Thursday 8 July 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 7th / 8th July 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 7th / 8th July 2021

The UK added 32,551 cases today (up from 27,289 a week earlier) and now has reported a total of 5,022,893 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 1,237,992 tests yesterday.

The counter says 45,601,445 people (86.6% of UK adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 34,198,779 people (64.9%) had received 2 doses and will be fully vaccinated 14 days after their 2nd dose.

2,636 people were in hospital yesterday, Wednesday 7th July, (up from 1,795 a week earlier) with 417 people using a ventilator (up from 287 a week earlier).

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 35 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days (up from 22 a week earlier), making a total of 128,336 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 275,571 cases and 5,006 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 186,089,034 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 4,021,397. Already 170,239,895 people have recovered.

080721 daily vaxx totals uk

"The logic of 'more people being infected is better' is I think, logic that has proven its moral emptiness and epidemiological stupidity previously."
Dr Mike Ryan, Epidemiologist and Executive Director of the World Health Organisation's Health Emergencies Programme.
Yowch. Bet the UK's lead epidemiologist, Mr Chris Whitty, is smarting a bit from that slap. Here's another... 

Over 100 scientists, including a lot of the UK's big names, have published a letter in The Lancet today, explaining why a policy that allows mass infection should not be an option.
"We believe the government is embarking on a dangerous and unethical experiment, and we call on it to pause plans to abandon mitigations on July 19, 2021."
They make 5 main arguments against:
1. It will disproportionately affect young people. They estimate 17m people are unprotected and millions of infections will occur.
"This strategy risks creating a generation left with chronic health problems and disability, the personal and economic impacts of which might be felt for decades to come."
2. "...high rates of transmission in schools and in children will lead to significant educational disruption" which will involve all pupils and staff, and disproportionately affect disadvantaged children.
3. Variants. "...preliminary modelling data suggest the government's strategy provides fertile ground for the emergence of vaccine-resistant variants. This would place all at risk, including those already vaccinated, within the UK and globally".
4. We have a massive backlog for all kinds of care, diagnostics and treatment. The strategy will have a "significant impact on health services and exhausted health-care staff who have not yet recovered from previous infection waves".
5. "Fifth, as deprived communities are more exposed to and more at risk from COVID-19, these policies will continue to disproportionately affect the most vulnerable and marginalised, deepening inequalities."
There will be a press conference tomorrow morning at 10am. That should be an interesting one... 

Just so he doesn't feel he's missed out, here's a little slap just for Boris:
"Oh Lord give me the confidence of an old Etonian who can look on 152k deaths & have a bit of a ‘gamble’."
Carole Cadwalladr, Journalist.

infection rates a third in vaccinated people

"But scientists are also absolutely clear that we have severed the link between infection and serious disease and death. Currently there are only a 30th of the deaths that we were seeing at an equivalent position in previous waves of this pandemic."
Boris Johnson, PM's Questions, Wednesday.
But hang on, on Tuesday Sajid Javid said we were losing 1% of the people we were losing at the peak? That would be one hundredth. I thought his maths was off. A thirtieth sounds much more realistic. But hang on again, so did we lose over 3 times as many people at the peak then? And yet they repeatedly told us the NHS was not overwhelmed?
We DO NOT want 40,000 COVID patients in UK hospitals ever again. 

Soooo... this herd immunity thing hasn't even started, but 3 days after the announcement, it's going really well. (Spoiler, that's a lie.)

6 out of 10 of the West Midlands Ambulance Service busiest days EVER have been in July 2021. It is the 8th of July 2021. 

"BREAKING (8 July update): Number of covid+ patients in English hospitals up 42% in week (slightly down from yesterday's 43%), but way above the rate recorded on 1 July (22%) and higher than any growth rate seen during winter wave."
Alistair McLellan, Editor of the HSJ. 

Within the last 3 days Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, NHS Highland, Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, and Dr Gray's Hospital in Elgin have all had to declare 'Black' status - which meant they were at capacity and unable to accept any more patients at that time.

There's been great debate since Monday over just how stupid the UK Government's decision to let rip is. General consensus seems to be somewhere around horrible, terrible, no good, bad, murderous, apocalyptic.

New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, had a lot to say about the UK strategy at her press conference on Tuesday. They don't want to play that game. Thanks to The Guardian for the transcript:
“By every metric [New Zealand’s elimination approach] is outperforming the alternatives – from a public health point of view, an equity point of view, a freedoms point of view … an economic point of view.”
They warned that they reassess countries weekly, and will add the UK to the no-fly list if cases surge as expected.
I just hope they'll accept refugees... 

Pressure from the rest of the world may be the only thing that stops Dr Doom on his mission. 

to 25th June 2021 UK ONS deaths registered by age group

The requirement to self-isolate in England if you are a close contact of someone who tests positive ends on August 16th, but it will only count for children and people who are fully vaccinated - so from 2 weeks after your second dose. 

Here's Grant with the travel news:
"TRAVEL UPDATE: From MONDAY 19 JULY 4am British fully vaccinated adults will not need to isolate from amber list countries including those on clinical trials – another step to fully reopening international travel. Children under 18 will not need to self-isolate."

Latest UK antibody survey results. Adults aged 16+, either from vaccination or infection:
England - 89.8%
Wales - 91.8%
Northern Ireland - 87.2%
Scotland - 84.7%
Those are really excellent figures, and we know will offer the vast majority of people protection against hospitalisation, even if current antibodies can't stop half of us catching Delta.
Scotland really need to get their younger people vaccinated more quickly - you're falling behind Nicola. 

Today's COVID19 REACT UK Infection Study release:
"Interim findings covering 24 June to 5 July from Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI show infections have quadrupled since the last REACT-1 study, which took place from 20 May to 7 June, with 1 in 170 people infected and a recent doubling time of 6 days."
- Infection rates for double vaccinated under-65s are three times lower (0.35%) than in unvaccinated under-65s (1.15%)
-  Infections have increased in all regions with the largest increase in London, where prevalence has increased more than eightfold from 0.13% to 1.08% since the last report.
-  there have been substantial increases in all age groups under the age of 75 years, and especially at younger ages, with the highest prevalence for 13 to 17 years at 1.33% and 18 to 24 years at 1.40%
Someone asked me on my blog if more children were dying because case rates are currently so high among children, and more children are being admitted to hospital. The answer is that inevitably that will be the outcome, but it is an incredibly INCREDIBLY low number.
Since Delta Variant arrived at the end of March 2021, up until 25th June 2021, the UK ONS report that ONE child aged under 15 has died from COVID.
Since the beginning of January 2021, ONS report the loss of SEVEN children aged under 15.
Throughout the entire pandemic, the UK ONS report that TWO infants aged under 1 year, and FOURTEEN children aged under 15 have been lost to COVID.
Infant and child mortality in the UK has actually been reduced substantially due to COVID, because children are not falling out of trees, or running in front of cars, and all of those other childhood things which usually cause them harm.
While this is mainly good news, every child who has died has left people behind.  

You can always book your COVID vaccination at any time

The July ONS report is out on Long COVID - which actually covers data collected during the 4 weeks up until 6th June:
"An estimated 962,000 people living in private households in the UK (1.5% of the population) were experiencing self-reported "long COVID"..... "385,000 (40.0%) first had (or suspected they had) COVID-19 at least one year previously."
COVID regularly attacks the brain, kidneys, heart and/or lungs, which is why people have a huge range of different Long COVID symptoms - it depends which bit has been damaged, and how hard your body is working to try to repair itself. Most common symptoms include:
Fatigue - 535,000
Shortness of breath - 397,000
Muscle ache - 309,000
Difficulty concentrating - 295,000
Estimates suggest around 10 to 20 people per 100 will develop Long COVID. For every 1 million infections, 100k-200k people will suffer symptoms for more than 12 weeks.
This isn't "malingering", the evidence of the damage can be seen very clearly inside the body. Bodies can usually repair for months or even years, so it will be an incredibly long time before we know how many people have permanent damage.
The hopeful news is that the total number of Long COVID sufferers in the UK dropped very slightly from the previous month, meaning even though new folk reported a problem, slightly more people reported they'd now recovered. As cases go up, we won't be able to see that effect over the next few months, so remember it was there, because it is a positive and hopeful sign, especially for anyone who has been ill for a long time. A candle in the dark. 

South Korea are facing a surge in cases, just as they had started to lift some restrictions. Officials say they'll see what happens over the next day or two, but may be forced to impose "the strictest of all social distancing levels".

"Let's call the Delta variant what it is: the Johnson variant.
The Prime Minister left our borders open and hasn't fixed test & trace."
Sir Keir Rodney Starmer, leader of the UK opposition.
Finally caught on with the 4 month old nickname. And apparently finally feeling confident enough to really question government decisions... 

The pilot studies for testing rather than isolation in Liverpool went really well. They found that they did spot people who were infectious early, they had to ask less people to self-isolate overall and less people caught COVID. That's a win.
There was an 18% increase in case detection, and up to 6,600 infections were prevented.
One of the big points to come out of the study was that people need support to self-isolate. It's been said since day 1, yet still the UK Government have never really addressed it. 

Famous People With COVID:
7 members of the England cricket team entourage, including 3 players and 4 management. The entire squad are close contacts, so none of the first team will play in the upcoming matches against Pakistan.
(It's really nice they're still playing the matches tbh - give some new players chance to play for their country.)
Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, aged 48. He was hospitalised for 4 days, and has returned home this afternoon. It's suspected he probably caught Delta Variant in Brussels. He had received 1 dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. (2 doses make all the difference with Delta.)

48 percent of men who were off work because of COVID reported mental health related illness

Singapore allows private use of any vaccination approved by the World Health Organisation - but isn't including them in figures for vaccinations, unless they are approved by Singapore's own health authorities.
Around 17,000 people have been vaccinated using SinoVac's CoronaVac vaccine - which its anticipated is possibly less than 50% effective against symptomatic infection from Delta Variant. Singapore health officials say they need more data before they'll authorise it. 

Olympic Hopefuls:
Yesterday afternoon Japan declared a State Of Emergency in Tokyo due to COVID.
But....tadah! The Olympic Games are still happening - beginning 23rd July. There won't be any spectators, which is a shame, but we've all got a telly.
Heats have been ongoing for a few weeks now, and around 11,000 athletes from around the world are expected to arrive over the next couple of weeks.
Japan has not managed to stifle their outbreak, and are currently reporting around 1,500 new cases a day.
The logistics behind this is insane, with some athletes having to spend quarantine time in another country before onward travel, or travel via several different destinations or on cargo planes, because they aren't able to get direct commercial flights.
The State Of Emergency will begin on July 12th until August 22nd. Bars and restaurants can't sell alcohol, people are asked to work at home whenever possible. 

The UK will be offering assistance to several other countries with Genomics - sequencing of COVID samples to find out which variant they are. The first countries to benefit from our support and expertise (we ARE world-beating at this) will be Brazil, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
Plans are also in development for the UK to collaborate with both the African Centre for Disease Control in Ethiopia, and Singapore.

dont delay get vaccinated today

Lots of numbers today, and while case numbers are going up as anticipated, the vaccinations are looking really, really good.
If I was Boris, I'd not get a lot of sleep this weekend. If I was Sajid, I'd be double-checking my maths.
If I was Chris Whitty, I'd invent a girlfriend, announce I'd been breaking the rules, seeing her during lockdown, and then I'd RUN AWAY... It's worked before, statistically it's 100% effective...

Some numbers. All people very much like you and me:

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

Indonesia 2,417,788 (+38,391) 63,760 (+852)

India 30,741,833 (+33,263) 405,503 (+446)

UK 5,022,893 (+32,551) 128,336 (+35)

Russia 5,707,452 (+24,818) 140,775 (+734)

Iran 3,327,526 (+23,391) 85,397 (+136)

Bangladesh 989,219 (+11,651) 15,792 (+199)

Iraq 1,406,289 (+9,189) 17,444 (+31)

Malaysia 808,658 (+8,868) 5,903 (+135)

Mexico 2,558,369 (+8,507) 234,192 (+234)

Thailand 308,230 (+7,058) 2,462 (+75)

Philippines 1,455,585 (+5,484) 25,650 (+191)

Netherlands 1,701,911 (+5,431) 17,762 (+2)

Myanmar 180,055 (+4,132) 3,621 (+51)

Cuba 218,396 (+3,819) 1,431 (+26)

Chile 1,579,591 (+3,255) 33,514 (+186)

Kazakhstan 445,091 (+2,800) 4,544 (+28)


Daily hospital admissions

"Covid-19 cases are rising in Tokyo with the Olympics just 3 weeks away"

Japan SOE -

Huge thread on how stupid Boris is

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