Tuesday 22 February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 21st /22nd February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 21st /22nd February 2022

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 18,695,448 (+41,130)
In Hospital Yesterday 21st Feb: 11,357
Using A Ventilator Yesterday: 324
Losses of Life: 160,815 (+205)
Tests: 816,387 (PCR testing capacity is 835,117)
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 52,581,000 (91.4% of UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 48,901,901 (85%)
Boosted: 38,051,955 (66.2%)

Area: Cases Last 7 Days / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 7,654 / 241.5
Scotland: 43,125 / 789
Northern Ireland: 18,489 / 975.4
England: 251,073 / 444

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,280,058 (+3,280) cases and 6,452 (+9) losses of life

World: 427,237,595 reported cases and 5,913,601 losses of life

England until 24th Feb isolate if you test positive - like this chap sitting on a sofa using a laptop

"Covid will not suddenly disappear. So those who would wait for a total end to this war before lifting the remaining regulations, would be restricting the liberties of the British people for a long time to come.
This government does not believe that is right or necessary.
Restrictions pose a heavy toll on our economy, our society, our mental wellbeing, and the life chances of our children.
And we do not need to pay that cost any longer."
Boris Johnson, addressing Parliament yesterday. 

In England:
- The government has published its plan for living with COVID-19 (see yesterday's report).
- Staff and students in most education and childcare settings no longer need to test twice a week.
- From 24th February you will not be legally required to self-isolate if you test positive for COVID-19. Stay at home if you can and avoid contact with other people.
- You will not have to take daily tests or be legally required to self-isolate following contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme will end. If you were told to self-isolate before 24 February you can still make a claim up to 6 April.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Chair of the British Medical Association council is quoted by PA Media today:
“Living with Covid-19 must not mean ignoring the virus all together – which in many respects the Government’s plan in England seems to do.
On the one hand the Government says it will keep monitoring the spread of the virus, and asks individuals to take greater responsibility for their own decisions, but by removing free testing for the vast majority of the population on the other, ministers are taking away the central tool to allow both of these to happen.
Far from giving people more freedom, today’s announcement is likely to cause more uncertainty and anxiety.”

And just to back that up, the New Statesman is running with the following headline article:
"Vulnerable People Are Effectively Being Told "Go To Hell"."
(Don't hold back, say what you see... )

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set out Scotland's plan for 'Living With COVID' this afternoon:
- Vaccine certification will no longer be legally required from Monday 28 February, although the app will remain available so any business that wishes to continue certification on a voluntary basis to reassure customers will be able to do so
- Current legal requirements on the use of face coverings, the collection of customer details for contact tracing purposes, and for businesses, service providers and places of worship to have regard to guidance on Covid and to take reasonably practicable measures set out in the guidance are expected to be lifted on 21 March, subject to the state of the pandemic
- Access to lateral flow and PCR tests will continue to be free of charge, ahead of a detailed transition plan being published on the future of Scotland’s test and protect programme in March
- People who test positive for COVID-19 will continue to be asked to self-isolate to reduce the risk of infecting other people. Any changes to the recommended period of self-isolation will be considered on an ongoing basis . (Support payments to those who are eligible will continue.)
Face coverings will no longer be mandatory, although they will still be strongly recommended in indoor public places and on public transport.

Scotland flag in shape of house, and text continue to isolate if you test positive

The UK Government (ONS) are being a little naughty with the figures again. Didn't take more than minutes before someone spotted them, Dr. Deepti Gurdasani was all over it on Twitter. Last night they used the 'last 5 years' when calculating excess deaths. Obviously this time last year the deaths were massive because we were in a dreadful COVID wave, so comparing this January/February to last, and saying "we're losing less people than average" is a bit misleading...
However, we do still have fair news. COVID Actuaries ignore last year and work it out using the 5 years before that (2015-2019), in which case the latest week's figures are still 3% below average - 367 fewer people died than anticipated. Mortality for the year to date is also down 3% on the average.
(Sadly a large part of this is because those people already died early, but at least we aren't still heaping more and more early deaths on top...) 

In future there'll be no COVID data from the UK Government at weekends, everything from Saturday and Sunday will be added onto Monday's data.
"Daily cases and deaths by report date published on Mondays will include figures from the weekend. These will not be separated out to show daily figures for Saturday and Sunday."
As we won't really be doing much testing, and we don't get all the healthcare information promptly at weekends anyway (often not until Tuesday), it's actually not going to make such a massive difference as you might initially think... 

The Daily Mail is reporting that "Headteachers welcome new Bill to set up buffer zones around schools targeted by anti-vax protests".
That sounds excellent to me, but bizarrely, 90's popular music combo and surprise conspiracy theorists Right Said Fred commented on the story by saying:
"!$?& off you big girl’s blouse."
Ermmmm.... wait. So you, Right Said Fred, are saying harassment of teenagers by strangers, while they are at school or attempting to enter/leave is appropriate and fine? I didn't see any of this coming when you were on TOTP... 

Because we all need a laugh, Right Said Fred's tweets today also included the classic:
"I am told by those who monitor 5G that 22.02.22 is a significant day."
Crooner James Blunt, who turned out to be funnier than anyone could ever have imagined, replied with:
"I am told by my mother that it’s my birthday."

220222 UK daily stats

So overnight Putin sent in what he referred to as "peacekeepers" to the two areas of Ukraine which claim independence (Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics). Peacekeepers is another word for troops. Handily for school children of the future, this confrontational move took place today - on Twosday 22nd February 2022, or 22022022 - which is a very special date indeed. It's the same backwards as forwards (palindrome, or a bilateral ambigram) and on a calculator it's also the same upside down (strobogrammatic, or a rotational ambigram).
All the big guns had emergency meetings (Boris was in a COBRA meeting at 6.30am). One of the biggest meetings was the UN Security Council - and ironically the country which is currently taking the role of Presidency is.... drum roll... Russia.
The Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said US and Western allies are antagonising the situation, Russia remains open to a diplomatic solution. He urged the West “to think twice, to set emotions to one side, and not to make the situation worse".
Erm... yeah...
Germany have announced they've put a massive gas-supplying pipeline project on hold, and the UK have put sanctions on about 5 Russian banks and 3 Russian people....
Back to COVID... 

As of 11th February the UK Government had delivered 6311 air cleaning units (air purifiers) to state-funded education settings.
Just a couple more left then I imagine.. 

On March 1st Israel will reopen it's borders to unvaccinated people for the first time since March 2020.
ALL incoming tourists will need a negative PCR test before flying and after landing. Israeli nationals returning just need a PCR test on arrival. 

"Pleased to join the Munich Security Conference today. I was asked: when will the COVID19 pandemic end? It will end when we choose to end it. Because ultimately, it’s not a matter of chance, it’s a matter of choice."
Dr Tedros, Head of the World Health Organisation, yesterday.
"Indeed, high vaccine coverage in some countries, combined with the lower severity of Omicron, is driving a dangerous narrative that the pandemic is over. But it’s not – not when 70,000 people a week are dying from a preventable and treatable disease... Not when 83% of the population of Africa is yet to receive a single dose of vaccine; Not when health systems continue to strain and crack under the caseload... Not when we have a highly transmissible virus circulating almost unchecked, with too little surveillance to track its evolution.. In fact, the conditions are ideal for more transmissible, more dangerous variants to emerge. But we can end the COVID19 pandemic as a global health emergency this year. We have the tools. We have the know-how."
WHO estimates $16B will fund vaccination, testing, treatments and PPE for everyone in poorer nations. It's a massive sum of money, but compared to what has been spent over the last 2 years it "is frankly peanuts". 

UK Government How To Stay Safe 6 blocks of text - vaccines, stay home if unwell, wash hands, fresh air, face coverings

Famous Queen With COVID:
Queen Elizabeth II cancelled her virtual engagements today, due to her "mild COVID symptoms".  We are told she would still continue "light duties". Give it up woman, you're ill, take a day off. Overdoing it is no good for anyone... Hopefully she's just feeling the exhaustion which COVID brings.... be kind to yourself. 

"Dear Sajid
Can you confirm that you are holding Chris Whitty and Patrick Valance in the cellars under Trafalgar Square? Thing is, I may have to answer something about this in PMQs and I need to know the truth in order to avoid it.
Veritas in anus
Not actually Boris, it was Michael Rosen yesterday afternoon - potentially never back to full health, but mercifully at least a survivor of COVID - commenting on the lack of Chris and Pat for several weeks before last night's briefing... 

Australian telly messed up. In a segment about Queen Elizabeth II they accidentally included an image of a product which contains Ivermectin dewormer.
They have apologised. Clearly its plain rude to suggest the Queen has need for such a product (around 1 in 10 primary school pupils in the UK have worms at any given moment. Yes, that's really true. You're welcome). Ivermectin has repeatedly failed to treat COVID in trial after trial. The telly people have also had to apologise to the medical professionals shown during the same segment.

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid says you should still wear face coverings on a packed London tube train, which is confusing a lot of people.
Patrick Vallance had the analogy last night. You are responsible for yourself, but that doesn't actually mean you should behave with the intelligence of a fruit fly. If it looks like rain, no-one forces you to take an umbrella, but it might be a prudent move, and you might find yourself much more comfortable.

And while we are on the subject, we all know now that cloth face coverings and even surgical masks have limits, but they have LIMITS - they aren't entirely useless. Your standard umbrella won't keep you 100% dry in a half hour thunderstorm, but it will help, might just save your new hairdo, and it will do a cracking job at protecting you from a passing shower.

Back Friday...

Some numbers. They are all people. Every. Last. One.

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

Russia 15,657,928 (+135,172) 347,031 (+796)

S. Korea 2,157,734 (+99,550) 7,508 (+58)

Italy 12,554,596 (+60,029) 153,512 (+322)

Indonesia 5,289,414 (+57,491) 146,798 (+257)

Japan 4,540,656 (+55,903) 22,000 (+179)

Vietnam 2,890,522 (+55,879) 39,682 (+77)

Germany 13,764,965 (+50,710) 122,175 (+135)

UK 18,695,449 (+41,130) 160,815 (+205)

Netherlands 6,153,207 (+34,665) 21,507 (+18)

Denmark 2,513,265 (+28,773) 4,375 (+34)

Australia 3,074,283 (+24,868) 4,966 (+37)

Ukraine 4,758,773 (+24,440) 104,932 (+287)

Iran 6,983,635 (+22,073) 135,499 (+223)

Austria 2,515,962 (+21,427) 14,631 (+37)

Greece 2,336,615 (+19,623) 25,485 (+68)

Poland 5,582,217 (+18,792) 110,157 (+325) 






















"UN denounces Russian plans to deploy troops into eastern Ukraine" https://twitter.com/i/events/1495913256111669253?t=Dmitwi2um7VKtySRj8zFmA&s=09

"What happens now Vladimir Putin has sent troops in to the Donbas" https://twitter.com/i/events/1496069122316251143?t=0CJZKtfcM8196fwZAIfVBg&s=09


"Australian news segment included a wrong clip in its report on Queen Elizabeth due to 'human error,' statement says" https://twitter.com/i/events/1495956445027713027?t=w_SqdseUiHQerKEUsHQVlQ&s=09


Hong Kong's current hospital crisis demonstrates exactly why COVID is such a huge risk to any health service - potentially overwhelming of your medical facilities poses a bigger risk to your life, than your personal risk of death from the disease itself.













Sage meeting minutes for 10th Feb 2022


The choice to end the pandemic 




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!