Sunday 13 March 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 12th / 13th March 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 12th / 13th March 2022

The UK do NOT currently update daily statistics at weekends. See Friday for latest stats.

World: 457,613,472 reported cases and 6,064,493 losses of life.

There is very little 'COVID news' today, which is also good news for my family, who will be having an early tea... (well, earlier than usual on a Sunday... )

Stop attacks on health care in Ukraine World Health Organisation

The UK's schools inspectorate OFSTED are unhappy about the effect COVID has had on home/school relationships. They believe that it has "fractured the social contract between parents and schools" (chief inspector Amanda Spielman in The Guardian yesterday).
Compared to pre-pandemic, parents and carers are currently more likely to allow their children to stay at home, or take them out of school for holidays in term time.
I think Amanda is fretting a bit early there. Parents and children (in fact all people) have spent 2 years being a bit scared and out of control of our own lives, and it's only natural it'll take some of us a while to get back into a regular rhythm. Some people never will, but for most, including those who have been bereaved, there will be a broader return to pre-pandemic 'normal' when people are ready.

130322 Yaroslava Antipina StrategyWoman on Twitter in Ukraine

Disease doesn't go away because you are at war, it thrives. Soldiers returning home from World War I spread the Spanish flu very rapidly around the world, and COVID will also take advantage. The invasion of Ukraine, along with the displacement of millions of refugees, was always going to have a knock on effect across Ukraine and worldwide. We all already had COVID, so in some random headspace that is at least something that can't get worse.
Ukraine didn't have any overly-exciting variants as far as we knew, but Omicron was just taking over and a wave was anticipated due to that. February 23rd was the last 'normal' day that cases were reported, with over 25,000, and much more worryingly, a positivity rate of around 60% (3 out of every 5 tests sent to a lab were positive).
Around 34-38% of the population are fully vaccinated, and less than 2% had been boosted.
If someone is shelling you, immediate risk to life takes priority, so even if you are aware you have COVID, you should really get to safety if you can.
Having COVID myself while Ukraine was being invaded has made me acutely aware of just how beyond hard it must be to cope, even if you were mildly ill. And to keep sick and vulnerable people safe while preventing transmission of COVID would be utterly impossible.
According to the Kyiv Independent:
"Though some laboratories and hospitals are out of operation, on the 15th day of the war, March 10, the Health Ministry registered 6,700 new Covid-19 cases. Some 5,700 patients were hospitalized on the same day."
That is a MASSIVE number (the UK has a current rate of around 1,300 new COVID hospitalisations a day). Cramming poorly fed, ridiculously tired people into badly ventilated spaces together with no natural light (UV), for hours on end, is incredibly bad news as regards any respiratory illness. 

Catalog of Russian war crimes against children in Ukraine

Americans have been discussing the profits that 'middle men' make on drugs and treatments. Pfizer negotiated directly with the US government in setting the cost of the Pfizer vaccine at $39 for the 2 dose course. Realistically it would be likely to cost between $60 and $100 if it had been brokered via a 3rd party.
Suddenly you start to see why the US Government subsidise the healthcare of every American on average by MORE than the UK Government pay for us to have full NHS.
(Someone always has to make a profit...)

The World Health Organisation are pointing out that we should all bear in mind, while there's a lot of talk about COVID becoming 'endemic - it's just a name. Being labelled 'endemic' won't change COVID, and doesn't mean we can just forget about a disease. Dr Mike Ryan of the World Health Organisation:
"I think we need to be careful with words here, in terms of the word endemic.
Yes, endemic means, in a sense, that the virus is present and transmitting at lower levels, usually with some form of seasonal transmission or increases that are seasonal, or outbreaks on top of an endemic situation. That's very classic for many infectious diseases, but remember endemic HIV and endemic tuberculosis and endemic malaria kill millions of people on this planet every year.
So, please don't equate endemic with equals good." 

The outbreak in Hong Kong is not getting any better, despite massive testing and every person who tests positive having to isolate. China have assisted with temporary quarantine facilities, labs and staff, and now they seem to be paying the price with some spillover. Schenzhen is the closest mainland city to Hong Kong, and 60 new cases were detected today. It's been announced that the entire city and it's 17.5m population will lock down, inessential business will close, work from home if you can, and everyone will have 3 rounds of testing.

OCHA UN Humanitarian Crisis Refugees from Ukraine screenshot

China believe they may have imported Omicron in a letter. It is the first known potential case, and it has created the first local cluster of COVID infection caused by Omicron variant in Beijing.
A woman in the Beijing area tested positive, and over the next week 5 close contacts tested positive - her mother, a colleague and 3 family members of the colleague. (That's really quick spread!)
Researchers were sent to investigate, and picked up 1,054 'environmental samples', including from a letter she had been sent from North America.
The letter had been sent on January 7th, received on January 11th and symptoms started on January 13th.
"The disinfection was carried out from the outer surface of the packaged document when it arrived in Beijing." (probably UV light), but 2 samples taken from the outer surface of the package tested positive, as well as 2 from the inner package, and 8 from the papers inside tested positive too.
Now. The recipient had opened the 'envelope', but hadn't opened the inner package or touched the papers inside. Therefore it seems plausible the disinfection killed anything on the outside of the envelope, but when the recipient opened it and pulled out the inner package, the infection splashed around. As she hadn't opened the inner package, the positive samples found there couldn't have come from her or anyone else in Beijing, they must have come with the letter.
Genomic testing (family tree) showed the 5 human cases were the exact same strain as was in and on the letter, and this is a variant that "differed from other local strains in China".
Researchers note this occurred in Winter, when the temperature was around or below freezing. Ideal conditions to preserve virus:
"Our data emphasized the surveillance and disinfection of imported express cargo in COVID-19 control, especially in certain seasons and regions in China."
Chinese CDC - who really do report very fully, respectfully and often quite beautifully. 

Famous People With COVID:
Telly presenter Holly Willoughby. She will apparently miss Dancing On Ice this week and next, but hopes to be back for the final. 

You'll be pleased to learn that Chernobyl has power and is cooling everything normally again, although we are reliably told that there was no real imminent danger.
My thoughts again with everyone on this planet who is in imminent danger... 

There was a massive solar flare today - and if we are super lucky, then people around the UK, but especially in Scotland, may be able to see the Northern Lights. Look at the end of today, and the early hours tomorrow. If you do see them, enjoy... I'll be looking, but as ever we need these clouds to clear away...

Back Tuesday, stay sensible.

Some people. All floating on the same rock, looking up to the same sky...

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

S. Korea 6,206,277 (+383,651) 10,144 (+269)

Vietnam 5,903,147 (+168,719) 41,290 (+62)

Germany 17,027,215 (+145,267) 126,077 (+166)

France 23,453,722 (+72,443) 140,080 (+51)

Netherlands 7,115,857 (+60,043) 21,699 (+11)

Japan 5,665,636 (+56,540) 25,860 (+163)

Italy 13,324,321 (+55,018) 156,782 (+133)

Russia 17,290,197 (+48,154) 360,215 (+630)

Brazil 29,350,379 (+45,265) 654,993 (+381)

Austria 3,115,867 (+44,465) 15,180 (+17)

Australia 3,567,219 (+31,599) 5,571 (+22)

Hong Kong 674,447 (+27,747) 3,729 (+285)

New Zealand 347,576 (+18,740) 93 (+2) 

USA 81,169,534 (+12,261) 993,693 (+460)

Poland 5,811,107 (+11,114) 113,433 (+126) 

Belgium 3,640,052 (+10,381) 30,408 (+28)

Slovakia 1,565,484 (+9,051) 18,881 (+34)

Czechia 3,678,789 (+8,353) 39,131 (+9)

Denmark 2,803,138 (+6,718) 5,128 (+52)

Latvia 739,609 (+6,525) 5,434 (+23) 





War crimes against children image

Ukraine Titanic image

Refugees image

Northern Lights:

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!