Sunday 20 June 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 19th / 20th June 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 19th / 20th June 2021.

The UK added 9,284 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,630,040 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,034,415 tests yesterday.

The counter says 42,964,013 people (81.6% of UK adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 31,340,507 people (59.5% of UK adults) had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

1,316 people were in hospital on Thursday 17th, with 210 people using a ventilator.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 6 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 127,976 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 269,048 (+288) cases and 4,941 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 179,127,503 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 3,879,122. Already 163,675,395 people have recovered.

All adults in England can order COVID Lateral flow tests. Beardy man grinning while combing young girl's hair

"Fantastic news that over 700,000 jabs were booked on Friday, when we opened vaccinations up to ages 18-20.
It’s great to see young people stepping up and playing their part in the national effort.
When you get the call, get the jab."
Matt Hancock, UK Health Secretary.
(Young people have been stepping up and playing their part since March 2020 Matt, and I for one appreciate how hard its been for them, so choose your words more carefully - but hurrah on the vaccination bookings!)

The surge testing winners today are you lucky folk in Lambeth and Cumbria. Whoot.
"Following a rise in cases of the Delta COVID19 variant, we are deploying additional testing for:
12-30 year olds in Cumbria
and everyone in these targeted areas of Lambeth:
West Norwood

People from Manchester and Salford are not allowed inessential travel to Scotland, and vice versa. The new travel restrictions are due to the high level of cases in those areas (and not because we wanted to go and see my partner's parents).

Andy Burnham, Manchester Mayor, is very angry that Nicola Sturgeon barred inessential travellers. He is particularly annoyed that Nicola didn't discuss it with him first:
"It's double standards, it's as simple as that. It's hypocrisy... I'll be writing to the First Minister today, I'll be asking for compensation for the individuals who might lose holidays and the businesses who might lose bookings."
I do totally appreciate that a lot of people are going to be unhappy at this announcement, but it's not entirely unprecedented. As I've said many times, if you book anything, especially out of your own area, especially in another country, you may find it being cancelled at short notice and you must bear that in mind, and be able to cope with it. And hopefully everyone who was planning to come to Manchester or Salford books something in Scotland instead, and vice versa.  

200621 COVID vaccinations UK

The EU took AstraZeneca to court on Friday, to ask for their missing vaccine doses. The court ruled in favour of AstraZeneca,  but also said that AstraZeneca should have used UK plants to fulfil EU delivery commitments earlier. 

Afghanistan is having a disaster. Their health infrastructure is not the best, and as cases start to rise, the Government is desperately attempting to raise domestic oxygen production. They are finding up to 65% of tests come back positive (positivity rate). 

Brazil has now lost over half a million people to COVID. The population is around 214m, so that's 1 in every 428 people. Only 11% of Brazilians have been fully vaccinated so far. 

The worst mortality rate in the world is in Peru, where they have lost almost 1 in every 175 people to COVID. The UK by comparison have lost 1 in every 531 people. 

The Guardian have an article looking into the 'ring of steel' Matt Hancock claimed he had thrown around UK care homes:
"ONS data shows 20,664 care home resident deaths from March 2020 to September 2020, and 21,677 from September 2020 to April 2021."
Yes indeed. More people died from COVID during that second period of time overall, substantially more, but clearly care home residents weren't any more protected than they were in the first wave. 

One man in a mask in the chair donating blood - 2 watching

We haven't heard a lot about multi-system inflammatory syndrome in a while (thank heavens). A new paper just out looks at all of the treatments people have tried, and the outcomes, and sadly didn't spot something which is markedly better than the rest.
This is an incredibly rare condition which occurs mostly in children. The study found 614 children from 32 countries who had developed the condition from June 2020 to February 2021 - from among tens of millions of children who have had confirmed COVID. 56 of the children required ventilation or specialist care, and 12 are known to have died. 

There are rumours that the English Government may be considering changing quarantine rules for fully vaccinated individuals.
I have to point out that 2 vaccinations won't stop a huge amount of people catching Delta, so it doesn't seem entirely wise until we are actually sure we aren't going to have a massive wave and overwhelm hospitals. As someone wise once said:
"A small percentage of a really large number is still a really large number."

Lost Their Fight:
Indian Olympic sprinter Milkha Singh "The Flying Sikh" aged 91.
International Indian Volleyball star, Nirmal Saini, wife of Milkha Singh, aged 82 

A bloke from Yorkshire went to Singapore and was filmed on a train without a mask. They actually enforce laws in many other countries, and he faces up to 6 months in prison. 

Thorpe Park amusement attraction has made the news. A visitor whose 18 year old son is mask-exempt, compared him having to sit as the back of a ride with Rosa Parks.
Rosa Parks was expected to sit at the back of a bus purely because she wasn't white skinned. There was no reason for it, except for some white skinned humans' arrogance and prejudicial hatred.
From a purely scientific point of view, someone not wearing a mask is definitely best placed BEHIND other human beings.
It's actually quite a sensible rule. Imagine walking closely behind my maskless eldest son, while he screams and yells, for the length of a theme park ride. Are you sure you wouldn't catch COVID? (to be fair he's not likely to be contagious any more, he's allowed out today.)

The UK Govt want Delta Variant dealt with swiftly I think - swoosh across the country and get it over and done with. This was their original plan for wild COVID,  and that didn't turn out so well... This is just my personal observation, it isn't based on science. 

180621 indieSAGE vaccinated percent UK nations bar chart

How should you decide whether or not to get a vaccination? Well America has a scary relationship between who you vote for, and whether or not you are vaccinated. A poll by CBS News and YouGov found that:
52% of Republicans said they have had at least 1 dose of a vaccine
77% of Democrats said they have had at least 1 dose of a vaccine
29% of Republicans said they have no intention of getting vaccinated
5% of Democrats have no intention of getting vaccinated.
(For reference, Donald Trump is a Republican.)

The Ebola outbreak in Guinea was declared over yesterday. Massive congratulations to everyone there.
Ebola can live for an exceedingly long time - in unusual places in the human body. A man who had recovered in June 2020 is suspected to have infected his wife in early 2021, when they didn't use barrier contraception.  

The UK blood donation rules have changed, in an effort to be more inclusive. Now everyone is assessed on their own individual sexual behaviour, rather than on 1980's tabloid headlines.
If you'd take it when you needed it, and you can donate, please do. 

Download Festival has taken place over the weekend and 10,000 ticket holders, who could present a negative test before entry, have enjoyed 3 days of singing and dancing and thoroughly enjoying themselves as if COVID doesn't even exist. Sadly it does, and we'll have to wait until the next round of tests before we find out if this mass event trial, or the Cheltenham horse racing, which has also taken place this weekend, has worked okay. Fingers crossed. 

I hope you've had a good weekend - happy Father's Day to all of the people who are a father to anyone else - you rock.
To anyone unable to be the father they want to be, for those of us who have absent fathers, and for all of the families unable to get together this year, it can be a hard day too. Remember it's okay to say so - even out loud. I hope yours was the best it could be.

Some numbers. All people very much just like you:

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

USA 34,402,047 (+335) 617,109 (+26)

India 29,933,497 (+52,145) 388,136 (+1,085)

Brazil 17,883,750 not yet reported today 500,868

France 5,755,496 not yet reported today 110,724

Turkey 5,370,299 (+5,091) 49,185 (+63)

Russia 5,316,826 (+17,611) 129,361 (+450)

UK 4,630,040 (+9,284) 127,976 (+6)

Argentina 4,258,394 not yet reported today 88,742

Italy 4,252,976 (+881) 127,270 (+17)

Colombia 3,917,348 not yet reported today 99,335

Spain 3,757,442 not yet reported today 80,652

Germany 3,729,753 (+196) 90,954 (+1)

Iran 3,095,135 (+8,161) 82,965 (+111)

Poland 2,878,767 (+133) 74,828 (+5)

Mexico 2,475,705 (+3,964) 231,151 (+192)






Daily hospital admissions

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