In Perth Australia officials have announced a 3 day short sharp lockdown in an attempt to contain and control a local outbreak caused by a visitor returning and staying in a quarantine hotel. It would seem, that the virus was able somehow to spread along the corridor of the hotel. I personally am not sure the full story is being told. The lockdown has led to the usual panic buying of thinks like rice, pasta and toilet rolls. This is despite supermarkets being allowed to stay open during normal trading hours.
In Wales , some easing of their lockdown has been brought forward from 17th May to the 3rd of May. When supervised activities for children can restart as well as adult organised groups of 15 or less. Most community centres and services can reopen. Hospitality and tourism issues will be aligned with England and hopefully will be relaxed together to restart on 17th May.
A prestigious medical journal has had to retract an article it had published, written by a team of academics from a university in Greece. The article claimed that current smoking was not associated with an adverse outcome in hospitalised covid patients. It also claimed that smokers were 23% less likely to catch a Covid infection than non-smokers. It transpired that two of the authors failed to disclose that they had existing links with the tobacco industry. This perceived bias would have meant the journal would not and should not have published the paper. This is a reason why all good quality journals require peer review of all articles before being published.
The WHO has categorically stated that smokers are more prone to lung infections caused by Covid than non-smokers.
My thanks to one of my readers who pointed out a paper I missed in the Telegraph. Out of 74,000 patients who were Covid positive, only 32 claimed to have had vaccine. This demonstrates the efficacy of the vaccine, many of those who caught the infection may have been incubating It at the time of the vaccination.
Desperate scenes are being seen across India as their oxygen supply falls dry. Surely some international aid can be mobilised quickly.
Here in the UK with low figures, there has been a very slight rise in the R or Reproduction number. It is now between 0.8 and 1.0. We do anticipate more cases in the next few weeks as lockdown is eased. We need to watch this very carefully.
The UK statistics remain very satisfactory. We have achieved 33.38 million first jabs and 11.62 million 2nd jabs. 1.11 million tests were done today and 2,678 were found to be positive. this is a 12.4% drop in the last 7 days and the overall case rate is now 24.8 persons per 100k of the population.
The number of deaths recorded were 40; this is a 12.4% drop in the last 7 day average and is a death rate of only 012 per 100k of the population.
Only 174 patients were admitted to hospital on 18th April so by the 21st April there were only 1,879 in hospital and only 261 were needing to use a ventilator.
I, and most others believe that we will have to endure a third wave in the autumn. We can both postpone it and minimise its effects by having the vaccine. I have shown you a paper showing how safe it is, The second way we can minimise it is not to relax social distancing or mask wearing whenever away from home or your social bubble.
I hope you are not making detailed plans that cannot be stopped or put on hold if it does become necessary to slow down the removal of restrictions or increase them locally if we have a variant. We cannot be certain the relaxations for June and July will happen on time.
Stay safe everyone, we need the rest of the world to be safe before we can relax.
Think is there anything I can do to support the work of WHO and Covax , the supply of vaccines?