Thursday 24 June 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 23rd / 24th June 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 23rd / 24th June 2021.

The UK added 16,703 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,684,572 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,150,834 tests yesterday.

The counter says 43,656,327 people (82.9%) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 31,908,103 people (60.6%) had received 2 doses and will be fully vaccinated from 2 weeks after their 2nd dose.

1,533 people were in hospital on Tuesday 22nd, with 246 using a ventilator yesterday, 23rd June.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 21 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 128,048 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 270,097 (+304) cases and 4,989 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 180,555,472 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 3,911,136. Already 165,251,093 people have recovered.

240621 UK test and trace stats to date

"The COVID19 situation in Africa is worrisome. Both the number of cases & deaths are almost 40% higher than the week before.
Vaccines donated next year will be too late for those who are dying, infected, or at risk today. VaccinEquity - if not now, when?"
Dr Tedros, Head of WHO, reminding us that fortune often depends entirely on where you were born.
In Europe 25% of people are fully vaccinated and 14% are partly vaccinated.
In Africa 1% of people are fully vaccinated and 2% partly vaccinated.
Most of the cases sequenced from Congo (DRC) and Uganda over the last month have been Delta Variant. 

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control on Wednesday issued really strong warnings about Delta Variant. (NPIs are masks, distancing, government restrictions etc, anything that isn't actually medical treatment):
"In a scenario of 50% gradual reduction of non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI) measures by 1 September, SARS-CoV-2 incidence is expected to increase in all age groups, with the highest incidence in those less than 50 years.
Modelling scenarios indicate that any relaxation over the summer months of the stringency of non-pharmaceutical measures that were in place in the EU/EEA in early June could lead to a fast and significant increase in daily cases in all age groups, with an associated increase in hospitalisations, and deaths, potentially reaching the same levels of the autumn of 2020 if no additional measure are taken."

Director of the USA's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (and Donald Trump's arch-nemesis), Dr Anthony Fauci, last night said that the Delta Variant now accounts for around 20% of newly diagnosed cases in the US, and WILL become the dominant COVID strain within the next few weeks.
Last Friday Delta accounted for around 10% of cases, up from 6% the week before. That really is a very quick doubling time. 

On Monday the ban on non-essential travel between Scotland, and Manchester and Salford came into force. On Wednesday EasyJet said they wouldn't be starting their planned new routes - Manchester to Aberdeen and Manchester to Edinburgh. Ooops...

"A vaccine international certification scheme will go live in Northern Ireland on or before 19th July - Department of Health."
So says David Blevins of Sky News.
Northern Ireland updated their Green List for international travellers a little while ago. They appear to have mainly added Caribbean islands, the Balearic Islands, British Antarctic and Malta. 

240621 WHO regions case update table

Delta Plus (Delta-AY.1 / Delta with K417N) has had a lot of headlines. I mentioned this on Tuesday last week, and yesterday the Indian government upgraded it to a Variant Of Concern. They've detected cases in 3 different states - so it is spreading there, at least to some extent.
If you recall from last week, it looks likely this mutation has occurred separately at least twice. It is Delta, which has faster transmission and stronger binding to lung cells than Alpha (UK Kent) PLUS the K417N mutation. K417N is associated with escape from vaccines and antibodies, and reduces efficacy of some monoclonal antibody drugs. 
The latest update suggests that 41 cases of Delta Plus have so far been detected in the UK. 

Matt Hancock, UK Health Secretary today:
"Just want to thank the team at Our World In Data for their amazing work during the crisis.
Another success from Oxford University funded by the U.K. Government.
It’s the best international Covid site in the world - I use it almost every day."
It is an excellent site, and now I know that it's publicly-funded, I can use their images. Awesome. 

A lot of people have reported that after having the COVID vaccination their periods have been messed up - their cycle is longer or shorter, heavier or lighter, or more painful etc. There's no real research been done into this, but we know lots of things can affect your menstrual cycle, including stress. We're all under mental stress, being vaccinated is full of emotion for a lot of people, and actually giving your body a vaccination puts it under some physical stress. Even if it's just deemed to be 'something that happens', it would be nice to see some research done to suggest ways to help. It might be useful even when we aren't being vaccinated during a pandemic. 

Our world in data vaccine coverage by continent

Talking of vaccinations. The US FDA have some initial results from their rollout of Pfizer vaccine for young people aged 12+.
"As of May 31 (5 am), 46,533 persons age 12–15 years were registered and submitted at least one health check-in during days 0–7 after dose 1 Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination"
Around 65% of young people who reported side effects said they had injection site pain. Only 3.2% of reports were considered 'serious', but they included 789 reports of myocarditis/pericarditis (heart inflammation). 216 after 1 dose, and 573 after the 2nd dose.
Pfizer-BioNTech (488 total reports)
Dose 1 - 116
Dose 2 - 372
Moderna (301 total reports)
Dose 1 - 100
Dose 2 - 201
Most of the cases are very mild, and go away on their own. Full records were only available for 285 of the young people:
"270 discharged; 15 still hospitalized (3 in intensive care unit*)
• Of 270 discharged
-  246 (91%) to home
- 3 to another facility (e.g., rehabilitation facility)
- 21 did not specify
• Of 270 discharged, recovery status was known for 221
- 180 (81%) had full recovery of symptoms
- 41 (19%) had ongoing signs or symptoms or unknown status
Although this is incredibly rare, as a result the US FDA and CDC will add a warning to both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, to say that there is a 'likely link' with rare cases of heart inflammation in teenagers and young adults. 

Still use protective measures, even after your vaccine the World Health Organisation

Angela Merkel isn't happy, she thinks everyone arriving in the EU from the UK should quarantine because of the Delta Variant. Germany and the whole of Europe have already really suffered under Alpha (Kent), so they're not keen on Delta. 

The UK's REACT Study has some pretty stark results. Know anyone with Long COVID? I know several people, and it's hardly a surprise because they found 1 in every 3 people with COVID is still suffering symptoms at least 3 months later.
"37.7% of 76,155 symptomatic people post COVID-19 experienced at least one symptom, while 14.8% experienced three or more symptoms, lasting 12 weeks or more."
People were more likely to report Long COVID if they had been more poorly when they had COVID, and if they were women, followed by smokers, vapers or people who are overweight. Asian people were less likely to report Long COVID than other ethnic groups.
"Almost a third of people 8,771/28,713 (30.5%) with at least one symptom lasting 12 weeks or more reported having had severe COVID-19 symptoms (“significant effect on my daily life”) at the time of their illness."
There are 2 distinct groups of Long COVID patients.
"One group was characterised by respiratory symptoms like shortness of breath, tight chest and chest pain, and in this group more people had reported severe COVID-19 symptoms. In the other group the predominant symptoms were tiredness often with muscle aches, and difficulty sleeping."

The Guardian has covered the Long COVID story. They have interviews with people who caught COVID months ago, and are about to run out of sick pay. This poses a real problem to people who rely on their brains or bodies for work, and who are not performing at the same speed or strength as before. We all know that Statutory Sick Pay isn't actually enough for a human to live on, and it could prove incredibly costly all round for as long as it lasts.
(I always told you I was concerned about Long COVID...) 

Everyone gets caught out sometimes, and this week it's the Australia's New South Wales Health Minister, Brad Hazzard. He's in isolation after potentially being exposed to COVID-19. He got 'the text'.
Officials are struggling to control an outbreak in Greater Sydney. Masks are now mandatory in indoor public settings, and inessential travel out of the area banned.
Australia reported 26 new cases earlier today, and have a total of 30,404 cases. They have so far lost 910 people. 

European CDC advice against Delta - one dose is not enough

A brand new COVID-19 sniffing machine is being tested at Teesside International Airport and a primary school in Darlington. Kromek also built an emergency ventilator earlier in the pandemic. Best of luck with the sniffer... 

Silverstone racing circuit will have a full crowd for the Formula 1 Grand Prix next month, as part of the UK Government's mass event trials. One of the first to run at full capacity.
"Ticket holders will be asked for either proof of a negative lateral flow test taken within 48 hours of arrival at Silverstone. Or, proof of full vaccination, the second dose having been received at least 14 days prior to the first day of attending the British Grand Prix."

UK Minister for Commuting and Jollies, Grant Shapps, was expected to be announcing changes to the UK (England and Wales) travel restrictions today, and I hung on a bit just in case, but there's nothing so far.... I expect Boris et al are all currently on the phone, and it'll be within 10 minutes of me going live. Guaranteed. Expect similar to Northern Ireland... probably. Tell you tomorrow...

Some numbers. All are there to represent an individual human being:

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

India 30,132,958 (+50,789) 393,328 (+955)

Indonesia 2,053,995 (+20,574) 55,949 (+355)

Russia 5,388,695 (+20,182) 131,463 (+568)

UK 4,684,572 (+16,703) 128,048 (+21)

Iran 3,140,129 (+11,734) 83,473 (+144)

Iraq 1,311,093 (+6,093) 16,999 (+31)

Bangladesh 872,935 (+6,058) 13,868 (+81)

Philippines 1,378,260 (+6,043) 24,036 (+108)

Malaysia 716,847 (+5,841) 4,721 (+84)

Turkey 5,393,248 (+5,703) 49,417 (+59)

Mexico 2,487,747 (+4,963) 231,847 (+342)

Spain 3,777,539 (+4,507) 80,766 (+18)

Thailand 232,647 (+4,108) 1,775 (+31)

Zambia 140,620 (+3,594) 1,855 (+61)

Mongolia 102,629 (+2,366) 482 (+13)

Bolivia 426,748 (+2,270) 16,329 (+86) 





Daily hospital admissions

Africa -

 Weekly WHO update:

Heart inflammation:

Overview of UK :

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