Tuesday 15 June 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 14th / 15th June 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 14th / 15th June 2021.

The UK added 7,673 cases today (up from 6,048 a week earlier) and now has reported a total of 4,581,006 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 930,123 tests yesterday.

The counter says 41,831,056 people (79.4% of adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 30,209,707 people (57.4% of adults) have received 2 doses and will be considered fully vaccinated in 2 weeks time.

1,136 people were in hospital on Sunday (up from 957 a week earlier), with 188 using a ventilator yesterday (up from 148 a week earlier).

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 127,917 losses of life in all settings.

Nation / Cases Total / Cases Last 7 Days / Cases per 100k population in the last 7 days:
Wales 214,102 / 698 / 22.1
Scotland 248,515 / 6,215 / 113.8
Northern Ireland 123,981 / 633 / 33.4
England 3,994,408 / 39,321 / 69.9

Rep. Of Ireland 267,061 cases and 4,941 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 177,191,169 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 3,832,150. Already 161,485,802 people have recovered.

Matt Hancock says all adults will be offered a dose by 19th July

"More than 10,000 people are dying every day. During this press conference alone, more than 420 people will die. These communities need vaccines, and they need them now, not next year"
Dr Tedros, Head of WHO. 

Boris, after the England Briefing yesterday evening:
"We have faced a very difficult choice. We can simply keep going with all of Step 4 on 21 June even though there is a real possibility that the virus will outrun the vaccines and that thousands more deaths would ensue that could otherwise have been avoided.
We can give our NHS a few more crucial weeks to get those remaining jabs into the arms of those who need them. And since today I cannot say that we have met all four tests for proceeding with Step 4, I do think it is sensible to wait just a little longer.
Now is the time to ease off the accelerator because by being cautious now we have the chance – in the next four weeks – to save many thousands of lives by vaccinating millions more people.
Once the adults have been overwhelmingly vaccinated, which is what we can achieve in a short space of time, we will be in a far stronger position to keep hospitalisations down, to live with this disease & to complete our cautious but irreversible roadmap to freedom."
He's not wrong. And he's been very clear. Unless something dramatic changes the picture, the UK Government decision is to vaccinate, open up, and then live with what we have. 

150621 over 23s can book vaccination

Bad News. The Delta Variant seems around twice as likely to send you to hospital. This is a big blow indeed, but it's information the UK Government had before yesterday's Briefing. The NHS can not cope with double the number of people we had in hospital over January, so thank heavens we have vaccinations now.
Vaccinations may not stop a lot of us catching Delta Variant, but they'll keep most of us out of hospital (and help stop us passing it on).
Yesterday's data found that vaccines are somewhere around 57-85% effective against hospitalisation from Delta after 1 dose, and 85-98% after 2 doses.
Translated into real world figures, the bad news balanced out by the vaccinations means that for every 100 people HOSPITALISED last Autumn in the UK (Alpha variant, no vaccinations), in a Delta (India) wave we'd theoretically have somewhere around:
200 unvaccinated people hospitalised
30-86 single dose people hospitalised
4-30 fully vaccinated people hospitalised
(These aren't percentages of everyone, they're just comparing against 100 hospitalised people last year. Around 8% of unvaccinated COVID patients are admitted to hospital, against Delta that's likely to be around 16%, but with 2 vaccine doses against Delta that reduces to an expected rate of 1.2% at most - blooming marvellous.)
Because we've fully vaccinated the people who were most likely to end up in hospital, the difference made to total hospital admissions should be even clearer, and it'll look pretty grim, because a much larger percentage of those who are seriously ill will be younger, fitter people.
(Expect newspaper headlines pointing that fact out, without explaining the logic.)
Very importantly, far, far more of our hospitalised people should also be going home this time.
(Crikey I hope all that made sense... )

We have yet more updated evidence to back up the previous, with Public Health England analysis suggesting:
- the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96% effective against hospitalisation after 2 doses
- the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalisation after 2 doses
"These are comparable with vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation from the Alpha variant"
"The analysis included 14,019 cases of the Delta variant – 166 of whom were hospitalised – between 12 April and 4 June, looking at emergency hospital admissions in England."

public health England vaccine efficacy against DELTA

The UK Government's data which informed the England Briefing yesterday has breakdowns of case numbers in surge areas. It's very clear that most of those areas which had everything thrown at them earlier on (e.g Bolton, Kirklees, Hounslow, Rossendale) are now seeing reductions in cases. It appears to be working - we can win this race.
Talking of surge testing areas.... today's Bingo winners are Slough Borough Council and Bracknell Forest Council... congratulations. 

The Novovax Vaccine trial has had excellent results.The study enrolled 29,960 participants across 119 sites in the U.S. and Mexico, and according to their press release found:
"93% efficacy against predominantly circulating Variants of Concern and Variants of Interest
91% efficacy in high-risk populations
100% efficacy against variants "not considered Variants of Concern/Interest"
All COVID-19 hospitalizations/death occurred in the placebo group"
There were 77 confirmed cases of COVID. 63 were in the placebo group and 14 in the vaccine group.
All of the cases in the vaccine group were mild. In the placebo group 10 cases were moderate (needed medical care) and four severe (needed hospital admission).
Stat News note that Novovax have stated "there were an additional six people who required hospitalization — one of whom died — in the placebo group. But they were not included in the efficacy analysis because the test results were not evaluated in the trial’s central laboratory".
Sad news to hear, but truly excellent results.
The UK has an order for 60m Novovax Vaccine doses, which will be made by FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies in Stockton-on-Tees, and packaged by GlaxoSmithKline at Barnard Castle.
Once fully operational, the UK operation should be able to produce 180m doses a year. 

Surge areas uk Delta Variant 2nd to 9th June page 1

Delta-AY.1 (Delta with K417N).
Routine scanning of variation in Delta has revealed a small number of cases which have the spike protein mutation K417N. It looks like 2 different lineages have produced the same mutation.
This is a disturbing mutation which looks in a lab as if that specific combination of Delta plus K417Y allows it to bypass antibodies. We have no idea how that's going to pan out in the real world, or if this variant will spread, or fizzle out, but it is the one everyone's currently watching - and I believe it may be the infamous "Nepal Variant" that's been vaguely mentioned by a couple of UK Ministers.
According to the UK Government, (and there is very limited information out there at this point):
"As of 7 June 2021, 63 genomes of Delta with K417N have been identified on GISAID. from Canada (1) Germany (1), Russia (1), Nepal (2), Switzerland (4), India (6), Poland (9), Portugal (12), Japan (13), USA (14).
There are currently 36 cases of Delta-AY.1 in England (35 confirmed and 1 probable) plus an additional 10 cases in other UK nations and some possibles waiting for results. The first 5 cases were found in the West Midlands on 26th April 2021 and were contacts of travellers to Nepal and Turkey."
Cases have been detected in 6 different English regions. "The majority of cases are in younger individuals, with 2 cases of age 60 or over."
Out of the 36 cases (and it doesn't add up to 36 because they can't seem to ever pull all the information together EVER):
- 11 travel associated cases (6 travellers and 5 contacts of travellers).
- 12 cases have no history of travel or contact with travellers.
- 27 have a known vaccination status  - 18 not vaccinated, 2 first dose within 21 days, 5 first dose more than 21 days. 2 cases second dose more than 14 days.
- No deaths have been recorded amongst the 36 cases.
Countries of travel included the full rainbow - red list (Nepal and Turkey), amber list (Malaysia) and green list (Singapore).
This data is over a week old now, so the situation may have altered, but it was NOT mentioned at the UK Gov briefing yesterday, so I'm assuming the best. 

I will NEVER stop being concerned about Long COVID. When I hear someone has COVID, I'm usually not concerned for their life, I'm concerned about the rest of their life.
All signs are that vaccination helps prevent most people ending up with Long COVID - and if you have Long COVID, more people report improvement after vaccination than report symptoms feel worse. 

Surge areas uk Delta Variant 2nd to 9th June page 2

The EU have identified another potential very (VERY) rare side effect to the AstraZeneca vaccine. They have added Capillary Leak Syndrome, and the European Medicines Agency have advised that anyone who has previously suffered from the condition should not use the AstraZeneca vaccine, or Vaxzevria, as they call it.
There have been 6 validated cases in 78m doses administered. One person died. 3 had a history of the condition.
Those odds are incredibly long and slim, but obviously less so if you have history.
The UK has received 8 reports from 40m vaccinations, 2 of those people had previous history of Capillary Leak Syndrome. 

Yesterday English guidelines on Weddings and Wakes were relaxed, and there is no longer a cap on attendees. Here's the gist:
"From 21 June, there will no longer be a maximum number cap for attendees set out in law. Instead, the number of attendees at weddings, civil partnerships and receptions will be determined by how many people the venue or space can safely accommodate with social distancing measures in place. This will be based on the COVID-19 risk assessment of the venue or outdoor space, and the measures put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19."
You can be married/hold a Wake inside a public building with a risk assessment and COVID-safe measures, or in public or private outdoor spaces.
(A marquee or other structure in a private garden must have at least 50% of its walled area open at any time for it to be classed as ‘outdoors’.)
Some standard Level 3 restrictions remain in place, including table service, face coverings, social distancing, and restrictions on dancing and singing.

The Zoe Symptom app. has more comprehensive information regarding symptoms of COVID being slightly different with new Delta Variant. I've talked about this before, because of the word local to me and reports from teachers. 
With original COVID main symptoms were:
Anosmia (loss of smell/taste)
New persistent cough
With Delta Variant infection symptoms are often more general, like a bad cold:
Runny noses and congestion
Sore throat
Anosmia (smell/taste) is no longer a big feature, and many people don't have any cough.
For the majority of people, who will have a mild infection, this makes Delta Variant a lot harder to pick out from among regular Summer colds, and hay-fever. Delta is sneaky. 

30m second vaccine doses administered in the UK 150621

If you have any interest in football at all, then you'll be well aware that Danish star player Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest just before half time during their EURO 2020 group match against Finland. He was given CPR on the pitch and his heart restarted with the first attempt from a defibrillator.
Despite all rumours, his club doctor has confirmed that he had not been vaccinated and has never tested positive for COVID.
He posted a smiling thumbs up selfie from hospital this morning.
Defibrillators (also known as AED) can be life savers, and so can you. 
Public Access Defibrillators (PADs) are located all around the UK - they work almost by themselves and literally anyone can use them in the event of an emergency. There's one fixed to the wall outside a pub near me. To locate your nearest PAD, go to HeartSafe dot org dot uk. 

Delta Variant has caused havoc in India, it has done the same to Nepal, and is spreading around the globe. The variant is growing exponentially in the UK, and we aren't the only ones. It looks like the same may be happening in several US states. America could be the next place with a big outbreak.
The US have lost over 615,000 people to COVID, but since the beginning of the year things have really improved, and they have fully vaccinated 42.6% of the population already. Fingers crossed.

The EU yesterday signed agreement on their Digital COVID Passport (which is also available on paper). The certificate allows citizens movement across the 27 member states, and proves vaccination status, previous infection or negative PCR test within 72 hours before travelling.
(And I didn't even mention Brexit.)

It is never all bad news. Vaccinations really do seem to be our way out of this, and they are performing far better than Sarah Gilbert's* wildest dreams a year ago. I might not shout about the vaccination totals each day, but they are good news - don't forget them.
(*Sarah Gilbert of Oxford Uni, not the actress who played Roseanne's daughter, although who knows? Maybe she had the same dreams.)

The New York Times decided to try a whole new genius tactic to find out the truth about the Wuhan lab leak theories. A journalist just rang them up and asked. Amazingly Shi Zhengli, pretty much the top virologist at the Wuhan lab, spoke to him. She says that speculation about her lab is baseless, but that China's policy and tradition of secrecy makes it really hard to prove. She's right in that. We've already seen that the West now struggle to believe anything that comes out of China...

Some people. They look like numbers, but they're all people:

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

India 29,617,058 (+47,023) 377,061 (not yet reported)

Russia 5,236,593 (+14,185) 127,180 (+379)

Iran 3,049,648 (+10,216) 82,351 (+134)

Indonesia 1,927,708 (+8,161) 53,280 (+164)

UK 4,581,006 (+7,673) 127,917 (+10)

Turkey 5,342,028 (+5,955) 48,879 (+84)

Malaysia 667,876 (+5,419) 4,069 (+101)

Philippines 1,327,431 (+5,389) 22,963 (+118)

Iraq 1,264,301 (+4,618) 16,762 (+26)

Chile 1,487,239 (+4,576) 30,865 (+61)

Bangladesh 833,291 (+3,319) 13,222 (+50)

Thailand 202,264 (+3,000) 1,485 (+19)

Zambia 115,824 (+2,690) 1,444 (+28)

Mongolia 80,733 (+2,386) 380 (+11)

Bolivia 409,106 (+2,152) 15,614 (+72)

UAE 601,950 (+2,127) 1,734 (+4)

Oman 238,566 (+2,126) 2,565 (+33)




Defibrillator locations UK:

data on DELTA Variant -

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I read every one and try my best to reply!