Tuesday 11 January 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 10th / 11th January 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 10th / 11th January 2022

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 14,732,594 (+120,821)
(I would suggest we use caution before celebrating too much. Yes, it does seem London at least has peaked, but we are still at the limits of testing capacity, and see below for a change in reporting...)
In Hospital Yesterday Monday 10th January: 19,828 (UP from 14,126 on Friday 31st December)
Using A Ventilator 10th January: 820 (DOWN from 883 on 31st Dec - Omicron really doesn't cause as much pneumonia as other variants!)
Losses of Life: 150,609 (+379)
Up until Friday 31st December, 174,233 people had COVID listed as a cause on their death certificate.
Tests: 1,617,386
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 51,992,559 (90.4% of UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 47,745,458 (83%)
Boosted / 3rd Dose: 35,813,659 (62.3%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,002,013 cases and 5,952 losses of life (not yet reported today)

World: 311,771,577 reported cases and 5,515,927 losses of life.

covid vaccination offer in the UK is evergreen

"Nobody needs an official to tell them if they were at a boozy shindig in their own garden. People are (rightly) furious. They sacrificed so much - visiting sick or grieving relatives, funerals. What tf were any of these people thinking?"
An actual swear there from the frustrated and annoyed Former Head of the Scottish Conservative Party, Ruth Davidson. 

Remember that from 6th January in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and 11th January in England, people with positive lateral flow results for COVID-19 need to report their result, but don’t need to take a confirmatory PCR test unless they develop COVID-19 symptoms. (ANYONE with symptoms needs to order a PCR test.)
Excitingly "In England and Northern Ireland, cases identified through a rapid lateral flow test are included in case counts".
The observant among you might notice this leaves Scotland and Wales out - so anyone who only tests positive by lateral flow in Wales or Scotland won't be added to the daily new cases. That should bring the totals down a bit, eh...

Nicola Sturgeon has announced that Scottish COVID restrictions will begin to ease from next week, beginning with attendance limits on live outdoor events  being removed. Attendees will need a COVID pass with proof of full vaccination (including booster if your 2nd jab was over 4 months ago). 

110122 weekly new cases per million population

The Downing Street "business meetings with cheese and wine" scandal just gets more and more frustrating/embarrassing/Marie Antoinette-worthy. Latest revelation is an email that was sent from our Prime Minister's principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds, to over 100 Downing Street employees, inviting them to a "bring your own booze" drinkies evening during the first UK lockdown on May 20th 2020.
They really did not give a care did they?
On that very day there was a UK Briefing, where Environment Minister Oliver Dowden told the UK public we could “meet one person outside of your household in an outdoor, public place, provided that you stay two metres apart”, and it was the second day with the fun new daily statistic measuring how many hospital patients were reliant on "mechanical ventilation".
Yep. While your Nan/neighbour/friend was dying alone in hospital, Boris and mates were on the lash, partying the night away like it was 2019 - repeatedly. Depressing that none of them seem to have thought this might be wrong...
Thankfully the Metropolitan Police have said they will look into this, or I for one would have probably lost it completely.
(Whatever you think about Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford's politics and policies, before vaccinations that man lived in his garden shed for weeks to protect his vulnerable mother-in-law and his wife. He at least has humility and humanity, and my respect for that.)

DUP MP Jim Shannon was among those talking today in Parliament about people who lost their lives while the UK Tory Government were playing spin the bottle and downing the Cheddar and Chablis. He broke down and wept while explaining how his wife's mother died alone.
I am truly sorry for their loss. 

The COVID19 Bereaved Families For Justice campaign group have written a letter to Boris Johnson, asking if he could at least have the decency to answer the question of whether he personally attended the 100 invitee bring a bottle party at his own home address on May 20th 2020. 

COVID19 bereaved families for justice group letter to Boris page 1

World No.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic is currently roaming free in Australia and preparing for the Australian Open tennis competition. He has been released from quarantine after a judge ruled he had been treated unfairly. I've read the transcript, he was treated unfairly - they only gave him 20 minutes to collect supporting evidence, at 4am in the morning. Nasty.
He still doesn't legitimately qualify for entry though, so we really haven't heard the end of this one, and the situation as it stands is definitely not universally popular.... 

We very nearly had an exciting new variant Deltacron, but hold that thought. Remember in Jurassic Park, where they didn't quite have all the genetic material they needed for some of the dinosaurs, so they filled in the missing parts with bits of frog DNA? Yeah... It seems when they are missing bits of the genetic code for a COVID variant, they might pop a bit in there, and it might just be Delta in an Omicron Variant... Everyone, including the World Health Organisation, is saying this is a suspected lab error. 

Media are reporting that Heathrow Airport has demanded an end to COVID travel restrictions,  but that's not really the message I get from chief executive John Holland-Kaye's quote in The Guardian:
“There are currently travel restrictions, such as testing, on all Heathrow routes – the aviation industry will only fully recover when these are all lifted and there is no risk that they will be reimposed at short notice, a situation which is likely to be years away.”
He seems more resigned and fed up than demanding anything. 600,000 passengers cancelled flights in December, and total passenger levels were around 1/4 of those pre-pandemic. It will take a very long time before confidence returns, and I don't actually think anyone is surprised by this, nor do they really think it's not wise. 

COVID19 bereaved families for justice group letter to Boris page 2

Trevor Bedford, the world-leading numbers and epidemiology/immunology expert has been trying to answer the question of what percentage of people in the USA REALLY have COVID, as we know many COVID positive people have very mild symptoms or are asymptomatic, or purposefully don't get tested, so aren't counted. Vaccinations are reducing moderately/severely ill people, making the true total new daily cases even more of a mystery number.
He compared the UK's official testing data and ONS random sampling, and estimates that there is a UK reporting rate of 10/35. Very roughly, we detect around 29% or 1 in every 3 1/2 infections.
Trev estimates that in the USA, this will be a little lower, with potentially just 1 in every 4 or 5 cases officially tested and reported - but definitely not the 1 in 10 that some people are very hopefully suggesting. 

Around 15 million Ugandan children returned to school this week after the world's longest Pandemic school closure of 83 weeks. Lessons have continued in newspapers, on TV and online, but that won't have reached everyone. Around 30% of the pupils are not expected to return, having instead found work, got married or had their own children. 

"My next worry outside of covid is the return of measles, which historically in N. Hemisphere occurred late winter or early spring and could become an issue if covid vaccine hesitancy/refusal spills over to routine childhood vaccinations."
Professor Peter Hotez, Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology, Dean of the Baylor College School Of Tropical Medicine.
If you have fallen behind with your children's immunisations, please contact your GP surgery. 

Italy has imposed new restrictions. Citizens need proof of vaccination or recovery from a recent infection to use public transport, coffee shops and hospitality, hotels, gyms and other public facilities.
They have also upgraded their mask requirements - which must be FFP2 or greater. What that means is that cloth face coverings are no good, and even plain surgical masks are no longer accepted. 

FFP2 and N95 masks are becoming more commonplace and several countries are now insisting on this type of protection, so always check the rules locally to where you are or where you are going.
FFP just means "filtering face piece" and the number 2 refers to the level of protection. If it says NR at the end, it means it is single use only - 'not reusable'. FFP2NR sounds complicated, but it isn't. These masks used to be incredibly expensive, but you can find them now for just under £1 each (or even less if you buy in bulk).
UK rules are that any face covering is pretty much fine as long as you can't spit in the ear of the person next to you - and any face covering, however flimsy, will prevent some escape of virus.  

110122 daily new cases per million population with totals

The US CDC are warning Americans shouldn't travel to Canada, due to rising COVID cases. Before any Canadians get offended, around 80 countries are on the American's Level 4 list and it is based on the COVID infection rates - which for Canada are currently running around a whopping 1,081 per million for last 7 days. The US average infection rate is currently 2,131 per million, and the UK 2,606, so.... yeah... 

At least 173 passengers from Rome, and 125 from Milan tested positive on arrival in Amritsar, India. This immediately raised red flags, as they'd all tested negative before the flights. Of 30 re-tested at the airport, only 3 came back positive. No word as to exactly what went wrong there, but you'll be relieved to know the lab has been suspended pending an inquiry... oops! 

We've known it for almost 2 years, but scientists are now finding evidence that for some people, the cocktail of antibodies you've built up from catching common colds will give you a degree of protection against COVID.
Dr Rhia Kundu, first author of the study, from Imperial College London's National Heart & Lung Institute, says:
“Being exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus doesn’t always result in infection, and we’ve been keen to understand why. We found that high levels of pre-existing T cells, created by the body when infected with other human coronaviruses like the common cold, can protect against COVID-19 infection.
While this is an important discovery, it is only one form of protection, and I would stress that no one should rely on this alone. Instead, the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is to be fully vaccinated, including getting your booster dose.”
The study looked at 'cross-reactive memory T cells', and if they can recognise a threat from 1 coronavirus to another completely different one, it's looking good for cross-protection against new COVID variants. 

Home cooks, you have a challenge! The Queen wants a new pudding designed for her Platinum Jubilee. Fortnum&Mason are supervising, Mary Berry is judging, and people could be cooking your pudding forever - so get thinking! 4th February will be the last day to submit an entry.
I've run thousands of competitions over the years, and I can guarantee that there will NOT be thousands of entries for this - and they are choosing 30-50 entries to be presented to the judges! If you create something great then you have an excellent chance of reaching the finals. Best of luck! (Don't forget me when you're famous...)

Some people. They would all smile at pudding:

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

UK 14,732,594 (+120,821) 150,609 (+379)

Australia 1,140,897 (+90,847) 2,416 (+27)

Portugal 1,693,398 (+33,340) 19,161 (+28)

Greece 1,568,215 (+32,694) 21,559 (+80)

Netherlands 3,400,076 (+29,039) 21,106 (+18)

Philippines 3,026,473 (+28,007) 52,511 (+219)

Germany 7,593,499 (+23,251) 115,047 (+160)

Denmark 977,280 (+20,937) 3,408 (+14)

Belgium 2,286,532 (+17,910) 28,518 (+19)

Russia 10,684,204 (+17,525) 317,687 (+783)

Switzerland 1,564,461 (+16,208) 12,492 (+4)

Vietnam 1,930,428 (+16,035) 34,787 (+256)

Serbia 1,373,237 (+13,693) 12,958 (+22)

Austria 1,361,741 (+11,516) 13,872 (+17)

Poland 4,232,386 (+11,406) 100,254 (+493)

Mexico 4,136,440 (+11,052) 300,412 (+78)

Finland 338,615 (+9,768) 1,666 (+10)

Romania 1,857,502 (+8,861)_ 59,070 (+43)

Bolivia 686,023 (+8,857) 19,999 (+16)

Croatia 775,139 (+7,956) 12,956 (+38) 





https://amzn.to/3raTGYX - Amazon affiliate link to FFP2NR face masks, including 100 for £34 at time of typing - https://amzn.to/3GdWo6q (will make me a few pence if you buy through my link. Not enough for a yacht though). 

Queens pudding comp:














Jim Shannon:


































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