Friday 14 January 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 12th, 13th and 14th January 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 12th, 13th and 14th January 2022

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 15,066,395 (+99,652 - which is well down on last week's 178,250. Hurrah!)
In Hospital Yesterday Thursday 13th January: 19,539 (up from 18,454 a week earlier - so although it's still rising, it's definitely slowing).
Using A Ventilator Yesterday: 777
Losses of Life: 151,612 (+270)
Tests: 1,413,468
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 52,051,876 (90.5% of UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 47,836,785 (83.2%)
Boosted: 36,191,724 (62.9%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,061,116 cases and 6,035 losses of life.

World: 321,737,292 reported cases and 5,542,202 losses of life.

tell us the lateral flow test results

"It’s deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning and number 10 has apologised to the palace.”
Prime Minister's spokesperson.
(Bit late that love, and sadly lacking...)

Boris Johnson has admitted to (and apologised for) going to the first revealed Downing Street party at his house, which he presumably had a hand in authorising, and possibly organising.
He says he had no idea it was a party. 40-50 people turning up at the same time and carrying alcohol just didn't give it away. What, were you expecting cards and presents? Pin the tail on the donkey? Pass the parcel?
A hard zero for observation and extrapolation there Boris... and only a 3 for lying (like a 7 year old).
Boris claims the oops-was-that-a-party was arranged to thank staff for their hard work  - which just indicates the sad state of employment in the UK, as they had to bring their own booze to their own thank you party. 

140122 UK daily stats

The Downing Street party revelations are coming thick and fast now. No wonder the country is on it's knees, they've barely had time for any work. Particularly grim are the two parties which were held the night before Prince Phillip's funeral.
Remember the sight of the Queen, following the rules we all had to follow, and sitting alone mourning her husband of 70 years, while the Downing Street party posse sat just 20 yards away...
If you ever fancy a good cry, The Washington Post has put together "Brits recall heartbreaking lockdown sacrifices they made — the same day Boris Johnson attended a party".

Lots of people are calling for Boris' resignation over his partying while we all sat on our sofas being heroes. They include Douglas Ross, leader of Scottish Tories, Nicola Sturgeon, leader of Scottish Parliament. Gah, it'll take too long. It's almost everyone. Just name people and it's a probable yes. Plus me. 

In obviously unrelated news, Boris pulled out of a planned press trip to Lancashire yesterday after a 'family member' tested positive for COVID. He will apparently be following the household guidance, with daily testing and limiting contacts, and no unrehearsed press chats about his future. 

“We all wish Covid had never happened. Notwithstanding, it has been the greatest privilege of my professional career to have served the people of the UK during this time."
Goodbye to Jonathan Van-Tam. As England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer he added a lot of interest and humanity to the UK briefings, and his softly spoken, calm attitude was often a blessing, but he's back off to Nottingham University to do his real job. Thanks for what you did Jon.

140122 36m boosters and 3rd doses

From January 17th, England is cutting COVID self-isolation for fully vaccinated adults and children under 18 from a minimum 7 full days to 5 full days. In order to be allowed out early, you have to test negative on day 5 and again on the morning of day 6 - and have no symptoms.
Apparently UK Health Security Agency data shows two thirds of people are no longer contagious after day 5, and it's what America are doing and we've decided to copy them (is what I got from the press release anyway).
Do NOT expect to be free by breakfast on day 6, see it as a bonus. Around half the people I know of who have tested positive since Christmas week have had to extend their self-isolation because of still testing positive on day 7 - and our own 22 year old tested negative on day 6 and 7, then positive on day 8 and 9. Were they still infectious? Who knows? No-one did catch COVID, but we were otherwise cautious as our 24 year old also had COVID. (Personally I'd give it an extra day or two before going to hug Great Grandma.)

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced the plans for Wales to remove COVID restrictions.
From tomorrow outdoor events and sports can have up to 500 people attending, with no limit from 21st January. COVID passes must be used.
All being well, from 28th January indoor limits will be removed, nightclubs reopened and 'work from home if you can' ends. Again, leisure, events and gatherings will require COVID Passes Passes for entry. 

Latest ONS (office for National Statistics) Infection survey results:
- In England, the percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to increase in the week ending 6 January 2022; we estimate that 3,735,000 people in England had COVID-19, equating to around 1 in 15 people.
- Wales continued to increase; estimate 169,100 people had COVID-19, around 1 in 20.
- Northern Ireland continued to increase; estimate 99,200 people had COVID-19, equating to around 1 in 20.
- Scotland continued to increase; estimate 297,400 people had COVID-19, equating to around 1 in 20.
- In England, the percentage of people testing positive has increased among age groups aged 50 years and over, however, infections remain lowest in those aged 70 years and over.
- COVID-19 infections continued to increase across all regions of England except the East of England, and London; the percentage of people testing positive has decreased in London in the most recent week and in the East of England, the trend is uncertain.
- Omicron is now the dominant variant across all UK countries.

(We are all negative here now by the way! Whoot. I seem to have dodged the virus yet again...muhahaha)

140122 UKHSA testing statistics

American President Joe Biden has announced military help for hard hit areas. 1,000 military medical personnel will be deployed.
He has also announced the US Government will buy and distribute another 500m free at-home test kits (total 1,000million aka 1billion), and he plans to distribute free N95 masks.
Evidence shows cloth and standard surgical masks are less effective at preventing spread of Omicron, so N95 rated are a more secure option. However, they are pricey and not reusable, so the US (like many places) isn't demanding people use them.

Remember the wee wee analogy. ANY covering will prevent some escape and escape velocity, but the higher rated will last longer before they 'leak', and will allow less through, and what does get through won't be able to travel so far or so fast. 

The UK High Court has ruled that the awarding of very huge and exciting PPE contracts to bezzies of UK Government officials was illegal. Multi-million pound contracts remain unfulfilled even now, and yet they still haven't contacted people who could actually do the job for less. I would happily have failed to provide PPE for a mere fraction of the cost, and I'd have done it much more swiftly. If only I'd had a direct line to Matt Hancock. 

The UK's CMI (Continuous Mortality Investigation) has compiled the figures until the end of 2021.
From the beginning of the pandemic until December 31st 2021, compared to what would be expected, an extra 120,400 people have died - including around 47,000 extra in 2021.
Around 50,000 more people who would have likely died of other causes during the past 2 years were also lost to COVID. They had their final weeks or months cut short. 

The World Health Organisation are repeating the message over and over that Omicron IS NOT MILD.
It's easy to think that it's nothing much to worry about from our blessed position of boosted vaccination, but most of the world is not so lucky, and 50,000 people a week are dying. 

Now, new UK SAGE data out today shows that from December 14th to January 12th, more than 4 out of every 10 (42%) COVID patients under age 18 who were admitted to hospital were aged under one.
This potentially reflects the greater percentage of young COVID patients with visible symptoms from Omicron, and in very many cases is 'an abundance of caution'. Word is that in our tiniest people, the more recent COVID cough resembles Croup.
Professor Callum Semple of SAGE and University of Liverpool makes it clear most of these infants are just there to be checked over and go home within 1-2 days - and it is the right thing for their parents to take them for a qualified medical opinion. Babies and young children are very small and can become very poorly quickly, so it is our job to keep them safe, and keep an eye on them. Always remember though, THE NHS IS THERE FOR ANYONE WHO NEEDS IT - whatever your age. 

IKEA, Wessex Water and clothes retailer Next have all cut the sick pay for unvaccinated workers who have to self-isolate. They will receive SSP of less than £100 a week, rather than enhanced sick pay nearer or equal to their wage. Workers will still get regular sick pay if they contract COVID.
Although this is annoying a lot of people, it's becoming increasingly common across the USA and Europe. 

over 50% of pharmacies can help victims of domestic abuse - ask for ANI

By 7th January 485 ex-teachers had signed up to UK agencies to cover staff absences.
(Pssst. I don't think that's going to cover it.)

Greater Manchester has announced that with 1 in 7 hospital workers off due to COVID, they are not able to continue week on week, and have asked for military support.
Discussions are ongoing, but it's likely army personnel will assist with portering, cleaning, admin, and care of patients who are in recovery but not yet able to go home.
"Since 18 March 2020, the MOD has responded to over 440 COVID-19 Military Aid to the Civil Authority (MACA) requests.
As of 11 January 2022, there were around 2,100 military personnel committed to assist with 18 open COVID-19 MACA requests. This number is kept under constant review and military personnel will be available to support on tasks which meet the MACA principles. There are around 9,300 personnel on standby who can be called upon for UK resilience tasks."

The Novak Djokovic scandal continues. Photos of him at a charity event after he tested positive mean he broke Serbian self-isolation laws, but he claimed he didn't know he had tested positive at that stage...
He was also interviewed by a French journalist the day after he knew he tested positive - and has admitted this shouldn't have gone ahead.
Then it emerged that Novak said on his Australian visa application 'he hadn't travelled for 14 days before he went to Australia' - but there are photos of him training and at a charity event in Marbella, Spain.
He was included in the draw for the Australian Open tennis championship,  but this morning the Australian Immigration Minister obviously decided he had enough, and used his personal power to cancel Novak's visa for the second time on the grounds of "procedural fairness", and because it was in the "public interest" to do so.

Novak Djokovic gave all of the punniest Internet users something to giggle about. Obviously Novax DjoCovid is most popular, potentially followed by Novaxx Jerkovic, Novisa Deportovic or Novacques Chocoviche (it's international punnery).

Statement on Novak Djokovic by Australian Immigration Minister

Two Melbourne News anchors were filmed while discussing Djokovic off-air between segments. They pretty much summed up the situation for me, and a lot of people, by saying he'd been badly treated, but he'd behaved arrogantly - and the whole situation was desperately unfair on the Czech player who had immediately left the country when she had been asked for the same reasons. Not to mention all of the millions of regular citizens who also can't get entry to Australia without vaccinations. 

While we are on the subject of fairness, as technicalities weren't enough to prevent Prince Andrew being taken to court for child sex trafficking, and he'll be tried in court as a civilian in the near future, the Queen has stripped him of all 12 of his honorary military titles, and 'His Royal Highness'. So in future, it's just plain old Prince Andrew Windsor (Saxe-Coburg-Gotha), Duke Of York.
(The MP's for York have already requested he lose this title too - which isn't military, it's a nobility title and was given to him by the Queen on his wedding day.)

France have relaxed their ban on UK travellers. From today fully vaccinated people from the UK can travel to France without essential reason or mandatory quarantine. You will need a negative test within 24 hours of travel.

Statement on Duke Of York from Palace Of Windsor on removal of titles

Canada's second most populated state, Quebec, has announced plans to impose a 'health contribution' charge on aĺl adult people who are unvaccinated by choice. It is likely to he significant. A monthly Canadian $100 fee is being mentioned (US $80/€70 /£58). 

Tenerife has increased COVID measures due to rising case numbers. Public transport now has a 75% occupancy limit, gatherings can be no more than 6 people, and hospitality will require COVID Passes for entry, with a closing time of no later than midnight. 

The World Health Organisation have issued a very clear warning that we cannot simply carry on as we are without a new long term, permanent strategy against COVID.
As it stands we are preventing serious illness and a huge number of deaths, which is fantastic in the short term, but we are not preventing millions of people becoming infected - and with each infection we risk mutations and overly-exciting variants. We need to prevent spread, so vaccine research must continue and improve. 

 The San Francisco Chronicle has a great article looking at how long you can sensibly wear a mask for. Standard disposable surgical masks should be thrown away after use, but some of the more pricey N95 masks can be re-worn. It really does rely on common sense - there is no exact figure or time period.
Throw out any mask which is wet, dirty or stretched - you have to maintain a seal round the mouth and nose.
If you wear a mask in a high risk setting, such as a healthcare facility, then it needs throwing out after a day, but otherwise is can be okay for 5-7 days. 

UK Gov you can stop isolating after 5 full days

China is so determined that COVID won't take over, and it won't affect the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, they have locked down around 20 million people after detecting a few cases.
Anyang and it's population of 5 million people has been locked down and mass testing is underway after the discovery of Omicron. Xi'an remains in lockdown due to a Delta outbreak.
They are one of only a very few places still attempting zero COVID - and they are by a long way the largest country trying it. 

California's hospitals have now also found Omicron is less of a burden. It causes less people to become hospitalised (around half), and hospital stays are shorter. Hurrah! This is what we have found in the UK, and by heck it's about time.
It is sheer volume of people being infected at once and needing a lower level of hospital care which is putting all of the pressure on our healthcare systems (and that in itself is dangerous and will inevitably kill some people). 

Hoax Of The Day:
Viagra! Yes, we know what it's generally used for, so unsurprisingly 'nope', it is not a treatment or cure for COVID.
As the drug in Viagra, sildenafil, dilates blood vessels, it can actually be useful for some seriously ill patients, but it hasn't been authorised for use with COVID, and by that time you'd be in a hospital and it would be something your doctor would be in charge of. Keep it for intended purpose, and have a good weekend. 

WHO different types of testing Jan 2022

Around 100 people in Boris masks and blonde wigs have turned up at Downing Street with alcohol and are currently having an impromptu "work event". I hope the weather stays nice for them...

It is the weekend! I hope you get some time off and some peace. I have my eldest's son's birthday today - so I will come back to read the comments tomorrow - I haven't ignored you!
Don't forget your treat - you've made it through a particularly stressful week, and by crikey you deserve it. Get some fresh air this weekend if you can, it does make everything seem better, and if you are recovering from COVID, be kind to yourself! It's hard work on that body, don't overdo it, rest. Spring cleaning can definitely wait... 

I'll be back Sunday. 

Play Outdoors, Smile Often, Save The NHS.

Some numbers. Each has a name and a face:

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):

Italy 8,341,898 (+186,253) 140,548 (+360)

Australia 1,532,640 (+130,598) 2,578 (+56)

UK 15,066,395 (+99,652) 151,612 (+270)

Mexico 4,257,776 (+43,523) 300,912 (+148)

Philippines 3,129,512 (+37,207) 52,815 (+81)

Netherlands 3,500,915 (+35,452) 21,142 (+15)

Belgium 2,379,053 (+31,889) 28,589 (+23)

Germany 7,829,104 (+23,955) 115,951 (+85)

Russia 10,747,125 (+23,820) 319,911 (+739)

Israel 1,718,989 (+23,477) 8,298 (+5)

Denmark 1,046,033 (+22,095) 3,468 (+15)

Greece 1,632,641 (+19,772) 21,809 (+77)

Japan 1,809,010 (+17,940) 18,414 (+2)

Austria 1,411,421 (+16,822) 13,905 (+7)

Poland 4,281,482 (+16,047) 101,841 (+423)

Vietnam 1,991,484 (+16,040) 35,341 (+171)

Switzerland 1,659,220 (+15,288) 12,555 (+2)

Bolivia 725,459 (+14,160) 20,149 (+46)

Serbia 1,412,588 (+12,721) 13,026 (+23)

Czechia 2,573,945 (+11,675) 36,799 (+13) 






"Brits recall heartbreaking lockdown sacrifices they made — the same day Boris Johnson attended a party"

"Boris Johnson apologises for attending gathering at Downing Street in May 2020"

PM admits he attended drinks party during first Covid lockdown

"Pfizer CEO’s comments about vaccination protection against Omicron were taken out of context, according to fact-checkers"
"Australian government cancels Novak Djokovic’s visa ahead of the Australian Open"
Types of testing image

"How long can I keep using the same N95 respirator mask? Experts weigh in"

"Viagra is not currently recommended for COVID-19 treatment, medical experts and fact-checkers say"

Charts: "8 charts that show the pressure the NHS is under"


Military UK:

Proportion of infants in hospital increased with omicron, data reveals

Crap apology:

Work Event:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I read every one and try my best to reply!