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Doc Hines - Covid News & Views - 29th December 2021

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

The daily data is normally published at 4 pm. Unfortunately, at this point in time it is still unavailable. It probably one of the most important sets of data as it has been very sparse over the 4 day Bank Holiday. Whilst I wait here are some statistics from another source, mostly the UK Health Security Agency.

As of 8am today 10,462 people are in hospital with Covid 19. A total of 916 more than the same time yesterday. We remain a long way from the peak of 34,3336 on the 18th January this year.

There are 27 million people who are double jabbed but although eligible have not come forward for a booster. 90% of those in ITU with Covid have not had 3 doses of vaccine.

The UKHSA estimate that those who remain unimmunised are 8 times more likely to need hospital admission.

Many of you have found it difficult to obtain LFTs in the last few days. We are assured that 8 million more kits will be delivered by New Year’s Eve. If you know of any left lying around, please make them available to others.

A total of 89 cruise ships now have either confirmed or suspected cased of Covid amongst the passengers.

The UKHSA reports 39,923 confirmed new Omicron cases in the last 24 hours at 3pm today. The total number of Omicron variant cases is now 210,122

France remains badly hit. They have reported a further 208,000 cases today.

A sobering figure from the WHO suggests 42 countries have failed to immunise more than 40% of their population. There is an enormous logistic effort required to get the whole world to 90% or more.

At 6pm the daily statistics have now been published. 1,476,216 tests have been done today and 183,037 tested positive. That’s nearly 50k more than yesterday. This is not a true reflection as many will have left testing until the holiday was over. It is however an extremely high figure with a 41% increase over the week. The infection rate is 1,238.6 in every 100,000 of the population, or more than 1 in a hundred are now infected.

Deaths again do not reflect the situation accurately because of the problems registering. I anticipate tomorrow will give a more realistic picture but is still going to be relatively low.

I can predict the death figure will remain quite low because the numbers in ITU on a ventilator has remained steady, 842 today, compared with pre-Christmas figures. The number in a hospital bed yesterday was 8,246 compared with 9,346 on Tuesday. I am not sure this difference of a hundred or so is significant. It may well be due to the Bank Holidays. The last daily admission date is 21st December when it is reported that 1,213 were admitted. I suspect this figure has peaked and begun to fall over the holiday. It remains to be seen if it rises again once the holidays are finished. This is the crucial issue. It needs monitoring very carefully, but I believe the PM is right to protect the economy (and his popularity?) if he avoids further restrictions. We as a Country can manage 200,000 cases a day provided very few need to be in hospital: let’s say less than 10,000 and less than 1,000 need a ventilator. If these figures are reached there will be no option. Meanwhile I cannot stress enough how vital it is to get fully immunised. I can almost guarantee it would keep you out of hospital.

Looking at the vaccination statistics, still not quite 90% for first jabs, it’s still 89.9%. Let’s try once more to persuade the sceptics that it is both safe and necessary for everyone. A lot of second doses are still to be done, but 3rd doses continue to climb with 57.5% now in arms. If you really do not want it in your arm, ask nicely and someone will give it in your bottom where you cannot see it.

The media have got upset about the fact that Boxing Day shopping was down by 41%. I realise it’s bad news for retailers, but it does mean the majority of people kept Christmas small as we were asked to.

There is an, as yet, unidentified disease in South Sudan which has killed 97 people. The WHO are there doing urgent investigations. It is likely to be a water born disease as the area has recently had severe flooding.

There are small number of Londoners with a vomiting disorder. It is not confirmed but could well be the norovirus showing it presence as it does every winter. The hygiene practices and masks should help to contain this in the same way it has kept influenza from causing problems.

I know I keep asking you to just keep going using you gut feeling or common sense. You know you should keep New Year’s Eve very small. Preserve social distancing, it sounds like it will be mild so have your event out-doors if at possible.

Remember I enjoy your comments suggestions and observations, please share your Christmas experiences. I realise some of you have been unwell with Covid and others have had plans wrecked, but stay positive, be of good cheer, we can beat this in the coming year.

Please just stay safe.

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