Sunday 28 November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 27th / 28th November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 27th / 28th November 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 10,146,915 (+37,681)
Losses of Life: 144,775 (+51)
Tests: 1,048,739
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 50,917,949 (88.5% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 46,309,909 (80.5%)
Boosters/3rd Doses: 17,581,331 (30.6%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 560,054 (+3,735) cases and 5,652 losses of life.

World: 261,651,854 reported cases and 5,216,327 losses of life.

281121 Changes to combat Omicron

"People should continue with their plans as normal for Christmas, I think it's going to be a great Christmas."
UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid. Bet everyone feels reassured now. 

Yesterday at the UK COVID Briefing, Boris Johnson announced the reintroduction of compulsory face coverings on public transport and in shops. ANYONE who complains about this is being incredibly selfish. Transport and shop workers generally receive a low level of pay for long and awkward hours, and don't have a choice about being there and interacting with copious members of the public. The least you can do is wear a ruddy mask.
Other measures announced in reaction to Omicron Variant are that:
- ALL international arrivals have to self-isolate until they receive a day 2 negative PCR test.
- ALL contacts of Omicron cases will have to self-isolate for 10 days regardless of vaccination status.
These measures will be reviewed in 3 weeks time. 

UPDATE: Currently Sajid is saying face masks become mandatory in shops and on public transport on Tuesday - AND the Dept. For Education has recommended pupils in year 7 and over wear masks when moving around school.

The UK has confirmed our 3rd case of Omicron Variant. Bizarrely the 3rd person has only passed through the UK, staying in Westminster, and isn't here any more.
As any regular travellers can't just skip round the world while testing positive, I'm guessing this person is either someone who gets special treatment, or they didn't wait for a PCR result before moving on, which may also imply special treatment.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, really sums up just how stupid we are, when we are in a prime position to know better. 

I did post quite a lot of information about Omicron yesterday, so I won't repeat myself. If you missed it, it should be below (unless you're reading this on the website, in which case it's 'earlier'). 

Steve Powys get jabbed ready for Christmas

Italy has confirmed Omicron. A businessman who returned from Mozambique on November 11th has tested positive, as have 5 of his family members.

Sooooo. Those 61 people who tested positive on just 2 flights from South Africa to The Netherlands... 13 have already been confirmed to have Omicron Variant, and testing is continuing on the other samples. 

Nicola Sturgeon has warned the Scottish public that new travel restrictions are on the way, regardless of vaccination status.

Sajid has asked the UK's JCVI to urgently assess usefulness of booster doses for people aged below 40.  

NOT Omicron news.
One in five of the most critically ill COVID patients in UK hospitals since July this year have been unvaccinated pregnant women.
New data published by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) on Thursday 25 November shows:
"...the vaccines have good birth outcomes in vaccinated women who had their babies up to August this year – with no consistent differences between vaccinated women and all women in the figures for stillbirths, low baby birthweights and premature births.
This is in contrast to those who catch the virus, with unvaccinated women at far higher risk of contracting COVID-19. In August 2021, only 22% of women who gave birth were vaccinated.
Of those pregnant women in hospital with symptomatic COVID-19, 98% are unvaccinated, and no fully vaccinated pregnant women were admitted to intensive care with COVID-19 in England between February and the end of September 2021. Around one in 5 women who are hospitalised with the virus need to be delivered preterm to help them recover and one in 5 of their babies need care in the neonatal unit".
I've had 5 babies myself, I know how hard it is to make a decision such as this. The numbers are pretty hard to ignore though. Please consider it carefully along with medical experts, and if you do decide to wait, don't delay getting your vaccinations once baby is born.

Israel have become the first country to close the borders and bar entry to any non-nationals, over fears about importing Omicron. This is initially in place for 14 days. 

Loads of countries have immediately imposed restrictions on travel due to Omicron. Mainly a swathe of Southern African countries are receiving travel bans, but some countries are requesting extra testing, quarantines or barring arrivals from anywhere with confirmed cases of Omicron. If you are due to travel KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON ANY CHANGES, and bear in mind the situation can change at any moment. 

Jenny Harries says get a PCR test if symptoms

The World Health organisation have asked that nations don't impose travel bans in an attempt to stop Omicron arriving, as it tends to penalise poor countries most of all.
"The most effective steps individuals can take to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus is to keep a physical distance of at least 1 metre from others; wear a well-fitting mask; open windows to improve ventilation; avoid poorly ventilated or crowded spaces; keep hands clean; cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue; and get vaccinated when it’s their turn." 

Two Omicron cases have been confirmed in Sydney, Australia. They are among passengers who returned from Africa on Saturday night and are in a quarantine hotel. 260 other people from their flight have been ordered to isolate regardless of vaccination status. 

Do face masks work? Well yes, thankfully they do, and we have a massive review in the British Medical Journal which backs that up. The researchers trawled through 36,729 different studies to find specific data on the effects of mask wearing, other interventions/measures and the effects of packages of social interventions put together.
They found that wearing masks is the single most effective way of controlling COVID - better alone than hand-washing or social distancing -although they admit freely that none of the figures are perfect, it's incredibly hard to measure the effect of mask-wearing specifically in a world where the virus and measures against it are constantly evolving and changing, and rarely implemented on their own.
"Mask wearing and covid-19 incidence—Six studies with a total of 2,627 people with covid-19 and 389,228 participants were included in the analysis examining the effect of mask wearing on incidence of covid-19.... Overall pooled analysis showed a 53% reduction in covid-19 incidence."
That really is excellent, and although imperfect, it really seals it that masks are definitely useful.
Logic tells us that masks aren't going to stop everything, but they aren't going to let everything past either.
The researchers make the point that a package of measures has best effect, and remind us that vaccinations shouldn't be relied on alone. 

281121 daily UK HSA stats

Associated Press are using THE most unflattering photo of Boris you've ever seen. It has been obvious for some time that he ruffles his hair like that in an effort to make it appear more 'full' and 'numerous' than it really is. They've caught him with his head down and running his fingers across his scalp. He does look like someone who really wishes he'd stayed as a journalist... 

Hoax Of The Day:
Moronic has been word of the day on Twitter, ever since someone noticed it's an anagram of Omicron. Yes, it is an anagram of Omicron, but that isn't the World Health Organisation or a Government body laughing at you, and it isn't a plan by Bill Gates either. It's just an anagram of a word which is a couple of thousand years old. Sheesh. 

You Learn Something New Every Day:
Omicron is the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet and literally means 'little o', as opposed to the 24th letter, Omega, which means 'big O'. 

AstraZeneca are quite confident their jab will continue to work effectively against Omicron - and are already looking at it in a couple of Southern African countries. Other vaccine manufacturers are also racing to get data from Southern African countries. It's an extreme way to do it, but at least Africa will finally be allocated some more vaccines...  

My best wishes for an excellent Chanukah to all who celebrate.

Some numbers. All people very much like you:

Countries / Cases / Losses of life in the full 24 hour period up until midnight GMT YESTERDAY:

Germany 5,744,517 (+49,311) 101,340 (+170)

UK 10,109,234 (+39,175) 144,724 (+131)

France 7,588,400 (+37,218) 118,871 (+34)

Russia 9,536,825 (+33,946) 271,531 (+1,239)

Poland 3,487,252 (+26,180) 82,986 (+378)

Turkey 8,724,400 (+23,759) 76,233 (+192)

USA 49,077,695 (+22,612) 799,312 (+127)

Netherlands 2,577,446 (+22,031) 19,272 (+55)

Belgium 1,701,633 (+21,772) 26,840 (+47)

Czechia 2,110,545 (+20,344) 32,793 (+90)

Vietnam 1,197,404 (+16,067) 24,692 (+148)

Ukraine 3,414,540 (+14,200) 84,717 (+568)

Italy 4,994,886 (+12,872) 133,627 (+90)

Austria 1,132,805 (+11,671) 12,349 (+65)

Brazil 22,076,863 (+9,233) 614,236 (+236)

Slovakia 660,386 (+9,152) 14,228 (+51)

India 34,572,523 (+8,774) 468,554 (+621)

Thailand 2,100,959 (+6,073) 20,675 (+32)

Greece 920,683 (+5,859) 17,861 (+82)

Croatia 599,977 (+5,502) 10,695 (+51) 





Boris hair

Image and link to gov

Omicron fully vaxxed:

Hopefully he won't mind me sharing:

Measures to reduce COVID Large scale retrospective study:

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