Sunday 20 February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 19th / 20th February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 19th / 20th February 2022

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 18,605,752 (+25,696)
Losses of Life: 160,581 (+74)
Tests: 900,352
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 52,566,648 (91.4% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 48,871,729 (85%)
Boosted / 3rd Doses: 37,989,163 (66.1%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,265,124 cases and 6,417 losses of life.

World: 424,519,181 reported cases and 5,904,075 losses of life.

the Queen Elizabeth II has COVID

"Covid will not suddenly disappear, and we need to learn to live with this virus and continue to protect ourselves without restricting our freedoms.
We’ve built up strong protections against this virus over the past two years through the vaccine rollouts, tests, new treatments, and the best scientific understanding of what this virus can do.
Thanks to our successful vaccination programme and the sheer magnitude of people who have come forward to be jabbed, we are now in a position to set out our plan for living with Covid this week."
Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister. 

Famous People With COVID heads today's report, and that's because it has been confirmed by Buckingham Palace that The Queen Elizabeth II has COVID, and has mild symptoms. She's obviously massively high risk because of her age (she is 95), but somewhat surprisingly she has not yet been admitted to hospital (as far as we know).
This is a reminder to everyone in the UK that COVID is NOT over. It hasn't gone away, it didn't finish. We are in a very privileged position with our 3 jabs and fabulous NHS, and we are keeping most people out of the hospital or worse, but we are in a pandemic, and despite the best we can throw at it, that still puts a heck of a lot of people at risk.

The Queen had been in close contact with her son Charles 2 days before he tested positive last week. This is a ridiculously hard position for anyone to be in, and something I have tried to warn you guys about since day one. If you are ever aware that you probably infected someone very vulnerable, they are almost certainly going to be someone you value dearly. It doesn't make it your fault, but it is very easy to take that guilt on yourself. Repeat after me. Not. Your. Fault. 

200222 Share of pop vaccinated OUr World In Data

Boris Johnson was pre-empting his own UK briefing on BBC's Sunday Morning TV show:
"I think it's very important we should remain careful, and we're certainly not asking people to throw caution to the winds. COVID remains a dangerous disease, particularly if you haven't been vaccinated, and particularly if you're vulnerable"...(so please, please get vaccinated - talks about voluntarily giving booster jabs)... "We've now reached the stage where we think you can shift the balance away from state mandation, away from banning certain courses of action, compelling certain courses of action."  

Dr David Nabarro, the World Health Organization special envoy for COVID19, has also been pre-empting Boris' UK Briefing - he gave his opinion on the likely news that tomorrow Boris will be scrapping self-isolation laws in an interview on BBC Radio 4 yesterday:
“I think it’s really very unwise and I don’t understand why that’s been introduced.”

In fact just about anyone of any medical or scientific importance has found it hard not to comment on what Boris might announce tomorrow, there are thousands of examples:
"Dropping masks & other mitigation efforts now is like stopping your 10 day course of antibiotics after the 3rd day because your fever is gone."
Dr Emily Porter, Texas (on Twitter). 

Dr Derren Ready says get vaxxed UK HSA quote

Another rumour, this one is in the Independent, who say the JCVI will advise that the UK's most severely immunosuppressed people should be offered a 2nd booster jab to see them through Summer. If true, this will apply to around half a million UK residents.

An Italian study (not yet peer reviewed) has looked at risk of myocarditis and pericarditis (enlarged heart) after vaccination. They studied almost 3m people. One person died almost 2 months after vaccination (although cause of death is not yet confirmed). They determined the risk was increased, but only in people under age 40, and risk was lower with the Pfizer vaccine, and in females. 

Nature Magazine has a study (not yet peer-reviewed) which examined the increased risk of Cardiovascular complications in people who have had COVID. (This is basically your circulatory system - the heart is the pump and the vascular system is the pipework which delivers blood around your body.)
They studied veterans and control groups who were alive 30 days after a positive COVID test, and found increased risk of stroke (hazard ratio or HR =1.52, which is 1.52 x more frequent; burden 4.03 per 10,000 persons at 12 months, so 1 in every 2.500 people at 1 year after COVID diagnosis). Also increased risk of transient ischemic attacks, atrial fibrillation, ventricular arrhythmias, inflammatory diseases of the heart or pericardium, Ischemic heart disease, heart failure (HR = 1.72; burden 11.61), cardiac arrest (HR = 2.45; burden 0.71) etc etc it goes on and on.
Basically Cardiovascular damage from COVID is a genuine issue. (I read a very sad tale yesterday of a young man who had mild COVID and on day 10 had a stroke.)

Japanese scientists are studying Omicron BA.2, the evil cousin of regular Omicron (BA.1).
Not yet peer-reviewed, but Omicron BA.2 does seem to be spreading faster than normal Omicron (potentially up to 1.4x as fast) and it looks like it could be as deadly as Delta - partly because it still causes problems in the lungs (it causes big lung damage in hamsters).
There's no denying we were a bit lucky to get regular Omicron BA.1, which doesn't cause so many people lung problems, but still, darn you Omicron BA.2!
Although it appears most people will still be able to catch Omicron BA.2 after Omicron BA.1, the chances are very slim until around 6 months or more later, and you are less likely to be seriously ill, or even have any symptoms (and therefore logically less likely to pass it on). 

UK GOvernment donate 10m to vaccine research in Africa

There have been ugly scenes in Ottawa, Canada, where police began forcibly removing any remaining protesting truckers. Bizarrely I've seen both sides of the argument referred to as 'Communists', which really does leave me wondering exactly what some Canadians/Americans think Communists are?Disappointing, and a great example of why we should learn how to discuss politics sensibly, rather than barring or avoiding it... 

"We've awarded £10 million for research into vaccines to protect the world from deadly diseases.
UK aid funding by the UK Vaccines Network delivered via Innovate UK has been awarded to 22 research projects to combat viruses such as Ebola, Lassa Fever and Zika."
UK Government.
One pandemic at a time is plenty, so it's good to be reminded people are still working on protecting the world from other viruses. 

The Beijing Winter Olympic Games ended earlier today, and the final song of the closing ceremony was a rousing rendition of 'Auld Lang Syne'.
(Never underestimate Scotland's global influence...)
All of the staff working on the games will have been celebrating extra hard. They have been in a COVID bubble since the outset in order to protect Olympians and officials, and soon they'll finally be able to go home. Thanks to all of you (nah, I don't think they're reading this either, but the thought is there).

Barring incident or accident I shall be back tomorrow with Boris' COVID UK Briefing - hopefully he'll not be standing there alone - I think we are long overdue word from Chris "Never Blinks" Whitty...

Some people. All very much unique, yet the same.

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

World 423,565,740 (+1,586,118) 5,900,480 (+8,124)

USA 80,072,561 (+41,443) 959,130 (+715)

India 42,822,473 (+19,968) 511,935 (+673)

Brazil 28,167,587 (+103,363) 643,938 (+827)

France 22,227,826 (+76,638) 136,594 (+148)

UK 18,580,056 (+34,323) 160,507 (+128)

Russia 15,199,720 (+179,147) 344,755 (+798)

Germany 13,498,300 (+137,722) 121,826 (+133)

Turkey 13,434,130 (+80,454) 92,188 (+278)

Italy 12,427,894 (+50,655) 152,848 (+252)

Argentina 8,823,054 (+7,807) 125,185 (+123)

Iran 6,925,485 (+12,058) 134,798 (+191)

Netherlands 6,046,118 (+33,597) 21,475 (+10)

Colombia 6,043,661 (+4,498) 137,996 (+127)

Poland 5,540,154 (+20,894) 109,792 (+283)

Indonesia 5,149,021 (+59,384) 146,202 (+158)

Ukraine 4,703,323 (+31,125) 104,366 (+260)

Japan 4,334,739 (+92,939) 21,433 (+235)

Canada 3,238,490 (+4,278) 36,016 (+21)

Australia 3,014,660 (+21,954) 4,880 (+45)

China 107,512 (+137) 4,636

Hong Kong 46,763 (+6,063) 276 (+18)

New Zealand 28,751 (+1,816) 53




"Queen Elizabeth II tests positive for COVID-19, Buckingham Palace announces"

Queen image:



Omicron BA.2


"Ottawa police continue to clear streets of protestors"


COVID actuaries report (includes myocarditis)

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