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Doc Hines - Covid News & Views - 11 May 2022

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

The Government web site from where I get most of my statistics reports that today’s figures are delayed, and they do not know when they will be released. I am therefore basing today’s report on yesterday’s figures.

Now only 1,78 million tests have been done in the last week, the number is dropping by about 10% every week. The number testing positive has risen to back over 100,000 in the last week. The reason for this is unclear and may be an artefact created by the weekends and bank holiday still. If it is sustained it might be indicative of another wave beginning, but nothing else suggests that.

The number of patients admitted in the 7 days to the third of May was 6,905. This compares favourably to the 7,703 admitted in the week to the 30th April.

On the 9th of May the number of patients in hospital with Covid has fallen below 10,000 for the first time for a long time. The actual figure was 9,619. This compares very favourably with 11,590 in hospital on the 3rd May

Those seriously ill on a ventilator have similarly dropped from 278 to 214 on 9th May.

The death figure for 29th April was 1560 in the previous week. The 7 day figure for 4th May was incomplete and the figure for the 7 days ending 10th of May was 1512. I am surprised it is as high as this. I suspect the figure is rather skewed by the weekends and bank holidays when you cannot easily register a death. I anticipate the next figures will show a drop.

I have had experience in the last week of trying to register a death myself. It took several days because I was 150 miles away. It has been surprisingly complicated.

The global figures have been updated today. Worldwide there have now been 517,356,394 confirmed cases and 6,251,366 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

In the United Kingdom we have had 22,188,899 cases with 176,424 deaths. By far the highest figures belong to England who have 18,631,175 confirmed cases up until today with 153,676 deaths recorded. I am sure these represent a considerable underestimate. Many third world cases will never be recorded, and neither will deaths. There is just not the infrastructure to do it. With 60% of cases now believed to be asymptomatic, and testing not being done routinely, many cases will go undetected.

As for immunisations, all three of the regular figures have risen by 0.1% , it is now 92.6% for first doses. 2nd doses amount to 86.6% and third doses 68.4%. Remember 0.1% amounts to 100,000 people.

I numbered in those having as spring booster this week. It was the usual cool calm efficient and very slick process. Well done the Princess of Wales centre at Boston. There were more staff than patients there. Of the 20 minutes I was there, 15 were waiting to drive home

An article in the Lancet confirms that using the Moderna vaccine generally provides an increased protective boost to both antibody level and cellular immunity, particularly in those over 70. It is thought that continuing regular boosters may not be necessary if the antibody titres reach a ceiling and stay there.

Across the EU it will no longer be mandatory to wear masks at airports or during travel within the EU. However, the WHO suggests that it may still be advisable to remember the significant protection that face masks, social distancing and hand washing will provide when travelling in cramped overcrowded conditions.

We can now relax and watch the situation continue to improve. I may only report one a week now but is not all over. We are only a nasty mutation away to going back to square one. My local supermarket is large and well ventilated with relatively few customers. I can and do easily socially distance now . They have stopped asking for masks to be worn So although I carry one to don if something happens. I am no longer wearing one. The local doctor’s surgery is another matter. It is important to continue with all three protective steps with people likely to be very vulnerable close by. With the shortage of doctors. it is important to help protect them as well.

Till next week please all stay safe.

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