SARS CoV-2 coronavirus / Covid-19 (No tin foil hat silliness please)

Pogue Mahone

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I saw that earlier on. The hope I'm clinging to is that when you look at the case heat maps in those high rate areas the dominant group are the under 25s (particularly secondary school age) - which might suggest that we haven't seen evidence for vaccine evasion so far. The flipside is that if it is a variant that's more dangerous for kids than the original variant (which has been suggested by some reports from India) then we may be about to swap one pandemic for another one. Let's hope the vaccines can keep it suppressed.
While I’m already on a massive downer might as well check those reports out! Where did you read that?
 

groovyalbert

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Balls. From feeling very optimistic to stressed all over again. In the space of 10 minutes. Thank you Twitter :(
But surely with most vulnerable vaccinated, case numbers aren't altogether indicative of what they once were.

Obviously not ideal, but the main issue will be if this sees spikes in ICU admissions.
 

jojojo

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While I’m already on a massive downer might as well check those reports out! Where did you read that?
Here's one for Bolton:
https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/cases?areaType=ltla&areaName=Bolton

To get the daily cases click the "data" button on the Daily graph.

The heat map is interactive so you can zoom in on this week's tests, and see where the results are coming from. The pessimistic view would be that they're the tip of the iceberg because they may correspond to routine LFTs in schools and their families/neighbours haven't been tested yet.
 

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Bit of grim reading. Can’t copy the full article whilst on my phone.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/10/who...are|com.apple.UIKit.activity.CopyToPasteboard




A World Health Organization official said Monday it is reclassifying the highly contagious triple-mutant Covid variant spreading in India as a “variant of concern,” indicating that it’s become a global health threat.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead for Covid-19, said the agency will provide more details in its weekly situation report on the pandemic Tuesday but added that the variant, known as B.1.617, has been found in preliminary studies to spread more easily than the original virus and there is some evidence it may able to evade vaccines.
 

jojojo

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While I’m already on a massive downer might as well check those reports out! Where did you read that?
Sorry, just realised you highlighted the kids bit. I think it's just twitter noise at present. It's easy for a doctor to see the odd cases in kids and turn them into a pattern. It's the usual things when people look at the graphs of hospitalisations/deaths by age drawn up until, they see a zero in the under 16s column whereas they're actually looking at a small number compared to the other figures - so any illness is more than a doctor expects.
 

Bosws87

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Glass is definitely half empty in this thread :lol:
 

Pogue Mahone

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Sorry, just realised you highlighted the kids bit. I think it's just twitter noise at present. It's easy for a doctor to see the odd cases in kids and turn them into a pattern. It's the usual things when people look at the graphs of hospitalisations/deaths by age drawn up until, they see a zero in the under 16s column whereas they're actually looking at a small number compared to the other figures - so any illness is more than a doctor expects.
Ah. Ok. Cool. I remember similar concerns in the early days of the Kent variant. When you go through an explosive surge like UK then/India now it can be hard to see the wood for the trees.
 

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Only a small story today but I read Uruguay is having a few issues now after largely being unscathed in last year compared to many parts of the world. Hospitals filling up and Brazilian variant being blamed.

This is still going to be causing significant disruption for first half of 2022 isn't it? Just needs a very elusive variant to get roaming around the world once travel significantly returns and day to day life will remain frustrating.

As ever hope I'm wrong!
 

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Only a small story today but I read Uruguay is having a few issues now after largely being unscathed in last year compared to many parts of the world. Hospitals filling up and Brazilian variant being blamed.

This is still going to be causing significant disruption for first half of 2022 isn't it? Just needs a very elusive variant to get roaming around the world once travel significantly returns and day to day life will remain frustrating.

As ever hope I'm wrong!
Vaccines are the main potential offset to that, and I know that the situations in Chile and Seychelles cause some concern because they had achieved a decent level of vaccinations and still saw case counts accelerate. But without vaccination I would describe covid as being something that will visit each society almost inevitably, and more than once. Only very tough measures like those in Australia/NZ seem capable of almost keeping it out entirely.
 

Pogue Mahone

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Covid Twitter has - as usual - split along the usual party lines about these new data showing the Indian variant getting a foothold in the UK. Zero covid crew are losing their minds and accusing the UK government of sleepwalking into another apocalypse (if I never read another tweet from one more epidemiologist who thinks they’re a virologist that will be too soon). The Chemical Ali crew are, of course, taking the piss out of them and pretending this is a big fuss about nothing.

I’m honestly struggling to work out how significant this really is. I would have to say potentially very significant indeed but am reasonably hopeful this is a big fuss about not much.

This bloke seems fairly balanced about it all and better informed than most.

 

Traub

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Thanks for those pogue. Seems that hopefully the vaccines work against this new variant.
 

hmchan

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Vaccines are the main potential offset to that, and I know that the situations in Chile and Seychelles cause some concern because they had achieved a decent level of vaccinations and still saw case counts accelerate. But without vaccination I would describe covid as being something that will visit each society almost inevitably, and more than once. Only very tough measures like those in Australia/NZ seem capable of almost keeping it out entirely.
It is likely to be due to the vaccines they take. :lol:
 

Dante

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China has had only 4 deaths from covid since April 2020, apparently.
 

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No covid deaths reported in England today. Or in Ireland (North and South). A nice wee milestone.
How is vaccination going in Ireland? In the UK the vaccination levels are obviously a major driver of the good figures so I'm assuming Ireland isn't far behind.
 

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Only very tough measures like those in Australia/NZ seem capable of almost keeping it out entirely.
We have done very well so far which is largely down to the state governments. Getting out of this is now the tough bit as the Federal government are incompetent and bough far too few different vaccines as they had in their head an announcement that UQ vaccine (AU developed but now failed) and AZ (AU produced but now only for the over 50's) would be given to all by mid year. They had 12 huge flags ready for the PR stunt. Now we only have a dribble of Pfizer to vaccinate the majority of the population. The target of everyone by October is now looking like October 2023 unless other vaccines come on line or we get more Pfizer or actually try to order some Moderna (a year ago would have been sensible). So the feds may keep us locked internationally until after the next election (about a year away) so we don't have Australian fatalities that are entirely their fault.
 

Pogue Mahone

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How is vaccination going in Ireland? In the UK the vaccination levels are obviously a major driver of the good figures so I'm assuming Ireland isn't far behind.
We are far behind, to be honest. Although almost all our most vulnerable have been vaccinated (all the over 60s plus any age with co-morbidities) which has emptied out hospitals and brought the deaths right down. Currently in that awkward situation where we have enough unvaccinated to still have a huge surge if we open up very quickly but might be able to stop the hospitals being overwhelmed, if we’re lucky.

Thankfully case numbers are amongst the lowest in Europe thanks to one of the longest, most rigorous lockdowns. Although schools have been open for a few months now without much of a negative effect. Which is good.
 

golden_blunder

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We are far behind, to be honest. Although almost all our most vulnerable have been vaccinated (all the over 60s plus any age with co-morbidities) which has emptied out hospitals and brought the deaths right down. Currently in that awkward situation where we have enough unvaccinated to still have a huge surge if we open up very quickly but might be able to stop the hospitals being overwhelmed, if we’re lucky.

Thankfully case numbers are amongst the lowest in Europe thanks to one of the longest, most rigorous lockdowns. Although schools have been open for a few months now without much of a negative effect. Which is good.
My sons school has had 3 outbreaks in the past 3-4 weeks. Schools are still a risk for those of us cocooning
 

Pogue Mahone

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My sons school has had 3 outbreaks in the past 3-4 weeks. Schools are still a risk for those of us cocooning
Outbreaks in schools are to be expected, so long as we have ongoing community transmission. Especially when you live in an area with higher than average case loads.

The good news about schools is that opening them didn’t cause anything like the huge surge we saw before Christmas, as many predicted they might. In fact cases have gradually come down since schools re-opened. Which has been one of the rare good news stories coming out of this pandemic!
 

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We are far behind, to be honest. Although almost all our most vulnerable have been vaccinated (all the over 60s plus any age with co-morbidities) which has emptied out hospitals and brought the deaths right down. Currently in that awkward situation where we have enough unvaccinated to still have a huge surge if we open up very quickly but might be able to stop the hospitals being overwhelmed, if we’re lucky.

Thankfully case numbers are amongst the lowest in Europe thanks to one of the longest, most rigorous lockdowns. Although schools have been open for a few months now without much of a negative effect. Which is good.
Obviously not comparable as we don't have any covid at the moment but we are vaccinating very slowly. The government is trying to report as little as possible but we seem to have only given 2.7 million shots (the breakdown by vaccine is not released) for a population of 25 million. So some will have had both shots and some/most just the first. 400,000 last week was the highest weekly total and that will rise as AZ production ramps up but then call once all over 50's have been given AZ and we have to rely on the dribble of Pfizer that we get.
 

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Read a BBC article this morning saying at least 40 bodies have washed up on the banks of the Ganges in India and it looks like they're COVID victims where it's assumed families couldn't go down normal burial/cremation routes.

Can you imagine 40 bodies turning up on the banks of one of our rivers in the UK?
 

Sparky_Hughes

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Read a BBC article this morning saying at least 40 bodies have washed up on the banks of the Ganges in India and it looks like they're COVID victims where it's assumed families couldn't go down normal burial/cremation routes.

Can you imagine 40 bodies turning up on the banks of one of our rivers in the UK?
Give boris time.........
 

Pogue Mahone

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Read a BBC article this morning saying at least 40 bodies have washed up on the banks of the Ganges in India and it looks like they're COVID victims where it's assumed families couldn't go down normal burial/cremation routes.

Can you imagine 40 bodies turning up on the banks of one of our rivers in the UK?
Imagine actual slums in the UK (Hull doesn’t count)
 

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Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead for Covid-19, said the agency will provide more details in its weekly situation report on the pandemic Tuesday but added that the variant, known as B.1.617, has been found in preliminary studies to spread more easily than the original virus and there is some evidence it may able to evade vaccines.
Everything now spreads more easily than the original Wuhan strain, it's the evolutionary pressures and survival of the fittest amongst virus strains. What's more important is how deadly they are, from my reading there is no indication that it causes more serious disease or avoid vaccination.
 

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golden_blunder

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Pogue Mahone

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Don’t come back from a red list country then!
My first thought too but none of the examples in the article are people pissing off for a week in the sun.

Some of them had travelled abroad due to sickness or death of loved ones and so were already in a distressed and traumatised state before entering the quarantine process.
 

MTF

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My first thought too but none of the examples in the article are people pissing off for a week in the sun.
As someone who's caught out by travel restrictions and unable to be where I'd ideally like to, I do wish that people were a bit less reflexively dismissive of those that still want to travel when there's 14-day quarantines, additional expenses, all-out bans, etc. The deterrent for "frivolous" travel is already there in the 14-day quarantine requirement in the UK's case (and I do applaud that the UK has still left an option for people to make these trips if they deem them necessary), there's no need to wish additional challenges on these people because you somehow really really don't want them to travel.
 

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It seems that it's not the case in Maldives where they are using Covishield from India. Over half the population of the capital had been fully vaccinated with the two doses but the infection rate is rising rapidly along with the hospitalisation. Maybe it's the Indian variant but for sure it's not working in The Maldives right now.
 

Pogue Mahone

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It seems that it's not the case in Maldives where they are using Covishield from India. Over half the population of the capital had been fully vaccinated with the two doses but the infection rate is rising rapidly along with the hospitalisation. Maybe it's the Indian variant but for sure it's not working in The Maldives right now.
About a third of the population of the Maldives have had two doses. Just over half have had a single dose. That’s not enough to keep R < 1 even if the vaccine was 100% effective.

Considering they’ve been inundated with Indian tourists and don’t seem to have any social distancing measures in place (gyms, cinemas, mosques etc all fully open until last Friday) what’s happening there isn’t surprising and doesn’t tell us much about how effective the viruses are or aren’t against the Indian variants. They’re also reporting that nobody who has been vaccinated has died. Which is good news.

To me this isn’t a red flag about vaccines failing against new variants so much as a red flag about opening up too quickly and allowing too much travel into your country without the necessary checks and protections in place.
 
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hmchan

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About a third of the population of the Maldives have had two doses. Just over half have had a single dose. That’s not enough to keep R < 0 even if the vaccine was 100% effective.

Considering they’ve been inundated with Indian tourists and don’t seem to have any social distancing measures in place (gyms, cinemas, mosques etc all fully open until last Friday) what’s happening there isn’t surprising and doesn’t tell us much about how effective the viruses are or aren’t against the Indian variants. They’re also reporting that nobody who has been vaccinated has died. Which is good news.

To me this isn’t a red flag about vaccines failing against new variants so much as a red flag about opening up too quickly and allowing too much travel into your country without the necessary checks and protections in place.
Can R value be actually <0 though?
 

Pogue Mahone

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Data like this is so reassuring after so many thought the big surges in autumn/winter last year was driven by schools reopening. Now we see what happens when schools open without pubs/restaurants/indoor socialising i.e. not much.

Only a month left of the school year for most kids. Thank feck we got them back when we did.