Tuesday 17 May 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Tuesday 17th May 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Tuesday 17th May 2022

UK COVID Statistics:
Cases last 7 days: 63,296 (average 9,042 per day)
Admitted to hospital with COVID in the last 7 days: 5,771
In hospital yesterday: 7,604 (well down from 9,619 a week earlier)
Using a ventilator yesterday: 189 (down from 214 a week earlier)
Losses of life last 7 days: 986 (average 140 per day)
Total losses of life within 28 days of a positive test: 177,410
Total losses of life with COVID listed as a cause: 194,550
Tests last 7 days: 1,627,672 (average 232,524 per day)
Vaccinations 1st dose: 53,337,395
Vaccinations 2nd dose: 49,844,562
Boosted / 3rd dose / Spring Boosters: 39,474,656

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,535,451 cases and 7,203 losses of life (not yet reported today)

World: 523,559,119 reported cases and 6,291,622 losses of life.

Vaccinations you should have before you leave for uni (from birth onwards)

Latest UK HSA data shows 79.2% of those people aged 75 or over, who became eligible at the end of March for the COVID Spring booster, have taken up the offer and received their vaccination.

Also UK HSA data, and 59.5% of those giving birth in January 2022 had received at least one dose of the vaccine, up from 53.7% in December 2021 and 48.7% in November 2021.
Over half (50.6%) had received 2 doses, up from 43.3% in December 2021 and 38.4% in November 2021.
Between January 2021 and January 2022, 125,365 vaccinated people have given birth in the UK (88,736 of those with 2 doses and 14,378 with 3 doses).
"Despite the upward trend in the number of pregnant women coming forward, women of Black ethnicity and those living in the most deprived areas of England remain the least likely to be vaccinated."
Between November 2021 and January 2022, just 30.5% of Black women had one or more vaccine doses by the time of delivery, compared to 57.5% of White women. In the most deprived areas of the country, 38.9% had received one or more doses by the time of delivery, compared to 71.1% in the least deprived areas. Why do we have these disparities? Accessibility (no time/transport/childcare)? Misinformation? Distrust of authorities?

As of 16 May, 218 attacks on health care in Ukraine have been verified by the World Health Organisation. 75 people were killed & 58 injured.

Side view of a seated pregnant lady wearing a mask

Big disaster in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea as we tend to refer to them) where they are facing a similar 'new pandemic' situation to where we were more than 2 years ago, but with a far more transmissible strain of COVID. This is exactly why the UK had all those Nightingale hospitals on standby. Omicron COVID is more deadly and more than twice as fast as original wild COVID, and if original COVID had turned out to be the same, or we hadn't moved in time, we would more than likely have filled all of our extra beds.
DPRK official media announced earlier that just in the last 24 hours they had added "over 269,510 persons with fever, some 170,460 recoveries and 6 deaths".
In total: "As of 18:00 of May 16 since late April, the total number of persons with fever is over 1,483,060, of which more than 819,090 have recovered and at least 663,910 are under medical treatment. The death toll stands at 56."
That is a lot of people with 'fever' - clearly showing symptoms. The rest of the world is ready and waiting to give help - and there are reports of Chinese planes flying back and forth with 'pandemic supplies', so it does appear they are accepting that help. As of yesterday, only 168 people have been reported as testing positive, which is a clear sign that it's likely DPRK have very limited testing capacity. The military have been mobilised to distribute medicines in the capital Pyongyang, which is where the outbreak is centred, and efforts are underway to identify and treat people with COVID - with 11,000 medical officials, teachers and students taking part in this yesterday.
They really are doing their best, despite some pretty mean news reports today about the leader Kim Jong-Un telling people to 'gargle salt water' (nope, it won't protect you, or kill virus you've inhaled):
"Meanwhile, efforts are concentrated on informing the masses through media, of the common sense on infection of the stealth Omicron variant, to make them deeply understand the scientific treatment methods and epidemic prevention rules."
Ahhh, common sense. If only more countries in the West had adopted that sort of reaction... I really hope they can get this under some level of control quickly. Fingers crossed. At this stage in the game we really don't want to see massive numbers of deaths anywhere.

The UK Safeguarding Minister, Rachel Maclean, was on telly yesterday commenting on people struggling with the cost of living crisis. She said "are there no workhouses?" Lol jokes, I'm kidding, she didn't (she just thought it.) She said people should take on more hours or move to a better paid job. Genius. Voila, problem solved. Everyone who could do a better paid job and hasn't already got one, or who still has any time for leisure, shame on you.
Safeguarding Minister for goodness sake. Give. Me. Strength.
I've got a plan. Raise the minimum wage to half your wages Rach, that'll put a dent in it. 

WHO Europe protect yourself against misinformation 1 of 2
Scroll down, not sideways

Food Security:
Ukraine supplies much of the worlds wheat and corn, Russia supplies much of the world's wheat. They are busy in armed conflict.
India supplies much of the world's wheat and rice. Climate change has had a massive effect on India this year. It has been hotter than normal for most of 2022 so far - wheat crops have failed and production is down. It has also been far wetter than normal in East India, and rice crops are germinating in the fields and becoming unusable as food. Rice yield will be down.
Countries stockpile some basic foods, but this is going to hit hard and prices are already rocketing. As tempting as it is to sell at such high prices, you can't eat money, so in order to try and prevent possible famine, India have announced an immediate ban on exports of wheat. Some other countries have already put tight limits on their exports. On top of this several dry months in the US have reduced their crops, and heavy rainfall in China has massively delayed planting and reduced their crops. This IS going to be ugly. We can't say Greta and David didn't warn us.

Labour analysis of a UK Government report shows a middle estimate of £11.8 billion has been lost to fraud and error through the COVID business support schemes. That is £420 for each UK household (and yet every one of us reading this probably wouldn't even get away with trying to pinch £20 off them/us...)

The group 'NHS Charities Together' has conducted a survey of UK health workers and found that around 60,000 NHS workers may be suffering from PTSD as a result of the pandemic. 1 in every 4 respondents had lost a colleague to COVID, and 9 in every 10 say it will take years for them to recover.  All that clapping was but momentary help - we really, REALLY need to improve ongoing support services. 

WHO Europe protect yourself against misinformation 2 of 2

The US FDA has approved Pfizer / BioNTech booster jabs for healthy children aged 5-11. They say the booster should be at least 5 months after the 2nd jab.

Mortality data analysis by John's Hopkins University has some disappointing, yet not unexpected results. Despite all the money and education, and the quality of healthcare available, the US is 2nd in the table for deaths from COVID among the population. Bear in mind several countries were unable to keep up with mortality during particularly bad waves, many poorer nation's testing limits are very low, and there are HUGE geographical and social differences, but still, a very poor result for the US - and really shows who has believed the misinformation or valued economics over lives. The top of the Johns Hopkins tally of losses of life per 100,000 people:
Brazil 312.96 (1 in every 319)
US 313.47 (1 in every 319)
Greece 283.76
Italy 273.47
United Kingdom 262.3 (1 in every 381)
Mexico 254.02
Russia 253.64
France 227.61
Spain 225.53
Portugal 221.47
South Africa 169.91
Germany 165.61
Canada 105.36 (1 in every 949)
Finland 77.32 (1 in every 1,293)

Delays to treatment for infertility due to COVID have had disastrous effects for some people. It takes a while to realise you are struggling to conceive naturally, and then once you are referred for treatment you have to go on a waiting list. Extra delays of up to 2 years will have reduced chances for lots of couples, and for some it may have removed them all together. Gwenda Burns, chief executive of the UK’s national fertility charity, Fertility Network UK, also points out that despite clinics being up and running again, the wait isn't necessarily over: "In addition, fertility patients are now facing further delays triggered by very long waiting lists for NHS treatments and diagnostics, prior to accessing fertility treatment".
I cannot imagine how stressful it has been, and potentially still is, for the people involved - which in itself is just about the last thing you need when you want to become pregnant.
Fertility Network’s survey at the end of last year found nearly two-thirds of respondents (58%) experienced delays in accessing treatment, and over half (55%) experienced delays or problems in accessing tests or surgical procedures before fertility treatment.

170522 Johns Hopkins mortality report deaths per 100,000 population
Data courtesy Johns Hopkins

Famous People With COVID:
Eric Clapton, 77 year old co-singer/co-writer of the anti-lockdown song Stand And Deliver (with Van Morrison). He has previously refused to play gigs in venues which required proof of vaccination, and said getting vaccinated to try and protect yourself against an easily transmissible disease is “mass formation hypnosis”. Oopsie... As ever, I wish him a speedy recovery. 

The UK really does have a limited outbreak of Monkey Pox. It is quite a tricky disease to pass between people, so the fact we have had 7 confirmed cases is quite unusual. It's most easily spread on people's bedding or skin to skin contact when people have scabby spots (similar to chicken pox, but most of the examples I've seen are more neatly circular, and they all look deep). Risk to the general public is tiny (one of the infected people is a healthcare worker who treated 2 of the others) and it isn't usually fatal, but it can cause nasty scarring from the spots, and the illness can last for several weeks.

Finland and Sweden have officially announced that, despite warnings from Russia, tomorrow they will submit applications to join NATO. France has already said it will support them, and is prepared to protect them against any threats.
NATO is the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and it is a political and military alliance of 30 nations (28 in Europe, plus the USA and Canada) which was first formed after the 2nd world war. The members agree to attempt peaceful resolution to any disputes, and to co-operate on defence and security issues, including assisting each other when necessary. Putin sees it as a very large power which does not have his interests at heart. The invasion is in part blamed on Ukraine's close relationship with NATO, which he sees as a threat, and a sign that Ukraine are no longer 'neutral'. Finland and Sweden are asking to join partly in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, so Putin will likely be really annoyed, as in this respect at least, he appears to have achieved the opposite of what he wanted. Unless of course he has more plans we aren't yet aware of... 

It's World Hypertension Day. By crikey I think some of us need that. Deep breath, hold it, close your eyes and focus as you very slowly breath out. That's better... There really is a day for everything...

Some people. They look like numbers here, but they are all people.

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

DPRK (N.Korea) 1,483,060 (+269,510) 56 (+6)

Germany 25,887,190 (+77,526) 138,183 (+176)

Australia 6,703,295 (+67,650) 7,872 (+65)

Taiwan 896,059 (+65,833) 1,135 (+38)

Italy 17,116,550 (+44,489) 165,494 (+148)

S. Korea 17,830,429 (+35,072) 23,771 (+27)

Japan 8,399,390 (+26,334) 30,089 (+28)

Spain 12,179,234 (+13,028) 105,642 (+48)

New Zealand 1,060,710 (+9,913) 937 (+8)

UK 22,207,102 (+7,099) 177,410

Greece 3,401,927 (+6,286) 29,599 (+23)

Russia 18,268,958 (+4,122) 377,869 (+110)

Thailand 4,382,977 (+3,893) 29,553 (+38)

Austria 4,218,059 (+2,909) 18,312 (+9)

Vietnam 10,699,965 (+1,785) 43,071 (+4)

China 222,130 (+175) 5,214 (+1) 








North Korea





























  1. Hi, I sent you an email about the Telegraph article; if you haven't seen it it might be in your spam folder. Helen

    1. Thank you so much! I really do appreciate that massively - you're an absolute star Helen.


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