Tuesday 19 October 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 18th / 19th October 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 18th / 19th October 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 8,541,192 (+43,738)
In Hospital Yesterday 18th October: 7,749 (UP from 7,003 a week earlier)
Using A Ventilator Yesterday: 823 (UP from 747 a week earlier)
Losses of Life: 138,852 (+223)
Tests: 911,550
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 49,462,425 (86% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 45,400,990 (78.9%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 419,087 (+2,397) cases and 5,306 losses of life

World: 242,144,283 reported cases and 4,924,839 losses of life

191021 covid daily dashboard

The UK is up an average of 100 extra people a day being admitted to hospital since last week. That's not the best news. We also have an increase in ventilated patients of around 10 a day. The loss of life reported today is also the biggest since March. Our NHS is under pressure again. It isn't time to panic, but we do need to keep a close eye on this, and we are probably very fortunate the October half term school holidays might break this up and slow it back down a little. At least let us get those most vulnerable people boosted... 

The UK Coronavirus Act was up for discussion and renewal today in parliament. Almost no-one turned up, it was unopposed, and so they didn't even bother to vote. It has been extended for 6 months, with amendments as reported a few weeks ago. 

"From 4am on 24 October, arrivals into England who are considered fully vaccinated, along with most under 18s, who have not been in a red list country in the last 10 days will be able to take a lateral flow test on or before day 2 of their arrival, instead of a PCR test. This change will cut the costs of tests in time for travellers returning from half-term breaks and these tests can be booked from 22 October.
Passengers will need to take a photo of their lateral flow test result and send it back to their private testing provider for verification. Anyone who tests positive will need to self-isolate and take a free NHS confirmatory PCR test."

from sunday 24th october day 2 travel test

We don't hear a lot about Delta+ in the UK, but 8% of our cases are now this specific lineage. Very little is known about it - which is a bit slow off the mark. It is increasing in prevalence since it arrived in July, very slowly. A look at the mutations in a lab isn't really clear what it'll mean in real-life - it's possible it might be slightly more 'catchy', and possibly escapes vaccination a little more than regular Delta, but so far it's not making any major waves, and scientists are more cautious now about making worrying claims - our immune systems are proving more complex and clever than was common knowledge before COVID. As is human behaviour... 

September 2021 Booster efficacy stats Israel Ministry of Health chart showing drop between fully vaccinated 2 or 3 doses and unvaccinated

I haven't seen Israel's briefing slides before, but they're super clear and the Booster Doses slides from last month (as shared by the US FDA ahead of their decision to roll out boosters), tell a really positive story.
In December 2020, during a surge in cases, Israel began vaccinating with 2 doses of Pfizer 3 weeks apart. They achieved what they call 'population immunity' at the end of February, when they were still in some restrictions. Cases dropped by 100x.
In June 2021 Delta took over from Alpha and despite over 60% double vaccinated, cases rose to highest ever levels - over just 6 weeks they rose by 100x, and severe cases by 10x. They observed waning immunity, people were around twice as likely to become infected by the time the vaccination was 6 months previous. (Around 3 in 1,000 people, rather than 1.5.). Protection against severe cases was also waning in older and younger people (although bizarrely the 50-59 age group had better results).
Israel decided to roll out 3rd 'booster doses' of Pfizer to vulnerable people at the end of July 2021.
From 12 days after their booster dose, the over 60's were 11x LESS LIKELY to test positive for COVID. Results were very similar across age groups. The over 60's were also 10x LESS LIKELY to develop severe disease if they did test positive.
From 3rd week of August daily losses of life started to fall, and within a couple of weeks new cases also began to fall rapidly.
In over 2.8m booster doses administered in Israel, there were 19 serious events reported to have occurred in the period afterwards, of which 7 are definitely (2 x allergic reactions) or possibly vaccination-related. 1 of those patients (aged 70-74) died from a stroke. That case is still under investigation.
Based on all of that information, Israel has approved booster doses for everyone aged 12+. The US recently approved booster vaccinations for vulnerable people. 

September 2021 Booster efficacy stats Israel Ministry of Health chart showing drop between undrr and over 60s

Did Boris break lockdown regulations over Christmas by having his missususes best mate round for the holidays?
Downing Street say absolutely not.
Live alone? Single adult household? Childcare bubble?
Ah yes, apparently that's it. They needed her for childcare, over Christmas, for their single 8 month old baby, while they couldn't even go out. I would have hoped they'd manage to care for 1 child for a week between them, even if they were having a hard time.
For reference, when his wife had COVID and they were isolating as a household, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau managed to look after her and the 3 kids, while still on duty as Prime Minister.
Boris and Carrie might have a blurry but legal 'hmmm', but when families across London didn't get to see their own relatives for Christmas, it's not in the spirit. Really a leader should lead from the front. 

Talking of children. After the Government figures suggested Bolton had vaccinated less than 7% of schoolchildren aged 12-15, they've responded. It appears the Government figures are very much out of date - so don't believe the press who are trying to turn this into a "thing". We all know the UK Government aren't great at collecting information, especially numbers, and because schoolchildren are being vaccinated differently to the rest of the population, it probably has to pass across 5 more desks before it reaches the "adding up" stage.
Because the vaccination is so valuable, health teams only take what they know they'll use - so if you didn't return the permission form in time, they can't just add your child to the back of the queue. Apparently 200 parents at my school returned forms too late - which must really be a nightmare for Health teams. There is some mention of potentially allowing this age group to use walk-in and larger vaccination centres in order to speed things up.

Lost Their Fight:
General Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, amongst other achievements and notable actions. He was 84 and had also been receiving treatment for Cancer for some time. 

September 2021 Booster efficacy stats Israel Ministry of Health chart all ages

Today we have news about sperm and severely ill COVID positive patients, in a not-yet-peer-reviewed study published by the US CDC. Understandably the test pool is VERY small. 7 New York gentlemen recovering from severe COVID provided samples over a period of time, and the results definitely warrant further investigation.
"One sample obtained from participant 1 on day 81 from symptom onset was qRT-PCR positive and had a Ct value of 34.79. Virus isolation was unsuccessful." (It tested positive, but they were unable to extract live virus, so it wasn't exactly thriving.)
Subsequent samples at days 101 and 169 were negative. All samples from the other 6 men were negative by qRT-PCR.
This may be the important bit... oligozoospermia. This is low sperm count.
"Participant 1 had severe oligozoospermia and a sperm concentration of <1 million/mL on day 81, followed by a gradual recovery to 16 million/mL on day 101 and 72 million/mL on day 170."
And he wasn't the only one. Two other participants had severe oligozoospermia (<5 million/mL) and one had mild oligozoospermia (<15 million/mL).
"Follow-up samples were available for 5 participants. Early sperm count recovery was observed in 3 participants, but 2 participants had a decrease in sperm count later in convalescence, and 1 participant had a count of 16 million/mL at 11 months."
The participants were 7 men aged 32–56 years. This is a tiny, tiny sample of people, and we have no idea how fertile they were before they had COVID, so it could just be a fluke finding, but it DEFINITELY needs further investigation...

September 2021 Booster efficacy stats Israel Ministry of Health chart

Australia's Northern Territory has imposed the strictest vaccine mandate in the world. Non-compliance gets you a $5,000 fine. By November 12th ALL public facing workers MUST be vaccinated. This includes people who work with vulnerable groups, the elderly, children, aboriginal people and in healthcare. People at risk, including healthcare and emergency services. Customer-facing, including shop workers. People who work in high risk settings, including Prison Officers.
All included workers must receive their first jab by November 12th, and have booked to receive their second by December 24th. 

Trump Of The Day:
It's US Senator Ted Cruz! He made some impolite comments about Australia's Northern Territory decision...
"I love the Aussies. Their history of rugged independence is legendary; I’ve always said Australia is the Texas of the Pacific.
The Covid tyranny of their current government is disgraceful & sad.
Individual liberty matters.
I stand with the people of Australia."
Australia's Northern Territory's Chief Minister Michael Gunner replied...
"G’day from Down Under Ted Cruz. Thanks for your interest in the Territory. I’m the Chief Minister. Below are a few facts about COVID down here...
Nearly 70,000 Texans have died from COVID. There have been zero deaths in the territory. Did you know that?
Vaccination is so important because we have vulnerable communities and the oldest continuous living culture on the planet to protect. Did you know that?
We've done whatever it takes to protect the territory. That's kept us safe AND free. We have been in lockdown for just 8 days in 18 months. Our businesses and schools are all open. Did you know that?
We don't need your lectures, thanks mate. You know nothing about us. And if you stand against a life saving vaccine, then you sure as hell don't stand with Australia.
I love Texas (go Longhorns), but when it comes to COVID, I'm glad we're nothing like you."
Yowch. Feel the burn Ted. 

Northern Territory to Ted Cruz text message, as lovingly typed out by myself above

I think we can be pretty sure now that whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated, have symptoms or don't,  your 'viral load' if you catch COVID will be very similar. This is the amount of virus you breathe out when you are at your most infectious.
When the virus enters any body, it attaches to a cell and starts to replicate, making all of those copies of itself - which then start making copies themselves. The body has to spot the virus, recognise the threat and defend, and that isn't instant. In the time it takes, billions of viral cells might have been created. Now comes the difference. A recovered or vaccinated person has the advantage because your body has seen and 'fought' the virus before (or at least a small part of it), and should be able to mount a quick defence. When the threat is something you haven't met before, that can take a lot longer. The longer it takes, the more virus keeps being made and the more exhausting it is to beat, and you will continue to breathe it out until the level of virus within your airways reduces. (Open the window.)
Vaccination can't stop you catching COVID - but for most of us it should make you infectious for much shorter period of time, and keep you out of hospital.

Not-so-luxury Crews News:
It isn't just the UK who is having a problem with distribution logistics - this is a worldwide problem. When the pandemic hit, lots of people who distribute goods around the world had to go home - some spent months doing so. When everything started to ease over Summer 2020, but the Western world was locking down, furloughed and trying every craft and DIY going, we all started buying, and suddenly we had backlogs all around the world.
Lots of workers answered the call to work on ships, for up to 11 months at a time, and.... lots are still out there - queueing. Even worse, they aren't vaccinated, so in many cases can't even go ashore. There are an estimated 300,000 migrant merchant sailors stuck on vessels around the world, and the LA Times notes there are many in cargo ships moored off the Californian coast. It can take 3 days just to load or unload a cargo ship, and the sailors stuck in massive traffic jams really are no better off than prisoners who just want to go home.  

norovirus cannot be killed by hand gel

It is International Infection Prevention Week, and the UK Government have tips on how to look after yourself if you catch Norovirus - that horrible tummy bug which spreads every Winter. They remind us it's a virus, so antibacterial and alcohol based sanitisers aren't so effective.... funny that...
As Tyler Durden would tell you - USE SOAP.
(And a bit of diluted bleach/Milton etc if someone didn't reach the bathroom in time...)
Remember virus are like wooden blocks held together by fats. Dissolve the fat, destroy the virus. Simple Chemistry. Soap as a public health measure has saved more lives than anything else...

Some people. All unique, yet very much like you:

Countries / Cases / Losses of life (since midnight GMT. In larger countries,  such as the USA and India, some states /provinces have yet to report today):

UK 8,541,192 (+43,738) 138,852 (+223)

Russia 8,060,752 (+33,740) 225,325 (+1,015)

Romania 1,486,264 (+18,863) 42,616 (+561)

Ukraine 2,660,273 (+15,579) 61,348 (+538)

India 34,108,264 (+14,877) 452,679 (+194)

Iran 5,809,967 (+13,308) 124,423 (+167)

USA 45,917,384 (+9,172) 746,584 (+75)

Thailand 1,802,934 (+9,122) 18,407 (+71)

Serbia 1,062,960 (+7,664) 9,214 (+57)

Malaysia 2,401,866 (+5,745) 28,062 (+69)

Georgia 670,552 (+5,739) 9,546 (+36)

Philippines 2,731,735 (+4,496) 40,972 (+211)

Poland 2,945,056 (+3,931) 76,179 (+64)

Netherlands 2,054,960 (+3,895) 18,263 (+13)

Greece 700,959 (+3,739) 15,447 (+29)

Belgium 1,289,033 (+3,521) 25,780 (+12)

Germany 4,403,038 (+3,249) 95,528 (+17)

Vietnam 870,255 (+3,034) 21,344 (+75) 



























No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I read every one and try my best to reply!