Tuesday 20 July 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 19th / 20th July 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 19th / 20th July 2021

The UK added 46,558 cases today ( last week 36,660 / 2 weeks  28,773 / 3 weeks 20,479) and has reported a total of 5,519,602 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,074,493 tests yesterday.

46,349,709 people (88% of UK adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 36,243,287 people (68.8%) had received 2 doses.
(The UK population figures are being updated on Thursday, so the percentages might adjust slightly.)

4,567 people were in hospital yesterday, with 611 using a ventilator.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 96 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 128,823 losses of life in all settings.

Total cases for the last 7 days:
Area: Cases / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 6,470 / 205.2 (1 in 487)
Scotland: 15,458 / 282.9 (1 in 354)
Northern Ireland: 5,570 / 294.1 (1 in 340)
England: 266,515 / 473.5 (1 in 211)

Rep. Of Ireland 285,581 cases and 5,018 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 192,033,114 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 4,116,810. Already 174,756,345 people have recovered.

JCVI children in the UK who should be vaccinated

"It feels really surreal (and not in a good way) to be living in a country that is actively trying to infect young adults and children with Covid.
I just can't imagine ever being ok with it."
Professor Christina Pagel (indieSAGE / University College London)
Figures so far suggest that somewhere between 1-10% of children and young people will have symptoms lasting over 3 months.  

"Correcting a statistic I gave at the press conference today, 19 July. About 60% of hospitalisations from covid are not from double vaccinated people, rather 60% of hospitalisations from covid are currently from unvaccinated people."
Sir Patrick Vallance, UK Science Chief.
Ahhhh. That's better.
The vast majority of English adults are now double vaccinated, including our oldest and most vulnerable people, so actually that is a really excellent statistic.

COVID Actuaries Response Group UK vaccinations hospitalisations cases age under 50

COVID19 Actuaries Response Group (COVID19Actuary on Twitter) is a great place to stay informed of pure numbers, and they have a very clear article this week looking at hospitalisations/deaths and vaccinations up to 9th July in England.
People aged over 50 only:
Only 5% of over 50's are not vaccinated at all, but they account for 12% of cases and 34% of hospital admissions in that age group.
79% of over 50's are fully vaccinated (and this group includes the vast majority of our most susceptible people), and they account for only 43% of hospital admissions in people aged over 50.
If you are over 50 and unvaccinated your chance of hospital is 12.2 times higher than fully vaccinated.
People aged under 50 only:
46% of people under 50 are unvaccinated, and they account for 81% of cases and 87% of hospital admissions in this age group.
The 21% of under 50's who are fully vaccinated only account for 6% of cases and 4% of hospital admissions in this age group.
If you are under 50 and unvaccinated, your chance of hospital is 10.6 times higher than if you are fully vaccinated.
Vaccines are never 100%, and we should bear in mind that the more anxious or vulnerable people under 50 were fully vaccinated first (and are less likely to be out mixing and clubbing). It's irrefutable though that vaccinations very clearly help prevent you catching COVID, and developing severe illness, whatever your age.

COVID Actuaries Response Group UK vaccinations hospitalisations cases over 50

This Winter the UK Government plans the biggest ever flu vaccination programme - even bigger than last year's biggest ever flu vaccination programme. Over 35m people (including all school pupils up to year 11) will be eligible - in the desperate hopes that we don't fill all of our remaining hospital beds with flu patients.
During the 2021/22 season, which starts in September, the flu jab will be available to:
-all children aged two and three on 31 August 2021
- all children in primary school and all children in school Years 7 to 11 in secondary school
- those aged six months to under 50 years in clinical risk groups
- pregnant women
- those aged 50 years and over
- unpaid carers
- close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
- frontline health and adult social care staff

Although UK travellers might be allowed to return from Green List and Amber List countries without quarantine, it doesn't mean you are allowed to travel there. Countries people from the UK are currently NOT allowed to go to without essential reason include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Finland, Hungary, Lichtenstein,  Luxembourg,  Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Slovakia, Sweden.
That's just Europe.

The USA had an immediate and public response to the lifting of restrictions in England - they have added the entire UK to their DO NOT TRAVEL list. 

COVID-related pupil absence in English state schools was 14.3% on 15th July (up from 11.2% on 8 July and 8.5% on 1 July).
In primary schools, COVID-related absence was 12.1% on 15 July (up from 9.8% on 8 July and 7.4% on 1 July).
In secondary schools, COVID-related absence was 17.9% on 15 July (up from 13.5% on 8 July and 10.4% on 1 July).
On 15 July, 10.6% of pupils were absent self-isolating because they were close contacts, up from 8.4% on 8 July.
0.5% of pupils in state-funded schools were absent on 15 July because their school was closed due to COVID-19 related reasons.
We have a total of 8,911,887 school pupils in the UK, meaning last week 1,274,400 pupils missed school due to COVID. 

Travel advisory from the US CDC do not travel to the UK 19th July 2021

The JCVI have updated their advice on vaccinations for children, and for now at least, a general rollout to all secondary children isn't going to happen in the UK.
"The JCVI has advised that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID19 vaccine should be offered to:
- children aged 12-15 with underlying health conditions
- children with immunocompromised household contacts
- those within 3 months of their 18th birthday
As a parent it's easy to have some mixed emotions. COVID is likely to sweep through the population, so risk of catching it will be very high. There is a tiny risk of vaccine side effects, and although they are incredibly rare, it'll be on your mind. Succumbing to COVID for children is also incredibly rare, but Long COVID is actually looking quite common.
I'm not saying the following has influenced this decision. Pah, who am I kidding. The following has clearly influenced this decision. 

Scientist fight!
On Newsnight the Sociology Professor, JCVI member and UK Government Pandemic Advisor, Robert Dingwall, answered a question about the potential for a Long COVID time bomb if we allow several million people to catch COVID over the coming months. His answer has stunned and genuinely worried a lot of people:
"Well, there is some kind of post viral syndrome associated with COVID, but JCVI looked very carefully at the evidence on this and much of the reports that we're seeing are essentially anecdotal or lack adequate controls.
It's a bit like looking at the yellow card system for adverse effects after vaccines. You get a lot of reports, but actually there are, the number that are causally related to the vaccination are really very small.
And we think that's probably what is happening with Long COVID. That a lot of things are happening to a lot of people which are being connected in their minds with the virus, but which may essentially simply reflect the base rate in the population."
Wow. WOW. I've seen more CT scans of COVID lungs, hearts, brains and other human inside bits than you'd think possible. Long COVID damage CAN be photographed. Absolutely there will be some people who have coincidental symptoms, but for millions Long COVID is NOT psychosomatic, made up, imaginary or indeed 'reflective of the base rate population'.
It's a year since I reported on a group of 3 divers in Italy who caught COVID, 'recovered' and then had to be told they could never dive again. We are way past this.
Prof Christina Pagel (indieSAGE / University College London) made the point:
"If Dingwall is really questioning reality & severity of long covid he has no place advising govt on covid. Evidence is overwhelming and well documented. He is gaslighting the million plus Britons living with it.
No wonder he is fine with kids and young people getting covid."

Prof Dingwall's blog reads.... well, it's a bit like a cult leader. Sorry Rob. He actually has an ideology, a vision of what he wants to happen - which was a surprise when I expected some sort of scientific or medical based plan.
"We could resign ourselves to a risk-averse world, as the remaining, and increasingly shrill, enthusiasts for an elimination strategy would like or we could vote with our feet. We could assert our right to mingle, to embrace, to crowd together. If some are more risk-averse than others, let them be – but do not let them force postponement of Liberation Day."
Erm... yeah, right Rob. I mean, I appreciate your points and a lot of people agree with you, but calling people who want zero COVID "shrill" is a bit mean - you are very definitely not feeling neutral. You are very firmly on the 'herd immunity by any method' side of the fence. How much attention are the UK Government actually paying to you?
"All that a further delay would achieve is to give a few more vaccine doses to people who are at intrinsically low risk anyway. If not on 19 July, then when? There will always be arguments for further delay…."
Ah, I see. Lots.
(Rishi Sunak has quoted this, and Boris has already quoted it twice...)

UK admissions hos[italisations vaccinations shared by Sajid Javid

The small Italian town of Vo hasn't had a mention in a while, but in May last year we were all looking at it for information on exactly how many people were being asymptomatically infected - when they antibody tested 86% of the population of 3,000 people.
All those who tested positive were re-tested in November, to see how long immunity lasts, and how the infection was spread?
The study is now out (not yet peer-reviewed), and researchers found that:
"In November, 98.8% of sera which tested positive in May still reacted against at least one antigen; 18.6% showed an increase of antibody or neutralisation reactivity from May."
Excellent news, and it backs up previous studies. People often seem to have a stronger reaction to COVID over time. How long it lasts, well, we'll have to just wait and see (and hopefully we won't wait so long for results). They also found that around 26% of people probably caught COVID from household members, and so contact tracing was of limited use. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends universal masking in schools for everyone older than 2 - pretty strong stuff, and only a handful of states are following that advice.
America is so diverse in their opinion on pretty much everything, including COVID, that at least 9 states have done the opposite, and banned compulsory masks in schools.
Scarily it mostly depends on the party in power - because political point scoring is the best way to make health decisions, obviously. 

As has been previously mentioned (I said the English Government were playing a Joker) in 'exceptional circumstances' frontline NHS and Social Care staff who are fully vaccinated will be able to ignore a 'ping' from the COVID app. telling them to self-isolate. Boris implied last night that this won't only apply to NHS/care, but also to other essential services, although he didn't give more examples.
Exceptional circumstances in NHS/care refers to when it wouldn't leave enough staff to maintain safety or it would otherwise mean services were closed.
The Science behind this is sketchy... I know NHS and care staff can lateral flow test daily, but it's not in any way a proven method of maintaining safety - or else Boris Johnson wouldn't be self-isolating and Trump wouldn't ever have caught COVID. Any test only picks up COVID once you are exhaling it - and if you catch COVID and don't beat it immediately, there will be a moment in time when you start exhaling virus - and that may not be within hours or days of your next test. PCR (send away lab) tests are more sensitive than Lateral Flow (30 minute) tests, which is why they will give you a positive result earlier and spot more cases.

Ex-UK Government Advisor Dominic 'Kiss and Tell' Cummings has been at it again. This time he did an interview for the BBC.
He said in late Autumn Boris hadn't wanted to lock down, because the majority of the people dying were over 80, most of those hospitalised were over 60. Apparently locking up the economy to save mainly older people, who don't work anyway, wasn't something Boris was keen on.
Dirty Dom does have WhatsApp screenshots to back his claim, but honestly - I didn't even need to see them. I think we can all get the measure of Boris' opinion now anyway.

Boris Johnson saying we need to recalibrate ahead of Autumn wave Whatsapp screenshot from Dominic Cummings

Yesterday a record 430 migrants arrived on shore in Kent, including around 50 in 1 dinghy. They came TO England for sanctuary - the world COVID capital. How desperate do you have to be?

I lied, we're only fourth when you adjust for size of population. The Seychelles, Fiji and Cyprus might just beat us in new cases per 100,000. 

The Canadian federal government have announced that fully vaccinated US travellers can enter Canada for non-essential reasons from August 9th.
Canada will re-open for global vaccinated travellers on September 7th.
They will also remove quarantine requirements on August 9th.

Needle Phobics Corner:
According to Soumya Swaminathan of the World Health Organisation, 6-8 needle-free room temperature immunisations may complete their clinical studies and regulatory review by the end of the year.
This is incredibly important to people who genuinely are so scared they cannot have an injection. And obviously it can offer immense benefits for children, remote areas and/or poorer countries.
University of Queensland are developing a 'patch'.
University of Texas have a 'click applicator' which is almost impossible to feel (apparently, I've not tried it obviously).
PharmaJet also have a needle-free injector
Several companies are trialling nasal sprays

Katie Hopkins was yesterday deported from Australia. (lol. Lollity lol lol.)
She is an avid anti-mask protestor and had arrived in Australia to take part in the TV Show Big Brother. She made a string of boasts and jokes on her social media about things like opening the quarantine hotel door without a mask on, or naked, and generally just did the equivalent of 'shouting "Bomb" on a US aircraft, while holding a comedy black balloon with the word "Bomb" written on it'.
Australia is not England. No-one laughed. In fact hotel staff got very annoyed and were not happy about their safety being compromised.
Katie Hopkins will now not be appearing on the next series of Australian Big Brother (Australians trust me, that's a good thing, wave goodbye, don't Google her, forget she was ever mentioned.)

Public Health England has extended its heat-health alert to Friday 23rd July. The Met Office forecasts hot weather will continue for a few more days. Be CAREFUL. Stay cool...

Eid Mubarak to all who celebrate, and a good night's sleep to everyone...

Some people. I've shown them as numbers because I can't spell all of their names:

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

USA 35,019,526 (+926) 624,998 (+15)

India 31,209,914 (+36,895) 414,657 (+144)

Brazil 19,391,845 not yet reported today 542,877

Russia 6,006,536 (+23,770) 149,922 (+784)

France 5,871,881 not yet reported today 111,492

Turkey 5,537,386 not yet reported today 50,604

UK 5,519,602 (+46,558) 128,823 (+96)

Argentina 4,769,142 not yet reported today 101,955

Colombia 4,655,921 not yet reported today 116,753

Italy 4,293,083 (+3,558) 127,884 (+10)

Spain 4,189,136 (+27,286) 81,148 (+29)

Germany 3,753,835 (+633) 91,921 (+13)

Iran 3,576,148 (+27,444) 87,624 (+250)

Indonesia 2,950,058 (+38,325) 76,200 (+1,280)

Poland 2,881,594 (+104) 75,219 (+4)

Mexico 2,664,444 (+5,307) 236,469 (+138) 






Daily hospital admissions 



PV Correction: https://twitter.com/uksciencechief/status/1417204235356213252


COVID Actuaries Group:











COVID Actuaries Response Group images / Blog:



Thanks to COVID Actuaries Response Group for use of the images:


Dominic Cummings: https://twitter.com/i/events/1417443431073271812

























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