Friday, 9 April 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 9th April 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 9th April 2021.

The UK is now removing any cases who tested positive by Lateral Flow test, which was then confirmed by PCR test, as they were counted twice. In future any positive Lateral Flow test won't be included, just the confirmatory PCR. Because the numbers have some adjustments, I won't do a week on week comparison today, I'll do one on Sunday when it'll be more realistic.

The UK added 3,150 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,365,461 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 931,579 tests yesterday.

The counter says 31,903,366 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 6,541,174 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

3,005 people were in hospital on Wednesday 7th, with 421 using a ventilator yesterday, Thursday 8th.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 60 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 127,040 losses of life in all settings.

The UK ONS figures show that up until Friday 26th March, 149,968 people had COVID listed as a cause on their death certificate.

Rep. Of Ireland 240,192 (+469) cases and 4,769 (+32) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 134,914,658 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 2,920,789. Already 108,617,082 people have recovered.

090421 Death of Prince Philip official announcement by the royal family social media

The Queen's husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Phillip, has died aged 99. He had recently been unwell and spent a large amount of time in hospital, but had returned home, and Buckingham Palace have confirmed that he died peacefully in his sleep early this morning.
Whatever your views on The Royal Family, he was a husband, father and grandfather. He had some less favourable moments, but the Duke Of Edinburgh Award is a brilliant legacy that anyone could be proud of.

The UK will now enter an official period of Royal Mourning, which will last for 8 days, until the Prince's funeral. This mourning period would usually be extended to 30 days for the Queen and Royal Family.
Noteworthy for the country during a pandemic, while she is not dealing with matters of the state, the Queen cannot sign off any new laws. This may become important later.

The public are asked not to congregate or attend royal residences, and not to leave flowers at this time.


After the new UK advice not to give people aged under 30 the AstraZeneca jab, the NHS will be cancelling some booked appointments. Until they can guarantee they have a different vaccine on hand, it's better to wait.
The Moderna vaccine is about to roll out, but it does spoil their plans a bit if they have to start vaccinating 18-30's before 49 year olds. 

090421 Death of Prince Philip official statemen by Boris UK Prime Minister

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has unveiled "a framework to chart the safe return of international travel":
A traffic light system will categorise countries based on risk, to protect the public and the vaccine rollout from international COVID-19 variants.
Key factors in the assessment will include:
- the percentage of their population that have been vaccinated
- the rate of infection
- the prevalence of variants of concern
- the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing
International travel could resume from as early as 17th May 2021, including the removal of the permission to travel form.
The risks posed by variants remain significant, and "restrictions for inbound passengers, such as 10-day managed quarantine, home quarantine, and stringent testing will remain in place - but will apply to people differently depending on whether the destination visited is categorised as ‘green’, ‘amber’ or ‘red’".
Green: arrivals will need to take a pre-departure test as well as a PCR test on or before day 2 of their arrival back into the UK - but will not need to quarantine on return (unless they receive a positive result) or take any additional tests.
Amber: arrivals will need to quarantine for a period of 10 days and take a pre-departure test, and a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 with the option for Test to Release on day 5 to end self-isolation early
Red: arrivals will be subject to restrictions currently in place for ‘red list’ countries, which include a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day 2 and 8
All arrivals who are not exempt are required to book a pre-departure, day 2 and day 8 test before travelling.

Jet 2 has suspended all flights and holidays until June 23rd, as they feel there is too much uncertainty in the UK travel announcements.
Grant Shapps has refused to commit to foreign holidays being allowed from May 17th, as set out in the intended Road Map - and frankly that IS right. This is a pandemic virus, promising something more than a month in advance would be a little reckless. Grant just isn't qualified to say anything for definite.
The situation across Europe is very dodgy right now, and all countries who don't have the UK's Kent B117 variant are keen to stay that way. Even if you are allowed to leave the UK and go on holiday - much of Europe and the world is currently closed to visitors from the UK. 

Please don't attend Royal residences UK Gov messaging

Today's indieSAGE message was that "things are continuing to get better, but there is a clear North/South divide".
Schools reopening really does seem to have worked so far. Cases rose among school-age children, but it seems to be vaguely controlled, and the Easter holidays have calmed it back down. Case numbers as a whole are staying down. Not quite as low as we'd like, but they are staying down.
Today's ONS figures are similar, but show the cracks:
"In terms of people testing positive overall, we are back where we were mid September 2020, but still almost TEN times higher than the lowest point last July."
Cases per 100,000 people in the North UK are still far higher than in the South, and the most deprived areas have 2.9 times as many new cases per 100,000 population as the least deprived.
The age group with the highest number of new hospital admissions is people under 50.
indieSAGE talked about the mass rollout of Lateral Flow testing to everyone in the UK. ALL positive Lateral Flow test results will be double checked with a PCR test (that you send to a lab). The more people who do Lateral Flow tests, without any suspicion or symptoms to think they have COVID, the bigger a difference it will make in the percentage of positive results, and the more false positives you'll get. If around 1 in every 350 gives a false positive, it could mean a lot of people self-isolating for no reason while they wait for the confirmatory PCR.
They reminded us it's not over yet. The overall picture is another worldwide COVID surge - new cases worldwide dropped after a Christmas surge, but have now returned to the levels we saw in December. 

Brazilian figures released this week give us a little more insight into the P1 Manaus/Brazilian variant, with that pesky E484K mutation which seems able to escape most naturally acquired COVID antibodies (antibodies formed by catching COVID).
In the early months of 2020, 13.1% of people aged 18-44 who were hospitalised died.
In the early months of 2021, 15.7% of people aged 18-44 who were hospitalised died.
38% of all those hospitalised by COVID during Jan and Feb 2021 died.
A recent study found the P1 variant travelled up to 2.5 x faster than wild original COVID, which is substantially faster than the UK's B117 variant (1.3 x to 1.7 x). Brazil really is in trouble, and their President Bolsonaro is still resisting help and advice.
Only last month Bolsonaro said Brazilians should "stop whining" about the losses of life. Now they have a worse record for losses of life than the USA achieved at their peak, with rising cases, no end in sight, and a desperate situation in many hospitals. 

Health is a right not a privilege World Health Organisation

UK telly person Kate Garraway has her husband at home, over a year after he was first admitted to hospital with COVID.
He has an incredibly long journey back, and will NEVER be the same person he was. Brain injuries can continue to repair for years, and it is a very slow recovery, with no guarantee of how far you will reach, and no way to know what will never be recovered along the way. I wish him and his family strength, and luck, as I do everyone who is recovering from long term effects of COVID.

The CDC are still working through their website and replacing all of the 'not quite so true' bits with actual scientific facts. They've released a new study and updated their guidance on 'surfaces', or (posh word) Fomites - which became far, far less important last year when we realised people just breathe out COVID constantly into the air around them.
Although you clearly CAN catch COVID from surfaces, and they shouldn't be ignored, if you've just spent 3 hours trapped in a small room together, it becomes far less of an issue, but it turns out it's even less important than that. The CDC reckoned the chance of anyone catching COVID from a surface is around 1 in 10,000 - i.e. 1 person catches COVID for every 10,000 touches of contaminated surfaces.
You can obviously change those odds dramatically by licking door handles, or poking your own eyes after rubbing your hands on bannisters.
They feel there in an over-emphasis on deep cleaning and disinfecting, and we all reduce our chances dramatically just by REGULARLY WASHING OUR HANDS.

My thoughts this weekend are also with the people of Ireland, particularly Belfast - the vast majority of whom don't want trouble. Police and protestors have clashed for the last few nights, after tensions rose for several different COVID and Brexit-related reasons. I genuinely hope peace and agreement can be found swiftly. 

The WHO's COVAX vaccine sharing initiative has now delivered vaccines to 100 of the world's least wealthy and developed countries, just 42 days after they received their first vaccine deliveries - it's truly a worldwide effort to be proud of. Not done yet though...

Text matches statement above regarding 100 countries. Jobs a goodun

Latest Public Health England figures estimate that vaccination in the UK has already prevented around 10,400 deaths in older adults. It's working.

Have a good weekend. Remember you deserve a treat. I finally have 2 of my big kids home this weekend for their Easter break from Uni - don't tell them, but we even have eggs for a hunt in the garden...that's my treat enough - don't you forget yours.

Back Sunday - and England will be relaxing restrictions to Step 2 on Monday. Play Outdoors, Top Up Your Free Vitamin D, Save The NHS.

Today's figures are the full days totals from yesterday, so that you can see who is having a really bad time at the moment. For the first time in a very long time, the UK do not feature.

Some numbers. All with fears, hopes, hates, and loves:

Countries / Cases / Losses of life (up until midnight GMT last night):

India 13,057,954 (+131,893) 167,694 (+802)

Brazil 13,286,324 (+89,293) 345,287 (+4,190)

USA 31,717,404 (+80,161) 573,856 (+1,009)

Turkey 3,689,866 (+55,941) 33,201 (+258)

Poland 2,499,519 (+27,899) 56,659 (+954)

Germany 2,951,829 (+24,257) 78,473 (+299)

Argentina 2,473,751 (+23,683) 57,122 (+290)

Iran 2,006,934 (+22,586) 63,884 (+185)

Ukraine 1,803,998 (+19,419) 35,962 (+464)

Italy 3,717,588 (+17,207) 112,861 (+487)

France 4,939,258 (+15,869) 98,065 (+345)

Colombia 2,492,081 (+12,464) 65,014 (+247)

Peru 1,617,864 (+9,966) 53,978 (+253)

Spain 3,336,637 (+9,901) 76,179 (+142)

Philippines 828,329 (+9,179) 14,119 (+60)

Russia 4,614,834 (+8,672) 101,845 (+365)

Chile 1,051,270 (+8,248) 23,979 (+183)

Canada 1,036,023 (+7,982) 23,211 (+38) 

Iraq 903,439 (+7,817) 14,606 (+34)

Netherlands 1,327,136 (+7,783) 16,690 (+18) 

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Sources:

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/hrh-the-duke-of-edinburgh

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

Brazil

https://twitter.com/DrEricDing/status/1379995247812444162

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

https://www.itv.com/news/2021-04-08/covid-government-refuses-to-say-if-foreign-holidays-can-resume-on-may-17

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/covid-vaccine-cancelled-astrazeneca-under-30s-b1828683.html

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prime-ministers-statement-on-the-death-of-his-royal-highness-the-prince-philip-duke-of-edinburgh

https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/jet2-suspends-flights-and-holidays-until-late-june-due-to-uncertainty-over-gover/

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/global-travel-taskforce-sets-out-framework-to-safely-reopen-international-travel

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-campaign-urges-public-to-get-tested-twice-a-week

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/science-and-research/surface-transmission.html

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-vaccines-have-prevented-10-400-deaths-in-older-adults




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