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Doc Hines - Covid News & Views - 12th November 2021

An average of almost exactly 1 million Covid tests have been done on each of the last two days. It is only one percent difference from the previous week. I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that to be a significant change it has to be more than 5% and sustained for at least 3 days. Normal day to day variations account for small changes in the figures. The wider picture suggests things are static in England whereas problems are growing in many parts of the world especially in Europe again.

Both days have seen over 40,000 positive tests, there has been a 6.5% drop in the number of positives in a seven-day period. The rate of positive cases is now 350 per 100k tests.

Deaths remain well over 100/day but significantly less than 200 a day seen a week or so ago. Reporting issues make the day of the week under consideration very important with Monday the least and Tuesday the worse. There were 145 deaths recorded today and 195 yesterday. It would not surprise me that Friday’s figure is always lower because of recording issues.

I also suspect the number of people admitted to hospital on which day of the week has other factors at work. Does anyone want to look at the figures from my report by day of the week and see what you find? GPs tend to admit more patients on Fridays in case they deteriorate over the weekend, so this inflates the figure that day and reduces it for Saturday and Sundays. 993 people were admitted on the 8th November compared with 868 on the 7th November.

The number in a hospital bed is 8,652 today compared with 8,767. Again I suspect with recovering patients in hospital more would be discharged on a Friday so they can be home for the weekend. We do not see daily discharge records which would show this behaviour more clearly.

The numbers on a ventilator hover around 1,000 The difference between 1,008 yesterday and 999 today is probably insignificant but it is pleasing to see it back below 1,000 if only just!

Immunisation statistics are unremarkable. The figures for 1st and second jabs change by 0.1% or less each day. Hopefully the number of second doses given will hit 80% tomorrow or Sunday. This will mean 20% of the population or 1 in 5 have not had the basic 2 jabs and are not considered fully immune. One in five of us will not be entitled to a Covid pass. The booster and third doses are moving forward and 20.6% of those eligible have had a third or booster jab, this is 11.82 million. Many more must come forward now to get it. You no longer have to wait to be invited. If you are over 50, go online or ring 119 to book an appointment or just turn up if near a walk in centre. They are ready and waiting, syringe in hand.

The Robert Koch institute in Germany recorded a record 50,196 new cases in a day over the weekend.

New Zealand who did so well in the first year of Covid are now seeing a big surge in new cases. 200 a day is a lot for a small island country. New tough restrictions are coming.

There are two new Covid antibody therapies which have been approved by the EMA. Regeneron Roche and from South Korea Celtrion.

Sweden has seen a sharp decline in the number of tests being done after its health agency stated there was no need to get tested if fully vaccinated even if you have symptoms. In some areas of Sweden you cannot now get a free test, you would have to buy one. They are way out on their own over this and they say, wrongly in my opinion, that even if symptomatic you do not need a test. This seems totally illogical and suggests the approach is to reduce numbers by just not testing for it.

The mortuaries are virtually full in both Romania and Bulgaria. Both countries have a very high prevalence of disease and very low immunisation rates. Body fridges and refrigerated lorries are being brought to store corpses until they can be processed.

The Netherlands had 16,000 new cases in a day and its much smaller in population size. Health experts have formally asked for a partial lockdown.

Austria, with a population of only 9 million, have admitted they only have 65% immunised fully as cases rise there as well.

Another interesting animal report from Iowa in the USA They claim that deer are catching Covid in large numbers from humans. Studies have shown that they are spreading it between themselves and have caught it from humans. There are no cases of the deer infecting humans. Following widespread testing it is thought up to a third of all the deer in Iowa have active disease.

A study of diabetics in Africa has confirmed what was well known, diabetics have a 10.2 percent fatality rate in Africa compared to 2% of non-diabetics.

The Ukraine is now requiring compulsory vaccines for many other employment groups. In addition to health and social care. All teachers and employees of both Local and State Governments must be vaccinated or not allowed to work.

I can see compulsory Covid passes being introduced in England as in other parts of the UK, we need 20% more of us to be immunised in order for us all to be properly protected. The risk of losing a job or visiting privileges may be more effective than cash incentives as some areas have tried. What are your views on this?

Do not forget your Flu vaccine if eligible. Plan B is so sensible why not get ahead of the game and do it now. As always please share your experiences but above all stay safe.

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