Friday 22 October 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 20th - 22nd October 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 20th - 22nd October 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 8,689,949 (+49,298)
In Hospital on Thursday 21st: 8,238 (UP from 7,086 a week earlier)
Using A Ventilator on Thursday 21st: 892 (UP from 783 a week earlier)
Losses of Life: 139,326 (+180)
Tests: 1,011,431
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 49,603,139 (86.3% of UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 45,486,950 (79.1%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 425,725 (+2,465) cases and 5,369 losses of life.

World: 243,550,193 reported cases and 4,949,721 losses of life.

Get your booster get your flu jab get protected UK GOv

"India scripts history.
We are witnessing the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of 130 crore Indians.
Congrats India on crossing 100 crore vaccinations. Gratitude to our doctors, nurses and all those who worked to achieve this feat."
Narendra Modi, Indian Prime Minister.
1 crore = 10 million, so India have just vaccinated their 1 billionth person.
They have supplied around 10% of all Vaccinations delivered so far in the world. Thanks India.

STILL no WHO approval for India's Bharat Biotech vaccine Covaxin, so it can't be rolled out worldwide to the many countries who rely on the World Health Organisation to check things on their behalf. The hold up could be manufacturing, as Dr Mike Ryan of WHO talked about factory visits taking longer than simply rubber stamping. (We'd be more annoyed if they weren't cautious...)

Over 5 million people have now had their booster jabs in the UK.

"UK Covid daily hospital admissions above 1,000 for first time since Sept 9th - patients in hospital above 8,000."
Hugh Pym, BBC News bloke.

Latest ONS Infection Survey Data shows that in the week ending October 16th, they estimate that:
In England 977,900 people had COVID. 1 in 55 (Increasing)
Wales: 70,300, 1 in 45 (Uncertain)
Scotland: 60,100, 1 in 90 (Decreasing)
Northern Ireland: 13,900, 1 in 130 (Uncertain)

This week's UK HSA COVID19 surveillance report shows case rates are highest in those aged 10 to 19 years old and lowest in over 80s. In fact, it's really pretty awful how badly we're exposing our kids to this. Hopefully half term, and time for vaccinations to kick in, will break the curve.
The case rate for age 10-19 is around 1,350 per 100,000 - 1 in every 74 of our 10-19 year olds actually received a positive test result for COVID LAST WEEK (11th-17th October).
Bearing in mind this age group are most likely to show no symptoms, those figures are likely to be much higher...

The ONS test people randomly, so they discover people who had no idea they had COVID. The UK HSA take the data from people who had symptoms and booked a test. The ONS provide a truer 'real' picture. The difference now is so great, it says a lot about how many people are asymptomatic because of vaccination - which is the next best thing to never catching COVID. 

Make sure you update the NHS Scotland app

"This October half term, booking the COVID-19 vaccine is even easier for 12 to 15-year-olds.
Parents and guardians of children can book the vaccine online, with appointments available as soon as tomorrow."

The antivirals that the UK has committed to (as mentioned on Wednesday) are:
- Merck's Molnupiravir oral antiviral medication - which has been shown to reduce severe disease by around 50% if given BEFORE people become ill. It costs about £500 a patient, so it's not a cheap option, but the large scale trial was so successful, it was stopped early because it became unethical to give people the placebo (See 1st October report for figures). The UK have committed to buy 480,000 treatment courses. (I make that around £240m, although you'd hope for a large bulk discount on that.)
- Pfizer's Ritonavir - this is from their previous portfolio of antivirals, which were developed originally against HIV and other virus, and they've been trying to get it to help with COVID for a while. It did nothing of note for hospitalised patients as part of the RECOVERY trial 16 months ago, and didn't help early stage patients in the Brazilian TOGETHER Trial, but still someone is desperate to see it succeed. The UK have committed to 250,000 courses. (I really hope we got good discount on that.)
The bad news is that they both need UK clinical trials. The good news is the UK Government have added them to the RECOVERY study and they'll be trialled on real live UK patients this Winter...
You won't be given them without your consent and full understanding.

The UK Government SPI-M data on which they made the decision to go for booster jabs, and not to reintroduce any COVID measures on Wednesday, is a bit grim, and daunting if you work in the NHS.
Without booster jabs the most optimistic projected outcomes put massive pressure on the NHS, so boosters were advised and implemented.
With booster jabs it's still not looking great in the medium projections, which are already below where we are now, as data was put together on October 8th.
With a 30% increase in contacts, the medium projection assumed we might lose 4,500 people between October 8th and December 31st. It's October 22nd and we have already officially reported the loss of 1,762 people since October 8th.
We are above the curve for their medium projections. 

UK SPIM Estimates of trajectory as of 8th October 2021 to Christmas 2021

The minutes of the UK SAGE advisory group meeting with Ministers on October 14th have also been published. Here's my summary of their summary, it's mainly quotes:
1. "There should be no complacency around the risk posed by further viral evolution" - we need to keep our eye on the ball.
2. "Scenarios modelled for the coming winter and into 2022 suggest COVID-19 hospital admissions above the level seen in January 2021 are increasingly unlikely, but there are uncertainties around behaviour change and waning immunity."
3. Modelling suggests we might need stronger measures because of a faster doubling time. "In the event of increasing case rates, earlier intervention would reduce the need for more stringent, disruptive, and longer-lasting measures." (Come on Boris, even you understand a stitch in time saves nine.)
4. "SAGE advises that policy work on the potential reintroduction of measures should be undertaken now so that it can be ready for rapid deployment if required.", stressing the importance of clear communication; consistent implementation and clear triggers for deployment (e.g. and this is a MADE UP EXAMPLE - if we reach 50,000 cases a day, we automatically work from home when we can - be clear and simple. WHY can't my Government manage this?).
5. Co-circulation and co-infection of SARS-CoV-2 with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and influenza represents a significant challenge this winter. ANY INDIVIDUALS SHOWING SYMPTOMS OF ANY RESPIRATORY INFECTION SHOULD STAY HOME.
(Why didn't our 'Health Secretary' Sajid Javid hammer home this very important message during Wednesday's briefing?)
SAGE note that:
- they are concerned about the high number of pregnant women becoming very ill, and the low vaccination rates in this group.
- Flu numbers are really low, RSV high and rising
- Infection spread in hospital needs revisiting
- Any resurgence in hospital admissions that is driven by waning immunity may be more gradual than previous waves, allowing more time for effective intervention.

211021 excess deaths england by age 65-74

"What kind of mercy is this?"
Professor Susan Mitchie, member of indieSAGE AND official Government SAGE advisory groups, in response to UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid saying deaths remain "mercifully low" at the briefing on Wednesday. 954 people died from COVID during that week. (136 a day. 49,600 a year.)

Sajid also said at the briefing that the UK Government doesn't have a 'figure' at which some restrictions might be imposed, or guidance changed.
However... iNews reports 2 Government sources have suggested Boris Johnson's 'acceptable level' is around 1,000 deaths per week...

After Sajid's UK Briefing, where he did actually say we should wear masks in crowded spaces, a memo seems to have gone out. There were more Tory MP's in masks Wednesday than I've ever seen before.
Excellent. Keep it up.
(Jacob Rhys-Mogg wasn't wearing a mask, and still maintains he doesn't need to. My assumption is he doesn't even think we are the same species as he is. Probably not.)

The planned measures to 'ease pressure' on the UK NHS have come into force.
1. Physical distancing has been reduced to 1m
2. Some low risk, fully vaccinated patients can be assessed by lateral flow test instead of PCR before being admitted to hospital for planned procedures
3. Standard cleaning measures are being reintroduced in low risk areas
4. Face-to-face consultations can resume in some cases, whilst recognising that telephone and video consultations continue to have an important role
Yeaaaah.... that'll do it... ummm. 

Minister for Vaccines and Public Health, Maggie Erewash (presumably a new appointment or a stealth Ninja), has announced a £162.5 million social care workforce fund to support retention and recruitment.
The aim is to help local authorities work with providers to boost staffing and support care workers through the winter.
(Another plan which may be missing the vital thing to make it work - actual essential worker humans.)

211021 excess deaths england by age 0-24

You think the UK Government have done a bad job with COVID? Well yes, but Brazilian Premier Jair Bolsonaro went even further, refusing to implement any COVID measures, calling it "a little flu", and telling bereaved families to stop "whining".
They have also had an inquiry into handling of the pandemic, and the Brazilian Senate report found he should be charged with 9 separate crimes - including homicide and crimes against humanity - because his policies intentionally allowed the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in a failed attempt to achieve herd immunity.
On the 26th October the senatorial committee will vote whether to accept the report.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorised booster shots of Moderna and Johnson&Johnson's COVID vaccines (in addition to Pfizer) and they are allowing "mix and match" boosters for eligible people — meaning the 3rd dose can be a different vaccine.
They are expected to discuss vaccination of 5-11 year olds next week. 

The Northern Irish Government have published a report on the vaccination status of people who were hospitalised or died from COVID between 13th September and 10th October 2021.
"By October 2021 approximately 2.5 million first and second doses of the vaccine have been administered, with 88% of adults receiving their first dose and 83% receiving their second dose."
Hospital Admissions
• Three-quarters of adult COVID-19 inpatients aged under 50 are unvaccinated. 20% of COVID-19 inpatients aged 50 and over are unvaccinated.
• Unvaccinated individuals aged 50 and over are almost 5 times as likely to be admitted to hospital with COVID19 than fully vaccinated individuals.
• For adults under 50, whilst the numbers admitted to hospital are lower, an unvaccinated individual is almost 16 times as likely to need hospitalisation from COVID-19.
• Unvaccinated individuals aged 50 and over are almost 4 times as likely to die.
Bear in mind when you look at the charts, almost 9 out of every 10 of the Northern Ireland population are fully vaccinated. If vaccination didn't work, we'd have 9 times as many people in the 'fully vaccinated' columns as in the 'unvaccinated'.

221021 UKHSA case rates in kids are massive

Papua New Guinea's healthcare system is on the brink of collapse, and their morgues are struggling to cope. They are having an utter disaster.
Hospitals in Port Moresby, Lae and Mt Hagen have set up COVID-19 overflow wards in sports facilities, and in the capital Port Moresby, work has begun to build a 500 bed field hospital.
They are desperately short of oxygen and drugs as well as beds, and in the community doctors have been prescribing the de-worming treatment Ivermectin (which time and again has been proven not to help). Possibly saddest of all, the head of maternity services at the country's largest hospital says they are losing 1 or 2 patients each day.
Only 1% of the population have been vaccinated, with a mere 0.7% fully vaccinated - 61,000 out of 9.1m. Tragically, with scepticism about richer nations, misinformation has flourished, and earlier this year they even sent 30,000 vaccine doses to Vietnam because they were in danger of expiring.
Papua New Guinea established sovereignty in 1975, after nearly 60 years of Australian administration, and is part of the Commonwealth. Australia have been giving them support throughout the pandemic, and there are calls for them to step in and try and speed up the vaccination rollout.

Jacinda Ardern has upset a few people with her announcements today. She says that New Zealand will move to traffic light system of restrictions once  90% of eligible New Zealanders are fully vaccinated across each District Health Board (DHB) region. She didn't include minimum requirements for native populations - Māori and Pacific New Zealanders - who are suffering the effects of COVID worst of all, are least likely to be vaccinated and most likely to die if they catch it. Maori leaders are concerned opening up and removing restrictions (including travel restrictions) will leave their population vulnerable.
Māori party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer: “On every single Covid indicator, Māori are significantly behind every other ethnicity,”
Co-leader Rawiri Waititi was a little more topical: “The PM says no one will be left behind... What she means is no one will be left behind except for Māori. Let the Squid Games begin.”
New Zealand reported a record-breaking 129 new cases today. 

Good news from Pfizer. Their latest data shows receiving a booster 3rd jab restored full protection against symptomatic COVID to 95.6% of people, and this is in a huge study of 10,000 participants. Awesome stuff. 

From November 30th Canadians won't be able to travel abroad or board planes and interprovincial trains without showing a provincially-issued vaccine passport with a machine-readable QR code.

221021 case rates in kids are massive

Hoax Of The Day:
YES, Dr Anthony Fauci did co-author a study on the Spanish flu.
NO, it did not mention masks.
YES, he determined that most people probably died from bacterial pneumonia
YES, bacterial pneumonia is secondary. Once the flu virus gets in and does damage, and the body is exhausted, bacteria are free to do their thing.
Glad we've sorted that out. 

Too Strange for Hoax Of The Day:
In another of those "did that really happen?" moments, which created one of the strangest videos you'll ever see in your life, a group entered Colchester Hospital and "served" the members of staff there with a bunch of 'legal paperwork'. It included a copy of The Nuremburg Code - which says you can't be experimented on without your consent - and an envelope that they claimed contained “all of the evidence to prove the coronavirus is an absolute plandemic hoax”.
The spokesman claimed NHS staff were operating illegally by "continuing to enforce, and continuing to propagate this lie".
Then it took an even more bizarre and sinister turn, as he claimed The Pope was in charge of all business, and had removed workers rights in 2013, so NHS staff can be "held in their personal capacity".
Clearly utterly out of his mind. But very confused, and scared. We are all a bit scared, but you have to wonder how these people came to this point.
I believe a tour of the COVID wards in the North East would help solve a lot of his confusion. 

Ahead of half term, DO NOT FORGET that the UK is not in agreement about COVID measures. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland you legally have to wear a mask in public indoor places, crowds etc. In England if you wear a mask in the shop, everyone stares at you like you think COVID isn't over or something. (Interesting how only England has rapidly rising cases...)

Famous People With COVID:
Strictly Come Dancing telly contest entrant Judi Love. She will skip this week's contest, and all being well will return next weekend.

Pregnant, get a free flu vaccine UK NHS Floaty romantic and serene looking pregnant lady

The Queen hasn't been in best health. She cancelled an appointment in Northern Ireland on Thursday, and Buckingham Palace have informed us she spent Wednesday night in hospital. Nicholas Witchell, Royal Correspondent at BBC News since before we invented the wheel, was obviously perturbed today, and notably wearing a black tie.
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha) is 95 and recently lost her husband of 74 years. That really cannot be easy.

"When you get up to a red light you must stop, that's because it's not about you it's about the other innocent people going by... Be respectful of other people and get a vaccine."
Gene Simmons, member of popular rock combo Kiss, influential make up artist, and star of Kiss Saves Santa, Family Guy Christmas TV special. He's got to be right...

It is the weekend - hurrah! I mostly failed to do all of the work I was meant to do this week, so half term with the kids here while I work next week has to be more productive, right?!.... Erm... yeah. do NOT forget your own treat - you do deserve it and you have earned it. You made it through another week. Let's face it, we all rock.

Wash Your Hands, Limit Your Contacts, Save The NHS.

Some numbers. All people on this rock we call home:

Countries / Cases / Losses of life YESTERDAY. The FULL 24 hour reports up until midnight GMT:

USA 46,174,547 (+80,835) 753,747 (+1,428)

UK 8,640,651 (+51,819) 139,146 (+115)

Russia 8,131,164 (+36,339) 227,389 (+1,036)

Turkey 7,772,604 (+28,465) 68,472 (+198)

Ukraine 2,701,600 (+22,415) 62,389 (+546)

Germany 4,446,857 (+17,838) 95,753 (+85)

Brazil 21,697,341 (+16,852) 604,764 (+461)

Romania 1,519,532 (+16,110) 43,488 (+448)

India 34,142,441 (+15,759) 453,076 (+232)

Iran 5,833,525 (+11,788) 124,763 (+178)

Thailand 1,821,579 (+9,727) 18,559 (+73)

Serbia 1,078,032 (+7,327) 9,331 (+59)

Belgium 1,299,439 (+6,552) 25,816 (+19)

Malaysia 2,413,592 (+6,210) 28,234 (+96)

France 7,108,206 (+6,127) 117,411 (+35)

Poland 2,956,217 (+5,602) 76,300 (+46)

Netherlands 2,064,729 (+5,195) 18,280 (+7)

Mexico 3,767,758 (+5,069) 285,347 (+424)




Gene Simmons:

Papua New Guinea

Pfizer booster

"Bolsonaro accused of crimes against humanity in Covid probe"


  1. Hi Jenny,
    Thanks for all the updates.
    The new minister is Maggie _Throup_, MP for Erewash.

    1. Thank YOU! Hahaha. I really did think Erewash was a very unusual person name, clearly I completely misread that! I'm almost disappointed, I like Erewash better - poor Maggie, I shall have to correct that. Thank you again.


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