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Coronavirus: The Thread

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Coronavirus: The Thread

Old 16th Jul 2021, 12:12
  #16381 (permalink)  
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Interesting statistics from the ONS just given on Sky News.

89% of those contacted and instructed to self-isolate do so. Of those that are instructed to self-isolate 34% go on to develop Covid symptoms.

ONS estimate 1 person in every 95 in England had Covid in the last week, up from 1 in 160 the previous week.
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Old 16th Jul 2021, 12:14
  #16382 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
There are hundreds of new variants arising and being tracked. However very few of them have significantly different characteristics and even less becomes variants of interest let alone variants of concern.

Variants of concern do arise, the majority, as probability would expect, arising overseas. As experience has shown it is almost impossible to stop these spreading - even full quarantines such as in Australia have not prevented the entry of the Delta variant.

As the main means of prevention of the spread of a new variant of concern is genomic tracing and, if necessary, modification of an existing vaccine, which it is claimed can now be done and placed in mass production in weeks.

Accepting that global vaccination is years away, and that Covid is and will remain endemic, the question remains how long can the economy endure further lockdowns and if restrictions are not lifted now, during the summer when most people are least at risk and outdoors and the NHS can best cope, then when?

As shown by experience short sharp lockdowns don’t stop waves - they just delay them.
Yes, I'm not entirely stupid, variants will come and go, and with natural selection many which turn out to be ineffective will fall by the wayside. (Shame that doesn't appear to happen with politicians!!). However the more cases there are, the more mutations are likely to emerge, and the greater the chance that a vaccine resistant mutation will emerge. That's simple statistics.

I don't see a "short sharp lockdown" as the answer, simply a greater restrictions around mask wearing rather than the nonsense the government has come out with, and resuming mask wearing in education settings. Neither are a restriction on civil liberties, any more than a speed limit is, or drink driving laws - they are sensible public health and safety measures. Table service maintained in hospitality settings and reduced capacity levels where appropriate. This whole latest wave was essentially kicked off through the relaxation of mask requirements in schools in late May, combined with all the "essential travellers" returning from the Indian Subcontinent when the Delta variant emerged - what they were doing there since we weren't supposed to be travelling abroad is another question entirely.

Unless the government gets a grip the 19th July relaxation will be the death knell for the Conservative government; most Tory voters are older, and most older people appear to believe "freedom day" to be foolhardy - at that's putting it politely. Believe me, I have spoken to enough of them in the last couple of weeks and most don't have a good word to say about Johnson and his cronies so far as Covid-19 is concerned now. Of course whether "the other lot" would handle it better, is debatable, but the music has stopped and the Tories are presently holding the baby.

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Old 16th Jul 2021, 12:15
  #16383 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post

As shown by experience short sharp lockdowns don’t stop waves - they just delay them.
I am sorry but that is not accurate. A strategy of short sharp local lockdown has worked, even in the face of the Delta variant, without significant damage to the economy - ask Jacinda.
Such a strategy requires a proactive government that is prepared to call a local lockdown as soon as a case occurs. It has to start from a low incidence of disease in the community and has to be supported by a rigorous track, trace and isolate system. Those quarantined have to be properly supported so they are not disadvantaged. Do this and you can maintain a zero, or near zero Covid environment.
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Old 16th Jul 2021, 12:26
  #16384 (permalink)  
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You can’t get there from here…
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Old 16th Jul 2021, 12:37
  #16385 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
You can’t get there from here…
Agreed, but I think there is some middle ground to be found between the extreme risk averse policy in NZ, and the gung-ho policy presently in UK.
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Old 16th Jul 2021, 12:39
  #16386 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Krystal n chips View Post
That's an unequivocal statement if ever there was one. .

And your foundations are, and basis for making it please ?
No particular foundations, other than the general vibe I get from what Governments and experts around the world are saying. Just my reply to Highflyer who's saying we'll be in lockdown by September.
I should have phrased it "in my opinion" in first place, apologies for that.

If we're back in lockdown by September I'll be unemployed or part time at best, so plenty of time to come back here to eat humble pie.

(I see HF's now moved it forward to late July or early August.)
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Old 16th Jul 2021, 12:40
  #16387 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ninthace View Post
I am sorry but that is not accurate. A strategy of short sharp local lockdown has worked, even in the face of the Delta variant, without significant damage to the economy - ask Jacinda.
Such a strategy requires a proactive government that is prepared to call a local lockdown as soon as a case occurs. It has to start from a low incidence of disease in the community and has to be supported by a rigorous track, trace and isolate system. Those quarantined have to be properly supported so they are not disadvantaged. Do this and you can maintain a zero, or near zero Covid environment.
No it hasn’t.

With the possible exception of New Zealand but that’s another scenario, countries that have operated draconian lockdowns and congratulated themselves on their success, have invariably seen a bounce back as soon as restrictions are eased. It’s inevitable. We live in a global community. We cannot isolate ourselves off from the rest of the planet forever. That will be the perpetual weakness in any strategy. The movement of people. The only country that allegedly has had no Covid deaths since February is China. Maybe we should be asking them how they do it? Oh, hang on, we did, and look where we are now. They appear to be back in 100% normality - unless they’re not being honest?

New Zealand has the fortune to be as remote as is possible and is not an international hub, so isolation is easier but Jacinda also has the tiger by the tail; there is a huge vaccine reluctance there and sooner or later, the country will have no choice but to open up. Just watch and see what happens there then.

It’s tough, but we now need to ride the tiger until it exhausts itself. We have no option.
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Old 16th Jul 2021, 12:53
  #16388 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by mike current View Post
No particular foundations, other than the general vibe I get from what Governments and experts around the world are saying. Just my reply to Highflyer who's saying we'll be in lockdown by September.
I should have phrased it "in my opinion" in first place, apologies for that.

If we're back in lockdown by September I'll be unemployed or part time at best, so plenty of time to come back here to eat humble pie.

(I see HF's now moved it forward to late July or early August.)
That was a tongue in cheek reply to your post saying my previous dates would never happen.


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Old 16th Jul 2021, 15:24
  #16389 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
UK

Ministers are considering putting France on the red travel due to the spread of the Beta variant, first found in South Africa, according to reports.

There are concerns the South African variant is more resistant to vaccines than other strains. France has much higher levels of the variant than other countries in Europe..
Well “over here” we are mostly all looking at the stats and scratching our heads at this story…the incidence of the mutation has dropped rapidly in the last week and now stands at 10.7% of total cases but nevertheless the idea of putting France on the red list makes the front page of certain UK newspapers.

Still the story occupied a few column inches and provided a convenient distraction from events closer to home, so maybe it’s a case of “job done”.

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Old 16th Jul 2021, 15:26
  #16390 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BWSBoy6 View Post
No it hasn’t.

With the possible exception of New Zealand but that’s another scenario, countries that have operated draconian lockdowns and congratulated themselves on their success, have invariably seen a bounce back as soon as restrictions are eased. It’s inevitable. We live in a global community. We cannot isolate ourselves off from the rest of the planet forever. That will be the perpetual weakness in any strategy. The movement of people. The only country that allegedly has had no Covid deaths since February is China. Maybe we should be asking them how they do it? Oh, hang on, we did, and look where we are now. They appear to be back in 100% normality - unless they’re not being honest?

New Zealand has the fortune to be as remote as is possible and is not an international hub, so isolation is easier but Jacinda also has the tiger by the tail; there is a huge vaccine reluctance there and sooner or later, the country will have no choice but to open up. Just watch and see what happens there then.

It’s tough, but we now need to ride the tiger until it exhausts itself. We have no option.
You only see NZ as remote as possible because of the way you draw your map. Is its a major hub to the South Pacific with major connections to the Far East and Australia. It has also an economy that is heavily dependent on international trade, particularly with China but also Australia, not to mention its popularity as a tourist destination. From a disease perspective, the length of the transit over water does not matter anyway. A country either is an island or it isn't.

There no "huge" vaccine reluctance although there is some. This is natural. If I asked you to take a novel vaccine against a disease which was not endemic, you may question the need. Many Australians held a similar view but have suddenly discovered a new enthusiasm for vaccination.

NZ has been slower to roll out vaccinations but they have used an intelligent approach. After the initial surge, which is brought quickly under control by proactive action, they have taken the approach of vaccinating those who are most likely to catch the disease and pass it on. Thus their priority has been those working in quarantine facilities and ports of entry. My son, an airport manager. is double jabbed whereas his wife is yet to be vaccinated. You can see the logic.

For us, the abject initial and continuing failure to take control of our borders means we never had this option so we ended up trying to control the number of cases by vaccinating the most vulnerable first so that our health services were not overwhelmed. It is a simple strategy to understand but not necessarily the most logical.

As ORAC says, we can't get there from here, but we did not have to be here. It is where we have been brought. In the future, if we could get the number of cases down to a very low level we could still get there to contain future outbreaks. We had a chance after the first wave, We could have continued with measures to drive the number of cases further down but the government bottled it.

We bottled it again at the start of the next wave. The writing was on the wall in early September but the authorities were afraid of being accused of over reaction. By the time the government reacted it was too late and the size and scale of the measures required meant they had to nail their colours to the mast with a "never again promise. This is BS and they know it.

If you really want to save the economy, get on top of it and stay on top of it. In your analogy, put the tiger in a cage and stop letting it out.
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Old 16th Jul 2021, 15:33
  #16391 (permalink)  
 
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Short sharp lockdown supported by effective track and trace not currently working in Sydney. A balance between health and fiscal damage has to be struck and the hope is that vaccination will allow a tolerable outcome on both fronts. Australia's vaccination programme means they are not there yet just as the will to conform is being stretched.
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Old 16th Jul 2021, 16:26
  #16392 (permalink)  
 
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There were 51870 cases today. The last time they were this high on a rising curve was around 31/12/20 .
Hospital admissions today were 717. On 31/12/20 they were 2915.
OK the curves are different shapes and we are looking at the start of vaccination in late Dec but we are looking at about a factor of around 4 difference between a vaccinated and a non vaccinated wave. Broken link? Perhaps not but definitely weaker.
That said, I can see why Prof Whitty was sounding anxious today and playing down the "it will soon be over" message the government had been peddling until recently.
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Old 16th Jul 2021, 17:20
  #16393 (permalink)  
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There were 51870 cases today. The last time they were this high on a rising curve was around 31/12/20 .
Hospital admissions today were 717. On 31/12/20 they were 2915.
As for fatalities…







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Old 16th Jul 2021, 18:01
  #16394 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by stagger View Post
Originally Posted by Dannyboy39 View Post
Well SAGE modelling’s central scenario was that we would be having 600-700 hospitalisations a day at the moment. And guess what we’re not… better than the best case scenario. Their modelling has been hopelessly wrong throughout.
Hit 573 admissions on July 6th - when data up to July 10th are released it'll probably be clear that we've now hit 600 hospital admissions per day.

Hopelessly wrong??? Pretty damn good for a prediction made back in February.
The 600-700 hospitalizations per day prediction has been exceeded - 717 for July 12th.
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Old 16th Jul 2021, 18:07
  #16395 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
…..combined with all the "essential travellers" returning from the Indian Subcontinent when the Delta variant emerged - what they were doing there since we weren't supposed to be travelling abroad is another question entirely..
I don’t think it’s ever been the case that there’s been a blanket ban on personal travel abroad from the UK, , over the months HMG has published an ever changing list of allowable reasons for foreign travel.

I’m not sure what’s on the list now but motives such as caring for a close family member, essential family administration and in some circumstances attending religious ceremonies ( such as weddings?) of close family members have been allowable and as I understand it we were typically given as reason for travel to the sub-continent if people were asked.

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Old 16th Jul 2021, 19:05
  #16396 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
As for fatalities…
49 as opposed to over 750. A reduction factor of around 15. Probably the effect of vaccines and the ages affected.

Looks like being hospitalised and surviving is not all good news either
https://www.theguardian.com/society/...ith-long-covid
https://www.sciencealert.com/study-s...gical-problems

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Old 16th Jul 2021, 19:17
  #16397 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ninthace View Post
49 as opposed to over 750. A reduction factor of around 15. Probably the effect of vaccines and the ages affected.

Looks like being hospitalised and surviving is not all good news either
https://www.theguardian.com/society/...ith-long-covid
https://www.sciencealert.com/study-s...gical-problems
The fatality rate, while very sad has never been the overriding reason for lockdowns in any country. It is to protect capacity of the health services. We have seen the results in a few countries of an overwhelmed health service and people refused access to hospitals because they are full.
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Old 16th Jul 2021, 19:25
  #16398 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by highflyer40 View Post
The fatality rate, while very sad has never been the overriding reason for lockdowns in any country. It is to protect capacity of the health services. We have seen the results in a few countries of an overwhelmed health service and peogple refused access to hospitals because they are full.
Medical facilities in the UK are starting to feel the strain
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-57836137
Birmingham hospitals cancel operations
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Old 16th Jul 2021, 20:36
  #16399 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ninthace View Post
Medical facilities in the UK are starting to feel the strain
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-57836137
Birmingham hospitals cancel operations
Current government policy on covid-19 is wrong on so many levels, people are going to be dying unnecessarily from covid-19, young people are going to be suffering long covid unnecessarily, and people who are waiting for sometimes lifesaving treatment of other conditions will see it further delayed, with possibly life threatening consequences.

A more sensible, nuanced unlocking would probably have been a far better policy.
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Old 16th Jul 2021, 21:19
  #16400 (permalink)  
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France has been put on a semi-red list status.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-57869880

Covid: Fully jabbed UK arrivals from France must still quarantined

Fully vaccinated travellers returning to England from France will still have to quarantine for 10 days from Monday.

From 19 July, adults who have been jabbed in the UK arriving from other amber list countries will no longer need to isolate.

France will remain on the amber list. But the government said the planned relaxation of rules would not apply there due to "persistent presence of cases" of the Beta variant, which was first identified in South Africa…

The change means that anyone who has been in France in the previous 10 days will need to quarantine on arrival to England in their own accommodation and will need a day two and day eight test, regardless of their vaccination status.

This includes any fully vaccinated individual who transits through France from either a green or another amber country to reach England.

However, travellers have the option of shortening their quarantine period through the Test to Release scheme - if they pay for a test on day five and are negative.



Last edited by ORAC; 16th Jul 2021 at 21:38.
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