Tuesday 27 July 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 26th / 27th July 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 26th / 27th July 2021

The UK added 23,511 cases today  cases today ( last week 46,558 / 2 weeks  36,660 / 3 weeks 28,773 / 4 weeks 20,479) and now has reported a total of 5,745,526 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed a shockingly low 810,459 tests yesterday.

The counter says 46,653,796 people (88.2% of UK adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 37,459,060 people (70.8%) had received 2 doses.

5,918 people were in hospital yesterday, Wednesday 27th July, (up from 4,567 a week earlier), with 820 people using a ventilator (up from 611 a week earlier).

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 131 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 129,303 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 294,272 cases and 5,026 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 195,725,739 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 4,188,914. Already 177,452,809 people have recovered.

daily contact testin expanded to 2,000 centres in England text and image of lateral flow test down right hand side

“The effect of vaccines has been huge in reducing the risk of hospitalisation and death, and I’m positive that by late September, October time we will be looking back at most of the pandemic."
Professor Neil Ferguson (SAGE member) on BBC Radio 4’s Today.
Fingers crossed eh Neil. Not everyone agrees with his prognosis, but we'd all like him to be right. Personally I reckon technically, he will be (Dodgy new variants aside), although what we'll go through to get there might be grim. The worse it is, the more "looking back" we'll have. As England seems to be sprinting for the finish line in some sort of muddied, bloodied, screaming, Highlander style ("you'll not take my freedoms!"), there should be a lot to look back on. Buckle up. 

"We're not out of the woods yet..."
Boris Johnson - pointing out in the most wishy-washy ambiguous way possible that actually,  UK case numbers right now might be luring us into a false sense of security. 

We are NOT testing young people and children at the moment. We are an island full of people who want to go on holiday, day trips, meet up with family and friends. We want our kids to still go to childcare while we're at work, and we aren't doing the general home level of testing we were 2 weeks ago. Of course reported case numbers are going down. The true number of cases meanwhile... keep watching hospital admissions for the real story.
It takes average 5 days to show symptoms and then 7-9 days before people are very ill or better, so "Freedom Day" (bowk) hospitalisations should really start to kick in by the weekend.

The English Government have announced some more plans to support our herd immunity experiment.
"Following clinical trial results, daily contact testing will be rolled out to further critical workplaces in England so that contacts who would otherwise be self-isolating can instead take daily tests, with an expected initial additional 200 testing sites."
From August 16th children and double-vaccinated adults will NOT have to self-isolate if they are a close contact of someone who tests positive, unless you are asked to by Test & Trace, or local/national restrictions are put in place. You will still be asked to take a PCR test, and anyone testing positive must then isolate. 

It is possible that the English Government may require university students to be double jabbed at some point in the near future - a couple of ministers have refused to rule it out.

270721 share of world vaccinated by continent

The number of children under 18 being admitted to hospital with COVID in ENGLAND is growing. From January to around mid June, we admitted around 6-8 children each day on average, and just over the last 6 weeks that has increased to an average of almost 50 admissions a day.
Scientists are reminding the government yet again that death isn't the only long term side effect from COVID. 

The Republic of Ireland will offer vaccinations to all children aged 12 to 15 during August. They will be offered Pfizer or Moderna.
From today any adult aged 16 or over is eligible to book their vaccinations. 

The Telegraph has some sort of expose, but I'm not really sure what they're trying to say?
They have "leaked data" showing that just 44% of English COVID patients find out they have COVID before they rock up at hospital, 43% test positive within 2 days of hospital admission, and 13% test positive some time later.
We are well aware that despite best efforts, a significant number of people catch COVID in hospital. 13% is plausible, but some of those people will have caught it outside and brought it in (and then spread it to the rest of the 13%).
Around half of the rest have had a positive test result, become poorly and gone to hospital, just like the textbook says, and the other half haven't. It's really not that big a surprise.
For starters, asymptomatic people. If you are admitted to hospital with anything else, you're tested regardless.
Second, you might well suspect you have COVID, be able to guess who you caught it off etc. and aren't rushing to take a test because you don't want COVID, or you need to go to work, or do something, and you're okay, until you aren't.
Thirdly, a test might be in the post, or you might be waiting for results - PCR testing results take 2 or 3 days for a lot of people at the moment.
Fourthly, you might have mild symptoms, or symptoms that you assume are something else, then you take poorly or test positive.
We know we aren't catching all of the cases out there, and it only takes around 7-9 days after first symptoms start for most poorly people to end up in hospital. Is it really a huge surprise that half of them hadn't already had a positive PCR result when they arrived?
This is mainly a failure of Test & Trace. People should be quicker to book a PCR (lab) test, and results should come back more quickly. We simply shouldn't have that many people out there WITH COVID and unaware, or trying to pretend it's not happening.
All hospital patients with COVID become "COVID patients" because of the danger of infection, what we don't know is how many of those people are actually so poorly with their COVID that they need to be in hospital, or if they are there because of their unrelated heart problem, hernia, broken leg etc. Don't listen to conspiracy theorists though, if they were all only there for their broken legs, total hospital numbers wouldn't be rising. Most of the extra patients are being caused by COVID+ people (and at this stage, some extra people who had treatment delayed and are now turning up in A&E). 

270721 Child covid hospitalisations England

Africa is seeing a pretty nasty wave of infection, and as Delta Variant is taking hold, cases are higher than ever. Kenya is the latest country to report that they are struggling to maintain oxygen supplies.
The only relief in all of this is that at least they've had over a year to prepare and train, gather equipment and supplies. Rich countries who over-bought ventilators initially have been able to donate spares - otherwise many countries in Africa wouldn't have more than a handful of their own. Still only 1.6% of the 1,374 million (1.3b) people living in the continent of Africa have been vaccinated.

The Australian COVID outbreak is still ongoing, with 145 cases reported yesterday. New South Wales Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, must be really frustrated. Their contact tracing and isolation is excellent, and they locked down Greater Sydney, Wollongong, Blue Mountains and Central Coast with stay-at-home orders on June 26th, but it hasn't stemmed this outbreak.
Today Ms Berejiklian announced a 4 week extension to the Greater Sydney area lockdown, where almost all cases are being reported.
They will also be using lateral flow tests for rapid surveillance, and by this weekend will open walk-in AstraZeneca jab clinics to try and encourage more people to come forward for vaccination, with a focus on essential workers. 

A South Korean study has backed up some excellent results we got a little while ago, to show that mix & match AstraZeneca-Pfizer vaccinations boost COVID-19 antibody levels to 6 times what they are with just the AstraZeneca. I'd say that looks pretty conclusive.
Sadly for anyone who had AstraZeneca (including me) that makes it about as effective as 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine - although efficacy against variants is different, and most studies believe that AstraZeneca is a far better performer against Delta... and I can't find the actual study. I think they're just measuring antibody response, and we know there's far more to real-life immunity than that. 

271021 share of population vaccinated various countries chart

An Indian study has concluded that if you have recovered from COVID, you only need 1 dose of vaccination to be at least as well protected as people with 2 doses, and possibly more so. This is another study that again backs up results we've seen before. It seems good news against different variants too.

I have to mention Poland. They have had their own struggles with COVID, but only reported 75 new cases yesterday, and 106 today. That's less than what Australia reported. I hope it continues - and very well done.
(We'll have what they're having... )

An Indonesian man with COVID pretended to be his own wife to catch a flight. He had her passport, her negative COVID result and was wearing her clothes, including a niqab which covered most of his face.
In common with many criminals, he was overly-confident and a bit dim, and changed into his own clothes part way through the flight. The air crew immediately spotted him, he was detained and arrested on landing - then sent immediately home to self-isolate.

Today's numbers are actually yesterday's numbers, so that you can see the full 24 hour picture. There has to be a cut off somewhere, and mine is around 6pm-6.30pm UK time, any reports after that aren't included. Some countries (France, USA, India, China etc) report area by area at different times, many countries don't work on anything like UK time, so what I usually show you is sometimes incomplete.

Some people. All used to think the monsters hid under the bed:

Countries / Cases / Losses of life YESTERDAY - the FULL 24 hours until midnight GMT last night:

USA 35,287,269 (+35,816) 627,039 (+132)

India 31,440,483 (+30,844) 421,414 (+418)

Brazil 19,707,662 (+18,999) 550,586 (+587)

Russia 6,149,780 (+23,239) 154,601 (+727)

France 5,999,244 (+5,307) 111,667 (+45)

UK 5,722,015 (+24,855) 129,172 (+14)

Turkey 5,618,417 (+16,809) 50,997 (+63)

Argentina 4,859,170 (+12,555) 104,105 (+384)

Colombia 4,736,349 (+8,503) 119,182 (+314)

Spain 4,342,054 (+20,541) 81,268 (+15)

Italy 4,320,524 (+3,111) 127,971 (+22)

Germany 3,764,419 (+1,417) 92,050 (+13)

Iran 3,723,246 (+31,814) 89,122 (+322)

Indonesia 3,194,733 (+28,228) 84,766 (+1,487)

Poland 2,882,221 (+75) 75,242

Mexico 2,748,518 (+6,535) 238,424 (+108)

South Africa 2,383,490 (+5,667) 70,018 (+243)






Daily hospital admissions 












 ABC News: The factors Berejiklian is weighing up before deciding on lockdown future.



Korean Vaccine Study: https://twitter.com/i/events/1419711439485407242

Image NHS https://twitter.com/NHSuk/status/1420009650515234821?s=19

Child hospitalisations:

Image Credit https://twitter.com/jneill









  1. Very comprehensive. The only thing I would use as an absolute measure is death: the weekly average is doubling every 11 or 12 days and has done for some time. Positive tests are a rough guide but for the reasons you’ve clearly stated cannot be accurate. Hospitalisation is fuzzy too as you’ve said because folk catch it while there and some just stay at home. It will get worse before it gets better. Thanks for your hard work.

    1. Cheers Dave - and yes, sadly death really is going to be the only measure, and that won't be accurate either. Annual excess death averages will give us the best estimate, and we'll be able to see how many extra people died because COVID exists, but even that won't tell us how many it directly killed. Some countries really do a far better job of reporting all of this than the UK does, I despair of how bad we are. They are always moving everything and changing the way numbers are collected, collated, what time they're released, wo releases them etc. It can be hard to keep an actual track on anything.


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