Sunday 8 August 2021

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

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

The UK added 27,429 cases today and now has reported a total of 6,069,362 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 825,501 tests yesterday.

The counter says 47,036,796 people (88.9% of UK adults 18+) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 39,429,468 people (74.5%) had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 39 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 130,320 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 312,465 (+1,837) cases and 5,044 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 203,256,063 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 4,304,987. Already 182,598,948 people have recovered.

Olympics 2020 Tokyo Medal Table

ICNARC has restarted their weekly reports on ICU use in the UK.
THIS WAVE IS NOT LIKE THE OTHERS - and we have to assume this is almost entirely because of vaccination.
In this wave compared to waves pre-vaccinations:
- ICU patients have an average age of 49, this is 10 years younger than the previous wave. We have more younger people seriously ill in hospital as a percentage of all patients, but it's impossible to say if (because of Delta) we have 'more' younger people in hospital than previous waves.
- 1 in every 4 female patients aged 16-49 in ICU is pregnant or has has a baby within 6 weeks. Vaccination take-up rates are much lower in pregnant people, and COVID is very hard on pregnant bodies (it is a very hard decision to make when pregnant, I appreciate that, but give it some consideration. If you do defer, please think about getting vaccinated as soon as you can when baby is born.)

Johnson & Johnson have done a massive trial including over 400,000 healthcare workers in South Africa, and they reckon their vaccine is even more effective at preventing severe disease against Delta than it was against South Africa's Beta Variant. That does match with preliminary findings - the cheaper vaccines do seem to do a little better against Delta. (Which has to be excellent news for everyone.)
It's a single-dose vaccine, and was 71% effective against hospitalisation and as high as 96% effective at preventing loss of life.

And, as if timing was a thing, India's Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has announced that India has granted Emergency Use Authorisation to the Johnson & Johnson single-dose Covid-19 vaccine.

ICNARC report on demographics of seriously ill ICU admissions UK

A Japanese man, who doesn't want to give his name, has stood outside the Olympic Village every day for at least 2 hours, to support the athletes as they set off by bus to compete. He holds a sign which says:
"Good morning athletes! Even if you don’t get a medal, you’re still the best!! So believe in yourself!"
It's working. Lots of athletes have shared photos of him on social media. He deserves his own medal.

The US CDC recommendations are a lot more strident than the UK recommendations.
The CDC recommend that anyone in America aged 2 or over wear masks indoors in any area where rates of COVID are high. They also recommend vaccination for anyone aged 12 or over, and would particularly like schoolchildren vaccinated before they return to school in the Autumn. 

US schools are due to start going back in as little as 2 weeks time. Jerome Adams MD, who was the 20th US Surgeon General, is expressing considerable frustration at the shift in some areas from viewing COVID as a threat, to suddenly viewing it as absolutely nothing (and there is a clear political divide in this, which is never the best way to make medical decisions).
"There are increasing school districts across the country where you are required to notify the school (and keep your kids home) if they are suspected of having lice, but not COVID19.
This virus is not just affecting our lungs- it seems to be attacking our collective brains…"

Boris message to Team GB Olympians

HORRIFIC wildfires are claiming lives in Greece and Turkey, and there was some truly amazing and heartbreaking footage of the island of Evia on Friday night, as half of the population were being evacuated by ferry.
The situation hasn't improved over the course of the weekend, and parts of Italy are also ablaze.
Greece has activated the European Union's Emergency Support System, and firefighters and equipment from at least 11 countries (including the USA and Israel) are already on the ground.
My thoughts really are with everyone affected over there.

Olympic Stars:
The Japan 2020 Olympic Games are over, and the baton has been handed to Paris, ready for 2024. Team GB came 4th in the medal table, with a pretty fantastic 65 medals. Well done to everyone who took part - and everyone who made it happen.
Japan now has some work to do in order to control their COVID outbreak, but as a percentage, cases inside the Olympic Village were far below those outside, and 'the spectator-free Olympic Games itself doesn't appear to have raised cases' - say Japanese officials. Fingers crossed Olympic staff and wellwishers don't take COVID back to their own corners of Japan.

The UK's 7-day average for COVID cases  has gone up for the first time this Summer. I'm happy to admit I've been pleasantly stunned it isn't still rising from the wave we were in back in July anyway. What's going to happen next? No-one can have any confidence in their answer. We do foresee transmission rising when the Summer sunshine and outdoor activity ends, and when the kids go back to school, but... best estimates think this wave is over and we can expect the odd minor hiccup, it's a slow bumpy road back down the wave. Worst estimates predict we have been lured into a false sense of security and it's about to get as ugly as they expected in the first place.

One thing is certain - hospitalisations and people using ventilators aren't in a position to fake anything, and the numbers are towards the bottom end of the estimates.
Fingers around the world are tightly crossed right now - a lot of people are watching, and some are already making moves to follow our lead.

I hope you've had a good weekend. There's very little news because Boris is on holiday again. Rumours are that he had a falling out with Rishi a while back and threatened to demote him, so I don't expect he'll be getting a postcard...

Some numbers. All were 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):

Iran 4,158,729 (+39,619) 94,015 (+542) 

UK 6,069,362 (+27,429) 130,320 (+39)

Indonesia 3,666,031 (+26,415) 107,096 (+1,498)

Russia 6,447,750 (+22,866) 164,881 (+787)

Mexico 2,964,244 (+20,018) 244,248 (+515)

Thailand 756,505 (+19,983) 6,204 (+138)

Malaysia 1,262,540 (+18,688) 10,749 (+360)

Japan 1,016,781 (+15,753) 15,273 (+18)

India 31,944,077 (+10,524) 428,072 (+180)

Bangladesh 1,353,695 (+10,299) 22,652 (+241)

South Africa 2,533,466 (+9,978) 74,813 (+190)

Philippines 1,658,916 (+9,671) 29,122 (+287)

Cuba 458,219 (+9,427) 3,438 (+83)

Morocco 696,282 (+8,990) 10,335 (+80)

Iraq 1,712,709 (+8,346) 19,203 (+57)

Kazakhstan 634,214 (+7,802) 6,764 (+105)



Daily hospital admissions

Long COVID in kids. Covered before approx 2%:

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