UK: Third Covid-19 wave is the worst yet

The peak of the second Alpha wave was the 9th January 2021. Interactive maps produced by the UK government show infections in the third Delta wave are clearly worse than the peak of the second wave despite the “wall of protection” supposedly offered by the vaccines.

The official Covid-19 figures, the hospitalizations and the deaths have yet to catch up with what is happening on the ground.

 

UK: ONS estimates over 800,000 had Covid-19 this week

Israel: School capsules to return, “not to follow the dangerous path of Britain”

The Israeli Director General of the Ministry of Health, Prof. Nachman Ash, does not rule out return to school capsules or bubbles.  Nachman Ash told Ynet that “we are preparing for a situation where there will be no choice but to reduce the size of the classrooms in red areas.” That the number of patients will rise sharply, not to follow the dangerous path of Britain.

On the preparations for the start of the school year, Prof. Ash said: “We are working very closely with the Ministry of Education to formulate a plan that includes both tests and a plan to prepare for situations where there are more infections and there are more contagious areas.”  With the professional factors, and we are moving forward to agree on the matter” When asked if it was for example capsules in a red area, he answered in the affirmative.

Israel is also considering introducing a new quarantine system for inbound travellers and has banned fully vaccinated tourists from entry.

Ynet.co.il report (in Hebrew)

 

Israel: Pfizer vaccine effectiveness waning

 

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

Israel: Previous Covid-19 infection may offer more protection than vaccination

People who have recovered from Covid-19 are around 9% of Israel’s population, but they’re less than 1% of current cases. That has led to speculation that recovery from past Covid is more protective against infection from the Delta Variant than vaccination. Known recovered people in Israel are mostly not vaccinated, though some chose to get a single booster dose

“There could be other explanations for this result. The Delta wave is, for now at least, not affecting the communities hardest hit by Israel’s previous Covid waves: Ultra Orthodox Jews and Israeli Arabs. So perhaps recovered people aren’t being exposed to the virus yet.

But I’m not sure that’s enough to explain the sharp difference. From data I was passed last week, recovered people were testing at only 0.1% positivity, compared to more than 1% for vaccinated people.

It’s clear that Delta is spreading in Israel’s vaccinated population. Vaccinated people are getting Delta, and — critically — vaccinated people are giving Delta to other vaccinated people.”

Report by Arieh Kovler

 

Israel: 56% of serious coronavirus cases in hospitals are fully vaccinated

 

UK: 60% of UK Covid-19 hospital cases are double vaccinated

 

 

 

Image by Tom Gordon from Pixabay

Portugal: new #coronavirus curfews imposed in Lisbon, Albufeira

The Portuguese government establishes that citizens “should refrain from circulating in public spaces and streets and remain at their respective homes during the period between 11:00 pm and 5:00 am”. The restrictive measures on circulation, which will be carried out every day, will take effect this Friday.

Mariana Vieira da Silva clarifies that this measure to limit circulation has no exceptions. Even for those with negative covid-19 tests or for vaccinated people. “This is a measure to reduce crowds”, argued the Minister of the Presidency , justifying it with the increase in cases of infection in the younger layers of the population. Instead of what happens in “ages already vaccinated”. Which, he concluded, “means the vaccine works.”

There are currently 19 municipalities, the majority in the Metropolitan Area of ​​Lisbon (AML), which are at very high risk of infection , meaning that they have already reached twice the 240 cases of infection per covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants (or 480 in low-density territories). From AML are the municipalities of Almada, Amadora, Barreiro, Cascais, Lisbon, Loures, Mafra, Moita, Odivelas, Oeiras, Seixal, Sesimbra, Sintra and Sobral de Montagraço. Albufeira, Constância, Loulé, Mira and Olhão are also in this situation.

Last week were only in the red zone, Lisbon, Albufeira and Sesimbra.

There are also 26 other municipalities that have reached a high risk of infection , that is to say that twice surpassed the 120 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants (or 240 in low-density territories). They are Alcochete, Alenquer, Arruda dos Vinhos, Avis, Braga, Castelo de Vide, Faro, Grândola, lagoon, Lagos, Montijo, Odemira, Palmela, Paredes de Coura, Portimão, Porto, Rio Maior, Santarém, São Brás de Alportel, Sardoal, Setúbal, Silves, Sines, Sousel, Torres Vedras and Vila Franca de Xira.

Diario de Noticias report (in portuguese)

 

 

 

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Poland: #coronavirus strain found on a Polish mink farm can be directly transmitted from mink to humans and vice versa

A SARS-CoV-2 strain found on a Polish mink farm can be directly transmitted from the animals to humans and vice versa, the Agriculture Ministry has said. The mink virus variant, the first detected in farm animals in Poland is, up to now, not identical to any of the new strains found recently in humans, but belongs to an animal strain well-known to epidemiologists, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday. It also differs from the strain detected in Danish minks, the ministry added.

The infection on the Polish mink farm in the northern county of Kartuzy was detected in late January. All 5,800 minks have been culled.

TheFirstNews.com report

 

Mink: 100% infection, recovery and then 75% re-infection of farmed mink

UK: Boris goes full Bolsonaro and decides to “let the bodies pile high” by lifting lockdown restrictions completely

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in April 2021 that he ‘would rather let bodies pile high’ than impose a third national lockdown. Well it seems he is about to get his way as his new Cabinet has, despite the massive Delta wave engulfing the country, just signed off on the removal of all Covid-19 restrictions starting on the July 17th 2021.

Boris Johnson is convinced that the Covid vaccines have broken the link between high coronavirus infection rates and deaths. He is so convinced, in fact, that he is in willing to gamble with the health and lives of millions of his own citizens in order to prove it.  When this complete fallacy is proved to be wrong, and we mean disastrously wrong, Boris will no doubt attempt to blame others in his cabinet, (or those that have previously departed), for these genocidal mistakes, just as he has done right throughout this entire Covid-19 crisis.

Boris has finally gone full Bolsonaro. Egged on by a few self-interested business hawks and economic hatchet-men, their only priority seems to be to put bums on seats in shabby West End theatres and fill grim suburban pubs to capacity to start raising taxes again.

We’re right back to February 2020. The discourse is, once again, about Herd Immunity, but this time the conversation is being held behind closed doors, filed away in secret reports and covered up with vile, almost Mengelian, secret school infection experiments. 

There will be blood. Undoubtedly there will be more blood, more covid misery and more covid deaths than the UK has ever imagined possible. 

But at least the pubs will have had a decent summer.

 

Israel: 50% vaccine breakthrough for #coronavirus cases in the last month

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Indonesia: 350 healthcare workers catch #coronavirus despite being fully vaccinated

More than 350 doctors and medical workers have caught COVID-19 in Indonesia despite being vaccinated with Sinovac. Dozens have been hospitalised. Most of the workers were asymptomatic and self-isolating at home but dozens were in hospital with high fevers and falling oxygen-saturation levels.

Reuters report

Photo by Luis Melendez on Unsplash

Spain: #coronavirus outbreak at Galicia mink farm

In Galicia this week another mink farm has been temporarily closed down by the authorities following an outbreak of Covid-19 at the establishment. The American mink farm concerned is located in Carral in the province of A Coruña and the regional Department of the Environment reports that the outbreak has been reported to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food.

The presence of coronavirus has been detected in five mink, all of them asymptomatic, and the samples will now be analysed to establish which strain of SARS-CoV-2 is involved.

There are currently 25 registered mink farms in Galicia with a total of 71,479 reproducing females, and this is the fourth registered Covid-19 outbreak among them over the last 15 months. Anti-mink farming groups have again demanded the immediate closure of all such establishments in the light of the most recent findings, citing over 400 similar instances since the start of the pandemic in 12 countries, 10 of them in Europe.

Murciatoday.com report

 

Denmark: patient with #coronavirus infection for 333 days that is still ongoing

Here, we report a case of persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection in an immunocompromised patient with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), asymptomatically carrying infectious SARS-CoV-2 at day 197 post diagnosis. Viral sequencing showed accumulation of mutations over time and indicated major changes in the spike protein, temporally associated with convalescent plasma treatment… Virus eradication is thus far unsuccessful, as weekly performed RT-PCR tests remain positive for SARS-CoV-2, with the last sample acquired on day 333 just prior to submission of this report.

Study paper: Persistent SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Immunocompromised Host Displaying Treatment Induced Viral Evolution

 

 

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

The Delta variant with the K417N mutation, also known as the “Mountaineers” variant, has cropped up 14 times in Japan, and 13 of those samples were in travellers from Nepal – mostly climbers from Everest expeditions. At least 100 cases were reported at the Everest base camp, it is believed that the variant could have been spread by climbers ascending the mountain despite widespread national lockdowns across the globe.  Cases have also been identified in India, Japan, Portugal, and the UK.

According to Dr Jeff Barrett, director of the COVID-19 Genomics Initiative at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the UK, at least one case has been found in the US.

DNAIndia.com report: Delta+K417N variant that affected at least 100 Everest climbers

 

The mountaineers variant B.1.617.2 + K417N has also been blamed for the axing of Portugal from the UK’s green travel list. See this report

 

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

 

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

 

Photo by Claire Nolan on Unsplash

Portugal: could be taken off the UK’s #coronavirus travel green list for having the same infection trajectory as the UK

“UK government Ministers and their medical advisers will meet on Thursday to decide whether Portugal should be dropped from the green list and instead rated amber, requiring holidaymakers to quarantine for 10 days on their return and pay for two PCR tests.  Scientists from the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) are concerned about rising infection rates and the emergence of variants in Portugal, which was the first of 12 countries and territories to be rated green just three weeks ago.”

The Telegraph.co.uk report

 

UK: PHE data shows B.1.617.2 now outcompetes B.1.1.7

 

Chart courtesy of Ourworldindata.org

USA: Asian Small-Clawed Otters test positive for #coronavirus In Georgia

The Georgia Aquarium announced on April 18th 2021 that several of its Asian small-clawed otters had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.  The animals’ caretakers were tipped off when the otters showed symptoms like sneezing, lethargy and coughing. The aquarium is not certain as to how the otters caught the virus, but the statement suggests that a staff member with an asymptomatic infection transmitted it to the otters.

“Our Asian small-clawed otters are under very close monitoring by veterinarians and animal care team members. They have displayed only mild symptoms and we expect them all to make a full recovery,” says Tonya Clauss, the aquarium’s vice president of animal and environmental health, in the statement. “We are providing supportive care as needed so they can eat, rest and recover.”

Georgiaaquarium.org press release

 

CDC: possible reverse zoonosis in Michigan mink farm #coronavirus outbreak

Finland: 80% vaccine breakthrough in hospital with B16172 Delta #coronavirus variant – PPE no longer effective – UPDATED

In Kanta-Häme hospital epidemic, about 80% of those infected with corona have received at least the first dose of vaccine.  The [Delta] variant of the coronavirus has been revealed to be the cause of the hospital epidemic.  “The [B.1.617.2 Delta variant] is very easily spread.” says Chief Physician of the Kanta-Häme Hospital District Sally Leskinen.  According to Leskinen, it is worrying that the precautions that have stopped the spread of previous virus variants in hospitals have not been effective enough now.  “The fact that the surgical mask has been used in all situations and that patients with symptoms of infection have extensive protective equipment is not enough now,” says Leskinen.

The coronavirus epidemic has spread from Hämeenlinna to Kanta-Häme Central Hospital to health center hospitals in Hämeenlinna, Riihimäki and Forssa.  There are a total of 80 infected in the chains. Hämeenlinna Central Hospital has two infection chains with a total of more than 50 infections. In addition, Riihimäki Hospital has a chain of 30 infections.

“The virus is easily infected. In those wards where infections occurred before the first cases occurred and the chains of infection were curtailed, 40 percent of patients have become infected,” says Sally Leskinen.  Now the spread has been stopped and no new surprising infections have been detected in hospitals.  Family members of nursing staff have also become infected, which in turn has caused extensive exposure situations in schools.

The majority of nursing staff have already received two coronary vaccinations, but still in Kanta-Häme, 11 per cent of the staff of the hospital epidemic outpatient department have been infected. About half of the infected nursing staff have had symptoms, some of them more severe.

HS.fi report (in Finnish)

Helsinki Times report (In English)

 

** UPDATE 3rd August 2021 **  Eurosurveillance report:

“Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 occurred in almost every unit of the central hospital. Some exposed patients had been transferred to four of the six primary care facilities. In three of these four facilities, the outbreak spread through transfers that took place before the outbreak was detected. In the fourth facility, the transfer happened after outbreak detection and the exposed patient was quarantined and there was no further spread.”

An outbreak caused by the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant (B.1.617.2) in a secondary care hospital in Finland, May 2021 

 

Israel: 50% vaccine breakthrough for coronavirus cases in the last month

 

 

Image by frank23 from Pixabay

Bahrain: #coronavirus cases surge to new high despite 40% of population being fully vaccinated

Bahrain, a country of just 1.7 million people, recorded 3,177 new COVID-19 infections and 11 deaths on Sunday 23rd May 2021. The country has now had to more than 218,000 coronavirus cases with over 800 deaths. Earlier this month authorities said they would expand the country’s vaccination campaign to include adolescents aged 12-17. There seems to be two main variants in Bahrain – B.1.351 and B.1.617.2 – which account for nearly half of all infections

Bahrain offers citizens and residents four vaccines free of charge: the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, China’s Sinopharm, the AstraZeneca vaccine and Russia’s Sputnik V.  The Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine has also been approved for emergency use.

Reuters report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image by onasama from Pixabay