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Doc Hines - Covid News & Views - 20th August 2021

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

I think there is no doubt now that all the figures are going in the wrong direction despite everyone’s best efforts. The rise is only less than about 10% every week, but over several months it will begin to mount up and impact again on the way the Health Services in the UK can cope. Many NHS staff are desperate now for a short break from the pressures they have worked under.

I think this must be due to the relaxation of the rules allowing much more mixing, as well as the fact that the vast majority of new cases are in those with either no vaccine or an incomplete course. Many of the youngsters and all under twelves remain unvaccinated. With the change in statistics this week 24% are not fully vaccinated. This is nearly a quarter of the population. It is not surprising that there are still many new cases each day.

The number of tests being done has picked up with over 800,000 each day and 822k today. Sadly, the number testing positive has also risen each day with 37,314 positive today. It is a rise of 9.6% in the last 7 days and has pushed the positive rate in the general population to over 300. It now stands at 303.5 per 100k of the population


Over 800 have been admitted to hospital each day. 858 were new cases admitted on 16th August, the last published count. The number occupying a hospital bed has risen each day to 6,441 yesterday. Of these 928 are on a ventilator. Many more are on another form of assisted breathing called non-invasive ventilation.

Remember the numbers have been adjusted to include 16-17-year-olds. 47.56 million or 87.4% have had the first jab and 41.33 or 76% have had both vaccines. In London, a third of all 16-17s have had their first jab. Please help all youngsters get their jabs quickly. It would seem that the price we pay for an easing of the lockdown restrictions is a slow but steady rise in new cases. This will continue if we do not get up to 90% double immunised as quickly as possible. It is encouraging that a report today suggests 9 out of 10 people in the UK are still using a mask sometimes. Although entirely voluntary it makes sense to still use them indoors in crowded conditions. Please carry on doing so till we have 90% protected by immunisation.

The lockdowns announced this week in Australia and New Zealand have both been extended today. New Zealand says they have 3 more cases in the Wellington area and 31 cases in the Aukland area.

Spain and its archipelagos are currently on the UK Amber list but there are fears it may have to join the red list. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office are now advising Britons not to travel there. Since 4th August, 1 in 35 travelers to the UK from Spain has tested positive for Covid according to the test and trace service. It has the second-highest rate of Covid cases in Europe.

Looking at the cumulative totals country by country the rankings are 1. USA; 2. India; 3. Brazil; 4.Russia; 5.France; 6.UK; 7. Turkey ; 8,Argentina; 9,Colombia; 10. Spain.

In the early days of the pandemic, one of the drugs claimed as suitable to treat Covid was Ivermectin. This drug is commonly used to treat parasitic worms in horses and cattle but has no use in treating Covid. A person has been admitted to a hospital in Mississippi with severe Ivermectin toxicity after treating themselves with it. I would not even use it to treat my dogs in the UK, there are safer treatments!

I really welcome comments from you all especially if from some more remote part of the world. I know it is regularly read in Australia, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Spain, and other European and Scandinavian countries. Please tell us your local difficulties and frustrations. Things vary so much. I hear today of court battles in some US states to get rid of bans on the use of face masks in Schools. In other places, the curfews are so difficult to deal with. In places like Afghanistan, at present, there is a much greater chance of being killed or tortured than catching Covid. For all we grumble about the UK, there is nowhere I would rather be during this pandemic.

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