"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 16th Jul 2021
Chris Whitty warns of new lockdown within weeks as UK records 63 deaths in highest daily toll since March and cases soar, especially in Englishmen after Euros
- Professor Chris Whitty has warned that England is 'not by any means out of the woods yet' and could still be plunged into another lockdown within weeks amid a surge in cases and a spike in hospitalisations across the nation.
- The chief medical officer warned that doctors across the country could soon be faced with 'scary numbers again' and that more people could be fighting the disease in hospital in 'five, six, seven, eight weeks time.'
- His comment comes after data showed COVID-19 cases have spiralled quicker among men in their 20s compared to women following the Euro 2020 football tournament.
- Speaking at a British Science Museum event, Professor Whitty said: 'Currently this epidemic is doubling. It's 4,000, from 4,000 to 8,000 and so on, it does not take many doubling times till you're into very very large numbers indeed.'
- The scientist went on to say that the country could 'get into trouble again surprisingly fast' and we were 'not by any means out of the woods yet.'
- He continued: 'I don't think we should underestimate the fact that we could get into trouble again surprisingly fast. We are not by any means out of the woods yet on this, we are in much better shape due to the vaccine programme, and drugs and a variety of other things.
- 'But this has got a long way to run in the UK, and it's got even further to run globally.'
- Professor Whitty said the key on July 19, the nation's 'Freedom Day,' was to take things incredibly slowly, adding that he fully expected most people to continue to take precautions.
- 'If you look over what people have done, and in fact if you look at what people intend to do now, people have been incredibly good at saying, 'I may be a relatively low risk, but people around me are at high risk, and I'm going to modify my behaviours,' he said.
- The chief medical officer added that in the medium term, the virus could mutate into a 'vaccine escape variant' that could take the UK 'some of the way backwards' into the worst days of the pandemic.
- He said: 'The further out in time we go, the more tools we have at our disposal from science, the less likely that is but you can never take that possibility completely off the table. But you know, science has done a phenomenal job so far and it will continue to do so.'
- He added that people should not be 'mesmerised' by the anti-vaxx and anti-lockdown movements.
- 'Although people who think this is not a big problem and make a lot of noise and get on quite a lot of news channels, actually they are a very, very small minority of the population,' he said.
- It comes as Public Health England data today showed 10,267 more young men than women were infected over the last weeks, with the gender gap having widened since the Euro 2020 tournament kicked off.
- Cases have remained roughly the same between men and women throughout the pandemic. But they began to diverge after June 13, when England beat Croatia 1-0 in their first match.
Chris Whitty warns England could be plunged back into lockdown curbs in just 5 weeks
Boris Johnson could be forced to order new Covid lockdown curbs in five weeks, Chris Whitty has warned just days before Monday's "Freedom Day". The Chief Medical Officer sounded the alarm over a potential "scary" growth in hospitalisations which could leave the NHS "in trouble again surprisingly fast" once restrictions are lifted. The top medic said if hospital admissions begin doubling and the jabs rollout was not "topping out" the pandemic, in "five, six, seven eight weeks' time" the Prime Minister may need to "look again" at restrictions.
Graphs show surge in cases among men in their twenties... and spike coincides with Euro 2020
Professor Chris Whitty warned England could be plunged into another lockdown amid a surge in cases. Public Health England data showed 10,267 more young men than women caught the virus last week. King's College London scientists estimated 33,118 people were catching the virus every day last week. For comparison, they said 33,723 people were getting infected every day during the previous spell
Risk of COVID spread is 'zero', IOC chief says, amid rising cases
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said on Thursday there was "zero" risk of Games participants infecting Japanese residents with COVID-19, as cases hit a six-month high in the host city. Bach said Olympics athletes and delegations had undergone more than 8,000 coronavirus tests, resulting in three positive results. "Risk for the other residents of Olympic village and risk for the Japanese people is zero," he added.
Child diseases on rise as COVID-19 slows routine vaccinations -U.N.
22.7 mln children missed routine vaccines in 2020 -U.N. Measles can be a killer disease of unvaccinated children. 'Large, disruptive' measles outbreaks in Afghanistan, Africa. WHO fears 'perfect storm' as nations lift pandemic curbs
'Freedom day' or 'Anxiety day'? England to end COVID-19 curbs
July 19 sees removal of legal COVID restrictions. Clubs to reopen but fear another shutdown. Concern remains about deaths, long COVID and vulnerable. Modellers cite uncertainty about public's behaviour
India’s digital divide is hampering its mass Covid-19 vaccination campaign
Millions of Indians do not have access to the internet or a smartphone, yet vaccine registration can only be done online through a government portal Other challenges include vaccine hesitancy and misinformation, people lacking identification documents, and the status of refugees such as Rohingya
Alabama military base is first in the U.S. to require vaccination proof amid rising covid-19 rates
An Alabama military base is taking increased actions to combat the ongoing prevalence of coronavirus infections, authorizing leaders to ask for proof of vaccination of service members not wearing a mask while on duty. It is the first military base in the continental United States to allow leaders to check the vaccination status of those in uniform. The new guidance at Fort Rucker comes as the new delta variant of the virus continues to drive infection rates and now accounts for a majority of cases in the United States. The base is among facilities, including Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, Fort Sill in Oklahoma and Fort Jackson in South Carolina, where less than half of the surrounding populations have been vaccinated.
Vaccine passports: Pubs and restaurants urged to roll out NHS Covid Pass with lockdown easing on 19 July
Vaccine passports could soon be required for entry to pubs, bars and restaurants, as the Government amps up caution ahead of Monday’s date for scrapping lockdown restrictions amid a huge surge in Covid cases. Ministers yesterday published their much-anticipated advice for businesses on how to reopen as England moves to step four of the roadmap out of lockdown on 19 July. It said hospitality firms will be encouraged to consider making customers show proof of vaccination to enter their premises.
Australian government scales back supply projections for AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine
The government has quietly scaled down projections of how many AstraZeneca doses will be available in Australia in the coming weeks, while downplaying a huge gap between the amount being locally produced and original Covid-19 vaccine supply targets. Last month, under significant pressure over the vaccine rollout, the federal government released a planning document estimating how many doses would be distributed over the rest of 2021. The document, titled Covid Vaccination Allocations Horizons, estimated the commonwealth would distribute between 2.2m and 2.6m AstraZeneca doses a week to the states, general practitioners and the aged care and disability sector in July and August.
US is 'losing time' in vaccination race as Delta variant becomes more pervasive, expert says
Covid-19 vaccination rates are down and cases are on the rise, exacerbated by the more transmissible Delta variant -- and an expert says the key to winning the race against the spread is getting more Americans vaccinated. "We're losing time here. The Delta variant is spreading, people are dying, we can't actually just wait for things to get more rational," Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health told CNN Wednesday. Vaccines have been available to most Americans for months, but still only 48.2% of the country is fully vaccinated, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- and the rate of new vaccinations is on the decline.
The US Surgeon General Is Asking You To Help Fight COVID-19 Misinformation : Shots - Health News
With about a third of adults in the U.S. still completely unvaccinated, and cases of COVID-19 on the rise, the U.S. surgeon general is calling for a war against "health misinformation." On Thursday, Dr. Vivek Murthy released the first surgeon general's advisory of his time serving in the Biden administration, describing the "urgent threat" posed by the rise of false information around COVID-19 — one that continues to put "lives at risk" and prolong the pandemic. Murthy says Americans must do their part to fight misinformation.
Analysis | Under Trump, Republicans touted the coronavirus vaccines. Now, under Biden, they're questioning them.
Days after initial data from two coronavirus vaccines showed broad effectiveness at preventing illness, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) went on Fox Business Network to laud them. “I’ve been a big proponent of releasing it early,” Paul said Nov. 19. “I think that we’ve had enough safety and effectiveness data.” About two weeks later, Paul told Fox: “All I would say to government officials is let’s get the vaccine out as soon as we can.” Since then, Paul has become one of several congressional Republicans employing conjecture and misinformation to question the efficacy of the vaccines and the Biden administration’s efforts to vaccinate more Americans. You can watch examples of these juxtapositions in the video above.
How Mexico Forgot Its Covid Crisis
AMLO and his government obscured the truth about cases, deaths, and vaccinations. Can these same people protect the country from the delta surge?
Fosun-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine completes China regulator review - media
Chinese regulators have completed an expert review of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine developed by Germany's BioNTech and Fosun Pharma and the shot is in the administration review stage, Caixin reported, citing the Chinese company. China hasn't approved any COVID-19 vaccine developed overseas but greenlighted several domestic brands, administering 1.4 billion doses so far, or two-fifths of the global total of 3.47 billion doses
Vietnam approves Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine as daily cases hit record
Vietnam on Thursday approved Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday for emergency use, as the country tries to boost supplies at a time of record numbers of new infections. The approval of the vaccine, the sixth brand to be endorsed in the Southeast Asian country, is part of Vietnam's efforts to expedite its inoculations programme amid its worst outbreak so far. Vietnam reported a record 3,416 new cases on Thursday, its biggest daily increase and above Wednesday's record high of 2,934. Most of those are in Ho Chi Minh City, the epicentre, which has been under stricter movement curbs since last week.
Why a Covid-19 vaccine isn't available for kids yet
Americans 12 and older can get a Covid-19 vaccine, but younger children are still waiting. With many schools across the United States now just weeks from reopening for the fall semester, pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna are still doing clinical trials to see how coronavirus vaccines work in children under 12 -- if they're safe and what the right dose should be. Meanwhile, all but four states are seeing an increasing trend in cases, with doctors describing patients who are younger and sicker than what they saw in the winter.
Long COVID-19 unlikely among fully vaccinated, physicians say
If a person is fully vaccinated and develops a breakthrough COVID-19 infection, early trends indicate it's unlikely they'll experience long-haul symptoms, NBC News reported July 15. While it's possible and more research is needed, some physicians working at post-COVID-19 clinics say they haven't seen demand from patients who've been fully vaccinated. At Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic's post-COVID-19 program, it's been "quite rare," Greg Vanichkachorn, MD, an occupational therapist who works with long-hauler patients, told NBC. Although anecdotal reports, physicians leading such clinics at Tulane University in New Orleans and Washington University in St. Louis haven't seen patients come in after a breakthrough infection either. Additionally, early research hasn't indicated there's a significant risk.
New study into COVID-19 vaccine uptake, efficacy in vulnerable populations
British Columbia is in the midst of two public health emergencies. While the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues across the province and country, fatal drug poisonings have been on the rise. Researchers with UBC and the BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU)—in partnership with the BC Centre for Disease Control and Vancouver Coastal Health—want to know how these dual health emergencies are being experienced. They have launched a new study to investigate the uptake, effectiveness, and safety of COVID-19 vaccines among members of vulnerable urban populations, including people who use unregulated drugs.
CDC advisers to consider coronavirus booster shots for immunocompromised patients
A federal advisory panel is expected next week to consider whether health-care workers should be allowed to give additional coronavirus shots to patients with fragile immune systems, even as top U.S. health officials have said an additional dose of vaccine is not widely needed. The prospect of booster shots emerged last week as the maker of a two-dose coronavirus vaccine, Pfizer-BioNTech, announced it would seek regulatory approval for a third inoculation amid rising global concern about the highly transmissible delta variant.
Long COVID patients report more than 200 symptoms with fatigue and brain fog most common, UCL study shows
Patients with long COVID have reported more than 200 symptoms affecting 10 organ systems, according to a new study. Researchers surveyed 3,762 people from 56 countries who joined the Body Politic online COVID-19 support group and reported coronavirus-like symptoms between December 2019 and May 2020. In total they reported 203 different symptoms, with 66 identified for the whole seven-month period.
COVID-19 remdesivir study finds long hospital stay, but context matters
Remdesivir, the only antiviral fully approved for COVID-19 treatment by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), was associated with a longer hospital stay yet no improvement in survival rates, according to a real-world observational study of military veterans today in JAMA Network Open. The researchers suggest that the prescribed regimen (5 or 10 days) may have led to longer hospitalizations as patients finished the treatment course, and a related commentary agrees.
Trafford health bosses worried as Covid-19 infection rate higher than it’s ever been
Trafford’s health bosses have voiced their concerns about restrictions fully lifting across the UK on Monday after the borough’s infection rate soared to higher than it’s ever been before. The borough’s infection rate has more than doubled in just a two week period and those in charge are calling for caution; for people to continue wearing face masks in public places and maintaining social distancing.
Russia reports record daily COVID-19 deaths for third day running
Russia on Thursday reported 791 coronavirus-related deaths, the most in a single day since the pandemic began and the third day in a row it has set that record. Russia is in the grip of a surge in cases that authorities have blamed on the contagious Delta variant and the slow rate of vaccinations. The coronavirus task force confirmed 25,293 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours.
Grappling with 'worst-case scenario', Indonesia faces more COVID-19 pain
Indonesia prepared if daily cases top 60,000 - minister. Government assessing duration of mobility curbs. Union says over 10% of manufacturing workers infected Indonesia approves Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
COVID-19 deaths in Africa surge 43% week-on-week, WHO says
Africa recorded a 43% jump in COVID-19 deaths last week as infections and hospital admissions have risen and countries face shortages of oxygen and intensive-care beds, the World Health Organization said on Thursday. The continent's case fatality rate - the proportion of deaths among confirmed cases - stands at 2.6% against the global average of 2.2%, WHO Africa said in its weekly briefing. "Africa's third wave continues its destructive pathway, pushing past yet another grim milestone as the continent's case count tops six million," Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, told the briefing.
Covid-19 cases are surging in 46 states. In one hot spot, hospitalized patients are younger than ever, doctor says
"In recent weeks, we've been seeing a much younger population," he said. "We're seeing a lot of people in their 30s, 40s, early 50s. We're seeing some teenagers and some pediatric patients as well." In St. Louis County, officials said the rate of new cases jumped by 63% over the past two weeks. "A tidal wave is coming towards our unvaccinated populations," County Executive Sam Page said. "This variant is spreading quickly, and this variant has the ability to devastate those in its wake. And that is why it is so critical to get vaccinated now."
Dispiriting setback: COVID deaths, cases rise again globally
COVID-19 deaths and cases are on the rise again globally in a dispiriting setback that is triggering another round of restrictions and dampening hopes for a return to normal life. The World Health Organization reported Wednesday that deaths climbed last week after nine straight weeks of decline. It recorded more than 55,000 lives lost, a 3% increase from the week before. Cases rose 10% last week to nearly 3 million, with the highest numbers recorded in Brazil, India, Indonesia and Britain, WHO said.
Athlete, Olympic workers test positive for COVID as opening nears
A foreign athlete and five Olympic workers in Japan have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Tokyo 2020 organisers. The cases, announced on Thursday, marked the latest infections to emerge among people involved with the Summer Games, which are due to begin next week, and have raised new concerns about the spread of coronavirus at the global sporting event.
‘Karaoke cluster’: Singapore reports surge of new COVID cases
Singapore, which has managed to keep COVID-19 in check in much of the community for months, has reported the biggest jump in domestically transmitted cases in 10 months after an outbreak traced to a karaoke lounge (KTV), which was supposed to have been operating as a food and beverage outlet. The nation reported 56 cases on Wednesday with 42 linked to the karaoke cluster, the health ministry said.
Argentina breaches 100,000 COVID deaths amid deepening crisis
Argentina has become the fifth country in Latin America to surpass 100,000 deaths linked to COVID-19, as the country suffers a surge in coronavirus cases that have strained its healthcare network and worsened an already dire economic crisis. On Wednesday, the Argentinian health ministry said that the country registered 614 new deaths during the last 24 hours.
Melbourne joins Sydney in lockdown as COVID-19 spreads in Australia
Victoria to lock down for five days from midnight. 18 new cases linked to furniture movers from Sydney. Sydney reports lowest rise in new cases in five days.
Delta strain prompts Spain’s Catalonia to restore curfew
Barcelona and the surrounding northeast corner of Spain are curtailing public activity again to stem an outbreak of the delta variant of the coronavirus that is running wild among unvaccinated younger people and placing hospitals under growing pressure. Regional authorities in Catalonia were waiting for a judge to sign off on restoring a nightly curfew in towns with populations over 5,000 which surpass the rate of 400 infections per 100,000 inhabitants over 14 days. The curfew is intended to discourage social gatherings where the virus spreads.
Study finds physicians are widely effective messengers of Covid-19 information
A new large-scale randomized evaluation has found that messages delivered by physicians increased knowledge about Covid-19 and use of preventative health measures, like mask-wearing and social distancing, regardless of recipients’ race or political beliefs. This research shows that information campaigns delivered by trusted experts can be effective in changing people’s health-related beliefs and behaviors.