Commentary

Doc Hines - Covid News & Views - 23 February 2022

By the time I write my next report all mandatory Covid restrictions will have been removed. It looks as though an invasion of Ukraine is quite imminent. War in Ukraine will be a significantly more dangerous than Covid currently is. The potential loss of life is enormous. I suspect the data to become difficult to obtain as many will contract Covid without any symptoms. Those that do have symptoms may not recognise it as Covid but assume it’s a cold like virus. I do not anticipate any significant changes in hospital or death data. I believe they will continue to improve. This is because of our success in getting 2/3rds of the population triple immunised and the most vulnerable having a 4th dose already. The new antiviral drugs will be used for anyone with significant symptoms.

In anticipation of the changes the numbers being tested have already begun to fall. Only 734 ,238 tests were done yesterday with only 39,656 proving positive. There have been 65 thousand less positive tests in the last week, only 460 per 100,000 people are now testing positive.


With the hospital data, only 970 people were admitted on the one-day 19th February. This is the first time the daily figure has dropped below 1,000. Only 11,083 are now in hospitals up and down the Country. Only 312 are needing mechanical ventilation. Assuming these figures are reasonably accurate they reflect the steadily falling numbers requiring hospitalisation.


164 deaths have been recorded with the death occurring within 28 days of a positive covid test. There have been 941 deaths in total in the last 7days. The death rate is now 1.3 per 100,000 of the population. These statistics will be affected by the new changes as currently it includes all people who have died from whatever the main cause, if they have had a positive test in the last 24 hours. I will probably change to reporting deaths as recorded by the Office for National Statistics which only counts death that were primarily due to Covid. This is only about half the number the Government publish. This will mean we cannot compare the two sources which present a different view on cause of death! The overall total mortality from all causes in January was 1,039/110k for males and 892/100k in females. These are lower figures than average for January.


The vaccine data shows 66.2% have had 3 doses. Further Spring doses are planned for the over 75s and consideration of a further Autumn booster if it becomes necessary.


Scotland will also end the legal restrictions currently in force, but their First Minister says that for the time being tests will still be available for free.


Australia have just approved the new Moderna vaccine for children aged 6-11. It is the same as the adult vaccine but only half the dose. It joins Pfizer as a second available vaccine for children. Almost 50% of children in Australia have already been immunised once.


Reading you many messages and comments it would seem most of you wish me to continue my regular reports. I am happy to do so providing there is sensible data to discuss. Remember you can still continue with plan K for as long as you feel you want to. It is not compulsory to stop wearing masks or taking any other precautions you want to. Do remember that your risks are falling all the time and using common sense you can venture out to see friends. As always please look after one another. There are many still very frightened. Try not to worry, the risks now are very small but of course not eliminated. If you live in Ukraine, you have reason to be frightened. The news footage of children being packed into bomb shelters tonight show just what an emergency this is.


Her Majesty is looking very frail but very stoical. I am very hopeful she will now continue to improve.


Meanwhile the rest of us need 3-4 vaccines, common sense and a determination to get the most we can from our lives. Please Stay safe.

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