Thursday 14 April 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 12th / 13th / 14th April 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 12th / 13th / 14th April 2022

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases last 7 days: 238,938 (average 34,134 per day)
In hospital yesterday 13th April: 19,028 (DOWN from 20,331 on 7th April / 19,575 on 31st March)
Using a ventilator: 355 (static for the last 2 weeks)
Losses of life last 7 days: 1,984 (average 283 per day - UP and really a lot of people. Hopefully it'll start to slow down soon, as hospitalisations are now falling and deaths lag by around 2-3 weeks)
Tests last 7 days: 2,901,904 (average 414,557 per day)
Vaccinations 1st dose: 52,978,585 (92.1% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd dose: 49,592,843 (86.2%)
Boosted / 3rd dose: 39,028,451 (67.9%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,498,834 (+1,924) cases and 6,932 (+13) losses of life.

World: 502,498,972 reported cases and 6,215,965 losses of life.

World Health Organisation Celebrate safely ventilate, play out

"It did not occur to me that this might be a breach of the rules"
Mr Thicky McThick, the most vacuous man in Britain, explaining how he didn't understand that "no gatherings" during lockdown meant people shouldn't gather.
Oops, no, my error. It's Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, the man who created the rules and then stood at a ridiculously expensive podium and told us all about them - repeatedly. He is either as clever as a house brick, or a complete liar. You choose.

"Today marks 50 days since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
4.6 million refugees have fled the country.
Thousands of civilians died.
119 attacks on health care have been confirmed.
For the sake of humanity, I call on Russia to return to the table and work for peace."
Dr Tedros, Head of the World Health Organisation

Drawing of various animals fleeing darkness, fire and bombs
War is an environmental disaster ~ Olga Wilson Art

The UK Government on Tuesday:
"From today, thousands more vulnerable people in England will be able to get the COVID19 antiviral Paxlovid.
Those who are eligible can sign up to the PANORAMIC study run by University of Oxford for the chance to receive the ground-breaking treatment."
If you remember, Paxlovid reduced the risk of hospitalisation or death by 88% in clinical trials and is already available directly through the NHS to highest-risk patients. It's taken by people at higher risk of severe illness, (over 50 or with underlying conditions) within 5 days of a positive test or symptoms starting.

The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have today approved the Valneva vaccine for people aged 18-50. This is the 6th COVID vaccine to be given regulatory approval in the UK, the UK are the first to approve it for use, and it's the UK's first 'whole-virus inactivated COVID-19 vaccine'.
"With this type of vaccine, the virus is grown in a lab and then made completely inactive so that it cannot infect cells or replicate in the body but can still trigger an immune response to the COVID-19 virus. This process is widely used already in the production of flu and polio vaccines."
This is a 2 dose vaccine (28 or more days apart) which can be stored in a fridge, and it should be incredibly reasonably priced, making it a good one for the whole world.

Panoramic trial for Paxlovid UK NHS

London's Met Police have announced at least another 30 fixed penalty fines for Downing Street lockdown partygoers. That'll learn em... it'll probably teach them about as much as Rita Ora and her lockdown 30th birthday, where the cost of the fine seems to have just been budgeted in as one of the party costs.
The people fined on this occasion include UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie, and husband of a tax exile UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak. Rishi has offered an "unreserved apology" and Boris has gone with a "full apology". They've apparently already paid their £50 fines, and when asked if they'd be resigning, all guffawed heartily. Sorry nope, my error, officially Boris said "no". Seriously, why did they even ask. He has the integrity of single ply toilet paper. He doesn't care.

UK media response to the Downing Street "partygate" scandal has varied wildly, with several calling for Boris to resign, and one notable leading with the headline "Don't they know there's a war on?" Well, yes, but didn't you realise we aren't actually "at war" ourselves, and the Earth hasn't been at peace since before the first human made a boat, so that is frankly the poorest deflection ever and doesn't even earn you a shiny badge for trying.

UK Transport Secretary, the newly Right Honorable Grant Shapps, has let it be known he hasn't been naughty himself, but he also feels we should forget most of our sitting cabinet have broken the law:
"At end of 2020 I was unable to visit my dad in hospital for 4mths, so share the anger felt about Downing St fines. But I also recognize PM has apologised, accepted responsibility & reformed No10. Now, as he leads the West's response to Putin's evil war he has my full support."
The future Lord Shapps also using 'the war' as an excuse.

MP for Lichfield Michael Fabricant (who looks very much like Boris in a wig) was interviewed on the BBC News and said that he knows of nurses and teachers who went for a quiet drink after shifts during lockdown... erm woah there Mike... not cool to try and deflect by suggesting someone better than you is just as naughty. In fact nursing and teaching representative bodies are really quite angry at that suggestion. (I know a lot of you guys work in the NHS and education, and I am offended on your behalf.) I'm sure a handful of nurses and teachers did go for drinkies, and it really doesn't surprise me that they're the kind of people hang around with Tory MPs like Mike, but as we've already learnt, that's not what tends to happen in most people's real world.
And for reference, while almost every pub in the UK was shut - some of the pubs and cafes at Westminster were still open and serving as an "essential service" for our assumedly booze-filled politicians.

Someone in Government actually has some integrity. Round of applause for Justice minister Lord Wolfson, who has resigned because of the lockdown parties and ensuing paying of fines and just carry on. I am sure he will find another job very quickly. Best of luck. 

Muslims should get vaccinated for the greater good

More Long COVID and this one is especially notable in the over 50s - it's Shingles! Yeeeay. Noooo. Shingles is one of my specialist subjects, although (touch wood) I've not suffered it personally (at least as yet). It's caused by the Varicella virus, which also causes Chicken Pox (and rarely Meningitis, as was the case for my partner). Once you catch Varicella, it can lay dormant in your body your whole life, or pop up when it's most inconvenient - but especially when you are using the T Cells in your immune system for something else, such as fighting COVID.
A not-yet-peer-reviewed American study looked at a total of 394,677 individuals aged 50 or older with COVID-19, and 1,577,346 similar individuals who hadn't ever tested positive for COVID-19. Individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 had a 15% higher risk of Shingles than those without. The increased risk was 21% following more severe COVID-19 that led to hospitalisation.

Time Magazine has an article about Omicron XE - the recombinant variant which is a mix of Omicron BA.1 and BA.2. Should you be worried? Dr. Andrew Badley, a professor of infectious disease at the Mayo Clinic replied.
“To make it a simple answer: if you’re vaccinated and otherwise healthy, you shouldn’t worry about it.”
I tend to agree - for anyone fortunate enough to be well vaccinated and healthy, there isn't any suggestion yet that it will be any more serious, just more catchy. Time will tell us more.

Taiwan are reporting record numbers of new daily cases, and it appears have had to accept ZeroCOVID is no longer possible. They have further relaxed entry rules for visitors, and now foreign family of Taiwanese citizens (beyond children and spouses) and some residency holders can apply for a visa to visit.

New Zealand has moved to Orange in their traffic light system, just in time for Easter. Their website says:
"At Orange, you can continue to do everyday activities, but we need to protect our vulnerable communities.
- You must wear a face mask in many indoor locations. You do not need to wear a face mask outdoors.
- You can visit cafes and bars, attend gatherings and events, and go to the hairdresser and gym. There are no capacity limits or distancing requirements at venues.
- Workplaces and schools can open.
- To protect yourself, your whānau and your community, keep up healthy habits.
Whānau is my new favourite word, and it is incredibly useful. We don't have an English equivalent, and we really should borrow theirs or invent one! It means "an extended family or community of related families who live together in the same area". 

WHO 3 factors to make safer choices - proximity, time, location

The warning regarding Hepatitis is being repeated - watch out for it in your children. The UK Health Security Agency say they have recorded:
"74 cases of hepatitis (liver inflammation) in children since January 2022, where the usual viruses that cause infectious hepatitis (hepatitis A to E) have not been detected"
This is an unusual spike, and spread throughout the UK. European health agencies are being asked if they can check recent reports and see if they spot anything unusual. It can be the result of a virus, such as an adenovirus, and any links to COVID are being investigated.
Symptoms include:
- dark urine.
- pale, grey-coloured poo.
- itchy skin.
- jaundice (yellowed skin, the whites of the eyes look yellow).
- muscle and joint pain.
- a high temperature.
- feeling and being sick.
- feeling unusually tired all the time.

Never thought I'd be quoting this one, but it's too succinct and frankly, clever, to ignore...
Rylan (the reality telly guy with the giant white teeth): "He’s officially broke the law . That’s it ain’t it?"
Edwina Currie (had an affair with John Major while he was Prime Minister and she was a member of the UK Government cabinet): "No, it isn’t. Shouldn’t have happened, but it’s done now. In case you hadn’t noticed, this all happened two years ago. Putin is laughing at us. Get real."
Random lady Jo (pinkbicyclelady on Twitter): "Aren't you the one that gave Savile the keys to Broadmoor?"
Random man Craig (CraigCooperxyz on Twitter): "Yes but it was years ago and it’s done now."
Touché... I think we are all aware that crimes still count, even when they happened 'in the past'. This is not a Tom Cruise movie. 

Drawing of pretty lady breastfeeding her child and smiling at the artist

We'll end with some good news:
“Last week the lowest number of COVID19 deaths was recorded since the early days of the pandemic.”
Dr Tedros, The Head of the World Health Organisation.
Not only are we finding ways to prevent losing people to COVID, we are finally sharing them around the world.
He did also mention pressure on hospitals, which is perhaps another thinly-veiled message to the UK, but good news for the world is indeed good news.

I'm off to contact my landlord and explain I can't possibly move house because there's a war on... Nah, really I'm off to eat, drink and be merry, and pack away hundreds of board games and pick bits of LEGO out from behind radiators... have an eggcellent Easter yourself, whatever you are doing (not eating Kinder Surprise). Do NOT forget a treat for yourself that isn't egg-shaped or made of chocolate. Some time for you and a bit of self-care is especially important when we are busy and distracted with everyone else's needs. You matter too - all of you. Happy Easter. Long weekend for me too, and I shall be back on Tuesday...

Play Outdoors, Choose Peace, Save The NHS.

Some people. They look like numbers here, but those numbers are always referring to people.

Countries / Cases / Losses of life YESTERDAY in the full 24 hour period up until midnight GMT last night:

S. Korea 15,830,644 (+195,370) 20,034 (+184)

Germany 23,116,402 (+179,888) 132,906 (+307)

France 27,310,055 (+146,426) 143,777 (+152)

Italy 15,468,061 (+62,703) 161,187 (+155)

Australia 5,206,905 (+53,286) 6,648 (+39)

Japan 7,124,030 (+51,331) 28,765 (+44)

USA 82,192,880 (+37,588) 1,014,114 (+331)

UK 21,727,688 (+31,543) 171,046 (+651)

Brazil 30,210,853 (+26,924) 661,710 (+158)

Vietnam 10,297,587 (+24,623) 42,878 (+20)

Thailand 3,948,869 (+23,015) 26,398 (+106)

Canada 3,604,570 (+13,969) 38,165 (+70)

Austria 4,016,540 (+12,471) 16,324 (+38)

Russia 18,030,579 (+11,754) 372,512 (+267)

Portugal 3,709,026 (+11,373) 21,970 (+12)

Greece 3,206,948 (+11,061) 28,344 (+70)

Malaysia 4,352,611 (+10,052) 35,363 (+22)

New Zealand 795,606 (+9,548) 497 (+14) 





UK NHS image

WHO images

War is an environmental disaster. Olga Wilson Art:


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