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Doc Hines - Covid News & Views - 4 May 2022

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

The situation continues to improve after the latest Bank Holiday and the statistics are promising.

With testing no longer required the number being done continues to drop and those positive are now well below 100,000 in the last week.

The number of patients with Covid admitted in the week ending 30th April was only 7,703 compared with 9,493 admitted in the week ending 28th April . This is a substantial fall we can celebrate.

Similarly, the total number of patients in hospital on 3rd May was 11,590, compared with 13,027 on 28th April and over 20,000 on 5th April. The number of patients on a ventilator are now less than 300. There were just 278 on the 3rd May. Some hospitals now have no Covid patients in their ITUs.

Perhaps the best news is that the number of deaths reported has fallen from 1,560 on week ending 29th April to 1,098 in the week ending today. The death rate per 100,000 of the population has dropped back to just 1.5. There has been an almost 50% drop in the number of deaths. One small word of caution though. The death figures for England may be incomplete.

The number having a 3rd jab has now risen to 68.3% the other figures are still unchanged.

Around the world, New Zealand is now welcoming back tourists and Croatia has dropped all its remaining entry requirements. There will be no restrictions for people attending the Cannes Film Festival which starts on the 17th of this month.

Things have eased somewhat in Shanghai but Beijing is struggling to contain their outbreak.

I think we need just to keep a watch on what is happening with the omicron sub variants known as B.A.4 and B.A.5. The seasons are changing, and S Africa is moving into winter. We know that the Covid virus enjoys the colder weather. Neither subvariant are causing significant problems at present but they have a lot of cases, nearly all quite mild.

I also hear of a cruise ship being held in Seatle. They have 200 patients on board with Covid and the staff on the ship are finding things difficult to manage despite there being no serious cases.

Finally, the results of a study between Cambridge University and the Imperial College hospital in London has been published. They studied just 46 patients with severe Covid between March and July 2020. They demonstrated cognitive impairment compared to that of a 50 to 70 year old. This was a very small sample, and the study needs to be repeated with a larger cohort of patients with them being followed up for a number of years to see if the original observations were true and how long the cognitive impairment lasted.

For now my message is relax with caution. I will still avoid very crowded places, but if I have to travel on London underground in the rush hour, I will wear a mask. I will wear a mask to protect others if I know them to be very vulnerable. I do not feel the need now in a well-spaced half empty bus or large shop. Its just now a matter of common sense. Get your 4th jab as soon as you can and stay safe. I will report again next week but think I may stop doing them routinely after that. I can always start again if there is a resurgence. Meanwhile I wish and pray for signs of improvement in Ukraine.

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