Commentary

Doc Hines - Covid News & Views - 18th August 2021

There are small rises across the board to report today apart from the number of tests being done. This is a little disappointing as new cases had been dropping. Wednesday figures are some of the more reliable. It may all be simple day-to-day fluctuations. We shall see in the coming days. Just to complicate matters the statistics tomorrow will include 16-17- year-olds, so direct comparisons will be difficult. There are about 1 million added to the number required to be immunised.


The number of daily tests being done back in July was well over 1 million. With school closed and people on holiday, numbers have dropped to below 700k yesterday but rallied to 728 k today. The number of those positive was mirrored in the figures, 33,904 today but only 26,852 yesterday. The rate of positive tests is at 296 per 100k. The seven-day figure shows a rise 7.6%. A significant factor is that in the last 7 days we have done 50,000 fewer tests than the week before.


By contrast, the number of deaths was 111 today and 170 yesterday. You will remember the Tuesday figure is always high as it catches up with the reporting from over the weekend. Over the week there have been just 48 extra deaths or a 7.9% rise.


Turning to hospital data. The number admitted on a single day was last reported as 773 on 14th August. 6,221 are in a hospital bed and 925 are on a ventilator, both figures a little higher than those published on Monday. As we are now supposed to test rather than just self-isolate, I would have hoped the number of tests should begin to rise very soon.


Immunisation status creeps up very slowly. 47.41 million first doses have been given or 89.6% of the eligible population. 40.98 million people have had a second jab and should be fully immunised, that is 77.5% of the population. As I mentioned earlier tomorrow’s figures will reflect the addition of the 16-17-year-olds and so will not compare easily.


The Modern vaccine has received its approval from the UK regulator, the MHRA, for use in children aged 12 to 17.


Another statistic that nearly went by unnoticed was that in the week ending 6th August 2021 there was a total of 10,187 deaths recorded for all causes, only 527 or 5.2% involved Covid.

New Zealand has reacted quickly to a new case reported in Aukland yesterday, which has apparently risen to 10 today. The whole country is into a lockdown for 3 days and for the Aukland area for 7 days. It is thought to be the Delta variant although not yet confirmed. The New Zealand borders are virtually closed as well.



In New South Wales, Australia a further 452 locally acquired cases are reported. There have been over 400 daily cases for the last 4 days.


The temporary lockdown in Tokyo Japan has been extended until 12th September. There were 5,773 cases in Tokyo with 80% of all critical care beds filled. At the same time as dealing with this there are major evacuation alerts for severe flooding in the Hiroshima area.


There is an outbreak of the deadly Ebola in West Africa. An 18-year-old traveling from the Ivory Coast to Guinea is confirmed infected. It is the first case in the Ivory Coast for 25 years. There was an outbreak in Guinea between 2014 and 2016. The WHO have expressed grave concern, widespread immunisations have already started. Only a few days ago a case of the similar Marburg virus was confirmed in the same area.


There has been new advice given to the 50,000 British expats living in Spain. They should receive their vaccine in Spain, and they can do this by registering for their health care in Spain and then ask to be immunised. Those living there but not registered for health care are urged to get registered there rather than trying to come home.


Austria has put a limit on the validity of immunity records. After 2 doses the immunity certificate will expire 9 months or 270 days after the second dose. This would mean someone who had a second jab in January would find their certificate expiring in September. This raises the whole field of booster jabs again. These are anticipated to start in the UK in September.

I hope by now all of you are convinced of the value of immunisations against Covid and indeed other infectious conditions. Just to confirm what we already know, Public Health England has estimated 80,000 deaths have been prevented by immunisation against Covid 19 now.


Remember 22.5% of our population has not been immunised. We need this figure to get to less than 10%. Please do all you can to help people overcome irrational fears. Stay safe yourselves. There are still 100 deaths a day too many due to Covid and this is preventable. Keep your guard up, follow all the guidelines, and please stay safe.

1 view0 comments