Sunday 7 November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 6th / 7th November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 6th / 7th November 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 9,301,909 (+30,305)
Losses of Life: 141,805 (+62)
Tests: 914,955
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 50,234,416 (87.4% of UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2 Doses: 45,836,791 (79.7%)
Booster / 3rd Dose: 10,062,704 (17.5%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 469,386 (+3,428) cases and 5,492 losses of life.

World: 250,527,992 reported cases and 5,063,647 losses of life.

071121 total boosters and 3rd doses uk

"An amazing 10 million people across the UK have already come forward for their booster.
We know vaccine immunity wanes over time, so boosters are vital in keeping you and your loved ones protected through the winter.
Please get this lifesaving jab as soon as you are called."
Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister.

“I strongly urge everybody who is eligible for a Covid-19 booster or flu vaccine to take up the offer as soon as you can.
For those not yet eligible, please help your parents, grandparents or vulnerable loved ones get their jabs, it could save their life.
And if you haven’t yet had your first and second vaccines, it is not too late, the NHS will always be there to welcome you with open arms.
This truly is a national mission.
If we all come together and play our part, we can get through this challenging winter, avoid a return to restrictions and enjoy Christmas.”
Sajid Javid, UK Health Secretary, with an impassioned speech there, and a belief vaccinations alone will fix the pressure on the NHS.

Dr Susan Hopkins of the UK Health Security Agency has seconded Sajid, stating that the people currently dying in hospital are noticeably increasingly older and double vaccinated. Especially in older populations, immunity does BEGIN to wane after 5 or 6 months. We already knew this, and it has never been unexpected. Back at the beginning we thought vaccinations might only last 4 months.

Governments across the Northern hemisphere are clearly pretty desperate to get as many people vaccinated as possible - or it will mean restrictions return or extend. 

071121 ICNARC pneumonia and covid

The UK Government have also launched their Year Of The Cardi "open the windows" campaign, with videos showing the difference it makes with visible smoke. They suggest you open a window for a few minutes every hour, especially when you are socialising indoors.

Update for ANYONE who is eligible for a booster jab in the UK (people over 50 or in a vulnerable or high risk group). From Monday 8th November, if it's been at least 5 months since your second jab, you can book your 6 month COVID booster. Appointments don't have to be precisely at 6 months (any time later, or a couple of days early will be okay).
Book by going online, calling 119 or if you have already reached 6 months, you can turn up to a walk-in booster clinic.
Remember boosters will be Pfizer or Moderna - which is shown in trials to give most effective protection after either an mRNA double jab (Moderna or Pfizer), or AstraZeneca, and it's anticipated they'll give longer lasting and broader coverage against future variants.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland COVID admissions in October 2020 and October 2021 are at similar levels, although 2021 is currently a much flatter line. 

UK Government sources have sprung another leak, with something that they clearly want to gauge public opinion about. Word is ministers are drawing up plans to make 'fully vaccinated' include boosters for those who are eligible, which could have repercussions for travellers especially.

The Independent have been investigating UK emergency response times, and found that:
"Patients are waiting almost twice as long for a paramedic as they were at the height of the pandemic."
It really isn't good. Some ambulance trusts have been on "black alert" all Summer and Autumn - that is really unsustainable pressure.
"Response times for all types of emergency – including life-threatening – are at their highest on record."

An ex-Pfizer employee has turned whistleblower, and made a series of claims about how disorganised they were during vaccine trials. Apparently some participants even knew whether or not they had been given a placebo. Thankfully we have an actual testable disease at the end, so I don't think that made too much difference to the final result - although it could potentially have made vaccinated people take more risks.
More worryingly, the ex-employee claims they were slow to respond to any 'adverse events', which is very naughty. They should have been all over any reports of side effects instantly. 

Russian workers have just had an extra "holiday week", but cases were so high that over the last week everyone who was already infected has developed symptoms, and/or infected their households, so cases have continued to rise, and Russia are still reporting record figures. Fingers crossed we see a drop over the next couple of weeks.

UK Govt most people will be offered a Pfizer or Moderna Booster

Peru has only 1,656 ICU beds for a population of 33 million people. 

While I was looking for UK bed numbers, I came across a Government funded study by the King's Fund, looking at total numbers of NHS hospital beds. Obviously over time treatments and policies change, and a significant number of these beds have been lost in things like maternity, mental health and elderly people's care. However it's probably also worth noting that the English population in 1974 was 46.68m, and by mid 2019 it was around 56.3m.
Total NHS hospital beds IN ENGLAND:
1974 - just under 400,000
1979/80 - around 350,000
1987/88 - 299,400
2019/20 - 141,000

Costa Rica don't play with a light hand. Childhood vaccinations are mandatory, and COVID 19 vaccination will be added next March. 

From November 8th in Austria, only people who have had two vaccinations or proof they have recovered from COVID will be allowed entry into public venues, including hotels and restaurants, or any event with more than 25 people.

Courtesy of Reuters, scientists have been guesstimating when the 'pandemic' will end, and COVID will become 'endemic' Endemic disease is something we have some control over and can exist alongside, like flu. They say the change from pandemic could well be next year, although if there are still any unvaccinated populations, we'll run greater risk of dangerous variants emerging. The first countries which reach endemic stage will be those with a lot of immunity via infection, as well as a good vaccination programme - potentially including the UK, US, Portugal and India. 

It's been a long time since we found a new animal with COVID, and we can add another to the very long list. Two hyenas at Denver Zoo have tested positive. Other animals which have tested positive include dogs, cats, lions, tigers, various primates and monkeys, mink, ferrets, hamsters, civets, bats otters, white tailed deer and marmosets . As far as I'm aware, they haven't yet managed to purposefully infect ducks, chickens and stunningly, pigs. 

The message from the UK Government this weekend is very much "get jabbed because we want to save Christmas". They've played another risky game, and they don't want to lose. Neither do we... Don't forget the basics - wear a mask when you're out of the home but indoors, avoid crowded places,  wash your hands, keep your distance and open a window.... These things work - we can clearly see that from everything we've learned over the past 21 months.

Heating is going to be more expensive this year, the NHS suggest you set your thermostat to at least 18 degrees (or whatever you've been told for a medical condition), and get the woolies out. All that furlough crochet and knitting won't go to waste...

Happy Diwali if you've been celebrating over the last few days. I'm very glad you were able to celebrate with friends and family this year, and I hope you've been sensible with those vulnerable relatives!

Some numbers. They all have a favourite song:

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):

Russia 8,795,095 (+39,165) 246,814 (+1,179)

UK 9,301,909 (+30,305) 141,805 (+62)

Turkey 8,231,679 (+25,304) 72,127 (+200)

Ukraine 3,075,433 (+17,419) 72,084 (+449)

Poland 3,104,220 (+12,493) 77,757 (+24)

Netherlands 2,201,010 (+11,349) 18,561 (+8)

Austria 883,887 (+8,554) 11,502 (+20)

Thailand 1,967,999 (+7,960) 19,664 (+53)

Vietnam 968,684 (+7,646) 22,531 (+61)

Iran 5,987,814 (+7,554) 127,299 (+126)

Germany 4,766,727 (+6,859) 97,028 (+9)

Italy 4,808,047 (+5,822) 132,391 (+26)

Czechia 1,816,161 (+5,736) 31,022 (+17)

Slovakia 518,635 (+5,338) 13,229 (+24)

Romania 1,706,882 (+5,293) 50,755 (+263)




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