Friday 30 December 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 30th December 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 30th December 2022

World COVID Statistics: 664,199,215 reported cases and 6,694,494 losses of life.

"I’ve worked in A&E for 22 years & seen nothing like this before.
The NHS is in a critical state. We need urgent action for sake of our staff & patients. Steve Barclay, Rishi Sunak, we need you to listen to those who know what’s happening.
Dear MPs
As an A&E Dr, I’m asking for your help. Please do a shift at your local A&E and see the reality of what’s happening to our NHS.
Not a photoshopped PR stunt but a chance to witness reality of our crumbling NHS.
Then demand change"
Dr Rob Galloway, Brighton. 

Thank you to anyone working over Christmas

Ambulance response times are now double what they were 2 years ago. Several areas have currently declared Critical Incidents due to the sheer number of people waiting for an ambulance. Last week the Welsh ambulance service apologised for leaving a 93 year old with a broken hip screaming in agony on her care home floor for 25 hours before an ambulance arrived. It was another 12 hours before she was admitted to hospital. 
No-one I've spoken to seems to be able to access their GP. It took me 36 hours to obtain antibiotics for a 14 year old with a viral chest infection, bacterially infected wound and a high fever. Yesterday people in Greater Manchester were asked not to attend A&E unless you are actually at risk of death. (For goodness sake don't break an arm, and if you do, it's 111 online for advice, or call 111 if you don't have internet access).
The NHS doesn't fall over, it degrades. However you look at it, ignoring any strikes and strike days, the current delays in emergency care are causing a lot of extra people to die. It is visible in our excess deaths. 
The NHS has been chronically underfunded for years. It has been sold off in favour of very expensive renting of what we need from private companies, and staffing has been allowed to drop to bare minimum levels. We didn't invest in health, we then asked people to work solidly for 2-3 years, without reward or adequate incentive, and this is where you end up.

It isn't just the NHS that the UK has destroyed, Social Care is also broken,  and many people are finding themselves stuck in hospital because the support they need to go home isn't available. Sky News had an article last weekend looking at the effects these hospital stays are having on the UK's elderly population. People can be moved from ward to ward as other patients arrive and leave. There are fears this is making delirium (extreme confusion) more common, and the whole experience is putting a real 'fast-forward' on conditions such as dementia (Alzheimer's and Dementia are currently leading cause of death in the UK). 

NHS Hospital bed occupancy 2020 to 2222
Twitter @jneill

Without COVID restrictions or sensible precautions, other infections are causing us a nightmare. The number of people in UK hospitals with flu almost doubled during the week of 16th December, and figures today from NHS England show that has rocketed over Christmas - at a time when it usually drops slightly.
We now have 7 times as many people in hospital with flu as we did last month. That total has risen 79% in just one week. 
The number of people in hospital beds overall in England is far more than at COVID's worst, and the highest since current records began in 2012. 
WE ARE EXHAUSTED. It can easily take a healthy young person 6 months to recover from COVID and regain the strength in our immune and repair systems that we had before.
Please, PLEASE do your best not to infect any medical staff you meet. Remember common sense, and don't let the next person you infect become a statistic. 

WHO indoors use ventilation

NHS strikes will continue, UK NHS Ambulance staff have already voted to go on strike again in the New Year, as have nursing staff.
Scottish nurses dance to their own beat, and are having their own discussions. This hasn't gone well, and they've also voted to strike in the new year.

Meanwhile in China... 
China shifted from Zero COVID to 'let it go' instantaneously, without preparing. They wasted their 2 year advantage. 
Chinese state media has shifted from promoting Zero COVID, to giving advice on how to deal with COVID symptoms. Most numerous complaint on social media so far seems to be an horrific sore throat which keeps people up at night. 
Last Sunday Shanghai ordered schools to stop in-person tuition and go back to working remotely. Across China cold remedies and other COVID treatments are in short supply - and this includes antivirals and other hospital treatments. Ibuprofen is in such high demand the price has quadrupled and tablets are being sold individually.
Official word in China is that COVID cases are rising rapidly, but very few people are succumbing. They have closed testing centres and it seems very few people are being given COVID tests, or COVID diagnoses.
Reports of full hospitals and crematoria, videos of body bags piled in hallways and hospital basements, and the sheer number of death notices in newspapers seem to suggest a very bleak picture (unless by fluke a very high number of prominent people have died recently). Last week a famous Chinese designer, Wu Guanying, died. His obituary says the cause was "Severe Common Cold".
Call me cynical... 

When ventilation isn't possible WHO

Omicron sub-variant BF.7 (a child of Omicron BA.5) is reported to be leading the surge in China, and their vaccines are not not great against any Omicron COVID variants - around 54% efficacy. As I said last week, uptake is not high, especially in older people.
Germany are so concerned about the low level of protection from Chinese manufactured vaccines that they have sent Pfizer vaccines for any German nationals, and are pushing for other ex-pats living in China to be allowed access to the vaccines. 
China have maintained national pride, but now are becoming more receptive to foreign vaccines, and there are signs they may be discussing the possibility of purchasing Pfizer BioNTech vaccines.

Chinese authorities don't seem to be entirely open and honest about how badly COVID is affecting the population, and that lack of "transparent data" is causing alarm globally.
Potentially the biggest worry is that when millions of barely protected people catch COVID, mutations will inevitably occur. Most will go nowhere, but some will break out of the original host. If you aren't even testing for COVID, there's very little chance of genomic testing for mutations. 
The USA, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Italy and India were the first to announce they'll impose restrictions (mostly COVID tests) on incoming travellers from China. Italy went for it instantly, and two of the first fully tested flights into Italy gave a suggestion of the scale of the problem. On the first 35/92 passengers tested positive, and on the second 62/120. Over half.
An unnamed spokesperson said yesterday the UK has no plans to reintroduce testing, then Ben Wallace (who repeatedly appears to be the only UK Government minister who actually stays in the country over any holidays) said we would be looking at it and making a decision later. It now seems likely an announcement will be made shortly that only people who test negative will be allowed entry. 
The EU Commission met on Thursday and they have decided not to take action at this point.

The Chinese border will reopen on January 8th - in time for millions of people to travel for Lunar New Year on January 22nd... which is scarily reminiscent of the disaster travellers for Lunar New Year 2020, and feels a little ominous... 

Hot water bottle scalds Scot NHS

Ireland will be offering COVID boosters to everyone aged 18 or over, after a large rise in people hospitalised due to respiratory infections.

"Let's get one thing straight: 2022 wasn't the year that we “learned to live with COVID.” It was the year we were told to ignore COVID while it continued to cause mass suffering, disability, and death."
Canadian Doctor Amit Arya. 
COVID deaths per year in Canada:
2020: 15,307
2021: 14,606
2022: 19,035
(So much quieter, but more deadly...)

Accessing a GP over Christmas

Hot water bottles are brilliant, but we are being warned against the dangers of old hot water bottles. How long yours will last will depend on how often its used, how often it is stored wet inside, where it is stored, the quality of the rubber in the first place etc etc. If it shows any signs of cracking, degrading or wear, throw it out. Very often they'll only last a couple of years, and a lap full of scalding water is not a good way to feel cosy in bed.
ROSPA say consider microwavable bean or wheat bags instead, and wear woolly socks and layers of clothes to trap heat inside.
There's also a warning not to use heated blankets and hot water bottles together - it becomes incredibly easy to overheat in your sleep, which is a really dangerous position to be in. Your loved ones want you to wake up tomorrow morning. 

Pretty much the only COVID-related news over the past fortnight has involved the collapse of UK NHS services, and the spread of COVID in China. Sorry it isn't funnier. I hope your Christmas has been better than this, and you haven't been ill, or if you were, you are improving and haven't had a nightmare attempting to get medical help. 

Avoid spreading Norovirus

A HUGE and very genuine thank you to everyone who has worked over Christmas, and those who will be working over New Year, to keep us safe and secure. Special mention for the staff at Radcliffe Podiatry for urgently operating on my son 2 weeks ago, and Rochdale Urgent Care, who cared for him 3 days ago when his operation wound became infected - all with a smile and genuine care throughout - despite how busy, stressed and overworked they were. 

I wish all of you the very best for 2023. If you still have a present to buy for anyone, a First Aid course really is the gift that keeps on giving.
Never lose hope, however grim it seems at times. If Kwasi and Liz can temporarily destroy the UK economy in less than 2 1/2 weeks, it's amazing what positives can also be achieved very quickly. All is never lost... (and there's always the option to emigrate...)

Stay Sensible, Remember What You've Learnt, Save The NHS. 

Some people. They look like numbers here, but they are all humans who could smile, laugh, cry and dance.

Nation / COVID Cases / Losses of Life (plus those added in the full 24 hours up until midnight last night):

World 663,898,255 (+507,770) 6,693,832 (+1,733)
Japan 28,956,286 (+192,063) 56,648 (+420)
S. Korea 28,931,140 (+71,427) 32,027 (+76)
Germany 37,345,969 (+32,729) 161,321 (+188)
USA 102,477,929 (+32,197) 1,117,751 (+239)
Taiwan 8,794,207 (+27,950) 15,181 (+36)
Brazil 36,302,415 (+27,269) 693,734 (+130)
Hong Kong 2,568,596 (+24,895) 11,683 (+62)
France 39,270,373 (+24,436) 161,847 (+132)
Australia 11,119,703 (+8,608) 17,012 (+16)
Colombia 6,345,115 (+6,776) 142,179 (+103)
Paraguay 792,215 (+6,681) 19,688 (+22)
Russia 21,787,172 (+6,146) 393,604 (+56)
Chile 5,026,534 (+6,125) 63,127 (+51)
Mexico 7,234,467 (+5,968) 331,099 (+28)
China 417,615 (+5,102) 5,246 (+1)

Noam Chomsky


UK NHS collapse
Image and text
NHS hospital bed occupancy 2020-2022 
Ambulance strike NHS say they cannot guarantee patient safety
Strikes New Year
UK Nurses
Upcoming strikes

Busy hospitals China
Shanghai hospitals
Body bag footage - China
German vaccines
Chinese Vaccine uptake is around 65% with only 54% efficacy = an R0 value of around 18
'No plans' to require Covid tests for UK arrivals from China
US, Italy, India, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Japan Covid Negative Report May Be Mandatory For Arrivals From China, 5 Nations.
China advice

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!