Commentary

Doc Hines - Covid News & Views - 27 Apr 2022

The General situation with Covid continues to improve, it should be less of a problem as the summer draws nearer. Testing is largely suspended and the number testing positive in the last 7 days continues to fall. We now accept if you do not test you will not find asymptomatic cases. It is the hospital data that is now the best indicator of the current situation. During the week ending 23rd April only just over 10,000 people had required hospital admission. Yesterday the total number of patients in a hospital bed was only 14,097. Just a week ago it was around 20,000 So this is a substantial fall in the last week. This is an indicator that the numbers of people with symptomatic Covid has fallen significantly. We can hold our breath that there are no imminent new variants being reported so this trend is set to continue.


The number being treated on a ventilator remains static at 326. An identical number to two days ago.


The number of deaths each week continues to be high with 2,062 in the week ending today, but has fallen over the last few days again. Hopefully this trend will continue so the overall picture is promising. The actual death rate, that is the number of deaths per 100,000 of the population is only 2.1. remember also that only half the deaths are in those fully immunised. So if you have had all your jabs, you have an even smaller risk of death.


Immunisations are still being done and the figure for the third jab has risen by another 0.1% to 68.2%., the numbers of the 1st and 2nd doses have not risen enough to trigger a rise in the percentages. Many more are now eligible for the spring booster dose. Check online or by dialling 119. In many places you can just walk in without appointments at present.

Things are improving a lot in Turkey. The President says he is prepared to lift all remaining restrictions once the number of daily new infections falls below 1,000 per day. At present masks must still be worn in medical settings and on public transport.


In the USA the Vice- President is the latest to go down with Covid. Across the world now most of our leaders have by now succumbed to the disease. It says something that most have continued to serve their country, keeping their work as normal as possible and been prepared to take calculated risks from time to time.


Covid has been responsible for a very large amount of fraud here in the UK. Something that as a nation we should be deeply ashamed of. The business assistance in the form of bounce back loans which began in May 2000 may account for £4.9 billion of fraud. The Government were keen to support the country and only did minimal checking before paying up quickly to keep many businesses afloat. We hear a lot about alleged corruption in Government these days but this suggests its rife in the general population as well. I will be very interested in the ultimate conclusions of the Parliamentary inquiry about this. The scheme was loudly applauded at the time, but it would seem very abused. Will we ever see a similar scheme again? I rather doubt it.


A High Court ruling today confirmed what we already know. In the beginning of the pandemic many deaths could have been avoided if elderly patients being transferred from hospital to a Care home had been tested before discharge. To start with, routine testing was not available. Then most Nursing Homes were private business keen for financial income when they had empty beds. Although Public Health services would have been aware of the risks, asymptomatic transmission was not really appreciated at that time. Care homes had little or no training in barrier nursing or isolation procedures and many were not built in a way that barrier nursing was practical. Lots of lessons here. I have already submitted evidence to the Inquiry and will be most interested in their findings in due course. Poor Matt Hancock could only say” I wish I had been informed earlier.”


If the pandemic continues to improve I think soon I should report just once a week as it is difficult to find new and interesting information and you should not become bored by reading the same thing every time,


It is still not over with 2000 deaths a week. So please use that common sense, take care, and stay safe. We no longer need to be afraid of Covid but please be sensible still.

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