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Doc Hines - Covid News & Views - 11th October 2021

The number of daily Covid tests being done has stayed around 960,000 for the last 3 days. The number testing positive has however risen by 5,500 and today 40,224 were positive, which is significantly higher than we might hope for. It means that in the last week there have been 26 thousand more positive cases than the week before, a rise of 11.2%. The positive rate is now 354.6 per 100,00 of the population.

The death registrations dramatically demonstrate the weekend effect, 133 deaths were reported on Saturday, 38 on Sunday and 28 today. Over 7 days there were just 2 more than the previous week, a 0.3% rise. The death rate is down to 1.0 per 100k again.

Hospital data is not published over the weekend. The latest figures released today show 816 admitted on 5th October. The total in hospital was 6,728 on the 8th October and 780 people are requiring a ventilator on 8th October. There is a slow downward trend developing with these figures. Remember the immunisation statistics now include all those aged 12 and above. There were 49.18 million 1st doses given by today, that’s 85.5% of those required. 2nd doses have reached 45.18 million or 78.5%. This remains the most important figure of the daily figures and shows there is still a 4 million shortfall.

There are some startling statistics about Covid and pregnancy just released. We all know and understand the extra caution being used to avoid medication particularly in early pregnancy and many will remember the dreadful problems with a drug called thalidomide. However, in the last 3 months 20%, or 1 in 5, of all critically ill Covid patients in hospital were both pregnant and unvaccinated. The Covid vaccine is not a drug in the usual sense, just a vaccine. There have never been problems with vaccines. At present 100,000 pregnant women have been immunised and in the USA 160,000 immunised without a single adverse effect on their pregnancy, the foetus or the child when born.

It is an absolute no brainer! In the case of Covid please get vaccinated before you are pregnant but if not vaccinated it is perfectly safe to have it whilst pregnant. You could be risking the life of both you and your baby if you do not. Husbands and fathers to be please take note as this can affect you as well.

Figures from Scotland link 500 covid cases to an event in Glasgow. So far only 1/3rd of 12-15-year-old children have had a jab. We must push it to above ¾ of them, the actual figure for yesterday was 78,097.

At the other end of the age scale 2.08 million 3rd or booster doses have been given.

Israel has seen its first death from the post-Covid syndrome after prolonged treatment with ECMO (extra corporeal membranous oxygenation). The patient had the rare paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome or PIMS. Less than 100 people in Israel have been diagnosed with this.

In Brazil, President Bolsonaro is known to be a great supporter of Donald Trump. A group of whistle- blowing doctors in Sao Paulo Hospital have been testifying against the hospital accusing the head of the hospital of testing drugs without the patients informed consent and of forcing them to use unproven drugs like Invermectin and Hydroxychloroquine. The President is a strong supporter of hydroxychloroquine despite very strong evidence now from many studies from across the world that neither of these drugs have any effect at all in the treatment of Covid 19 infections.

Brazil has now topped 600,000 deaths, the second highest behind the USA. Perhaps this is a factor?

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a “tragic reversal” in development and pushed debt in poor countries to record levels, the head of the World Bank has said. David Malpass, the Bank’s President warned the virus had widened the gap between rich and poor nations, setting back progress by years and, in the case of some countries, by a decade.

Announcing new World Bank figures showing the debt burden of more than 70 low-income nations had increased by a record 12% to $860bn (£630bn) in 2020. Malpass called for a comprehensive plan to ease the debt pressures and for rich countries to make vaccines available to the less well-of. He said one particular problem was the lack of a bankruptcy process to help in cases where debts had become unsustainable. Under the current system, companies can declare themselves bankrupt but countries cannot. With income per head expected to rise by an average of 5% in developed countries this year compared with 0.5% in developing countries, Malpass said the problem of inequality was getting worse.

The effects of this pandemic on nations, families and individuals will be with us for many years to come. Despite the best efforts of Governments, I fear increased hardship is inevitable in the UK, but will be nothing to the hardships felt elsewhere in the world.

When we grumble at a price rise let us remember those who will have no food. We need to create a culture of goodwill and kindness to all. This pandemic has the potential to unite us all against a common enemy, but I fear it is more likely to set us squabbling amongst ourselves for limited resources, be it petrol or gas. Please remember that 40,00 cases per day and 780 deaths in the last week means this is far from being over.

So please take great care and stay safe.

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