Tuesday 6 July 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 5th / 6th July 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 5th / 6th July 2021.

The UK added 28,773 cases today (up from 20,479 a week earlier: 11,625 two weeks earlier) and now has reported a total of 4,958,868 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,160,738 tests yesterday.

The counter says 45,428,681 people (86.2% of UK adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 33,874,176 people (64.3% of UK adults) had received 2 doses.

2,140 people were in hospital on Sunday 4th (up from1,585 a week earlier: 1,378 two weeks earlier), with 369 using a ventilator yesterday, 5th July (up from 297 a week earlier: 227 two weeks earlier).

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 37 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 128,268 official losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 274,641 cases and 5,000 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

The number of people who have officially lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 has passed the grave milestone of 4 million - 4,003,860 humans.
There have now been a total of 185,135,819 reported cases worldwide, and already 169,432,743 people have recovered.

060721 Total vaccinations in the UK to date

"Before we started putting jabs into arms, whenever we saw a rise in cases, it would inevitably be followed by a rise in hospitalisations, and tragically a rise in deaths too.
Yet today, even though cases are heading upwards, in line with what we expected, hospitalisations are at a much lower rate, and deaths are at just 1% of the figure we saw at the peak."
(At first his maths didn't work at all, then I remembered we lost twice as many hospitalised people during the peak as we did at other times. So in reality - 2% of more usual numbers, which is horrific for all involved, yet still excellent, at around 0.04%, or 1 in every 2,500 cases. I hope that's true. I hate that they fudge numbers.)
"Our vaccines are building a wall of protection against hospitalisations , and jab by jab, brick by brick, that wall is getting higher. And for those people, who sadly do find themselves having to go to hospital, we have better treatments than ever before."
{Related story about Dexamethasone being a game changer.}
"And taken together, the link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths is being severely weakened, and this means we can start to learn to live with COVID."
Sajid Javid,  UK Health Secretary.

Sajid later went on to say that projections suggest we could have 100,000 cases a day within a few weeks. (IndieSAGE also had the same projections.)
With vaccinations, around 1 in 75 patients still seem to need hospital (instead of 1 in 15), which would still be 1,330 admissions a day. A DAY. According to Sajid's maths, we would lose around 40 of those people a day, or 80 if the NHS is overstretched by those 1,330 daily admissions, but just hanging in there.
I hope your maths is right Sajid.  

Yesterday the English Government outlined the changes that will take place when we move to Step 4. It will be confirmed next Monday, but in the meantime they've made a few updates to the website...

"From 16th August in England, if you are fully vaccinated and a close contact of someone with COVID, you will no longer have to self-isolate. Instead you take a PCR test as soon as sensibly possible, and then isolate if you are positive."

"From 16 August 2021, children under the age of 18 years old will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact."
There are some other future changes to the guidance for schools:
"At Step 4 we will no longer recommend that it is necessary to keep children in consistent groups (‘bubbles’). When we proceed to Step 4, this means that bubbles will not need to be used for any summer provision (for example, summer schools) or in schools from the autumn term. If your school is still open at Step 4, you may wish to continue with these measures until the end of your summer term."
"From Step 4, close contacts will be identified via NHS Test and Trace and education settings will no longer be expected to undertake contact tracing."
"From Step 4, face coverings will no longer be advised for pupils, staff and visitors either in classrooms or in communal areas, or on dedicated transport to school or college."

060721 share of population fully vaccinated our world in data

So yesterday the UK Government basically came clean and announced they want as many people as possible to catch COVID (preferably Delta) before Winter. They are scared that reopening allows us to catch not only COVID,  but all kinds of respiratory diseases, and if we all catch them in Winter, the death toll could be truly massive. Instead, everyone should get out there, catch it all over the next few months, and we'll be grand. At least that's what I got from the briefing.
If you want to go to nightclubs and ditch your masks and forget about COVID unless you catch it, then that's up to you. If you want to keep wearing a mask, keep washing your hands and refuse to mix indoors with others unless there's adequate ventilation, then that's fine too.
COVID hasn't vanished. It isn't defeated. Boris is just shovelling different groups under the bus and hoping most of us roll through fast and come out unscathed. And the vast majority will.
It remains a really risky manoeuvre, not least because at any moment a new and exciting Variant could come along and completely spoil his plan. Putting COVID through millions of warm juicy vaccinated bodies is the best way to encourage a vaccine-escape variant.
It is also potentially terrifying for anyone who is at greater risk, including the 1.5m people in the UK who cannot ever be vaccinated. I want to give you a big hug - you've been locked away long enough, and now this... 

Peru has lost almost twice as many people to COVID than any other country. They are having a nightmare. They have lost 5,784 people per 100,000. That's 1 in every 172 people.
Second in the table no-one wants to be part of is Hungary, at 3,113 people per 100,000. Bosnia & Herzegovina are 3rd with 2,965 and Czechia 4th with 2,825. The UK were once top of this table, but now stand at 19th, with 1,879 people per 100,000, or 1 in every 530. 

Talking of Peru, scientists are now finding out more information about the Lambda Variant, which is dominant there. It's unsurprisingly not great news. It does look in a lab as if it is more transmissible than the Alpha (UK) Variant, and even the Delta Variant. It isn't yet known if it is more capable of escaping vaccinations or antibodies, or even if it is more likely to cause serious disease, but what's happening in Peru doesn't really instil much hope.
Lambda has appeared in at least 30 countries over the last month or so, and now accounts for around 1 in every 5 cases in Chile.
So far 8 Lambda Variant case have been detected in the UK - all were connected to travel and therefore should not pose a risk to onward spread. In theory. 

Yesterday we were due the "Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey Technical article: impact of vaccination on testing positive in the UK: July 2021" report, but it's been "delayed"... shame eh.
Something to look forward to. 

If meeting indoors, open a window. Drawing of 4 people sitting apart on a long sofa, with drinks and windows open

Israel obviously vaccinated fast and early, and are still sharing data with the world.
The bad news is that it isn't going entirely well. They double vaccinated around 57% of the population with Pfizer. Opened up, things have been good since April, daily cases last month were single figures. Then they got hit by Delta Variant. Yesterday they reported 496 new cases.
They believe vaccine efficacy at preventing cases has reduced from around 94% in May, to 64% now, and it has dropped from 98% to 93% at preventing hospitalisations.
Discussions are now underway about giving 3rd 'booster' doses. 

Indonesian hospitals are still struggling to cope with the oxygen demands due to COVID. On Saturday the Dr Sardjito General Hospital on the island of Java ran out of central liquid oxygen. Staff transferred everyone as quickly as possible to bottled oxygen, but lost 60 COVID patients in a single day.

Alistair McLellan, Editor of the Health Services Journal:
"Breaking: The number of Covid+ patients in England is now growing at 38% per week. That is the fastest rate of increase since last October! I think we're in real trouble."
See how I gave it lesser importance so that it didn't scare anyone? I try. Let's not panic yet, numbers are still quite small, but it will obviously be something we'll be watching - I always include UK hospitalisations and people using a ventilator at the top. 

Iran have, week after week after week, appeared high in the table for new daily infections. They have had especially bad peaks, but never managed to bring case numbers down in between, and now they are facing Delta Variant, case numbers are going up again.
On Sunday a lockdown was imposed in 275 cities in red and orange zones, including Tehran. All non-essential business is closed, as are public areas such as parks, and there is a ban on inessential travel in high risk areas.
Less than 2% of the population are fully vaccinated. 

Yesterday morning a BBC telly host was dealt a real slap by Dr Christina Pagel - indieSAGE member, Professor of Operational Research and Director of at the Clinical Operational Research Unit at University College London. (The modelling and numbers people.) Dr Pagel mentioned Long COVID and the presenter suggested we don't know anything about Long COVID yet, because research is ongoing and we "don't have any definitive data at the moment".
"We have lots of data. The Office for National Statistics released it's latest update last Friday, showing that a million people in England are living with Long COVID, 400,000 of them for more than a year. 600,000 of them saying that it impacted their daily life. I mean, we have the data. It's not that we don't know that it exists."
Christina continued on Twitter:
"To expand, ONS data shows that the number of people living with long Covid for at least 12 weeks in period to 6 June included:
10,000 children 2 - 11 yrs old
16,000 adolescents 12 - 16 yrs old
65,000 adults 17-24 yrs old
128,000 adults 25-34 yrs old."
She's correct. It does. 

2nd dose provdes longer term protection. Don't delay, get yours

Boris must have impressed Angela Merkel the other day, because Germany has eased coronavirus restrictions on British travellers.
UK travel to Germany will be allowed, and travellers who are fully vaccinated (or have COVID antibodies from prior infection) will not have to quarantine.  Unvaccinated people can leave quarantine on Day 5 if their PCR test is negative.

"I would like to thank everyone who is still wearing a mask.
It saves me a great deal of time.
Your mask tells me I don’t need to talk to you, know you, work with you, or try to understand your mumblings.
You are superfluous to requirements.
Many thanks XX"
Briefly popular 80's music combo 'Right Said Fred'. Being really nasty and intolerant. Yowch.
I honestly thought anti-maskers didn't want to have to wear one themselves,  I didn't realise they had a problem with other people exercising their free will and personal choice.
Most of the time it will be your decision to wear a mask, or not, after restrictions legally end, and there will be a billion times when it would be overkill. and a million more when it will clearly be the sensible option. You will also have the right to avoid musicians from the late 1980's.

No running on stairs with scissors, or using power tools you can't name. 

Dido Harding, ex head of the English/Welsh Test and Trace, is out of the shortlist to be next head of the NHS.
So if you know if any suitable applicants with experience, and maybe a more promising track record...

Some numbers. They're all people:

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

USA 34,600,521 (+2,160) 621,378 (+43)

India 30,646,552 (+27,613) 403,700 (+390)

Brazil 18,792,511 not yet reported today 525,229

France 5,786,999 not yet reported today 111,197

Russia 5,658,672 (+23,378) 139,316 (+737)

Turkey 5,449,464 not yet reported today 49,959

UK 4,958,868 (+28,773) 128,268 (+37)

Argentina 4,552,750 not yet reported today 96,521

Colombia 4,375,861 not yet reported today 109,466

Italy 4,264,704 (+907) 127,704 (+24)

Spain 3,866,475 not yet reported today 80,934

Germany 3,739,297 (+454) 91,610 (+15)

Iran 3,286,923 (+16,080) 85,095 (+146)

Poland 2,880,403 (+96) 75,095 (+10)

Mexico 2,541,873 (+1,805)233,689 (+67) 







Daily hospital admissions 















Double Jabbed self isolation - https://twitter.com/i/events/1412387131494862850


Indonesia - https://twitter.com/i/events/1411986080769794052

Wear a mask - https://twitter.com/i/events/1412019687332798465









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