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Doc Hines - Covid News & Views - 31 December 2021

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

Firstly, may I wish everyone a very happy prosperous and healthy New Year. I had hoped to be able to say we are out of the woods now. However, I can say we are in a much better position than we were this time last year. We have reached the figure of 90% of all those over 12 years old now having at least a single jab. 59% of us have now had three. Slowly the antivaccers are seeing sense and getting immunised.

There are several priorities in the year ahead. The first is to get 3 vaccines at least into everyone, I mean all 100%, as quickly as possible. The second is to get the rest of the world vaccinated. This means providing not only the vaccine but the training and logistic support as well. It is very likely that we will require a fourth vaccine sometime in the coming year. So be ready for it.

We also need to keep up with the mask wearing indoors and keeping good social distances of at least 1m but 2m is better. Its mild tonight, if you are celebrating, please do it outside. If letting off fireworks, please remember your neighbours who have dogs. Many dogs are terrified of fireworks.

We are continuing to see over 1.5 million tests done each day. The number positive beats the record every day. Today 189,846 were positive. There have been over 1 million new cases in the last 7 days. The rise over a week is 48.7% and the rate is now 1,253.8 cases per 100k.

The death figures are interesting. Both days the figures are relatively high, 332 reported today and 203 yesterday. This is an artefact of reporting during holidays. If you look at figures over a full 7 days there has actually been a 10% drop with only 701 in the last 7 days,

The fact that the disease is vey rampant at present is compensated for by the relative lack of deaths and of those seriously ill in hospital on a ventilator. The last figure on 29th of December was only 868, very much lower than a year ago.

The number of new admissions has however risen considerably. There were 11,898 in hospital with Covid on 29th December and 11,918 declared today. On 27th December 1,915 were admitted on that day and the next day 2,082 admissions. The rise of inpatients is 49.9%.

I do not think you should rely too heavily on these statistics. Reading between the lines there are some gaps and possible double counting. Yesterday’s figures were not released until 8.30pm because of balancing the data. Today it was ready prompt at 4pm. Nobody wanted to stay at work checking and rechecking all the collated figures. It will be the middle of next week before things return to a normal pattern.

There are some extra figures to bore you with There were 3,477 patients in London Hospitals with Covid last night. The highest since February 16th.

In common with some other countries, the isolation period if you are in contact with a case has been reduced from 10 days to 7days. This is providing you can show a negative PCR test on day six and again on day 7. If you are not fully immunised, you must wait the full 10 days.

Reuters have produced some global figures for deaths from Covid. The USA remains way out in front with 825,663. Russia has surpassed Brazil into second place with 658,634. Brazil is in third place now with 618,800.

What do you think of the figure from the USA? Why is it so high, what lessons can we learn? These figures only show totals, they do not compare population sizes or population densities.

Southern Rail have announced that there will be no trains in and out of Victoria Station until 10th January due to staff shortages with Covid absences.

The shortage of LFTs is being rectified quickly. I understand Wales has lent England some 4 million to help us out.

The safest place to celebrate the New Year is probably in bed with a TV. That’s what I plan to. It will be a novelty, having worked the New Year night for most of my career. I invite all of you to join me in your own beds! Raise a toast for a year that will get better.

Thank you for your continued encouragement to write these reports. I enjoy doing them but I hope and believe I should be able to stop sometime in the next 12 months. I value all the comments and questions, it helps make it more valuable in helping those struggling to keep going.

For now heads down, masks on and more of the same for every one as we use our common sense to stay safe .

A Safe and Healthy New Year to you all.

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