are permitted to open or where an exemption applies. Wedding receptions can also take place for up to 15 people, but must take place outdoors, not including private gardens
- self-contained accommodation will be able to open for overnight stays in England with your household or support bubble
- you should continue to minimise the amount that you travel where possible
- care home residents will be able to nominate two named individuals for regular indoor visits (following a rapid lateral flow test)

060421 vaccinations to date uk gov#

Scotland has eased some restrictions in level 4 areas, including:
- the resumption of outdoor contact sport for 12-17 year olds
- return of college students within the top three priority groups identified by Colleges Scotland as most likely not to complete this academic year (estimated as 29% of learners)
- reopening of non-essential ‘click and collect’ retail
- allowing the following to reopen - garden centres, key cutting, mobility equipment, baby equipment, electrical repair, hairdressers and barbers by appointment only (not mobile services), homeware shops, vehicle showrooms (appointment only) and forecourts.
From 12/20 April, depending on term times, all children will return to in-person schooling full-time.

Wales is still on their track too. FROM 12th April, if public health conditions permit, the following relaxations can go ahead:
- travel restrictions within the UK and Common Travel Area will be lifted
- full return to schools and further education settings
- university campus’ can open for blended face-to-face and online learning for all students
- all shops and close contact services can open
- wedding venues will be able to let prospective clients view their premises by appointment only

Northern Ireland also seem to be going ahead FROM 12 April:
-  up to 10 people (including children) from no more than two households can meet up outdoors in a private garden, but you should maintain social distancing. If there’s no alternative route, access to the garden can be via a private dwelling.
- graduated easing of the advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people
- all remaining students in years 8 to 11 will return to face-to-face teaching
- contactless click/ phone and collect will be permitted for all non-essential retail businesses
- outdoor retail, such as car washes; car, vehicle and caravan retailers; garden centres and plant nurseries will also be permitted to reopen.
- up to 15 people (including coaches) can take part in structured outdoor sports training, through clubs or individuals affiliated to recognised sports governing bodies or representative organisations for sport and physical activity.
- the number permitted to attend funerals, weddings and civil partnerships is to be informed by a risk assessment for the venue. Customers can also view the facilities of venues used for marriages and civil partnerships, restricted to a maximum of four customers per visit.

Enjoy easter outdoors

The head of vaccines strategy at the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Marco Cavaleri, has made it clear they believe there is a link between the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and the rare blood clotting disorder - although it still remains incredibly rare, and they don't know what that link is.
The EMA are going to review latest information and make another statement on Wednesday or Thursday, and it's plausible they may suggest limiting use in the EU with younger age groups. Advice still remains the same for now - benefits of vaccine massively outweigh risks.
Obviously your risk from long term effects of COVID (including death) is lower the younger you are, and the risk of blood clots needs to be substantially lower for every age group. Someone will be crunching those numbers right now...
Boris has responded by saying it is incredibly safe and "get your jab". The Independent quote him with:
"On the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, I think that the best thing people should do is, is look at what the MHRA say – they're our independent regulator, that's that's why we have them. And their advice to people is to keep going out there, get your get your jab, get your second jab. Very, very important."

The UK Government's official SAGE advisory group have released some more of the data on which they base their advice, and the advice they actually have been giving to Boris and friends.
They are expecting that England's vaccine rollout could slow sharply until the end of July, as we prioritise 2nd doses and wait for orders to come in. (We expected this.)
They warn that lockdown easing could create another wave this summer, (we also already knew this). University of Warwick modelling suggests possibly June, but also notes that this isn't "the future", it's just one scenario. If the vaccines are effective enough, and people are sensible enough, it won't happen. 

Good news from the Phase 1&2 trial for the Valneva vaccine. It was well tolerated, with no safety concerns, and if it proves successful, is set to be manufactured in Scotland.
They tested 3 different strengths, with "more than 90% of all study participants developing significant levels of antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein across all dose groups tested".
With the highest dose, 100% of participants developed antibodies.
They hope to start Phase 3 mass human trials before the end of the month. 

Sad news for anyone from North Korea who has been training for almost 5 years for an international sporting event.
The North Korean Sports Ministry have decided it's just too risky to take part in the rearranged Tokyo Olympics.
That's a shame. Quarantines can work really well, and Japan have tried so very hard to keep this going. It is understandable though - especially from a country who keep themselves so detached from the rest of the world. 

ANYONE can catch COVID World Health Organisation

A trans-Tasman travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand will launch on April 19th. Travellers won't have to quarantine on arrival, but will always have to be aware that the agreement can (and no doubt will) be immediately paused if either country discovers cases in the community with no known source.

Bollywood is suffering a massive outbreak of infections. Cases are on the rise across India, and in the last couple of weeks several high profile film celebrities have become ill. Actor Akshay Kumar has now been admitted to a hospital in Mumbai, and reports are that 45 members of the film crew he was working with have tested positive.
I foresee a future Bollywood movie about 'the difficulties of making of a movie during a pandemic'...

Some people. I've shown them as numbers because I can't spell all of their names:

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

USA 31,508,708 (+11,732) 569,438 (+156)

Brazil 13,023,189 not yet reported today 333,153

India 12,732,968 (+48,491) 165,851 (+274)

France 4,833,263 not yet reported today 96,875

Russia 4,597,868 (+8,328) 101,106 (+389)

UK 4,364,529 (+2,379) 126,882 (+20)

Italy 3,686,707 (+7,767) 111,747 (+421)

Turkey 3,529,601 not yet reported today 32,456

Spain 3,317,948 (+6,623) 75,911 (+128)

Germany 2,908,271 (+5,235) 77,768 (+138)

Poland 2,456,709 (+8,245) 55,065 (+60) 

Colombia 2,456,409 not yet reported today 64,293

Argentina 2,407,159 not yet reported today 56,471

Mexico 2,251,705 (+1,247) 204,399 (+252)

Iran 1,963,394 (+17,430) 63,506 (+174)

Ukraine 1,769,164 (+13,276) 35,017 (+430) 

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Sources:

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

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

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/twice-weekly-rapid-testing-to-be-available-to-everyone-in-england

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/astrazeneca-vaccine-boris-johnson-clots-b1827284.html

https://www.thebrickcastle.com/2021/04/uk-roadmap-update-briefing-monday-5th.html

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/astrazeneca-vaccine-blood-clots-ema-b1827238.html

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/975911/S1184_SPI-M_University_of_Warwick_Road_Map_Scenarios_and_Sensitivity.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lshtm-interim-roadmap-assessment-prior-to-step-2-31-march-2021

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/apr/06/england-covid-vaccine-programme-could-slow-sharply-sage-warns

https://valneva.com/press-release/valneva-reports-positive-phase-1-2-data-for-its-inactivated-adjuvanted-covid-19-vaccine-candidate-vla2001/

https://twitter.com/NIHRresearch/status/1379389172843220997?s=19

https://twitter.com/i/events/1379224983025557505?s=09

https://twitter.com/i/events/1379318142187438085?s=09

https://twitter.com/i/events/1379016697651208195

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-timetable-for-easing-restrictions/pages/timetable/

https://gov.wales/coronavirus

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-regulations-guidance-what-restrictions-mean-you




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