Thursday 1 July 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 30th June / 1st July 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 30th June / 1st July 2021

The UK added 27,989 cases today and now has reported a total of 4,828,463 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,251,696 tests yesterday.

The counter says 44,860,978 people (85.2% of UK adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 33,048,199 people (including me!!) had received 2 doses (62.7%).

1,795 people were in hospital yesterday, Wednesday 30th June, with 287 using a ventilator.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 22 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 128,162 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 271,931 cases and 4,989 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 183,193,215 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 3,966,093. Already 167,720,509 people have recovered.

unicef world health by 2030 we won't all have accesss to water, handwashing or sanitation

The UK's Furlough Scheme starts winding down from today. This month employers have to contribute 10% of furloughed worker's pay. Next month that will rise to 20%. For any business who can't afford that, or for whom it's becoming obvious life "won't be the same as before", this will be the time hard decisions may have to be made. It'll take a couple of weeks before we see the true effect, and next month it will only be more pronounced.
Sorry to anyone to is in danger of losing their job or their business. Sorry to anyone who already has. 

Boris visited Nissan today and was asked about July 19th by journalists. He does seem a teeny bit less confident than previously, although I think most remaining restrictions will still be lifted:
“I’m not going to get into speculation — we want to remove as many restrictions as is safe to do so.”

Child COVID hospitalisations are going up in the UK. We know Delta Variant may be more severe, it can sweep through a classroom much more successfully than previous variants and it will noticeably affect more kids, so this shouldn't really be a surprise. But still, it's not in any way pleasant.
8% of England's hospital admissions for COVID are currently children (latest data is a few weeks behind, as always), and around 1 in every 100 children with COVID will be admitted to hospital. 

It's grim up North. Greater Manchester's death rate from COVID is 25% higher than the English average. 
Professor Sir Michael Marmot, who prepared the report, found that poverty, working and living conditions, types of employment and the ‘interconnected’ nature of Greater Manchester all partly explain Covid’s impact, but also that the timings of lockdown measures didn't match with the way the virus was playing out in the North West.
Because so many people have died earlier than they would in a COVID-free world, English average life expectancy has gone down. The average for women is down by 0.9 years, and for men it is down by 1.3 years. In the North West it is down by 1.2 years for women, and 1.6 years for men.
Inequalities are enhanced by the pandemic, whoever called it "a leveller" couldn't see further than the end of their Bentley. 

Of course weather could play a part. It genuinely does rain an average of about 26 hours a day here. We basically live in a cloud constantly, and spend our days hiding under bus shelters. It's a world away from a bright sunny clear day where virus is concerned.  

010721 test and trace stats

People in England should start receiving booster COVID jabs this Autumn, beginning in September with those aged over age 70, and Health & Care Workers.
(This still suggests that they are hoping to vaccinate secondary pupils during the Summer holidays in August.)

Yesterday the number of COVID patients in UK hospitals went above 1,500 for the first time since April 22nd. Alistair McLellan, Editor of the Health Services Journal:
"V interesting to compare 30 June to 22 April. NW has 253 more covid+ hospital patients (basically double). The SW has a v little more (15). Other five regions all down by between 9 and 51%."
It. Is. Grim. Up. North. And yet again, as per Professor Sir Marmot's report up there - the UK are unlocking exactly at a time which is unsuitable for the North West. (I know I've referred to it as a Northern cull before, it has definitely seemed like it at times.)
Do NOT give up hope. Bolton is leading, Greater Manchester is 2-6 weeks behind, and the good news is that the surge testing/vaccinating really does seem to be working. Between June 14th and 29th, COVID patients at Royal Bolton Hospital dropped from 45 to 29, and those needing ventilation dropped from 13 to 7. 

UK Education Minister Gavin Williamson has announced that:
"I do not think it’s acceptable that children should face greater restrictions over and above those of wider society, especially since they have given up so much to keep older generations safe over the last 18 months.
Further steps will be taken to reduce the number of children who have to self-isolate, including looking at the outcomes of the daily contact testing trial, as we consider a new model for keeping children in schools and colleges.
We constantly assess all available data, and we expect to be able to confirm plans to lift restrictions and bubbles as part of Step 4.
Once that decision has been made we will issue guidance immediately to schools."
But... even since yesterday people are sounding a bit more wishy washy. I'm not convinced it'll be universal, and decisions may just be placed in the hands of local authorities. 

010721 test and trace stats

Delta Variant really IS more catchy, and Australia have video evidence. When someone became infected and they had no idea how, they traced movements. Both the patient and another known case had been at Bondi Junction Westfield during the same time period. CCTV showed the only interaction was the 2 people walking past each other, which must have been when they transmitted the virus.
There's a great quote from the New South Wales health minister, Brad Hazzard. He called Delta Variant “a gold medallist when it comes to jumping from one person to another”.
Ruddy thing. 

Talking of sports, Scotland have some damning football results. They've linked 1,991 cases to watching the football - and a whopping two thirds - 1,294 people - had travelled to London for the match. Only 397 actually had tickets to go inside Wembley Stadium.
Scotland were only allocated 2,600 tickets because of COVID restrictions, and there were repeated requests for everyone else to stay away.
The German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has condemned allowing the tournament to even take place, calling it “absolutely irresponsible”.
I'd say that this is on many levels a cracking own goal.

India really aren't happy that the European Union has no urgency to authorise their version of the AstraZeneca vaccine 'Covishield', meaning it doesn't count for free movement around the EU as part of their 'Green Pass' scheme. Yesterday India warned that it would "not recognise an EU vaccine pass for travellers unless the bloc does the same for India's own vaccine certificate".
The World Health Organisation is attempting to mediate politely:
"COVAX urges all government authorities to recognize as fully vaccinated all who have received COVID19 vaccines approved by WHO or one of 11 approved Stringent Regulatory Authorities, when making decisions on who is able to travel or attend events."
It seems to be working. Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Spain, Estonia and Switzerland have all said they will approve the Covishield vaccine.

North Korea is one of only 7 remaining countries who have never reported a single case of COVID, but... there have been a few question marks over the months.
Although North Korea closed their already tightly controlled border early on, there is still some black market trade and the occasional defector. The national news channel is reporting that, in a speech Kim Jong Un gave to worker's unions;
“He mentioned that senior officials in charge of important state affairs neglected the implementation of the important decisions of the Party ... and thus caused a crucial case of creating a great crisis in ensuring the security of the state and safety of the people and entailed grave consequences.”
Did they / do they have an outbreak of COVID? Lots of countries have offered North Korea help during the pandemic, almost all has been politely declined.

The 7 countries which have never reported a single case of COVID are Kiribati, Nauru, North Korea, Palau, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu. 

Check in if you are heading off to the match - rear view of people cheering in a pub

The numbers of Indonesian children in hospital are also growing, as they are battling their first really severe wave of the pandemic.
Reuters interviewed a senior Paediatrician, Dr Aman Pulungan, who said that "weekly child deaths from COVID-19 rose to 24 last week from 13 in the previous week, many under five years old".

UK national average is currently at 169 cases of COVID for every 100,000 people.
The North West = 315, Greater Manchester = 367, and Manchester itself is at 465 cases per 100,000 people. Newcastle Upon Tyne = 482.
The South East is at 98 cases per 100,000 people, Norfolk = 30 and Suffolk = 32.7.
A lot of people I know have COVID right now. What they're saying on the national TV and in Government doesn't really match with what I'm seeing.
The picture around the country is incredibly different depending on where you actually are, and your own personal experience. Bear that in mind when you hear people and think they're either going over the top, or being incredibly blasé. 

Meanwhile the world continues to turn, and there has been a record breaking 'heat dome' over parts of America and Canada for the last few days. A 'heat dome' is where a blanket of cold air sits over the heat, preventing it from escaping. At times in some places it has been deemed 'too hot for a human to live', and Canada lost at least 230 people to the heat over the last 5 days.
The town of Lytton, in British Columbia, Canada, made history by breaking the record for hottest temperatures ever recorded in Canada 3 days running - reaching 49.6C on Tuesday. Disaster has truly struck today. The entire town has been evacuated, and believed by now to have been completely destroyed by fire.

The two blokes who harassed Chris Whitty last weekend have been located by The Sun and interviewed. Neither intended any harm, one has lost his job as an Estate Agent, and Mr Whitty isn't pressing any charges. They have apologised, and I think they'll think twice before manhandling anyone "from the TV" again. 

The World Health Organisation on Tuesday certified China as "free of Malaria".
Back in the 1930's before Quinine medications became available, China had 30m cases annually, and 300,000 deaths.
America also had a problem with Malaria in the early 20thC, and in 1946 created a little thing called the Communicable Disease Centre to try and solve it.
Thankfully for all of us, the CDC not only managed to eradicate Malaria in the USA, they expanded to investigate and track all communicable diseases. 

It seems that teenagers are sharing tips on how to make a lateral flow test look like a positive using kitchen Chemistry, in order to get time off school. The little rascals. Obviously I do love a bit of home science, but I won't share any of the methods here in case they actually work - my own children could be reading for starters!

Some numbers. They are all people:

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

India 30,453,526 (+42,949) 400,265 (+790) 

UK 4,828,463 (+27,989) 128,162 (+22)

Indonesia 2,203,108 (+24,836) 58,995 (+504)

Russia 5,538,142 (+23,543) 135,886 (+672)

Iran 3,218,860 (+14,303) 84,389 (+125)

Spain 3,821,305 (+12,345) 80,883 (+8)

Bangladesh 921,559 (+8,301) 14,646 (+143)

Iraq 1,353,458 (+7,554) 17,216 (+30)

Malaysia 758,967 (+6,988) 5,254 (+84)

Mexico 2,519,269 (+6,105) 233,047 (+244)

Philippines 1,418,337 (+5,795) 24,797 (+135)

Thailand 264,834 (+5,533) 2,080 (+57)

Zambia 157,832 (+2,884) 2,271 (+72)

Chile 1,558,557 (+2,655) 32,588 (+43) 





  1. The children's hospitalizations rising is very frightening, as well as the deaths rising in Indonesia. Are deaths rising amongst children as well? I know this sounds selfish, but I'm concerned as I have a 4 year old with asthma starting school in September. Sorry to be so self centred.

    1. I am so sorry I didn't see this earlier! The notification was lost on me.
      Obviously yes, but but really it is so low, it's almost impossible to see an increase. In June 1 person under 15 died, no-one in the first week of July. That is an increase, and an absolute tragedy for their family, but thankfully with children we start from such a low possibility of severe disease, that even doubling it and increasing infections in the community massively shouldn't mean we have lots of children die. It really shouldn't. Ever. Your 4 year old's asthma also has very little effect on his chances of becoming ill - it isn't the big risk we assumed at the beginning. I hope you see this, and it helps, and in September it's all a lot calmer and he can enjoy school :)


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