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Doc Hines - Covid News & Views - 9 March 2022

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

The concerns I expressed on Monday night are confirmed tonight with all the figures now suggesting a new wave of Covid infections is starting. Just how significant it will be remains to be seen. At the moment, I do not anticipate it being much more than a considerable inconvenience. However, if a new resistant mutation appears, it could be very different. We never know what is lurking round the corner. How many of us were thinking about a war in Europe two years ago? We must remain on our guard and alert to new threats all the time.

A total of 4,449,039 test have been done in the last 7days. That is a slight rise of 15,700 or just 0.4%, compared to the figures for the previous week. A tiny rise, but it was expected to fall as the requirements for testing had been largely removed.

From those tests 346,059 were found positive in the last week. This is a very significant rise of 46.4% or almost 110,000 more compared with the previous week. The positive case rate is on the rise again and is now back over 400 at 409/100,000 of the population.

Looking at the hospital data. There were 970 more people admitted to hospital with Covid than in the week before. This is a rise of 12.2% in a week. There were 11,639 people in hospital with Covid on 8th March compared with 11,318 on the 7th March and only 10,702 on the 4th March. The number on a ventilator has also risen slightly with 275 reported for 8th March and 268 on 7th March

Although immunisations are still being given, they are not in significant numbers to alter the percentage of the population receiving them. The figures are exactly the same for them today as on Monday. This is disappointing, We need to see the numbers of fourth vaccines being given. The way to slow or even reverse this new surge of cases is to get our immunisation figures still higher. Over 33% of us have not had a third jab yet. Anyone not having a third dose should get it done if its overdue. If you are called for a fourth dose, please get that done as well.

It does not seem possible that I have been writing these reports for 2 years now. I realise many of you have stuck with me reading them since the start. A special thanks to my son Stephen who has painstakingly archived them so there will be a permanent record. I sincerely hope I will not be writing them for another two years.

An ONS study has shown that in England 98.4% of adults now have some Covid antibodies, either from having had the infection or from being immunised. Please remember that having antibodies will not necessarily make you immune from catching it. It is the number of antibodies present that determines whether or not you can catch it. At present unless you are part of a clinical trial you will not know how high your antibody level is. Different people make different amounts of the antibody in response to the vaccine and when you get the disease. The total antibody level or titre also drops off over time which is why we need to have booster doses at least for the time being. These figures just released are based on data on 20th February.

With children aged 8-11 years old on 23rd of December 2021 33% had some antibodies. This has now risen to 72.3%. Children will need boosters too to protect immunity from waning.

Globally the WHO estimate that 3 billion people still await their first jab. at the same time the world is making 1.5 billion doses, a lot of which get wasted because of our inability to reach those in the more remote parts of the world. I fear the WHO target of immunising 70% of the world population by mid summer is going to fail miserably.

I note Hawaii is the last American State to formally drop mandated facemasks from 26th of March.

I am sure some of you like me have been supporting the Zoe app which is now able to produce some meaningful statistics based upon people updating their app. Please continue to do this until they close down. It is important to see these studies through to the end.

All of us in the UK can play apart in containing Covid with even the simplest of things like avoiding crowded places and wearing masks. There seems little we can do to help resolve the daily atrocities in Ukraine. I have just a little understanding of what is happening. I was in the Czech Republic in 1968 when Russia led an invasion of what was then Czechoslovakia. This was largely non-violent, and not resisted but the Czechs were told to make sure they came very slowly. So there were barricades on the roads and trees felled to slow them down. Some Czech medical students were in London as part of an exchange. They were unable to get home to their own country and chose to complete their training in London. In those days I had a short-wave radio and every night they would meet in my flat to listen to radio free Czech. I saw first-hand the terror they had about living in a communist country again.

Please support the humanitarian relief in any way you can, with money, preferably, or in goods and essential items. See the relief agencies wants lists. Please continue to pray for Ukraine and play your part to keep Covid to a mere inconvenience. Please all stay safe.

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