Friday 28 October 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 28th October 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 28th October 2022

World: 634,784,361 reported cases and 6,589,972 losses of life.

This week's ONS random sampling for the week ending 17 October 2022 showed a decrease in people testing positive in Wales, an increase in Northern Ireland and Scotland, and "the trend was uncertain in England".
- England, estimate 1,748,400, equating to 3.21% of the population, or around 1 in 30 people.
- Wales, estimate 86,100, equating to 2.83% of the population, or around 1 in 35 people.
- Northern Ireland, estimate 53,700, equating to 2.92% of the population, or around 1 in 35 people.
- Scotland, estimate 159,200, equating to 3.02% of the population, or around 1 in 35 people.

'Fair pay for nursing' badges on a table

Great news regarding hospital figures in the UK - we are definitely going down the other side of this wave. COVID hospital admissions are down across the board - England's 7 day average is down 16%, and hospital-acquired admissions for COVID are down 19%. A little welcome breathing space for the NHS.
Adele Groyer of the COVID Actuaries points out 32% of COVID hospitalisations in England are now people who caught COVID in hospital, compared to the peak of 40% 3 weeks ago: "This probably reflects reintroduction of more testing and masks at that time."
Simple measures, saving lives.

Sheesh, UK politics is exciting isn't it! This week's Secretary for Health And Social Care is Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP.
Steve is a qualified Solicitor who has previously worked for AXA Insurance and Barclays Bank, and he famously wouldn't sign off on funding the COVID vaccination programme back in 2020 until he felt it offered "value for money".  By the time he actually agreed to release the money from the treasury, we'd already vaccinated almost 1 million people in the UK. Doesn't bode incredibly well, but we shall see... Outgoing H&SC Secretary Ms Coffey is now our lead on the Environment.

The new UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (who used to be Chancellor when Boris was PM) has decided he won't be attending the COP27 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference because he's too busy. The UK were hosts last year, and Ms Coffey (new Environment Secretary) will be attending the conference in Egypt with Alok Sharma (who was Secretary of State for Business when Boris was PM). Alok famously cried last year at the end of the conference (presumably because he'd already realised we were unlikely to actually achieve any of our pledges). Good news is, Rishi has reinstated the ban on Fracking (which will please locals in Blackpool for starters). 

Around 350,000 NHS workers will from today be taking a vote on whether or not to take strike action to ask for better pay and conditions. If they do, emergency care will still be provided, but everything else is likely to be affected. 
They've been treated so badly over the last 3 years, we are losing experienced staff quicker than we are Government Ministers. It costs lives, and nothing is worth more than that. A paltry wage rise at less than 1/3 the rate of inflation is an insult. 

Get your kids flu jab man holding infant

Back to COVID, and Peter J Hotez, Dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine in Houston, USA, has written a quite sad piece for PLOS Global Public Health Journal. It begins:
"The United States of America leads all high-income nations in COVID-19 deaths, even though as a nation at had the greatest access to antiviral vaccines and therapeutics. To understand this disconnect we can look to the COVID-19 deaths and disability in the State of Texas. Because of COVID-19, Texas is enduring one of the greatest human tragedies in its 186-year history. It did not have to be this way."
Last month Texas reached 90,000 losses of life to COVID (just behind California), yet the population is 29 million people (California has 40 million people). In comparison Canada has 36 million people, and has lost an estimated 43,000 to COVID, while Australia has 25 million people and has lost 12,000 people.
This is in large part due to low vaccination rates and protests against COVID measures, because it is a Conservative 'Red' state. Yep. A lot of these people died because they voted for a different party to the one currently in power, and couldn't seem to differentiate between health and political opinion.
Texas can now expect a far greater ongoing burden from bereavement and people damaged by their COVID infections (Long COVID). It will be expensive in all ways. 

Pfizer has set new prices for their COVID vaccines for when the 'market becomes commercial', which is likely to be next Spring. In the US they are currently paid $30.50 per vaccine dose by the U.S. government, and once free vaccinations are no longer available they'll be charging $110 to $130 per dose. 
The joys of Medical Insurance eh...  

What is RSV text over an outline image of lungs

I have previously mentioned that Flu season appears to be arriving early in the USA, and the same seems true in the UK. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) say hospital and ICU admissions are rising the fastest in children under five, but rates are noticeably rising among our oldest populations as well. It is obviously far too early to guess whether this is going to be an earlier wave, or the start of something bad, but there are a few chewed fingernails... 

Over 3 million people in the UK are going to be invited to join a massive health study. "Our Future Health" research programme has been designed to hopefully find new ways to prevent, detect, and treat different diseases. By collecting all of this information they can see better what works well for humans over time, and what does not. 

Image of Steve Barclay from the UK Government

That is it for the news today, and not really a surprise when there was soooooo much going on last week. I hope you have all had a good week, I've had time off and a very much needed and overdue trip to Scotland to stay with relatives. Not cooking or cleaning has been a massive treat for me, don't forget yours! Do something nice and be kind to yourself. Life is draining, you need things to look forward to, and reasons to smile. Have a great week... 

Get Your Wellies On And Play Outdoors, Be Safe With Fireworks, Save The NHS. 

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

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

World 634,606,335 (+342,873) 6,589,519 (+1,163)
Germany 35,523,412 (+61,492) 153,377 (+184)
Japan 22,148,863 (+42,737) 46,485 (+71)
France 36,744,655 (+37,089) 156,771 (+71)
Taiwan 7,591,501 (+35,662) 12,563 (+84)
S. Korea 25,431,105 (+34,950) 29,069 (+26)
Italy 23,475,187 (+31,758) 178,940 (+94)
USA 99,281,954 (+24,331) 1,094,596 (+214)
Brazil 34,857,648 (+8,580) 688,013 (+53)
Chile 4,737,212 (+8,274) 61,607 (+23)
Russia 21,402,209 (+7,849) 389,872 (+82)
Singapore 2,086,588 (+6,247) 1,670 (+2)
Hong Kong 1,897,693 (+6,062) 10,358 (+8)
Australia 10,369,128 (+4,721) 15,642 (+10)
Austria 5,421,555 (+4,475) 20,962 (+10) 

Image RSV

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