Tuesday 7 December 2021

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

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

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 10,560,341 (+45,691)
In Hospital on 6th December: 7,317
Using A Ventilator 6th December: 901
Losses of Life: 145,826 (+180)
Tests: 1,122,003
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 51,138,245 (88.9% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 46,582,425 (81%)
Boosters: 20,909,809 (36.4%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 597,161 cases and 5,707 losses of life

World: 267,035,637 reported cases and 5,282,768 losses of life.

COVID boosters for everyone over age 18 UK

"You can safely ignore anyone who claims that any variant will render vaccines useless..."
Dr Angela Rasmussen, Virologist at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO). Genuine reassurance from a highly respected world leader. It just isn't going to happen that any variant can completely stroll past vaccinations.

"Arguably the laziest and most damaging cognitive error of the pandemic is not appreciating that lagged outcomes like deaths don’t reflect current threat in a rising epidemic. Remember: first UK COVID case was identified on 31 Jan 2020 - first death was reported on 5 Mar."
Adam Kucharski, Mathematician/epidemiologist at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Another genuine expert, with a reminder that although we aren't seeing people dying with Omicron Variant yet, people don't catch COVID and immediately drop dead - it lags behind cases by around 4 to 5 weeks. We still have to wait to see any genuinely reassuring figures. 

071221 Welsh Data

Latest Omicron tally for the UK is 437 cases detected. England 333 / Scotland 99 / Wales 5 / NI 0. It's pretty evident there is community transmission in England and Scotland at the least. 

Denmark have conceded they also have community transmission of Omicron (cases aren't just travellers or a single outbreak). In the last 4 days they've gone from 14 cases, to 183, to 261, to 398. That's harsh... 

Northern Ireland is very much attached to The Republic of Ireland, which is European, yet Northern Ireland is part of the UK, and COVID response varies massively between the UK and Europe.
Northern Ireland is taking a line down the middle, often with much more caution than the rest of the UK. In NORTHERN IRELAND:
"Fully vaccinated close contacts should book a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 of the 10-day period following last contact with the positive person. They should also take a daily LFT, starting as soon as possible after being identified as a close contact."

Northern Ireland say 10 days of testing and 2 PCR for close contacts

The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted malaria services, leading to a marked increase in cases and deaths: A new report from the World Health Organisation found 14 million more cases in 2020 compared to 2019, and 69,000 more deaths.
This is particularly tragic as treatments for malaria were in the pipeline, but scientists and resources swapped over to battling COVID.
As the world heats up, we may find malaria carrying mosquitoes move North again. 

We are hearing a lot of reports about how grim hotel quarantine can be. It costs a fortune - £2,285 in the UK for the 11-night stay - and these people aren't in prison. They haven't done anything wrong, many of them haven't even done anything stupid - they just got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, and want to go home. The food on offer seems ridiculously foul, when any half decent hotel chain would assume guests would share on social media and could use this as free advertising. People talk of isolation for hours on end, and a single daily 20 minute walk outside in the car park at night. I wouldn't leave my dog there if it was a kennel...
Quarantine Hotels are likely to be around for a while, and I think someone needs to have a huge re-think on what they are for and how we can support the people inside them. It's more than possible to quarantine safely and by yourself, without your mental health, wallet and gut suffering so badly. 

England hospitalised COVID patients November 2021

TV Dr Hilary Jones was on the daytime telly yesterday, where he said 90% of COVID patients in hospital in the UK are not vaccinated. A lot of people are, quite rightly, questioning these figures.
The truth is that we do have roughly 90% protection against severe illness, hospitalisation or death from COVID if we are vaccinated. UK and US CDC, and in fact tons of worldwide figures back that up very clearly - but with such a huge percentage of people vaccinated, surely the numbers are not 90%/10%?
US CDC figures show that from April 4th to July 17th 2021, 92% of people hospitalised for COVID were not fully vaccinated.
That's the closest I can find (and great stats by the way), but the US has fully vaccinated less than 60% of eligible people, and isn't easily comparable with the UK.
The latest UK data has vaccination status of COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalisations (by week of specimen date) over the 4 weeks up to 14th  November 2021. Very clearly it shows that over those 4 weeks:
- A total of 9,831 people were admitted to hospital at least overnight with COVID in the UK.
- 6,233 of those people were fully vaccinated.
- 3,200 of those people were not vaccinated at all.
That is not 90%.
It proves vaccinations work, because if they didn't, we'd have a match between whole population and hospital admissions (i.e. 12% not vaccinated in the UK, 12% hospitalised with COVID not vaccinated). Bear in mind most under 12's aren't eligible, and vulnerable people are far more likely to be fully vaccinated:
- 88% eligible population fully vaccinated on 14th November, 63% of hospital admissions fully vaccinated.
- 12% eligible population not vaccinated,  33% of hospital admissions not vaccinated.
I think if they're going to keep saying 90%, they need to show us the working out on that one... 

Hospitalisatioms and deaths by age group and vaccination  status UK

Australian Senator Jackie Lambie's vaccination speech is well worth watching. She talks about choice, freedom of choice, consequences of choice, and what discrimination actually means. She talks about keeping other people safe, and gives examples such as driving twice the speed limit, and having a police check before you work with vulnerable people. She then says she has vulnerable constituents who don't have a choice, and shouldn't be the ones who pay:
"Nobody has the right to make someone else's life less safe. That's not about freedom of choice."
She makes it very clear she doesn't ever think anyone should be forced to have a vaccination, but if you choose not to, you should be prepared to accept the consequences - because you're an adult.

We've got more exciting information on individual cases of Omicron from Hong Kong, and it's a bit troublesome. A not-yet-peer-reviewed study has attempted to discover how Omicron COVID passed from one traveller in a quarantine hotel to another.
These guys aren't fools, and they've been doing this successfully now for almost 2 years, so spread of infection was a surprise. Review of the closed circuit TV shows the only plausible transfer seems to have been via the corridor between the rooms - even though both travellers didn't have their doors open at the same time.
It adds a whole new dimension to 'catchy as a catchy thing', and is even more impressive/disturbing than the 'breathed on him in passing' shopping mall transmission in New Zealand - although it's not the first time this has appeared to be the cause of transmission in a hotel.

The World Health Organisation has held  the "Partnership for African Vaccine Manufacturing - From Aspiration To Action" event. The title alone should inspire a level of guilt in anyone sitting pretty on 2 jabs and a booster.
Africa is not being given the same options to make their own vaccines, and expensive licensing can make it beyond their reach anyway. 

Trump Of The Day:
It's the man himself - Donald Trump.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has written a book, and The Guardian newspaper have received a copy. Mr Meadows claims Donald Trump actually tested positive for COVID by lateral flow test while on board Air Force One, on the way to a rally. A second test "using the same sample" (how can you possibly use the same sample for another lateral flow test?) was negative, so the first one was labelled a false positive and everyone just carried on.
A week later, only a few hours after supposedly testing positive, Mr Trump was hospitalised and on oxygen.
During those 7 days he met personally with around 500 people, including 150 at the superspreader Rose Garden event, and the televised debate with Joe Biden. He didn't wear a mask or distance.
Mr Trump denies any wrongdoing... and presumably any responsibility for anyone who didn't survive his week long COVID tour... 

malaria deaths up due to the pandemic

It's long been known that how your body reacts to a virus will affect your immunity, and immunity to other similar virus later on. Now scientists have actually been able to witness this in a lab. It's hoped that it could help in the future, when we might be able to have personalised antibodies, rather than a "one vaccine for everyone" approach.

The Cook Islands has reported its first ever case of COVID, although it's not entirely 100% they even had a first case:
"The 10 year old child who provided two ‘weak positive’ covid test results after arriving in Rarotonga last Thursday, has returned a negative result in his latest test. That means he’s not infectious and this is an historical case."
Secretary of Health, Bob Williams.
“Testing for Covid-19 can be complex; it is not always as simple as ‘positive or negative’... The  most  likely  explanation  is  that  the  boy  was  exposed  to  the  virus  in  the  past.”
Blood samples are now on their way to New  Zealand for antibody testing.

I finally understand why I accidentally called Margaret Throup, the new Vaccines Minister, "Maggie Erewash". It's her Twitter username... doh...
"The first real-world study on the effectiveness of booster vaccines against the Delta variant by the UK Health Security Agency shows top-up jabs boost protection back up to over 90% against symptomatic COVID-19 in adults aged over 50, two weeks after being vaccinated. Data from the CovBoost trial shows the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines being used in the UK as boosters give the best overall immune response."
(I dunno. I'm beginning to think this is where the confusion over "90% of hospitalised people unvaccinated" comes from... )

071221 Confirmed cases Omicron Denmark

Another animal has been found able to catch COVID, and it is the hippopotamus. Two hippos at Antwerp Zoo in Belgium have tested positive - and everyone is really confused as to how they caught the disease, as none of their keepers has tested positive recently. As yet the hippos just have runny noses, so fingers crossed.
I hadn't realised but three Snow Leopards at a Nebraska zoo, and two Asiatic Lions in an Indian zoo, who tested positive earlier this year did actually die.
The range of animals who can catch COVID is staggering, and it means even if we managed to eradicate COVID from humans, we would have a hard job assuring it wasn't out there somewhere. 

Martin Kemp, ex Spandau Ballet musician and husband of Shirlie from Pepsi and Shirlie, is going to star in a new festive advert encouraging us to get our booster jabs. He is dressed up as Santa, complete with a beard-hiding mask and pie belly, and a very full Christmas to-do list... 

I have serious laptop imminent death issues, so I'm going to have to go live while the darn thing is actually running.... and I will be back on Friday - either with a different laptop or on my phone! 

Some numbers. Every one is a person:

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

USA 50,149,325 (+88,825) 810,254 (+680)

UK 10,515,239 (+51,459) 145,646 (+41)

Germany 6,219,169 (+39,330) 103,913 (+309)

Russia 9,833,749 (+32,136) 282,462 (+1,184)

Hungary 1,157,568 (+22,699) 35,611 (+489)

Netherlands 2,772,919 (+20,965) 19,702 (+34)

Turkey 8,921,150 (+20,033) 78,017 (+187)

Vietnam 1,323,683 (+14,591) 26,483 (+223)

Poland 3,684,674 (+13,253) 85,701 (+26)

Belgium 1,855,062 (+12,301) 27,276 (+52)

France 7,928,572 (+11,308) 119,535

Italy 5,118,576 (+9,503) 134,287 (+92)

Denmark 516,257 (+7,146) 2,956 (+10)

India 34,648,383 (+6,822) 473,757 (+220)

South Africa 3,038,075 (+6,381) 89,975 (+9)

Czechia 2,247,125 (+6,331) 33,848 (+94)

Jordan 981,767 (+5,811)11,787 (+26)

Greece 971,148 (+4,927) 18,716 (+121)

Austria 1,203,103 (+4,625) 12,844 (+48) 

















Masks image UKGov - https://twitter.com/DHSCgovuk/status/1467765762500796416?t=lEgP6EFi0kKqwB1leORH0w&s=19










Dying in the UK 28 day figures, with 3,676 people lost all together: 

- 88% eligible population fully vaccinated, 78% of COVID deaths fully vaccinated (2,875 people).

- 12% eligible population not vaccinated, 18% of COVID deaths not vaccinated (675 people)

(Most vulnerable are vaxxed, least vulnerable not vaxxed). 











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