Romania: “A cry of despair” from Romanian doctors – the full letter in English

Dear Bucharestians, Dear Romanians,

It is becoming increasingly difficult for us, the medical staff, to cope with the wave of COVID-19 diseases, both among the population and among us, the medical staff.

The last days show us a medical system extended to the maximum and reached the limit, especially in the areas where COVID-19 patients are treated.

Every day we witness tragedies: dying patients, suffering families, doctors who have reached the end of their powers, patients and medical staff infected with SARS-CoV-2 who need medical care. And the number is very high.

In the face of this dramatic picture, we think that the low degree of vaccination among the population is perhaps a failure in terms of the trust that must exist between the medical staff and the population.

Medicine is science, and science means research, exchange of experience, exchange of ideas, discussions for and against, so that in the end the result means the common good.

Today, evidence-based science and medicine tell us, including through the voices of international health reference forums, that vaccination is one of the most important tools for the most effective management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

YES, a vaccinated person can get sick.
YES, a vaccinated person can develop severe forms of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
BUT the proportion of these cases is much lower among vaccinated than unvaccinated people.

This open letter is not just another call thrown into the air.

It is a cry of despair , of us, of the Bucharest medical staff, through the voice of the College of Physicians of Bucharest , so that you, the population of Bucharest, but also the population of Romania as a whole, to reflect on the information transmitted.

We assure you that we are serious and correct about the information provided, that we rely on and present to you the scientific evidence we have at the time of communications and that we want and must fight to rebuild the relationship of trust between the doctor and his patient. , between doctor and society.

YES, we are desperate, because every day we lose hundreds of patients who die in Romanian hospitals.
YES, we are desperate because no matter how hard we try, this parasitic disease takes our patients.
YES we are desperate because we are often faced with this disease unarmed and empty handed.
And YES, we are desperate, because, unfortunately, we have heard too many times:
I can’t breathe… I’m not vaccinated

We talk to colleagues every day who tell us they don’t know what to do. We have young patients die, children end up in ATI wards, people with comorbidities die, people without comorbidities die.

We are at a crossroads and I believe that only a joint effort, ours and yours, can cap and stop this wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Science tells us today that by vaccinating and observing protective measures we can fight this pandemic much more effectively.

This call is born out of the suffering that is felt and lived in the medical units that treat COVID-19 patients and is written with the responsibility of people who put science and evidence-based medicine at the forefront.  

Prof. Dr. Cătălina Poiană

President of the College of Physicians of Bucharest

On behalf of the Executive Bureau of the College of Physicians of Bucharest

Translated from Romanian, original article by G4Media.ro

 

Romanian version:

Dragi bucureșteni, Dragi români,

Nouă, corpului medical, ne este din ce în ce mai greu să facem față valului de îmbolnăviri de COVID-19 atât în rândul populației, cât și în rândul nostru, al cadrelor medicale.

Ultimele zile ne arată un sistem medical întins la maximum și ajuns la limită, mai ales pe zonele unde se tratează pacienții COVID-19.

Zi de zi asistăm la tragedii: pacienți care mor, familii aflate în suferință, medici ajunși la capătul puterilor, pacienți și cadre medicale infectate cu SARS-CoV-2 care au nevoie de îngrijiri medicale. Iar numărul este foarte mare.

În fața acestui tablou dramatic, ne gândim că gradul scăzut de vaccinare în rândul populației reprezintă, poate, și un eșec în ceea ce privește încrederea care trebuie să existe între corpul medical și populație.

Medicina este știință, iar știința înseamnă cercetare, schimb de experiență, schimb de idei, discuții pro și contra, pentru ca la final rezultatul să însemne binele comun.

Astăzi, știința și medicina bazată pe dovezi ne spun, inclusiv prin vocile forurilor internaționale de referință în domeniul sănătății, că vaccinarea reprezintă unul dintre instrumentele importante pentru gestionarea cât mai eficientă a pandemiei de COVID-19.

DA, și o persoană vaccinată se poate îmbolnăvi.

DA, și o persoană vaccinată poate dezvolta forme severe ale infecției cu SARS-CoV-2.

DAR proporția acestor cazuri este mult mai mică în rândul persoanelor vaccinate față de cele nevaccinate.

Această scrisoare deschisă nu este doar un alt apel aruncat în eter.

Este un strigăt de disperare, al nostru, al corpului medical bucureștean, prin vocea Colegiului Medicilor din Municipiul București, pentru ca dumneavoastră, populația din București, dar și populația României în ansamblul său, să reflectați la informațiile transmise.

Vă asigurăm că suntem serioși și corecți în privința informațiilor furnizate, că ne bazăm și vă prezentăm dovezile științifice pe care le avem la dispoziție în momentul comunicărilor și că dorim și trebuie să luptăm să reconstruim relația de încredere care trebuie să existe între medic și pacientul său, între medic și societate.

DA, suntem disperați, pentru că zi de zi pierdem sute de pacienți care mor în spitalele românești.

DA, suntem disperați pentru că oricât de multe eforturi am face, această boală parșivă ne ia pacienți.

DA suntem disperați pentru că de multe ori suntem în fața acestei boli dezarmați și cu mâinile goale.

Și DA, suntem disperați, pentru că, din păcate, de prea multe ori am auzit:

Nu pot să respir… Nu sunt vaccinat…

Zilnic vorbim cu colegi care ne spun că nu știu ce să mai facă. Ne mor pacienți tineri, ajung copii în secțiile de ATI, mor oameni cu comorbidități, mor oameni fără comorbidități.

Suntem la răscruce și cred că doar un efort comun, al nostru și al dumneavoastră, poate face să plafonăm și să stopăm acest val al pandemiei de COVID-19.

Știința ne spune astăzi că prin vaccinare și prin respectarea măsurilor de protecție putem lupta mult mai eficient cu această pandemie.

Acest apel este născut din suferința care se simte și se trăiește în unitățile medicale care tratează pacienți COVID-19 și este scris cu responsabilitatea unor oameni care pun știința și medicina bazată pe dovezi pe primul plan.  

Prof. dr. Cătălina Poiană

Președintele Colegiului Medicilor din Municipiul București

 

 

Winter is here. Three European nations see their highest ever Covid case rates

 

 

 

Photo by Piron Guillaume on Unsplash

 

 

Europe suddenly ablaze with Covid – it could be the biggest wave yet

We predicted here and here that we would see a fresh Covid wave after October 19th, but even we didn’t expect Europe to ignite into a raging inferno within a couple of days. It is beginning to look like Europe may be the epicentre of the biggest global Covid wave yet this coming winter. 

So much for an ‘endemic’ phase of Covid – large parts of Europe are seeing sudden huge increases in infections:

 

Morocco today banned flights to the UK, Germany and the Netherlands in response to the growing infection numbers.

What will happen with North America? It’s just coming out of a fairly major wave that peaked in September 2021. We should know within two weeks whether it has been spared a full-blown winter wave, but we doubt it. Relaxations in international travel over the summer will almost certainly mean a spillover from Europe to the US and Canada, which is exactly what happened in March 2020.

 

 

Winter is here. Three European nations see their highest ever Covid case rates

Mexico: Patient coinfected with MU and Delta Covid variants at the same time

The governor of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico, reported that the Ministry of Health has detected the presence of COVID-19 Delta and Mu variants in the same patient.  The state president assured that it is an unprecedented event in Mexico, since the two variants had never been detected in the same case of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

The finding was confirmed by the Institute for Epidemiological Diagnosis and Reference (INDRE) of the federal Ministry of Health, as well as by a third laboratory.

 

 

 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Slovakia: Covid lockdown announced for areas hardest hit by virus

Slovakia on Monday reimposed coronavirus restrictions in the hardest-hit parts of the country amid the latest surge of infections.

Five counties all located in northern Slovakia are affected by the measures, which include the closures of restaurants with people only allowed to buy meals at takeout windows.

Fitness and wellness centers also have been closed. The number of people allowed to attend public gatherings is reduced to 100 fully vaccinated people. It’s also mandatory to wear face coverings both outdoors and indoors.

Yahoo News report

 

Winter is here. Three European nations see their highest ever Covid case rates

 

Latvia: one month strict Covid lockdown announced

Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš told reporters that from Monday, October 21, for four weeks or until November 15, an especially strict Covid-19 lockdown will come into force in Latvia.

He mentioned that almost all shops, entertainment and other services, as well as schools, will be closed during the lockdown.

The Minister of Health Daniels Pavļut explained that during this period all stores, except for basic necessities, will not open and only the most necessary services will be available. It is also planned to introduce a curfew from 8 pm to 5 am. Pavluts added in this connection that “people will be able to return from work and go to it”.

Diena newspaper report (in Latvian)

 

Latvia, Russia and Romania are all reporting pandemic high case rates

 

Winter is here. Three European nations see their highest ever Covid case rates

 

Image by Germans Aļeņins from Pixabay

UK ZOE app reports the highest UK Covid daily case rate ever recorded

The UK Covid App ZOE is reporting 76,402 daily Covid cases today, a figure that is higher than the previously reported official peak of 68,192 daily Covid cases on the 8th January 2021. 

 

The previously reported highest official figure for daily cases was 68,192, on January 8th 2021. The UK Covid-19 vaccine rollout, which has vaccinated 85% of the eligible population, had barely begun at that point. Note: The chart below is tracking the official UK government figures rather than the ZOE app figures.

 

The ZOE app is also reporting 1,002,466 symptomatic Covid cases in Britain, not far off the previous peak figure of 1,060,343 on January 11th 2021.

 

The official UK government dashboard figure is showing just under 50,000 daily cases, but all of the indicators are pointing in the wrong direction.

 

Britain is about to head into a winter Covid wave with more cases than ever before. Deaths from Covid are rising, and millions of children have been deliberately infected with Covid-19 after being sent to school where all mitigations were removed. There is presumably a plan here, but we are at a complete loss as to what the plan is, and the UK government aren’t telling.

UK ZOE Covid App website

 

Update 19th October 2021 – daily cases are still spiralling:

 

Update 20th October 2021 – daily cases are still spiralling:

 

Update 21st October 2021 – daily cases are still spiralling:

 

Update 22nd October 2021 – daily cases are still spiralling – that’s a near 10% rise in FOUR DAYS:

 

With 223 deaths recorded in Britain on the 19th October 2021, it’s incredibly irresponsible for the UK government to allow Covid cases to rise this far.

223 deaths were recorded in a single day in Britain on 19th October 2021

 

Winter is here. Three European nations see their highest ever Covid case rates

 

 

October 19th – 23rd could be crucial in determining how bad Covid-19 will be this winter

BMJ: One in seven children may still have Long Covid symptoms 15 weeks after infection

Up to one in seven (14%) children and young people who caught SARS-CoV-2 may have symptoms linked to the virus 15 weeks later, suggest preliminary findings from the world’s largest study on long Covid in children, led by UCL and Public Health England researchers.

For the study, published on the preprint site Research Square and funded by the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), researchers surveyed 3,065 11- to 17-year-olds in England who had positive results in a PCR test between January and March as well as a matched control group of 3,739 11- to 17-year-olds who tested negative over the same period.

They found that, when surveyed at an average of 15 weeks after their test, 14% more young people in the test positive group had three or more symptoms of ill health, including unusual tiredness and headaches, than those in the test negative group, while 7% (one in 14) more had five or more symptoms.

The researchers said the data suggested that, over seven months between last September and March, at least 4,000 and possibly 32,000 teenagers of the total population of 11- to 17-year-olds who tested positive in England may have had multiple (three or more) symptoms tied to Covid-19 infection after 15 weeks.

UCL article

Preprint: Long COVID – the physical and mental health of children and non-hospitalised young people 3 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection; a national matched cohort study (The CLoCk) Study.

 

 

 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Preprint: Increases in COVID-19 are unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2947 counties in the United States

“At the country-level, there appears to be no discernable relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases in the last 7 days. In fact, the trend line suggests a marginally positive association such that countries with higher percentage of population fully vaccinated have higher COVID-19 cases per 1 million people.

Notably, Israel with over 60% of their population fully vaccinated had the highest COVID-19 cases per 1 million people in the last 7 days. The lack of a meaningful association between percentage population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases is further exemplified, for instance, by comparison of Iceland and Portugal. Both countries have over 75% of their population fully vaccinated and have more COVID-19 cases per 1 million people than countries such as Vietnam and South Africa that have around 10% of their population fully vaccinated.”

Preprint: Increases in COVID-19 are unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2947 counties in the United States

 

Image by Frauke Riether from Pixabay

UK ONS: Natural infection by Covid provides a similar level of protection to two vaccine doses

UK Office of National Statistics: “Two vaccination doses provided a similar level of protection to previous natural infection during the Delta-dominant period”

Modelled risk ratios of testing positive for COVID-19 by COVID-19 vaccine exposure, when the Delta variant was dominant, UK, 17 May to 14 August 2021

 

  • there was no evidence that the reduction in risk of infection from two doses of either vaccine differed from that of previous natural infection
  • two doses (14 days or more previously) of Pfizer-BioNTech reduced the risk of testing positive by 73% (95% confidence interval: 70% to 76%) in the Delta period, compared with 80% (95% confidence interval: 74% to 85%) in the Alpha period​
  • two doses (14 days or more previously) of Oxford-AstraZeneca reduced the risk of testing positive by 62% (95% confidence interval: 58% to 66%) in the Delta period, compared with 76% (95% confidence interval: 62% to 85%) in the Alpha period
  • the reduction in risk 14 days or more after second dose was significantly higher with Pfizer-BioNTech compared with Oxford-AstraZeneca​
  • the risk reduction from two doses of either vaccine was greater than from one dose (21 days or more previously)

 

UK ONS report:  Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey Technical Article: Impact of vaccination on testing positive in the UK: October 2021

 

 

Winter is here. Three European nations see their highest ever Covid case rates

Three European nations, Russia, Latvia and Romania, have recorded their highest ever Covid case rates since the pandemic began, and at least eight European nations are currently seeing their highest Covid case rates for six months.

It looks like Great Britain may see its highest ever figure for coronavirus cases quite soon, and Europe is looking like it may be the epicentre of the next winter wave.

 

Two European nations, Latvia and Romania, are seeing their highest ever case rates of the entire pandemic:

 

Update 18th October 2021: Russia has just recorded its highest ever figure for Covid infections

 

Eight European nations are seeing their highest case rates for six months. They are Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania, Armenia, Moldova, and Croatia.

 

The UK looks like it might soon break its all-time high record for Covid cases, set last January 2021, despite 80% of its population being vaccinated.

Update:

UK ZOE app reports the highest UK Covid daily case rate ever recorded

Winter is here.

 

 

 

 

Image by Germans Aļeņins from Pixabay

 

Israel: 7% of serious Covid cases have had three vaccine shots

Some 7% of Israel’s serious and critical COVID-19 cases were vaccinated with three shots of the coronavirus vaccine, according to data released Friday morning by the Israeli Health Ministry. Another 17% were vaccinated with two shots more than six months ago, according to the data.

“I cannot say that 7% is a lot,” Health Minister Director-General Prof. Nachman Ash told The Jerusalem Post. “The vaccine, even the third shot, does not work at 100%.” He said that there are always a small percentage of people who do not develop full immunity, such as those who are immunosuppressed.”

Jerusalem Post article

 

Nearly 44% of eligible Israelis have been vaccinated with a third “booster” dose of Covid-19 vaccine

 

Preprint: Breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections in 620,000 U.S. Veterans – protection decreased from 92% to 54%

We compared SARS CoV-2 infection by vaccination status from February 1, 2021 to August 13, 2021 in the Veterans Health Administration, covering 2.7% of the U.S. population. Vaccine protection declined by mid-August 2021, decreasing from 91.9% in March to 53.9%. Declines were greatest for the Janssen vaccine followed by PfizerBioNTech and Moderna. Patterns of breakthrough infection over time were consistent by age, despite rolling vaccine eligibility, implicating the Delta variant as the primary determinant of infection.

Preprint: Breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections in 620,000 U.S. Veterans, February 1, 2021 to August 13, 2021

UK ONS: one in sixty people infected with Covid, worst infection rate since January 2021

The prevalence of COVID-19 infections in England increased to around 1 in 60 people in the week ending Oct 9 2021, Britain’s Office for National Statistics said on Friday, reaching its highest level since January 2021. The ONS said that prevalence of infections had risen for its third straight week, having been at 1 in 70 people in the previous week.

The UK government Covid dashboard is showing all red:

 

The UK ZOE Covid app confirms that the infection figures are the highest since January – just as the vaccines were starting to be rolled out.  

 

The UK government Covid dashboard shows that nearly 80% of the eligible population have been fully vaccinated:

 

UK infections in children have spiralled out of control following the removal of all mitigations in schools. It’s a deliberate and disastrous policy of mass infection of kids that will blight an entire future generation.

 

And finally, a Twitter thread that might go some way towards explaining these extraordinary UK numbers:

Based on preprint: Detailed reconstruction of the Iranian COVID-19 epidemic reveals high attack rates of SARS-CoV-2 in several provinces

Israel: 150 children treated for long Covid in one clinic, hundreds more on waiting list

“What’s interesting, is that in some of the children, it really appears as a direct continuation of severe illness but in very many of the children, there is a severe illness, followed by a lull of several months and only then do the symptoms of long COVID begin,” says Ashkenazi-Hoffnung.

There are “a few children here who, a year after the illness, haven’t recovered, and they have symptoms that are affecting their day-to-day functioning. There are cases in which it lasts for more than a year.”

Haaretz.com article

 

UK: start to pandemic “worst public health failure ever” – a failure that is still ongoing

 

Photo by Timon Studler on Unsplash