Tuesday 8 June 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 7th / 8th June 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 7th / 8th June 2021.

The UK added 6,048 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,528,442 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 928,425 tests yesterday.

The counter says 40,573,517 people (77%) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 28,227,362 people (53.6%) had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

957 people were in hospital on Sunday 6th June, with 148 using a ventilator yesterday, 7th June.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 13 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 127,854 official losses of life in all settings.
Up until Friday 28th May, 152,289 people had COVID listed as a cause on their death certificate.

Rep. Of Ireland 264,826 cases and 4,941 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 174,567,089 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 3,756,585. Already 157,901,736 people have recovered.

080621 6 months of the COVID vaccination programme

"6 months.
68,800,879 doses given.
40,573,517 first jabs.
28,227,362 second jabs.
1000s of volunteers.
1 United Kingdom.
Let’s finish the job. Please keep coming forward to get vaccinated when it’s your turn."
Boris Johnson. UK PM. (My partner thinks he's having a dig at Scottish independence at every opportunity. As if.)

From today in England if you're aged 25 or over, or if you turn 25 before 1 July 2021, you can now book your COVID-19 vaccine.

Congratulations to the residents of Calderdale, specifically Todmorden, Park and Warley wards. You are today's winners of some extra surge testing and a doorstep visit from Test & Trace, along with the entire populations of Greater Manchester AND Lancashire.
If you're particularly lucky, members of the armed forces on surprise visits bearing gifts will ring your bell.

Surge Testing PLUS bonuses to try and protect against Delta Variant:
Bedford, Leicester (some areas), Hounslow, North Tyneside, Greater Manchester (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan), Lancashire (Burnley, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Lancaster, Pendle, Preston, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire, Wyre), Blackburn with Darwen, Yorkshire and the Humber, Kirklees

Regular Surge Testing Boroughs:
Brent (targeted areas), Ealing (targeted areas), Harrow (targeted areas), Hillingdon (targeted areas), Redbridge (targeted areas within IG1, IG6 , IG5 and IG7), Sefton (targeted in Formby, Sefton), Hampshire (targeted areas across Hart District, Rushmoor Borough and Surrey border), Reading (targeted areas), Wokingham (targeted areas), Nuneaton, Derbyshire (Gamesley Ward, High Peak), Yorkshire and the Humber, City of Bradford (targeted areas), Calderdale (targeted areas across Todmorden, Park and Warley)

080621 UK NHS COVID vaccines 25 or over

Yesterday Matt Hancock said that out of 12,383 people confirmed to have Delta variant (B.1.617.2) in the UK up until June 3rd:
- 464 people went to emergency care.
- 126 have been admitted to hospital.
Out of the people hospitalised:
- 83 were unvaccinated
- 28 have had 1 dose of a vaccine
- 3 have had 2 doses
On the face of it, that's a low number of people going to A&E (just over 1 in 30), and a low number of people admitted to hospital (just under 1%).
These numbers are a bit skewed, because some Delta variant people without symptoms won't ever be spotted, and everyone going into hospital is far more likely to have their sample sequenced to see which variant it is - so the reality is actually better than those figures (although on the other side, some more of those people could still be admitted to hospital now, but it's likely to be a very small number). 
1/2 the UK population have had 2 vaccinations and 3/4 have had at least 1, so the vaccines are looking really good so far. That comes out at well over 90% effective. 

The Welsh Government have a really interesting report on Long COVID.
"‘Long-COVID’ is commonly used to describe signs and symptoms that continue or develop after acute COVID‑19. It includes both ‘ongoing symptomatic COVID‑19’ (from 4 to 12 weeks) and ‘post‑COVID‑19 syndrome’ (12 weeks or more)."
They found that "prevalence of at least one symptom for 12 weeks or more ranges from around 2% to 10% in community samples, to over 70% in people who have been hospitalised".
'Suspected COVID' can be listed as the cause, because so many people either weren't tested when they were ill, or didn't realise they actually had COVID.
They make the point that we really REALLY need to make sure we have facilities in place for children who are suffering. Long COVID occurs much less often in children, but because of the sheer volume, it's definitely not rare. Currently facilities and clinics are really aimed at adults. 

My local authority never dropped masks for secondary school pupils, due to our proximity to plague central, and all of Greater Manchester have just reintroduced twice weekly in-school lateral flow testing.
Delta Variant COVID loves a classroom, and quite frankly it's the least we can do for the staff - many of whom will have only had 1 vaccination (or none) at this point.
Overall the twice-weekly lateral-flow-testing-at-home had dropped to around half the level it was at originally, and this is a point indieSAGE made last Friday. We really need to keep on top of it, or complacency will catch us out.

its normal to feel a bit unwell after a jab sad looking lady with head down

UK singles will soon notice Government messaging on dating apps. as lots of the big names have partnered up to offer vaccinated people special stickers, super-likes and other bonuses.
A recent YouGov poll found that actually a lot of people have strong feelings about this, with 28% of people saying they wouldn't date someone unless they were vaccinated, and another 31% saying they'd prefer it. 

Last week a not-yet-peer-reviewed study was released regarding a South African woman with HIV, who had a very lengthy battle with COVID. She tested positive for a massive 216 days. During this time the virus mutated more than 30 times, including 13 mutations on the spike protein (these are the vaccine/antibody escape mutations).
COVID really isn't very stable, it is a bit rubbish at making copies of itself and has tons of errors and missing parts (mutations). This has generally not been in our favour. 

The UK's RECOVERY Trial has found that aspirin is not useful as a treatment to prevent blood clotting in hospitalised COVID patients. Darn shame. It was definitely worth the test because it does help prevent blood clots with some other conditions, but sadly not with COVID.
"For every 1000 patients treated with aspirin, approximately 6 more patients experienced a major bleeding event and approximately 6 fewer experienced a thromboembolic (clotting) event."
Scratch that one off the list. 

UK Gov over 40m people vaccinated Pretty text

India has opened up vaccinations to anyone over 18, free of charge.
Although it's good in theory, you do need to be able to actually get a vaccination, and there are only so many they can do in a day. If you live in an area of India which is less affected, you may have to wait a few weeks or months before your turn.

The situation in India really does seem to have improved massively, with 86,498 cases reported yesterday, and any Oxygen shortages far less visible than before.
They are encountering some real issues with the Delta variant though, it seems to trigger a much wider range of symptoms than original wild COVID, and shortness of breath or a cough are less of a feature.
I've talked before about the Black Fungus affecting a number of people who are recovering. Some reports say over 28,000 people have been been diagnosed with it already. Now Indian medics are warning that they are finding more people with severe stomach pain, stomach upset, hearing loss, swollen necks, severe tonsillitis,  joint pain, and micro blood clots which cut off circulation, causing pain and even killing tiny parts of the patient. Sometimes amputation of a finger or toe is necessary, and a small number of patients have clots in the intestines, with a rare few of them developing 'gastric gangrene' (I can't word this nicely. Turning rotten inside). 

Going back to the Black Fungus, or Mucormycosis, problem in India. It appears during recovery from COVID, and first impressions were that it seemed to be linked to unnecessary use of steroids, and possibly high blood sugar levels was a feature, as it seemed to happen mostly to diabetic people who aren't in full control of their condition. A not-yet-peer-reviewed study has looked at 187 cases and they found this to be true.
Yesterday India revised their health guidance, and issued some fantastic easily understood advice sheets, stressing that antibiotics, anti-parasitics and others shouldn't be used, and there should only be CAREFUL use of steroids & Oxygen.
In any country where healthcare can be a bit of "nurse them yourselves" situation, when you are worried for someone's life, it's understandable people have been buying whatever they can and overdoing it. They just want to be able to help. 

080621 Government Of India signs and symptoms

The EU have agreed a common COVID travel pass, and several European countries have begun issuing them to residents already.
The 'EU Digital COVID Certificate', unlike the name suggests, can be either paper or digital, and will allow members restriction free travel across all 27 EU member states, plus some other countries. The certificate has information on if and when the bearer has been vaccinated, tested or has recovered from COVID-19.
EU residents can still travel without a certificate, it's not mandatory, it's there to speed things up. Likewise, having a certificate won't guarantee anyone entry anywhere. Any country can independently decide to change their entry rules at any time. And some no doubt will. 

The UK government has delayed the new NHS data-sharing scheme. They were going to share lots more of the data held by your GP with Public Health England, but it included a lot of things which are very private - sexual orientation, test results, mental health etc. You are allowed to 'opt out', but there were a lot of concerns that it hasn't been widely publicised, there isn't enough consultation with the public, and that it will erode patient trust, and also GP trust.
The project has been delayed for 2 months at the moment - so you've still time to make your own thoughts known. 

Armel hoch! Or "Arm up!" is the slogan in Germany, and they've brought out the big stars to promote it. None other than David Hasselhoff himself is in their latest government video - looking pretty much the same as he did in the early 80's, when his co-star was a talking car, or in the 90's when his co-star was Pamela Anderson.
Standing outside in the sunshine and with far too much energy for an early morning, he says:
"Arm up! That's right. I, David Hasselhoff, am supposedly a hero because of Knight Rider and Baywatch and the Berlin Wall, but I've found freedom with vaccination. You can too. Hoff off."
If that doesn't convince people, clearly nothing will... 

mRNA vaccines factsheet US CDC 080621

It was world food safety day yesterday. Almost half a million people in the world are killed by their dinner each year. Summer is coming, barbecues will be super popular. Don't take risks.
Keep food cool and fridge food in the fridge, until you are ready to eat or cook it.
Make sure it's cooked through to the middle. It's okay to start the cooking in the oven, and then transfer to the barbecue to cremate the outside.
Don't leave the coleslaw or mayonnaise in the sun all afternoon.
Help drunk you out, and clear the table before you hit the shandies. Midnight snacking on fresh food that's been sat out for hours won't help that morning tummy.
Just because we have COVID, doesn't mean everything else has taken a break. Make it a time to remember for the right reasons.

Margaret Keenan First patient vaccinated against COVID Smiling, wearing a cardi and a mask, double thumbs up

Today it is exactly 6 months since the world began vaccinating people against Covid-19. The first vaccination (that was not part of a trial) was the lovely Margaret Keenan in Coventry Hospital, England (and look at what she was wearing!).
Over 2 billion vaccine doses have now been administered around the world. As Matt Hancock said yesterday:
"Thank you to everyone involved in this mammoth effort."

Some numbers. All of them represent people:

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

USA 34,228,559 (+1,322) 612,761 (+60) 

India 29,084,518 (+87,569) 353,380 (+2,036)

Brazil 16,985,812 not yet reported today 474,614

France 5,713,917 not yet reported today 110,062

Turkey 5,300,236 (+6,609) 48,341 (+86)

Russia 5,145,843 (+9,977) 124,496 (+379) 

UK 4,528,442 (+6,049) 127,854 (+13)

Italy 4,235,592 (+1,896) 126,690 (+102) 

Germany 3,710,931 (+590) 89,994 (+29)

Spain 3,707,523 not yet reported today 80,236

Iran 2,980,116 (+8,846) 81,362 (+179)

Poland 2,875,729 (+400)74,255 (+95)

Mexico 2,434,562 (+881) 228,838 (+34) 

Ukraine 2,216,654 (+1,602) 51,333 (+118)


.Edited to amend the maths regarding A&E visitd by people with Delta Variant in the UK






Food safety: https://twitter.com/DrTedros/status/1401963607156461574?s=19










"Everything you need to know about the EU's COVID travel pass" https://twitter.com/i/events/1401873165626839040?s=09







Indian Gov new advice sheets - https://dghs.gov.in/WriteReadData/Orders/202105270435011364109ComprehensiveGuidelinesforManagementofCOVID-1927May2021DteGHS.pdf

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