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Doc Hines - Covid News & Views - 25th August 2021

The last two days have continued to provide a largely stable picture of the pandemic, With the number of cases only slowly creeping up, and the number of hospital admissions mostly quite static with only day-to-day variations.

The number of covid tests being done has been below 750 thousand for the last couple of days. today 35,847 tests were positive and only 30,838 yesterday. That, at first sight, is quite a rise but when you look at weekly figures, it is only a 12.7% increase. The positive case rate has risen a little to 339.3 per 100k of population.

Deaths are always at their highest on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, this week follows the norm. 147 today and 174 yesterday. Over the last week, the increase was 88 or 11 more per day compared with a week ago. The overall death rate remains at 0.9 per 100,000 of the population

Turning to health care I am a little suspicious of the accuracy here. This is the second week running we have seen an increase of just 1 in the number admitted on just one day on 21st August the figure was 859 and on August 20th it was 858. The date for these figures is always a few days earlier than the figures released for the number in a hospital bed. On 23 August there were 6934 in a hospital bed and the figure fell to 6,874 yesterday.

The number in hospital dropped slightly whereas the number being treated on a ventilator rose from 942 to 957.

Immunisations continue to rise each day by several hundred thousand. now 47.31million first doses have been given, that’s 87.8% . 41.92 million second doses have been given to 77.2%. We really need another 12 million immunised as quickly as possible.

Several of you have been worried about Afghan refugees arriving in Britain. I have been trying to get answers today. Afghanistan is on our Red list of countries. Quite rightly the priority is to get them evacuated to safety. Here in the UK, they will all be isolated whilst they are processed. They will all have repeated tests and be offered immunisations and a full general health check. They will not mix with the general population until it is safe to do so. The refugees should therefore have a negligible effect on the UK pandemic. This is all covered in the ARAP, Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy which is often referred to on the media.

As the Para-Olympics start in Japan, the country has extended its state of emergency again with 8 more Prefectures included. Now 33 of the 47 are under emergency rules.

A man in South Kensington who refused to pay up after being given a £10,000 fixed penalty fine for organising a rave at his home has had his fine increased to £14,000 at a court appearance recently.

My plan worked, when I talked about the controversy around booster immunisations. I had a wide-ranging response but I think the consensus was we cannot solve all the world's problems so we should sort ourselves out first and then try and help the third world issues. 3 countries have still not been given any immunisations; these are Burundi, Eritrea, and North Korea. A further 140 countries have immunised less than 10% of their population.

The WHO needs all the help it can get. Remember it is still dealing with Ebola and Marburg as well as polio in other parts of the world. I hope our leadership of the G7 nations can stir them into action to purchase and help administer vaccines across the globe. It is after all in everyone’s best interest to try in the longer term to irradicate Covid just as we did with Smallpox.

In the summer season epidemic, food poisoning is always not far away, it only needs a careless mistake for an outbreak to occur. The Food Standards Agency or FSA are dealing with an outbreak of salmonella food poisoning with 176 cases and 10 in hospital

Please keep the comments coming. For now, please keep up your guard, use a huge amount of common sense. Try and teach common sense to the youngsters who still think they are invincible. There are daily stories to show that’s not the case. Keep your masks available, wear them in crowded places and in supermarkets and public transport. It is warm enough to leave doors and windows open at home or at work. We must ensure one another’s safety and stay safe ourselves.

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