Friday 16 July 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 16th July 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 16th July 2021

The UK added 51,870 cases today and now has reported a total of 5,332,371 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,177,716 tests yesterday.

The counter says 46,159,145 people (87.6% of UK adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 35,543,321 people (67.5%) had received 2 doses.

3,964 people were in hospital yesterday, with 551 using a ventilator.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 49 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 128,642 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 280,784 cases and 5,006 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 190,059,236 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 4,086,966. Already 173,305,971 people have recovered.

Good ventilation is everything

"More that at ANY time during the pandemic, I get the overwhelming sense that the UK is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory with the decision to move ahead with 19 July unlocking."
Alistair McLellan, Editor of the Health Services Journal.

“In New Zealand we've always looked to the UK for leadership.. it's why it just seems so remarkable you're not following even basic public health principles."
"We and my colleagues in NZ are quite astounded that that you're doing this"
 Professor Michael Baker, official advisor to the New Zealand government.

Oops. Heads up Boris, the world has spotted you now. 

This morning there was an emergency summit meeting of international scientists and indieSAGE members (many of whom are also official Government SAGE advisors), in an effort to get the English Government to change their mind about removing restrictions on Monday.
They wanted to make clear their belief that removing all measures poses a “danger to the world”.
Dr Christina Pagel explained her reasoning very clearly:
"Because of our position of a global travel hub, any variant that becomes dominant in the UK will likely spread to the rest of the world... UK [government] policy doesn’t just affect us – it affects everybody."
A letter signed by 1,200 scientists and published last week referred to the English Government's decision as "unscientific and unethical".
The World Health Organisation's Dr Mike Ryan called it "moral emptiness and epidemiological stupidity".
Government spokespeople from New Zealand, Australia, Israel and Italy have all expressed displeasure at the move.

160721 indieSAGE hospitalisations uk nations

Chris Whitty, England's Chief Medical Officer might have gone rogue. He took part in a webinar from the Science Museum, during which he talked about the number of people in hospital doubling every 3 weeks, and warned England could be back under lockdown in about 5 week's time if it goes badly:

"We are not by any means out of the woods yet on this. We are in much better shape due to the vaccine programme, and drugs and a variety of other things, but this has got a long way to run in the UK, and it's got even further to run globally.
And I think we really shouldn't believe that this is somehow just about to finish - that is far from where we are at the moment."
He went on to say:
“It doesn't take many doublings until we're in actually quite scary numbers again. And of course for every individual person in hospital, this is potentially very dangerous, and there will be people who die or have lifelong effects from this.
So I don’t think we should underestimate the fact that we could get into trouble again - surprisingly fast, and I think saying the numbers in hospital are low now, that does not mean the numbers will be low in hospital in 5,6,7,8 weeks' time. They could actually be really quite serious.”

160721 indieSAGE percentage of total population vaccinated

Apparently Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust is struggling with the number of intensive care patients and has had to transfer some patients elsewhere, and staff at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Trust are being asked to cancel holidays.... 

The 'Malta hadn't approved the Covishield vaccine' issue was solved within hours, and huge thanks to a reader named Julie because I missed it.
"UPDATE: The Maltese authorities have amended their travel advice so anyone who has an OXFORD AstraZeneca vaccine in the UK (regardless of manufacture location) is able to travel without being turned away - with all vaccines having gone through rigorous safety and quality checks."
Swift action there Grant!. Collect a shiny. 

Frankly I'm stunned all of Europe hasn't banned us. We are reporting 50k new cases a day and allowing free spread of the virus. We have one of the worst infection rates in the world - if not THE worst. Would you let people from the UK in without quarantine? I absolutely would not. Red List. I am truly sorry to anyone who has travel plans that fail this Summer, because cannot imagine this situation will continue. It might, I'm not Mother Shipton (although there's a passing resemblance), but no plans that involve travel are secure until you reach wherever you are going to be sleeping. 

Hungary are going to offer the option of a third 'booster dose' of vaccine to their citizens, starting on August 1st. Elderly people who have not yet accepted a vaccination will receive "personal visits to convince them to have the jab" (hopefully not quite as Mafia-style as the translation makes it appear).
They are also making coronavirus vaccines mandatory for all healthcare workers, and all children aged 12+ will be offered a vaccination on the 2 days before they go back to school in Autumn. (They have already vaccinated 13% of 12-15 year olds and 45% of 16-18 year olds).
I don't know his politics and I'm not looking, but I like their Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's COVID stance. He said that politicians advising the public on tests and vaccines was the "true danger".
Hungary have vaccinated just under 60% of their total population with 1 dose.

160721 indieSAGE first dose vaccination by ethnic group

Australia is struggling to stay on top of their Delta Variant outbreak. This really is the nightmare for any country which is doing incredibly well. The outbreak is centred on Sydney, and started a month ago. They have restrictions in place, but are still reporting around 100 new cases a day. I really do wish them the best of luck. Don't give up guys. 100 new cases a day is not 50,000 - and it doesn't lead to 50 deaths a day - which over 4 weeks is the equivalent of losing the Titanic.

I think all of the major English supermarkets have now said that they'll ask the public to keep wearing masks after July 19th, and a Yahoo poll this week found only 17% of respondents don't intend to wear masks again. 

UK case numbers are heading through the roof right now, and we know it's going to get worse, but actually we may not necessarily see a huge jump in that after 19th July. In countries where people have been left to cope with COVID without any government intervention, you do tend to find common sense prevails. Populations don't just follow COVID restrictions because their government say so, as it turns out, people also don't like dying. 

160721 indieSAGE case numbers in children english regions

Latest Variant Survey data from Public Health England shows we have now logged 253,049 confirmed and probable cases of Delta Variant. Over a quarter of a million. Should I make a cake? Delta now accounts for around 99% of cases in the UK. The good news being that the vast majority of people who get Delta at least won't get it again, and should be pretty well protected against most current variants.

Monitoring suggests around 90% of adult people in the UK would test positive for antibodies (7th July England 89.8%/ Wales 91.8 /  Scotland 84.7% / NI 87 2%) which would be great news if it included children (around 22% of our population), and it was March 2020, but clearly it isn't enough to curb spread. A big reason for that is that (as I keep saying) more than half of people can still catch Delta Variant (but mostly not be ill) if you are LESS THAN double vaccinated (or only have antibodies from catching a different variant of COVID). The maths gets so complicated. Our World In Data figures show the UK have currently given at least 1 dose of vaccine to 67.9% of the entire population - just behind Canada, who are in highest position with 69.93%.
We will get there.
A lot of UK school children have had Delta Variant over the last 3 months, so the English Government had a real helping hand from the spread in schools. (which wasn't an incentive to remove mask mandates in class etc, obviously. "Oh no it wasn't...") 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents could be allowed into Canada as of mid-August, and travellers from other countries could be allowed in from September - as long as the vaccination plan keeps going well and conditions remain stable.
Canada have currently vaccinated more people than anywhere else - 69.93% have received at least 1 dose. 

160721 indieSAGE case numbers in people aged 20-59 english regions

Today's indieSAGE pointed out that Test & Trace is under pressure right now. "Very few available" has been showing on the PCR testing sites for London, South Humberside and Middlesborough, and Stockton-On-Tees ran out of test slots. It is an average of 60 hours before a home test is returned (we finally got a negative - yeeeay!)
Case numbers in Scotland are continuing to go down, although it is still higher than the other UK nations.
Across the UK the picture is very different, and children and young people are still very much responsible for spread. In the North East it's staggering. There are 1,100 cases per 100,000 people under 20, although to be fair, they also have over 1,000 cases per 100,000 in people aged 20-59. You guys are the ones really suffering at the moment.
School absence due to COVID is IMMENSE. 824,100 children were off for at least a day in the week ending July 8th (615,300 because they were close contacts of confirmed cases within schools). Around 10% of primary pupils and 15% of secondary - and I have seen nothing but kids being sent home since. It has to be more this week.
We still have a massive disparity between ethnic groups. Only 50% of people aged 18 or over in the UK who identify as black have had at least 1 dose of a vaccination.
Hospitalisations and deaths are obviously also rising - this will be the case, but it's not easy to watch. It's actually putting the NHS under pressure already in some areas, and deaths may be rising more quickly than the modelling suggests - not by much, but once you start doubling, it quickly makes a big difference.
Vaccinations have slowed massively this week. It is essential we continue to get as many people as possible double vaccinated so that they are protected from severe illness. We can't take our eye off the ball. 

Famous People With COVID/ Olympic Hopefuls:
26 people linked to the Tokyo Olympics since July 1st, including 5 athletes (2 Ugandan, 1 Israeli, 1 Serbian, 1 as yet undisclosed).
Fingers crossed, truly. You don't deserve to miss out at this stage. You're so close. 

160721 indieSAGE school absence due to COVID

With COVID cases and hospitalisations surging, Los Angeles has reimposed the mandate to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. 

The world keeps turning, and nature continues to exert her power over us.
There has been horrific flooding in Germany and Belgium over the past couple of days, and the torrential rains haven't stopped yet. Many people have died, and many hundreds are still missing.
Parts of the USA and Canada are still suffering intense heat and devastating fires.
South Africa is in the midst of civil unrest, rioting and looting.
Protestors in Cuba, France and other countries will be out in force this weekend.
The people of Myanmar are also protesting the coup, which saw the military take over power on 1st February this year.
For anyone in a position where COVID is not the top news story, I hope your weekend brings you peace. 

Over the last year around 1,000 people in the USA and 100 people in the UK reported mystery packages of seeds being delivered to their house, often labelled as jewellery or other items. There were warnings issued and the US Department of Agriculture and the FBI investigated.
When they looked into individual cases, the mystery appears to be solved. They found that very often the homeowner had actually ordered the seeds themselves early last year when the world first went into lockdown, and then forgot.
A lot of people took up a lot of new hobbies. If you found something you enjoyed, don't forget about it, and if you ordered cheap packs of seeds, they may still be on the way.

Seriously it seems like EVERYONE has COVID here at the moment. Okay, I lied. I don't, and my 11 year old son tested negative thankfully, but I know of a lot of people currently with COVID, and I find it impossible to just accept that - as the UK Government are asking me to.
I foresee a lot of frustration and anger over the next few weeks.
Everyone is, quite rightly, a bit scared. 

160721 indieSAGE case numbers per 100k population UK nations

Monday is the big day for England, and we have been warned many times that this could be a really bad move. We know it's going to get very bumpy for a while. Whether you'll be delighted to go out mask-free, or the idea terrifies you, remember to be respectful to other people. And remember that your own personal behaviour may be the best defence you have anyway - wash your hands, don't touch your face, open the windows, stay outdoors when possible, sit where you aren't blowing into each other's face, and don't lick strangers.

It is the weekend and you have made it through quite a tumultuous week. I'm exhausted personally, I'm looking forward to ignoring the news tomorrow and taking a day off. I hope you take a break too - and don't forget to treat yourself, because you have earned it! 

There will be a heatwave this weekend, and there is an alert because it's expected to be so hot - so whatever you do, please BE SENSIBLE. The UK population isn't used to this sort of thing. If you overheat, cool yourself with wet towels or by running your wrists under the cold tap, and make sure you drink enough water. I'm particularly worried about you gingers - I'll be keeping mine indoors between 11am and 3pm...

Enjoy The Outdoors, But Spend Time In The Shade, Save The NHS.

Some numbers. All were once the most beautiful thing their parents had ever seen...

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

USA 34,888,864 (+1,709) 624,240 (+26)

India 31,043,277 (+17,402) 412,720 (+157)

Brazil 19,262,518 not yet reported today 539,050

Russia 5,907,999 (+25,704) 146,868 (+799)

France 5,833,341 not yet reported today 111,429

Turkey 5,507,455 not yet reported today 50,415

UK 5,332,371 (+51,870) 128,642 (+49)

Argentina 4,719,952 not yet reported today 100,695

Colombia 4,583,442 not yet reported today 114,833

Italy 4,281,214 (+2,898) 127,851 (+11)

Spain 4,100,222 (+31,060) 81,096 (+12)

Germany 3,748,988 (+621) 91,869 (+6)

Iran 3,485,940 (+21,885) 86,791 (+199)

Poland 2,881,241 (+93) 75,205 (+14)

Indonesia 2,780,803 (+54,000) 71,397 (+1,205)

Mexico 2,629,648 (+12,821) 235,740 (+233) 




Daily hospital admissions

Scientists say Boris Johnson's Covid policies are a danger to the world


olympic village positives


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