Friday 17 September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 17th September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 17th September 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 7,371,301 (+32,651)
In Hospital on Thursday 16th: 8,068
Using A Ventilator on Thursday 16th: 1,020
Losses of Life: 134,983 (+178)
Tests: 1,059,522
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,528,901 (89.3%)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 44,298,076 (81.5%)

Cases by Nation for the last 7 days:
Area: Cases / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 15,697 / 495.2
Scotland; 37,155 / 679.7
Northern Ireland; 10,371 / 547.1
England; 162,811 / 287.9

Rep. Of Ireland: 371,301 (+1,413) cases and 5,179 losses of life

World: 228,078,110 reported cases and 4,687,928 losses of life

Travel to from the uk is changing October 4th text and a large hollow framed globe

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has today confirmed that parts of Boris' Plan B are in his Plan A for Wales.
"We are able to remain at alert level zero but the rise in cases and the current uncertainty mean we will must all redouble our efforts to do the simple things which keep us all safe."
- Work from home whenever possible
- Face coverings will continue to be mandatory as before, in indoor public places and on public transport
- All frontline health and care staff, everyone living and working in care homes, everyone over 50 and all those with underlying health conditions aged 16 and over will be eligible for a booster at least six months after they received their second dose (as in England)
- 12 to 15-year-olds will start receiving letters next week, inviting them to be vaccinated
- The NHS COVID Pass (proving vaccination status, exemption or negative test) will need to be shown to enter the following venues and events from Monday 11 October:
1. Nightclubs and similar venues.
2. Indoor non-seated events for more than 500 people, where people are mixing closely for prolonged periods.
3. Outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people, where people will be mixing closely for prolonged periods.
4. Any event, of any nature, which has more than 10,000 people in attendance.

We have important data from the UK comparing how ill children were in the first wave compared to the second wave:
"In total, 764 CYP (children and young people) were admitted during the first wave (17th January to 31st July 2020) and 1,280 during the second wave (1st August 2020 to 31st January 2021)."
Very importantly, out of the children admitted, there was no real difference between waves in how many became severely ill (needed a lot of oxygen or worse). We were mainly original COVID in the first wave (37%) or mainly Alpha Variant in the second (35.5%).
Delta hit the UK around March, so we'll have to wait for those figures.  

170921 UK variants by number in the UK chart

The UK Government have published a bazillion reports today, about all kinds of COVID related stuff. They include:
- Since January 2021, people who work from home have had an average 2-4 contacts per day and people who go out to work had 6-8 contacts.
- 75% of adults still wear face masks.
- The R range for England is 0.9 to 1.1 as of 17 September
- When scientists measured the 'peak' antibody response after 2nd vaccination, it took around 82 days for it to drop by half (you peak high, so for almost everyone you'll still be well protected long after 82 days)... and...
- ...Prior infection was "associated with a substantially higher peak level and a longer half-life than in participants without prior infection".
- Shielding guidance is officially ending. 

With the October half term looming, MP's have obviously realised the UK quarantine rules might be an annoyance for their next family overseas jolly, so there's a massive overhaul of the UK's Travel System, starting from Monday 4 October at 4am:
- We'll have a new clearer travel system: 'red list' and 'the rest of the world'
- The UK Government will recognise full vaccinations from a further 17 countries and territories including Japan and Singapore
- Fully vaccinated travellers coming from non-red list countries will no longer need to take pre-departure tests when travelling to England
- From the end of October fully vaccinated passengers coming from non-red list countries will be able to replace day 2 PCR tests with cheaper lateral flow tests (they hope to have this arranged by the end of half term).

In the meantime... at 4am Wednesday 22nd September, Bangladesh, Egypt, Kenya, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Turkey will move to the Amber Travel List.

Public Health England have published the Health Profile For England 2021 Report. This is a huge collection of facts and figures about the nation's health, and gives us some insight into what effects COVID has had. Bear in mind that there's a stark difference between pre-COVID and COVID. Being in a pandemic in some cases sped up outcomes which would ordinarily have happened over time, but would still have happened. Bluntly, some of the rises will even out a little over the next few years.
Some main points:
- Between 21 March 2020 and 2 July 2021, deaths were 1.14 times higher than expected
- The high number of deaths due to COVID-19 caused life expectancy in England to fall in 2020, down to the levels last seen in 2011: Down 1.3 years for males to 78.7 years Down 0.9 years for females to 82.7 years.
- In 2020, alcohol-specific deaths increased by 20% compared to 2019.
- Deaths from dementia continued to increase in 2020 and dementia was reported as the main pre-existing health condition in 26% of all deaths involving COVID-19 between March and June 2020.
- "Half of people with a worsening health condition between May 2020 and January 2021 did not seek treatment, most commonly because they did not want to put pressure on the NHS or were concerned about catching COVID-19."
If you need assistance, advice or a second opinion from any medical professional then do it - don't put it off until it's too late. Literally millions of people have been to hospital without catching COVID, and even at COVID's peak last year, 2/3 of the people being treated in hospitals didn't have COVID.

The Results of UK's DisCoVeRy trial of Remdesivir have been published, and its been found NOT helpful for COVID patients. They found no significant effect.
Earlier in the pandemic Remdesivir seemed promising, but this was without us using steroids. It seems plausible that now everyone very ill in the UK (and lots of other places) is given Dexamethasone (which is about 1/5 protective against death), adding Remdesivir on top didn't make any notable difference.

170921 Health Data Research findings new studies this month

A message from Chris Whitty and the UK Department for Health and Social Care:
"Healthcare professionals will seek parent or carer consent for anyone aged 12-15 to get the COVID19 vaccine."

Mayor Bill de Blasio has informed the UN Secretary General that New York City's vaccination requirements will apply to world leaders at next week's United Nations General Assembly meeting.

In the UK healthcare workers should have had their first jab already in order to be fully vaccinated before the November deadline. In France, that deadline was September 15th, and yesterday Health Minister Olivier Veran announced that around 3,000 healthcare workers had been suspended for failing to comply. He stressed most would only be temporary: “Many have decided to get vaccinated as they see that the vaccination mandate is a reality.”
Reuters report that Italy, Greece and the Netherlands also have vaccine mandates for healthcare workers. 

It's been a couple of weeks since immune-suppressed people in the UK were told they were getting an extra 3rd dose of vaccine, but it doesn't appear to have filtered through.
We only started 3rd doses yesterday, and are following the previous order, but you really should have started getting letters and calls... 

A study looking at transmission in Hotels and Managed Quarantine Facilities in New Zealand and Australia has found:
- Majority of these outbreaks were associated with infections among staff (some staying on site) and mostly not resulting in further onward transmission outside this group.
• Overall risks for both countries combined were one failure per 15,972 travellers, and one failure per 173 SARS-CoV-2 positive cases in quarantine.
• Genomes of the first 649 viral isolates collected in New Zealand show that only 19% of virus introductions resulted in ongoing transmission of more than one additional case
• Approximately 55.4% of quarantine system failures were potentially preventable with the full vaccination of frontline border workers (combined effects of vaccination lowering the risk of getting infected and the lesser duration of infectivity and lower peak infectivity for those infected.)
• Ventilation or aerosol transmission between rooms is directly cited in 4/32 cases detailed, with another case suggested as resulting from a nebuliser use, and a 6th case linked to shared air in successive use of an elevator. 

Nothing to do with COVID, but a handful of the press are really over-reporting on some of the suggestions put forward for Government review now that the UK have left the EU. For example - regarding Imperial measurements.
The original suggestion was: "Review EU restrictions on selling in pounds and ounces"
The response was:  "We will review the EU ban on markings and sales in imperial units and legislate in due course."
Sir Ian Duncan Smith's comment was: "The Government is actively exploring further reforms in relation to TIGRR’s recommendations, including parallel import laws and e-labelling, will permit the voluntary printing of the Crown Stamp on pint glasses, and will review the EU ban on markings and sales in imperial units and legislate in due course, neither of which were possible within the EU."
Somehow a couple of newspapers have turned this into a story that we're going full Imperial and back to the 1970's. You can read it like that if you want, but... what I'm reading is, the market will be able to sell me 3lbs of carrots, and there's probably something important in that document they don't want us to focus on. They are looking at making spraying pesticides by drone legal, could be that?

A report out this week in the British Medical Journal has found the suggestion that there's a link between menstrual irregularities and vaccination to be 'plausible' and says more research is needed.
We have been saying this.
"Most people who report a change to their period after vaccination find that it returns to normal the following cycle and, importantly, there is no evidence that covid-19 vaccination adversely affects fertility. In clinical trials, unintended pregnancies occurred at similar rates in vaccinated and unvaccinated groups."
Whether it's stress, relief, your body reacting to the actual vaccination, or your body reacting to your body's reaction to the vaccination - it would be great to find out. Women have actually been reporting menstrual irregularities after vaccination for about 100 years, it's great to get noticed.

Care home workers MUST be vaccinated. Deadline timeline

Yesterday Health Canada announced that the three COVID-19 vaccines currently approved for use in Canada have new names. "The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will now be named Comirnaty, the Moderna vaccine will be named SpikeVax, and the AstraZeneca vaccine will be named Vaxzevria."
Hang on a minute, they sound familiar.... and that's because they're the names the UK give the vaccines - at least officially. Erm... yeah.

It's World Patient Safety Day. Never in my life have the world population been so aware of patient safety. We all understand so much more. We all know how effective and safe the COVID vaccine is, when we probably knew very little about any of the other vaccines we had in the past. 

It is the weekend! Hurrah! It's been a long week here, so I'm very glad. I shall be having a long bath with lots of bubbles at some point, don't you forget your treat! We all earned it. Back Sunday... Play Outdoors, Catch The Last Of Summer, Save The NHS...

Today's numbers are in fact yesterday's full 24 hour totals (from midnight GMT) - and these are the countries who reported the most new cases. Most of the countries who are struggling at the moment. Every single number is there to represent a person:

Countries / Cases / Losses of life YESTERDAY to midnight GMT:

USA 42,634,054 (+151,142) 688,486 (+1,871)

India 33,380,522 (+34,649) 444,278 (+318)

Brazil 21,069,017 (+34,407) 589,277 (+637)

Turkey 6,767,008 (+28,118) 60,903 (+262)

UK 7,338,650 (+26,791) 134,805 (+158)

Philippines 2,304,139 (+21,208) 36,018 (+277)

Russia 7,214,520 (+19,594) 195,835 (+794)

Malaysia 2,049,750 (+18,815) 22,355 (+346)

Iran 5,378,408 (+18,021) 116,072 (+453)

Thailand 1,434,237 (+13,897) 14,953 (+188)

Mexico 3,542,189 (+13,217) 269,912 (+897)

Germany 4,129,138 (+11,875) 93,454 (+57)

Vietnam 656,129 (+10,489) 16,425 (+239)

France 6,934,732 (+8,128) 115,894 (+65)

Cuba 776,125 (+7,628) 6,601 (+78)

Serbia 846,114 (+7,602) 7,664 (+31)

Japan 1,657,034 (+6,836) 16,959 (+65)

Botswana 172,252 (+6,608) 2,343 (+6) 




PHE Health Study on effects of the pandemic -

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