Tuesday 22 June 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 21st / 22nd June 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 21st / 22nd June 2021.

The UK added 11,625 cases today (up from 7,673 a week earlier) and now has reported a total of 4,651,988 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,019,739 tests yesterday.

There's an I.T. issue, so England's vaccination figures haven't been updated today: At least 43,148,843 people in the UK (81.9% of adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 31,489,240 people (59.8% of adults) had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

1,378 people were in hospital on Sunday 20th (up from 1,136 a week earlier), with 227 using a ventilator yesterday, Monday 21st June (up from 188 a week earlier).

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 27 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 128,008 losses of life in all settings.

Nation / Cases last 7 days / Cases total
Wales 1,091 / 215,380
Scotland 7,302 / 257,742
Northern Ireland 928 / 125,084
England 53,242 / 4,053,782

Rep. Of Ireland 269,321 cases and 4,979 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 179,693,775 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 3,891,246. Already 164,383,401 people have recovered.

Health workers - stress is not a sign that you are weak or can't do your job

Couple of deliberate mistakes in the post on Sunday - well done to everyone who spotted that it was in fact Ascot, not Cheltenham, which took place last weekend (can't think why I had Cheltenham on my mind...) and the young maskless person asked to sit at the back of a theme park ride was apparently a young lady. (Apologies if that was you!)
I blame it all on the kids, and father's day, and the weather probably. 

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed today that “no part of the country will change level next week”. Current restrictions will stay in place until at least 19th July.

The UK Gov are teaming up with Reddit, TikTok, YouTube and Snapchat, to encourage people to get the COVID vaccination. Users can have special "I've been vaccinated" icons and stickers, and information and links to the NHS and other authority sources will be available. 

Today's Bingo winners are in Leeds. Congratulations to the residents and people who work in Headingley & Hyde Park, and Little London & Woodhouse. Please apply for your free PCR test online, or by ringing 119. 

Boris has announced a new project - The Office for Science and Technology Strategy will be based in the Cabinet Office and aims to make best use of the UK's strengths in these areas. It will be led by familiar briefing regular, Sir Patrick Vallance.

There are some warnings that because of lockdown and really low levels of flu over the past few years, and virtually none during lockdown, we will start to lose some of our immunity. If lockdown had been over after 6 months it wouldn't have mattered so much, but sustained back-pressure against transmission of COVID means a lot less people have caught flu over the last 18 months. While some of them may have bought some time, it is potentially a bit of a tragedy-in-waiting, and if we are fully reopen this Winter without restrictions, flu patients could potentially be filling hospitals alone.  

220621 covid vaccinations

And following on from the previous story, The Independent have discovered that several A&E departments are having their busiest EVER month, and it isn't because they're full of COVID patients. People waiting a long time for treatment are beginning to become ill.
"Elective surgery" basically includes anything that isn't immediately life saving, so if you wait many months or even a year to get to the front of the queue, your symptoms might see you in hospital as an emergency before your turn comes up.

"1,008,472 appointments were booked in just two days, as the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme opened up to all adults — that's over 21,000 every hour, or six every second!"
The UK NHS staggered by their own success there.
All adults in England and Wales are now eligible to book your vaccination, or pop along to a local walk-in session. Remember that ANY adult can have a vaccination, without having to show an NHS number, or even papers to say you can be in the UK, and in most areas, for most people, second doses can be from 8 weeks after the first. 

Apparently Boris will announce on Monday if the remaining UK-wide restrictions can be lifted early, and he's expected to say no. So that's a rumour to nothing really, and I'm unsure why it made headlines - possibly so that the papers can discuss the probability for the next 5 days. "Ooooh, waddayathink?" "No."

After Dominic Cummings' bitter public break up with Boris, Matt Hancock is receiving a grilling every time he sticks his head above the parapet. On telly this morning he was asked what it's like "to work for a boss who thinks you're a utterly useless?". (I believe Boris' actual words were "Totally f%*&ing hopeless".)
How would anyone feel? And then how would they feel if the entire UK laughed and pointed? I'm not really a fan of Matt myself, and he is partly responsible for the premature deaths of around 150,000 people, but he's actually a human person, and we are better than this. We all say things in private that could be 'better put', and picking on an easy target who has no scope to fight back is below all of us.

Matt Hancock did say this morning that he is in discussions about quarantine-free travel for Amber List countries.
Looking around the world, full vaccination (or recovery plus at least 1 vax) plus negative PCR tests seems to be fairly standard.

Fake NHS texts about vaccinations. Call 119 to book if unsure

Brazilian President Bolsonaro is continuing his descent. Not into anything specific, just complete descent. He initially referred to COVID as 'a little flu', and when Brazil had recorded 260,000 losses of life (which was only in March 2021), he told the population to "stop whining".
There have been huge demonstrations, and on Sunday activists placed stakes holding 500 red roses on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, to symbolise the 500,000 Brazilians who have so far been reported to have died from COVID.

Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour has tested positive for COVID-19 barely hours after winning Man Of The Match in the European Cup game against England. He now has to self-isolate for 10 days and will miss a very important football match against Croatia.
England's Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount also have to self-isolate after interacting with him (hugging and bants) at the end of the match (idiots).... They will also miss a not quite so important football match, around about now. 

Matt Hancock has said quite a lot the last 48 hours. He says that the Government are working on their COVID booster shot plan, and we will be told about it in the coming weeks. It's anticipated people will start receiving boosters around September/October (possibly after a  Summer rollout for children and young people aged 12-17). The UK's trial to see if it's more effective to have a different booster shot to your original vaccine is due to end in September, so early results will be available by then at minimum.

Wired has a great article about the Delta Variant and how it caught scientists off-guard. They had expected the next more threatening strain to evolve from the Alpha Variant (UK/Kent), but Delta came from pretty much nowhere.
Possibly it was nice and easy to watch the UK, because we sequence around 4,000 positive samples each day, but we really don't have a clue what is going on elsewhere in much of the world.... 

All adults in England can order COVID Lateral flow tests

From 5th July fully vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents will no longer have to quarantine for 14 days when they go home.
This does NOT apply to foreign nationals, and the Canada-US border remains closed to anything but essential travel by residents until at least July 21.
Vaccination targets for lifting restrictions are 75% of people with at least 1 dose, and 20% fully vaccinated. Several provinces have already achieved those targets. 

German Ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel is a scientist and a very interesting person. She had her second COVID jab the other day, and chose Moderna, despite her first jab being Astra-Zeneca... Hmmmm...
There are at least 3 studies, and they all suggest mixing AstraZeneca and Pfizer gave as good an immune response, and possibly even better, than 2 doses of Pfizer. Obviously it's early days and we don't know how it'll perform over time, but we don't know that for any vaccinations beyond 6 or 7 months.
Some other countries have also authorised this 'mix and match' strategy, including Canada, Spain, France, Norway and Denmark.
The UK's study into mix and match jabs, and different booster shots, is due to give us some more answers next month. 

Thailand has trained a whole group of COVID sniffer dogs, and they intend to send them out and about in crowded places, to detect folk with COVID amongst the throngs.
COVID sniffer dogs are already being used, mainly in airports. They're said to be around 95% accurate, but there are some concerns from animal welfare people, as dogs can catch COVID - although they aren't generally very ill. 

The EURO 2020 semi-finals and final will be held at London's Wembley Stadium, and it will be at 75% capacity, with over 60,000 fans. That is one heck of a test... So far, most of these pilot events are actually going very well. 

Cases are going up in much of the UK, but hospitalisations are not following in the same pattern as before. Vaccinations ARE working. The NHS Volunteers need more recruits in many areas across England, to help the COVID-19 vaccination programme. You can find out if help is needed in your area, and sign up at NHSVolunteerResponders dot org dot uk

Some numbers. All know how it feels to be afraid of the dark:

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

India 30,002,691 (+29,234) 389,661 (+393)

Russia 5,350,919 (+16,715) 130,347 (+546)

Indonesia 2,018,113 (+13,668) 55,291 (+335)

Iran 3,117,336 (+11,716) 83,217 (+116)

UK 4,651,988 (+11,625) 128,008 (+27)

Turkey 5,381,736 (+6,143) 49,293 (+57)

Iraq 1,298,703 (+6,003) 16,935 (+25)

Bangladesh 861,150 (+4,846) 13,702 (+76)

Malaysia 705,762 (+4,743) 4,554 (+77)

Thailand 225,365 (+4,059) 1,693 (+35)

Spain 3,768,691 (+4,040) 80,719 (+30)

Nepal 626,343 (+3,703) 8,813 (+41)

Philippines 1,367,894 (+3,666) 23,809 (+60)

Chile 1,525,663 (+3,440) 31,690 (+45)

Zambia 133,659 (+3,028) 1,744 (+53)







Daily hospital admissions 








"England’s Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount isolating after Scotland’s Gilmour tests positive for COVID-19" https://twitter.com/i/events/1406907340255731726



Nicola - https://twitter.com/i/events/1407268863704662016








Canada - https://twitter.com/i/events/1407017597078413318


Sniffer Dogs - https://twitter.com/i/events/1406993322170798082

Wembley - https://twitter.com/i/events/1407344321544605696



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