Norway: 70 infected with Delta #coronavirus variant – 7 were fully vaccinated

Approx. 70 Norwegians have been infected with coronavirus after two concerts in a culture house in Færder Municipality last week, and many of them have been diagnosed with the Delta variant – the variant that was first found in India.

“All the positive samples are checked regularly for the Delta virus. We have not received answers to all the tests yet, but based on the answers we have received so far, we assume that everyone in this outbreak has the Delta variant,” says municipal chief physician Elin Jacobsen.

Seven of those infected in the outbreak had been vaccinated, including 80-year-old Britt Ingeborg Wilhelmsen.

Jyllands Post report (in Danish)

 

UK: massive rise in Delta #coronavirus vaccine breakthrough cases

 

Image by Michelle Raponi from Pixabay

Russia: New “Moscow” #coronavirus strain is Delta – Московский штамм коронавируса – Дельта

Russian newspapers are still referring to a new “Moscow” strain of Sars-CoV-2, however it seems that the strain may simply be Delta (B.1.617.2).

Lenta.ru reports:

A modified Indian [Delta] strain of coronavirus was found in Moscow. This was announced by the head of the Gamaleya Center, Alexander Gintsburg”. 

“В Москве нашли измененный индийский штамм коронавируса. Об этом сообщил глава центра имени Гамалеи Александр Гинцбург.” Lenta .ru

 

But an Interfax report states that “Almost 90% of residents of the capital [Moscow] with coronavirus have an Indian [Delta] strain of the disease, said Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.

“The latest data that we received is that 89.3% have contracted a mutated coronavirus, the so-called ‘Delta’ is an Indian strain,” the mayor said in an interview with Channel One.

Почти у 90% заболевших коронавирусом жителей столицы выявлен индийский штамм заболевания, сообщил мэр Москвы Сергей Собянин.

“Последние данные, которые мы получили, – 89,3% заболели коронавирусом мутированным, так называемая “дельта” – это индийский штамм”, – сказал мэр в интервью Первому каналу.

Interfax.ru report

 

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said that this strain spreads faster and is also more aggressive than others. According to the mayor, in order to resist this disease, the level of antibodies in humans must be twice as high as necessary for the “Wuhan” variant of the coronavirus. “In fact, we are starting to go through this story anew and with more serious consequences.”

 

 

Russia: “Moscow” #coronavirus variant – 1,705 new patients, 468 on ventilators, 71 deaths in one city in one day

 

Russia: “Moscow” #coronavirus variant strain announced

Russia: “Moscow” #coronavirus variant – 1,705 new patients, 468 on ventilators, 71 deaths in one city in one day

Moscow has documented 6,805 new COVID-19 cases on June 15. A total of 1,705 people have been hospitalized over the past day. There are 468 people hooked up to ventilators currently, and 71 patients have died in the past 24 hours.

Denis Protsenko, the head of Moscow’s top coronavirus hospital, has revealed that his facility is being hit harder than ever before, with the number of patients on ventilators now beating the record for any other time during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This is a new illness with new scenarios. We see that the incubation period has become shorter: before, it lasted seven to nine days, and now it is only four or five. The clinical picture has not changed much, but we see that there are patients that do not respond to standard treatment methods of complications caused by the coronavirus,” the chief physician said.

Protsenko said that Moscow has not reached peak COVID-19 figures so far. “I wish we were at the peak now. But miracles don’t exist,” he said.

Tass.com report

 

 

Russia: “Moscow” #coronavirus variant strain announced

 

 

Photo by Jean Colet on Unsplash

 

UK: Delta variant spread eerily similar to that of Alpha #coronavirus variant in January 2021

It seems that Sars-CoV-2 prefers particular areas of the UK.  North West England is once again one of the worst hit areas in Britain in June 2021, but even rural areas such as Wiltshire and Cornwall have higher infection rates than neighbouring counties which is similar to the spread of the B.1.1.7 Alpha variant in January 2021.

 

This is the Alpha variant up to 9th January 2021:

And this is the Delta variant up to 5th June 2021:

Variant maps courtesy of Sanger.ac.uk

 

 

 

Photo by William McCue on Unsplash

UK: Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty’s grim prognosis on the coronavirus pandemic

Patrick Vallance: “This is a virus that is going to be with us forever.”  Chris Whitty: “We will have to live with this virus which will continue to cause severe infections and kill people for the rest of our lives.”  Boris Johnson: “There will be ..further surges of the disease.”

 

At 36:56, Patrick Vallance: “This is a virus that is going to be with us forever.”

At 36:48, Chris Whitty – “We will have to live with this virus which will continue to cause severe infections and kill people for the rest of our lives.”

At 40:05, Boris Johnson: “we will have a booster program for vaccines, and we’ll be setting that out very soon. There will be, as everybody has said, further surges of the disease.”

Welcome to the dark side lads!

Canada: 82% Delta vaccine breakthrough in Calgary Hospital #coronavirus outbreak

An outbreak of the Delta coronavirus variant at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary has seen 16 patients and six health-care workers tested positive for the variant.  Six of the patients and five of the health-care workers had received two doses of the vaccine, while seven patients and one health-care worker had a single dose. The total vaccine breakthrough rate is 81.82%.  All of those infected were vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine.

CBC.ca report

 

 

Image by  Qyd, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

China: 10-12% of Guangzhou #coronavirus patients are critically ill – far higher than Wuhan outbreak

Some 10-12 percent of the COVID-19 patients in the latest COVID-19 outbreak in Guangzhou are critically ill, Guan Xiangdong, a specialist in the Guangdong COVID-19 medical team, told media on Thursday. The proportion is higher than in the epidemic in Wuhan, and the following 20 regional clusters that took place across China, in which the proportion was usually 2-3 percent, 5-8 percent or “8-10 percent in a few areas,” Guan said to China Central Television (CCTV) on Thursday.

The relatively high proportion of severe and critically ill cases was probably caused by the highly pathogenic viral strains that spread in this wave of the epidemic in Guangzhou, Guan said.

Global Times report

 

China: 2,468 #coronavirus cases, 75 hospitalised in Guangdong after Delta B16172 variant outbreak

 

 

Image by Philippsaal from Pixabay

UK: BMJ letter – “we need an urgent focus on mitigations in schools” for Delta #coronavirus variant

“On the 17 May 2021, the UK government removed the requirement for face coverings in secondary schools in England. Writing in The BMJ on 14 May 2021, we argued that this was ill advised given the clear evidence for the role of children and schools in transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and the rise of the new variant, subsequently designated as delta, which was already implicated in school outbreaks at the time.

There has been a lack of transparency from Public Health England (PHE) around the spread of the delta variant in schools. On 22 May, an article in The Observer reported that these data had been withheld by PHE at the request of 10 Downing Street. On 31 May 2021, The Citizens, a group promoting accountability in public life, and the data rights firm AWO sent a pre-action letter warning that they would seek judicial review unless PHE published the data on the grounds they it had acted “unlawfully” by withholding data on the spread of the variant in schools, and had “surrendered its independent judgement.”

Concerningly, even now, PHE has failed to release the full data. In a detailed technical report released on the 3 June, it only provided data on the number of “incidents” or outbreaks involving two or more students in schools.  It did not provide numbers of delta variant cases linked to schools, which had been specifically and repeatedly requested by unions and scientists, and specified in the pre-action letter. Despite including several complex analyses, the 66-page report presented no breakdown of cases by age group. However, even the limited data provided on school outbreaks raises concerns. According to the report, 140 outbreaks of the delta variant had been identified in educational settings up to 30 May, the largest number in any of the settings specified. The data on “common exposures” (defined as two or more infected children with sequenced virus) for the week ending 11 May, just prior to dropping recommendations for masks in schools, showed that there were over 1000 common exposures for children infected with the delta variant in educational settings. Additionally, data from PHE and Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the highest overall infection rates were among secondary school age children.

PHE has continued to put out contradictory claims. Just a day after reporting that infection rates were currently highest in 10-19 year olds, it claimed that cases among school-age children were low.  This contradicted other ONS data released the same day that showed rapid rises in prevalence in this age group, with this now being much higher than all other groups. A day later the health secretary Matt Hancock stated that a “huge proportion of latest cases are in children.” This is reminiscent of messaging by the government from autumn and winter 2020 where the mantra “schools are safe” was used repeatedly to rationalise the lack of mitigations in schools, right up to the point they were closed on 5 January (following a day when many schools reopened briefly). At that point the Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister described them as “vectors for transmission, causing the virus to spread between households.”

Back to the present, the government has finally acknowledged the high rates of infection and transmission in children. As with its many previous errors, there is no acknowledgement that it has not followed advice from its own advisors. The government has left children, staff, and communities exposed to rapid spread of a new and more transmissible variant, and at risk of long covid.  Yet, even as we see absenteeism related to covid-19 rising in schools, with 31% children absent from secondary schools in Bolton, the government’s messaging remains focussed on rapid tests. This is despite dropping uptake over time, and clear evidence that tests alone have not been able to contain spread in schools. Even after acknowledging the risks of infection and transmission in children, there is still no emphasis on urgent mitigations, including masks and ventilation, that are vital if schools are to remain open. While we welcome the health secretary’s announcement that children may be eligible to be vaccinated in August this does not help right now. According to SAGE modelling, the current wave is expected to peak in late July. By that time thousands of children and their family members will have been affected.

Data from Bolton, and several other places, where the delta variant gained dominance suggested early on that infection spread first among school age children, and then to other age groups.  It is likely that lack of mitigations in schools played an important role in this highly transmissible, more virulent, escape variant gaining dominance rapidly across England.  Spread of the delta variant is likely to have played an important role in the exponential rises we are seeing of cases in England, and hospitalisations in North West England.

During the current crisis the focus on the Stage 4 re-opening on the 21 June by government and media detracts from actions that need to be taken immediately to pre-empt the potentially devastating impact of a third wave. Our concern here has been with the actions that must be taken in schools to keep our children safe.

First, we must reintroduce masks both at primary and secondary levels and both in classrooms and communal areas. Unions have jointly called for an immediate re-introduction of masks in secondary schools and several local authorities have already reinstated these. This needs to be incorporated into Department for Education guidance as a recommendation for all schools.

Second, there needs to be central investment in ventilation and air cleaning in schools, including CO2 monitors, and air filtration devices, to supplement ventilation where needed. Risk can also be reduced by moving to learning outdoors, where possible, including physical education activities.

Third, there must be practical, financial, and remote learning support for families with children who are isolating. And lastly, the Government must provide adequate catch-up resources for children who have lost out on education over the past year, to bridge gaps and worsening inequities in education.

In sum, schools are the place where infections are rising fastest. Yet schools are a place where the basic mitigations of face coverings, space, and fresh air are not simply missing, but—in the case of masks—have actually just been removed. This makes no sense. The government must act urgently to protect and support its children at this critical juncture.”

Deepti Gurdasani, senior lecturer in machine learning, Queen Mary University of London.

Hisham Ziauddeen, consultant psychiatrist, Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, UK.

Stephen Reicher, professor, School of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of St. Andrews. Member of Independent SAGE and the advisory group to the Scottish chief medical officer.

Martin McKee, professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Member of Independent SAGE.

BMJ letter

 

UK: Dominic Cummings – Herd Immunity was always the official #coronavirus plan

 

 

On 16th March 2020 the first UK national lockdown was announced

 

 

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

UK: Delta with K417N – the “mountaineers” variant – PHE #coronavirus Delta-AY.1 update

Of the 36 cases of Delta-AY.1 (mountaineers) variant, 27 cases were known to have a vaccination status within the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS). 

“Through routine scanning of variation in Delta a small number of sequences were detected which had acquired the spike protein mutation K417N. Information suggests that there are at least 2 separate clades of Delta with K417N. One clade is large and internationally distributed with PANGO lineage designation AY.1. A second clade found in sequences uploaded to GISAID from the USA. There is limited epidemiological information available at present.

International Epidemiology
As of 7 June 2021, 63 genomes of Delta with K417N have been identified on GISAID. from Canada (1) Germany (1), Russia (1), Nepal (2), Switzerland (4), India (6), Poland (9), Portugal (12), Japan (13), USA (14).

Epidemiology
There are currently 36 cases of Delta-AY.1 in England (35 confirmed sequencing and 1 probable genotyping) plus an additional 10 sequences which include some cases in other UK nations and some genomes for which case data is being sought. The first 5 cases were sequenced on 26 April 2021 and were contacts of travellers to Nepal and Turkey. All these cases were detected in the West Midlands. Cases have been detected in 6 different regions in England (Table 21, Figure 26). The majority of cases are in younger individuals, with 2 cases of age 60 or over (Figure 27). Out of the 36 cases, there were 11 travel associated cases (6 travellers and 5 cases amongst contacts of travellers). Twelve cases have no history of travel or contact with travellers. Countries of travel included red-list countries (Nepal and Turkey), amber-list countries (Malaysia) and green-list countries (Singapore).

Of the 36 cases, 27 cases were known to have a vaccination status within the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS), when linked on NHS number. Of these, 18 cases occurred in people who were not vaccinated, 2 cases in people who had received their first dose within 21 days of specimen date, 5 cases in people who had received their  first dose more than 21 days after specimen date. There was a total of 2 cases where there were more than 14 days between the second dose of vaccine and a positive specimen. No deaths have been recorded amongst the 36 cases.”

PHE download – SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England  – Technical briefing 15 (PDF)

 

UK: The “mountaineers variant” – B.1.617.2 with K417N mutation

 

UK: “Everest climbers could have spread potentially more infectious and vaccine resistant’ variant

 

 

Image by Simon from Pixabay

UK: a full national #coronavirus lockdown is needed by 21st June 2021

Britain’s second wave of Covid-19 started in early September 2020. In response, the UK went into its second national lockdown on 5th November 2020. By that time, infections in Britain had climbed to about 330 per million people – the blue arrow on the graph below indicates where the UK was in the infection cycle at that point.

Locking down in early November, however, proved to be too late to prevent the unfolding catastrophe of December 2020 and January 2021.

“If you are going in, go in early and go in hard.” Isn’t that the lesson we have learned from this pandemic?

The red arrows show infections at about 90 people per million on 2nd October 2020 and on 10th June 2021.

The blue arrow shows infections at 332ppm when the UK locked down on 5th November 2020 – it was THREE WEEKS TOO LATE to squash the sombrero.

 

UK: massive rise in Delta #coronavirus vaccine breakthrough cases

 

UK: PHE on Delta Variant – 6.2% vaccine breakthrough with both doses

 

 

Photo by Lea Fabienne on Unsplash

UK: PHE on Delta Variant – 6.2% vaccine breakthrough with both doses

 

 

UK: massive rise in Delta #coronavirus vaccine breakthrough cases

 

 

Image by v-a-n-3-ss-a from Pixabay

UK: Delta variant is more infectious than the Alpha variant despite vaccinations

Shown above, the UK 2nd coronavirus wave, from September 6th to October 2nd 2020.

The Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) took about 26 days to infect around 90 people per million

 

 

Shown below, the UK 3rd coronavirus wave, from May 24th to June 10th 2021.

The Delta variant (B.1.617.2) has taken about 16 days to infect around 90 people per million, despite the massive UK vaccination campaign

 

And this is what happened after October 2nd 2020 with the Alpha variant:

Just one month later, on the 5th November 2020, Britain went into its second national lockdown. “England’s four-week lockdown will make a ‘real impact’, the prime minister says at a news briefing”

 

UK: massive rise in Delta #coronavirus vaccine breakthrough cases

 

** Coming soon **  15 months of unrelenting censorship of this blog and our Twitter feed. Don’t miss it!

UK: massive rise in Delta #coronavirus vaccine breakthrough cases

“There are currently 1,917 new daily symptomatic cases of COVID in vaccinated people, an increase of 89% from 1,014 cases, compared to 9,991 new daily symptomatic cases in unvaccinated people. “

ZOE Study (with heavy padding removed)

 

**Coming soon**  15 months of unrelenting censorship of this blog and our Twitter feed. Don’t miss it!

 

UK: Delta variant is more infectious than the Alpha variant despite vaccinations

 

Preprint: vaccine breakthrough #coronavirus infections may be common in transplant patients

 

Massachusetts: more than 4,300 #coronavirus breakthrough cases reported – up 28% in a week

UK: one week until B.1.617.2 Delta #coronavirus variant takes off

If the previous waves of Sars-CoV-2 in the UK are anything to go by, Britain is less than one week away from the B16172 Delta variant exploding into another full-blown national health crisis. The country’s current coronavirus case rate is roughly the same as it was on the 26th September 2020. Just five days later, on October 1st, the third wave of infections moved into a different gear entirely, swamping hospitals and causing thousands of deaths. 

It’s time to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

 

 

10th June 2021: