Friday 25 June 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Friday 25th June 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Friday 25th June 2021.

The UK added 15,810 today and now has reported a total of 4,699,868 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,068,088 tests yesterday.

The counter says 43,877,861 people (83.3% of UK adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 32,085,916 people (60.9%) had received 2 doses.

1,485 people were in hospital on Wednesday 23rd, with 259 using a ventilator yesterday, 24th June.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 18 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 128,066 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 270,477 (+380) cases and 4,989 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 180,910,091 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 3,919,082. Already 165,531,010 people have recovered.

WHO GET vaccinated even if you've had COVID

"The R range for England is 1.2 to 1.4 and the growth rate range for England is +3% to +5% per day as of 25 June 2021."
What this means is that, although cases are going up, the rate in which they're going up is staying fairly steady. It could be worse.

"From 4am Wednesday 30 June, Malta, Madeira, the Balearic Islands, several UK overseas territories and Caribbean islands (including Barbados) will be added to the government’s green list, having met the necessary criteria to be reclassified.
All additions to the green list apart from Malta will also join the ‘green watchlist’, as will Israel and Jerusalem - signalling that these countries are at risk of moving from green to amber.
The full list of countries to be added to the red list includes Eritrea, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Mongolia, Tunisia and Uganda."
This will be kept under review "to protect public health as the top priority". Red list countries "present a high public health risk to the UK from known variants of concern (VOC), known high-risk variants under investigation (VUI) or as a result of very high in-country or territory prevalence of COVID-19".

The Sun has reported that Health Minister Matt Hancock has had an extra-marital affair. I'm here to talk about COVID, so my main opinion on the matter is "Ouch! Someone really has decided to make you scapegoat haven't they Matt?"
Matt has responded:
“I accept that I breached the social distancing guidance in these circumstances. I have let people down and am very sorry. I remain focused on working to get the country out of this pandemic, and would be grateful for privacy for my family on this personal matter.”
Boris Johnson's office responded with:
"The Prime Minister has accepted the Health Secretary's apology and considers the matter closed"
Our very own Prime Minister, Matt's boss, has just married the latest (as far as we know) woman he had an affair with, and refuses to tell us how many children he has. Dominic Cummings went for an eye test to Barnard Castle and Professor Neil Ferguson had an affair, during lockdown.
Now. Back to the pandemic. 
None of them worked on COVID alone. No one person is responsible for the catalogue of errors that have been made by the UK Government so far, no one person gave away all of our money to their mates on emergency pandemic clauses, no one person left borders open so that dignitaries could visit, and no one person is responsible for every time we've had some bad luck just as we were doing well. 

WHO 2of2 GET vaccinated even if you've had COVID

Also. It's a deflection. Case numbers are now pretty high and we're clearly into a wave. We've had over 85,000 new cases reported in the last week, and that could get significantly higher if Delta proves to be as catchy among vaccinated people as it looks.
Hospital admissions for COVID are still really low. Vaccinations have made a huge difference, and we really REALLY need it to stay that way. It should, but a small percentage of a very large number can still be a very large number.
Over the last couple of weeks A&E admissions are going up. And up. Several hospitals have reported their busiest day ever over the past few days.
And it isn't COVID. Word is that it's people waiting for treatment, who normally would have been seen weeks or months ago. Official word seems to be suggesting it's parents taking children who only really needed treatment at home.
The NHS backlog, possibly coupled with public understanding that their small child might have Delta (or hayfever), is having a dramatic effect on our emergency visits, and it's really happened quite quickly - just over the last few weeks.
If your child needs medical attention - get medical attention. If it's an emergency, dial 999, otherwise ring 111, or if it isn't urgent, your GP.
NHS staff have had one heck of an 18 months, in many places they haven't had a break from the pressure and are still exhausted. They're demoralised, shouted at by scared relatives, and still they're out there saving lives. But they can't go any quicker. This situation is not going to just go away, and all of the COVID restrictions in the world won't really slow it down. No wonder the head of the NHS just resigned.

Dido Harding, ex head of the ridiculously expensive poo show that is English/Welsh Test and Trace, is among people applying to be next head of the NHS.
Let's be honest. Whoever gets that job will be in place as a stooge, to take a ton of abuse, and then move on quietly within the next 18 months.
Best of luck Dido (I feel she earned it.) 

250621 Test and Trace stats to date

Test and Trace has lost track of 550m COVID tests. They were sent out and no results ever returned (you know you are meant to report lateral flow tests whether they are negative OR positive, right?).
Test and Trace also failed to even talk to to over 100,000 people who had tested positive for COVID.
There are a catalogue of errors in the latest report, and they've been given until October to sort it out. Most importantly, over half the staff in head office are consultants. Consultants can often charge a UK average annual wage for a couple of week's work. Why are they still there?  Test & Trace is over a year old now. Unless these people are all from Singapore to explain how to do it properly (they're not), what the heck are they consulting anyone about?

At today's WHO briefing Dr Mike Ryan again asked wealthier countries to please donate whatever vaccines they can to poorer countries.
“Many countries in the South are much better than countries in the North at delivering mass population-based vaccination. They've proven it again and again, with yellow fever, with meningitis, with cholera, with Ebola, with polio, with measles.
The problem is lack of access to vaccines, and that's causing a two track pandemic. Highly vaccinated countries are opening up, while other places face surges with severe disease and death. That's the reality now.
So let's be real.
What we need is vaccines."
Estimates suggest that many of the poorest countries will be lucky to be vaccinated before the end of 2023. 

250621 indieSAGE proportion of people with Long COVID

Today's independent SAGE briefing looked at the impact of the pandemic on women. Women are more likely to take on childcare when kids are out of school, and they are more likely to have jobs in affected sectors. Women are far more likely to have lost their income and independence as a result of COVID. The burden of caring for the sick more often falls on women. They themselves are more likely to survive, but more women are likely to suffer Long COVID. They are more likely to be bereaved and left to cope alone after COVID. Wherever you look in the world, this is overwhelmingly true. COVID is NOT a leveller.
Cases are going up rapidly across the UK, with the exception of Northern Ireland, and the percentage of tests coming back positive is going up.
The good news is that COVID hospital admissions are fairly flat in most of England. In the North West they've actually dropped significantly. We do have a couple of wild cards though - In the South West, and North East & Yorkshire they've risen significantly. I think NHS Trust folks will be having a closer look at that. Really we want to find out, why? Is it purely the effect of a local increase in cases over the last 2 weeks?
We have a lot of pupils off school for COVID reasons. It's actually reaching the same levels as March (before the Easter holidays). Case numbers are still highest among those 10-29 years old.
Long COVID levels are highest if you are female, more disadvantaged, and/or younger.
We won't be able to 'live with' high levels of local transmission, it's still disruptive, and the burden from Long COVID will be a lot to carry forward. 

After a review of available evidence, The World Health Organisation have approved the use of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine in children aged 12+. The US CDC approved the vaccine for young people in the USA a few months ago. Some trials, including those in the UK, are still ongoing. 

250621 indieSAGE pupil absence over time in England

We've got some results from the UK's pilot studies of mass events. Reality is that it seems that they weren't strict enough with the people who attended...
No real surprises. Just 28 people have so far been identified who were potentially infectious at events, and contact tracing has taken place.
"However, these figures should be interpreted with extreme caution given the very low return rate of pre- and post-event PCR tests (only 15% returned both tests), the low prevalence at the time of the studies and the lack of a comparator group for the studies."
Only 15%??? What the heck? Are we meant to base some sort of confidence on this?
They concluded (and this is really no surprise) that some people who are infectious will slip though events reliant on lateral flow testing within 72 hours.
Indoor events where people are free to mingle have so far proven to be the least COVID-safe (again, no surprises).
Excitingly they measured CO2 in the crowd areas, and at the beginning and end of the snooker matches at The Crucible, the crowd cheering and shouting raised the CO2 in the room to up to 1 1/2 times the normal quiet level. That CO2 is people breathing out. This is why COVID loves a choir.

Hoax of the Day:
Blood clots, vaccination and flying.
All the scientists say having a COVID vaccination WON'T increase your risk of blood clots from flying.
Imagine the vaccine could set fire to your hand, and so could fire. It's like that. They're different things. Blood clots from flying are caused mainly by sitting for long periods on an aeroplane. There's no evidence nor anything to suggest that blood clots as an incredibly rare immune-response side-effect from a vaccination could have any link to blood clots from flying. 

250621 indieSAGE cases heat map by age

Although their officially reported figure is 393,508 losses of life to COVID, estimates suggest India has actually lost around 2.4m people.
Despite our arrogance and it being 2021, we will never know just how many people COVID stole time from, although it has taken some time from all of us. 

A new study released today by Dr David L Roberts and Kent University suggests that COVID could have started spreading in China as early as early October, and they believe probably around November 17th. (When we look at how we've seen outbreaks occur, that certainly matches).
They also believe "the first case outside of China occurred in Japan on 3 January 2020, the first case in Europe occurred in Spain on 12 January 2020, and the first case in North America occurred in the United States on 16 January 2020".

No running on stairs with scissors, or using power tools you can't name.
HOWEVER if you are really ill, or have unexplained severe pain, new shortness of breath, headache that lasts 3 days or keeps getting worse, or any of that sort of thing, GET MEDICAL ATTENTION. Ring 111, or if you suspect someone's life may be in danger, ring 999. It IS what the NHS is for. 

I shall end with an excellent update, courtesy of the Editor of the Health Services Journal, Alistair McLellan, at about 4.30pm today:
"NEW: The number of covid+ patients in English hospitals has basically stayed the same for five consecutive days (1290, 1301, 1255, 1274 and 1284) 21-25 June"
And this is in spite of Delta Variant being more severe. Vaccinations really work. They might not stop a lot of us from catching it and passing it on, but they ARE preventing people from becoming seriously ill. Now we just have to get them to everybody who will take one... EVERYBODY. And we need to get cases down in Scotland... 

It's the weekend! Hurrah. I think this would have been Glastonbury weekend, so torrential rain is to be expected. I hope you get some time off, and don't forget your treat - just for you. That's another week ticked off, another 1,417,229 People jabbed, and another 1,187,449 double jabbed. We have definitely pulled another step forward, despite Delta Variant's best efforts. We WILL win this race.

Dance In The Rain, Remote High 5, Save The NHS.

Some numbers. All people, very much like you:

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

Russia 5,409,088 (+20,393) 132,064 (+601)

Indonesia 2,072,867 (+18,872) 56,371 (+422)

UK  4,699,868 (+15,810) 128,066 (+18)

India 30,149,163 (+15,746) 393,508 (+170)

Iran 3,150,949 (+10,820) 83,588 (+115)

Philippines 1,385,053 (+6,812) 24,152 (+116)

Bangladesh 878,804 (+5,869) 13,976 (+108)

Malaysia 722,659 (+5,812) 4,803 (+82)

Turkey 5,398,878 (+5,630) 49,473 (+56)

Chile 1,537,471 (+5,599) 32,012 (+215)

Mexico 2,493,087 (+5,340) 232,068 (+221)

Iraq 1,316,418 (+5,325) 17,033 (+34) 

Spain 3,782,463 (+4,924) 80,779 (+13)

Thailand 236,291 (+3,644) 1,819 (+44) 





Daily hospital admissions

Image link -

indieSAGE -

Pfizer for kids:

Poorer countries vaccines :

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