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Doc Hines - Covid News & Views - 21 March 2022

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

The relentless increase in new covid infections continues here, and in many other parts of the world. At the beginning of March we were seeing just 232,000 new cases a week. Today three weeks later the figure is 607,737 in the last 7 days. The positive rate is now 831.8/100,000 of the population.

5,136, 875 tests have been doe in the last week, 436,000 more than in the previous week. The Government have announced that the testing will no longer be free of charge from 1st April. This will I am sure cause a significant reduction in the number of tests being done. Is this the right time to stop free testing, when numbers positive are rising rapidly? I realise the costs are significant, but we will no longer have a reliable way of measuring the prevalence of the disease.

The number admitted to hospital has risen by 2,506 in the last week and is now 12,507 in just 7 days. A 25% rise on the previous week.

As of 18th March there were a total of 12,507 patients in a hospital bed , a rise of nearly 2,400 over the weekend. The number on a ventilator has actually fallen over the weekend by 5. The number now being ventilated on 18th march is 287.

There is a slow rise in the number of deaths. The latest figure is 786 in 7 days, just 60 more than the previous week.

The surge in the number of cases is impacting on hospital beds is increasing, but to nothing like we saw earlier in the pandemic and those dying remain little more than 110 per day on average.

The number of vaccinations are static now. The Government have announced that those vulnerable and those over 75 who had their 3rd dose six months or more ago can, from today, book a fourth dose. I do hope a clear record is kept of the numbers given. We need to see how this rolls out in the community.

An interesting figure revealed today suggests that 60% of those recorded in hospital with Covid, are not there primarily as a result of Covid. They were admitted for some other reason and then found to be positive with covid.

I hope a significant number of you are reporting covid symptoms on the Covid App run by Prof. Tim Spector. The App has 850,000 daily contributors to their data and have processed over 480 million reports. The App has just been told that it will no longer receive Government funding to continue its work. Over 40 peer reviewed studies have been published based on the data collected for what is one of the biggest databases in the world.

Another study just looked at the number of new cases reported over weekends.226 thousand this weekend, 170,000 the weekend before, and before that 126,000 and 82,000 each weekend.

I hope everybody realises that pregnancy is a major risk factor with Covid. Please be fully immunised before becoming pregnant and then take extra care to stay safe. Having Covid whilst pregnant doubles the risk of a premature birth and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome as well as Sepsis. 20% of patients in ITUs with Covid are currently pregnant.

The passenger locator forms are no longer required for anyone entering this country. If you are entering another country check regularly as there may still be requirements to complete such information.

A new first in the last few days, has been to treat a patient who has been persistently testing positive for Covid with a Covid immunisation, in an attempt to boost his antibodies and defeat the infection.

There are now quite a few reports of people having up to 4 different episodes of Covid. It is not a case of have it once and forget it. The new B2 sub variant does seem to be very infectious.

For now, order some more tests before 1st April if you do not want to pay for them. I am wondering how much longer this report is going to be useful to you? Please let me know what you think? There is a very loyal group of supporters every time, thank you. Staying safe using a combination of plan K and Common sense is still the way forward. I need to buy some more masks this week. Stay safe everyone.

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