Tuesday 1 June 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 30th & 31st May / 1st June 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 30th & 31st May / 1st June 2021.

Some of today's figures will not be very precise at all, as the previous 2 days were a Sunday and a Bank Holiday, and so reported numbers will be artificially low. That said, any zero day is a good day.

The UK added 3,165 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,490,438 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 602,019 tests yesterday.

The counter says 39,477,158 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 25,734,719 people had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, for the first time since a pandemic was declared, the UK officially reported the loss of no-one who had tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days.  The current official total is 127,782 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 261,982 cases and 4,941 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 171,613,606 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 3,567,937. Already 153,958,530 people have recovered.

If meeting indoors, open a window. Drawing of 4 people sitting apart on a long sofa, with drinks, and windows open

"One day the COVID19 pandemic will be behind us, but the psychological scars will remain for those who have lost loved ones, and we will still face the same vulnerabilities that allowed a small outbreak to become a global pandemic."
Dr Tedros, Head of WHO, during closing remarks at the 74th World Health Assembly.

Right now the UK variant which has taken over in much of the world is B117. It's also known as UK variant, Kent variant, N501Y, 501Yv1, GRY, 20I and other names.
After over a year of discovering different COVID variants, mutations, and lineages (family trees), with no agreed naming structure, the World Health Organisation has announced a simplified labelling system for Variants Of Concern (VOC) and Variants Of Interest (VOI). It is based on the Greek alphabet (alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon etc) and will be familiar to all of us - although not very many people can actually recite it!
A Variant Of Interest is one which has shown some indicators it could be worse to deal with than the original. A Variant Of Concern is associated with one or more changes of global public health significance:
- Increase in transmissibility
- Increase in virulence or change in clinical disease presentation; or
- Decrease in effectiveness of public health and social measures or available diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics.
Here are the current Variants Of Concern and their new names:
ALPHA - B117 UK/Kent 501Y.v1
BETA - B1351, South African, 501Y.v2
GAMMA - P1, Brazilian/Manaus, 501Y.v3
DELTA - B1617.2,  Indian, 452R.v3
Here are the current Variants Of Interest, and their new names:
Epsilon - B.1.427 /B.1.429, USA
Zeta - P.2 /S.484K, Brazil
Eta - B.1.525 /484K.V3, Multiple countries
Theta - P.3 /S:265C, Philippines
Iota - B.1.526 /S:484K, USA
Kappa - B.1.617.1 /S:154K, India

010621 Total vaccinations in the UK to date

Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that some areas of Scotland will not move on to the next step of the unlocking roadmap on Saturday morning.
Glasgow will move down from Level 3 to Level 2. 
Glasgow, Edinburgh and Midlothian, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, all three Ayrshire areas, North and South Lanarkshire, and Clackmannanshire and Stirling will stay in Level 2.
Highland, Argyll & Bute, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, Moray, Angus, Perth & Kinross, Falkirk, Fife, Inverclyde, East and West Lothian, West Dunbartonshire, Dumfries & Galloway and the Borders will move to Level 1.
The smaller islands and some remote areas will move to Level 0.
In Level 1 areas:
8 people from up to 3 households can mix indoors
12 people from up to 12 households can mix outdoors
100 people can attend weddings and funerals
Soft play centres and funfairs and similar can reopen

Bolton has lost it's top spot on the 'COVID UK cases per 100,000 population' chart. New leaders are nearby neighbours Blackburn with Darwen.
What this tells us is that, as we've seen before, COVID will spread to neighbouring areas fairly rapidly, however, we can see it can definitely be suppressed.  Bolton has been surge tested, surge vaccinated and they've worked hard to bring down cases - and they are not losing that battle. Well done to all involved.
Never doubt that we can win this - even against the DELTA B1617.2 variant. 

Yesterday 15,000 doses of the Pfizer jab were available at Twickenham Stadium, at a walk-in vaccination centre for anyone aged 30 or over in North West London. It is part of surge efforts against B1617.2, DELTA, the variant first identified in India. 

The World Health Organisation has authorised, or 'validated' the Chinese manufactured Sinovac-CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. This will allow many countries to immediately begin using it.
CoronaVac uses an inactivated portion of COVID to teach the body what to recognise, and fight.
"Vaccine efficacy results showed that the vaccine prevented symptomatic disease in 51% of those vaccinated and prevented severe COVID-19 and hospitalization in 100% of the studied population."

World Heath Organisation 3 factors to help make safer choices - location proximity time

Vietnam has an exciting variant which might end up being the next one with a name.
The variant looks like it may be a hybrid of the UK ALPHA and Indian DELTA Variants, and it really could be a bit of a robust and catchy thing. Their Health Ministry will have further information for us soon, but in a lab it looks like it could be more transmissible, and that it replicates very quickly.
China have tightened the border, and Vietnam have suspended international flights into Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. They intend to test all 13m Ho Chi Minh residents.
Over the course of the whole pandemic Vietnam have reported 7,572 cases, but 4.5k of those have been in the last 4 1/2 weeks.

New variants really are ruining the best laid plans. Several countries which were hailed as a success last year and have been living their normal lives, are now having a sudden disaster.
Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Laos & Vietnam have joined India and Nepal with outbreaks that are growing incredibly rapidly. 

There are rumours that the English government is considering adding 30 minutes to the end of every school day in order that pupils "catch up".
If you've ever worked in a school, you'll already be thinking about just how much work you get from the kids by mid-afternoon.
For some pupils this would work a treat, for others it's just added time on the end of a school day that lost their attention a couple of hours earlier.
Sadly this may yet again be an idea which most benefits the pupils who don't need it, and misses the ones who do. 

The Big Issue are warning that with the end of the ban on UK evictions, around 1m households could be at risk of losing their homes. Around 1/2 million renters are now behind with payments, and many millions of people are still on furlough. Even if you have managed to pay your rent each month, you may not be safe. House prices in some areas have altered massively (both up and down depending on location), and the house market is really quite vibrant, as the more business-orientated attempt to shuffle their money into prime locations. 

Average time taken for different stages of COVID illness

The UK may be scrapping thoughts of a domestic vaccine passport for large events, as its likely to prove impossible to make legally binding. As a rule the UK do attempt to be inclusive, but when a lot of people simply can't be vaccinated, that gets very tricky.
We were watching Israel, where the COVID passes have worked very well, but actually they're considering dropping it now that most people have been vaccinated anyway,  so potentially it could be a short-lived thing in the UK too. 

The US FDA have given emergency use authorisation to a new antibody drug from Vir Biotechnology and GlaxoSmithKline.
Sotrovimab protects against severe COVID in high-risk patients with mild to moderate disease, reducing risk by a whopping 85% in trials. The paper hasn't yet been published or peer-reviewed, but safety test data is all there, so it seems sensible to fast-track this one. 

The Copa América soccer tournament has been moved from Argentina and Colombia. Argentina currently have high numbers of cases, have cancelled all football and are in lockdown, and Colombia has a lot of political unrest.
The tournament has been moved to Brazil, which ridiculously has twice as much COVID per head as Argentina does, and massive demonstrations against President Bolsonaro.
What could possibly go wrong?...   

During stay at home orders, most of us people with boobies have discovered the joys of not wearing a bra (oh yes). Around 1/3 of us aren't strapping ourselves in every day, and the younger you are, the more likely you are not to. A YouGov poll also found that we are less likely to change our clothes every day. There is some redemption, we are brushing our teeth more often. 

I hope you've had an excellent Bank Holiday weekend. The UK weather really has been epic, and all of the vitamin D you've absorbed will help your immune system function at it's best. Huge thanks to everyone who wished my partner a happy 50th birthday for Sunday. There were physical people missing, as there have been for all of us over the past 15 months, but there were a lot of smiles and memories made, and plenty of cake.. and no-one went to bed before midnight... It was great.

Some numbers. They all represent people:

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

USA 34,114,420 (+1,274) 609,777 (+10)

India 28,212,727 (+39,072) 332,644 (+735)

Brazil 16,547,674 not yet reported today 462,966

France 5,667,324 not yet reported today 109,528

Turkey 5,256,516 (+7,112) 47,656 (+129)

Russia 5,081,417 (+9,500) 121,873 (+372)

UK 4,490,438 (+3,165) 127,782

Italy 4,220,304 (+2,483) 126,221 (+93)

Germany 3,690,908 (+990) 89,200 (+52)

Spain 3,682,778 (+4,388) 79,983 (+30)

Iran 2,923,823 (+10,687) 80,327 (+171)

Poland 2,872,868 (+588) 73,856 (+111)

Mexico 2,413,742 (+932) 223,568 (+61)

Ukraine 2,204,631 (+2,137) 50,699 (+163)



























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