COVID-19 DIARY – DONKEYS FOR LIONS

Boris Johnson told to 'get Brexit plan B' | News | The Times

May 27

Thursday.

On the other side fo the world and a Wednesday, Dominic Cummings the former Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister of Great Britain Boris Johnson gave testimony at a parliamentary inquiry about the handling of the COVID pandemic.

What was said in those seven hours if proven true was pretty damning.

What was claimed or confirmed Cummings mostly related to behind closed door meetings and briefings where debate can be debated and remarks can be flip.

But still…

Johnson compared COVID to swine flu and suggested he be injected live on television with it to prove it wasn’t dangerous.

Was distracted about developments in Italy with his divorce and announcement of his partner’s pregnancy.

A senior civil servant likened COVID-19 to chicken pox and floated mass infection parties to build herd immunity.

Johnson quipped COVID was only killing over 80s.

Expressed regret over the first lockdown and said he would rather see the bodies pile in their thousands than order a second lockdown.

When asked if Johnson was fit to hold office, the man who was a key part of the team that saw him win power replied “No.”

Cummings was even harder on Health Secretary Matt Hancock who he said had told cabinet members that people being transferred from hospitals to nursing home were being tested prior to being transported but it didn’t happen.

“While the government rhetoric was we have put a shield around care homes and blah blah blah, it was complete nonsense,” he said.

Cummings advised the Prime Minister to get rid of Hancock otherwise we are going to kill people but he didn’t. Perhaps for political reasons.

In his testimony Cummings relayed two central points about the government initial plan – that herd immunity through spread was a key strategy and that the British public wouldn’t stand for lockdowns.

Those two assumptions were completely central to the official plan and were both obviously completely wrong,” Cummings said.

He told that during the pandemic civil servant Helen McNamara came to him and said, “I think we are absolutely f—ed. I think this country is heading for a disaster, I think we are going to kill thousands of people.

Cummings left government last year during a power struggle and also created controversy around himself when he seemingly broke lockdown rules last year when travelling from London to northern England while he had COVID!

What I find remarkable in this day and age with the news is how we just don’t know the answer for things for certain.

Did he break lockdown with COVID or not?!

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in Parliament the same day, “The handling of this pandemic has been one of the most difficult things this country has had to do for a very long time. And none of the decisions have been easy. At every stage we have tried to minimise loss of life, to protect the NHS and have followed the best scientific advice we can.

So was this political revenge from a former staffer?

Or somebody who had nothing to lose now?

Why didn’t he do more he was asked when he was there in government?

There’s no doubt in retrospect it was a huge failing of mine and I bitterly regret I didn’t hit the emergency panic button earlier than I did. I failed and I apologise for it,” he said.

“I’m not smart, I’ve not built great things in the world, it’s completely crackers that I was in [Downing Street], the same as it’s crackers that Boris Johnson was in there,” Cummings said.

“Any system that leaves people with the choice between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn is obviously a system that’s gone extremely badly wrong. There are thousands of people in this country who could offer better leadership than those two.”

I don’t have the answers but from my limited perspective in March last year Johnson struck a intransigent tone.

On March 13, 2020 as the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced restrictions to start on the 16th of March there would be no mass gatherings of 500 people or more after the weekend. , in the UK the Cheltenham racing festival was in full swing with the Cheltenham Gold Cup held on the 13th of March with over 68,500 attending.

Amid a global pandemic, Cheltenham Festival surviving all four ...

In the United States of America President Trump had announced a restriction on travel between Europe and the U.S. with the exception of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. 

On the 13th of March there were 802 cases in total reported in the United Kingdom. Over a quarter of those had just been reported that day – 208. There were two new deaths leading to a total of 10.

On March 18, the Australian government issued its highest travel advice level (level 4), advising Australians to avoid all travel regardless of destination, age and health.

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a press conference announcing new restrictions which included only two visitors to aged care homes and a ban on indoor gatherings of 100 people or less with certain exceptions like schools, supermarkets and exceptions.

The World Health Organisation reports 2,630 cases in the UK that day with a daily increase of 676. The death toll almost doubles that day with a daily increase of 43 taking the total past 100 to 103.

How Clean Air Cities Could Outlast COVID-19 Lockdowns

On the 23rd of March, 2020 the UK government announced restrictions with people only able to leave home for essential work or shopping, medical needs, or providing care for others. with exercise per day allowed. No public gatherings besides funerals and many forms of retail shut down.

On the 24th of March, 2020 in the United Kingdom there were 6,654 cases with a daily increase of 967. There were 335 deaths with a daily increase of 54.

On the 25th of March, 2020 the WHO reported March 26 in the United Kingdom9,533 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 1,452. The number of dead were 463 deaths with a daily increase of 41.

On the 31st of March, 2020 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland there were 22,145 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 2,619. The number of dead were 1,408 with a daily increase of 180.

COVID-19: U.K. calls on the engineering industry to produce ...

On the 11th of May, 2020 Boris Johnson announced a move from Stay Home to Stay Alert.

Allowing travel across the country and to go out to parks as long as you maintained social distancing.

People working in construction and manufacturing could also return to work because those jobs could not be done by home.

The leaders of Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland urged their people to stay home still.

On the 11th of May, 2020 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland the World Health Organisation reported there were 219,187 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 3,923 on the day Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to lower restrictions.

The number of dead stood at 31,855 with a daily increase of 268.

On the 21st May, 2020 the United Kingdom came to be listed as the country with the fourth most number of cases in the world. There were 248,297 confirmed cases with a daily decrease of 525. The number of dead 35,704 with a daily increase of 363.

On the 31st of May, 2020 Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised two millions deemed clinically extremely valuable that they could now leave their homes once a day for a little exercise and could even meet with a person from another household if there was only one of them. The advice was not to go to shops or crowded places and that services providing delivery of food or medicine would continue.

“I do not underestimate just how difficult it has been for you, staying at home for the last 10 weeks, and I want to pay tribute to your resilience,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.

On the 31st of May, the World Health Organisation reported 272,830 confirmed cases in the United Kingdom with a daily increase of 1,604. The number of dead were 38,376 with a daily increase of 215.

Coronavirus: Grounded planes and deserted airport terminals - BBC News

On the 8th of June, 2020 the British government unveiled a quarantine plan for all returning travellers including British citizens to give their details and self isolate for the next 14 days.

The press was already reporting that Whitehall was looking at opening up travel to Europe again by mid-July.

On the 8th of June in the United Kingdom when these measures were put in place there had been 286,198 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 1,326.

The number of deaths 40,542 with a daily increase of 77.

From my limited perspective some of the actions taken by the UK government suggest a lack of awareness of the threat during this and later periods.

A priority on the economy over lives.

Herd immunity was even evoked by Johnson in some early press conferences. In comparison to other European countries the UK moved slower and less stridently on a consistent basis.

What Cummings has testified might be irrelevant, there is enough in confirmed actions to question.

An inquiry is scheduled to being next year.

The World Health Organisation reported on the 27th of May, 2021 in the United Kingdom there have been 4,470,301 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 2,987.
There had been 127,748 deaths with a daily increase of nine.

-Lloyd Marken

COVID-19 DIARY – JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE TO SIP YOUR LATTE AGAIN

File:Lygon Street, Carlton.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

May 24

Monday and a new week.

As of 25 May 2021, the World Health Organisation reported a total of 1,545,967,545 vaccine doses have been administered around the world. The global population was 7.674 billion people.

The second repatriation out of India following the lifting of the travel ban of May 15 touched down in Darwin.

All 165 scheduled passengers had passed their tests and were able to fly back.

The testing company previously used by Qantas had been replaced after more than a dozen of the passengers from the previous flight who had tested positive had subsequently tested negative They were now being prirotised for getting a return flgiht.

There were eight repatriation flights scheduled for the following fortnight.

May 25

Tuesday and there is an increasing outbreak of cases in Melbourne who had suffered the most in 2020 with lockdowns, case numbers and aged care deaths.

There were five new daily cases and genomic testing linked it to the man who had done time in hotel quarantine in Adelaide and then become positive in Melbourne.

New restrictions or old restrictions returned to the Victorian capital.

Masks were to be worn inside, there was a limit of five people at home gatherings and public gatherings were restricted to 30 people.

New Zealand hit pause on the travel button with Victoria.

WA and Queensland advised anybody who had been in a hotspot needed to go into 14 day quarantine immediately. South Australia had the same measure for those who were already in the state but for Victorians who had not entered and had been in those hotspots were now banned from entering South Australia.

China released a video for their vaccine roll-out and announced an intention to administer up to 20 million doses a day.

A report from the ABC showed people were not going back to the office full time.

The ABC took stats from Australia Talks data that showed those working from home full time had shifted from four per cent to 25 per cent during the height of the pandemic here and was now currently at 12 per cent.

It appeared going forward a lot of people were keen to have a mix of working from home and in the office. Cutting out their commute saved them money and time and they found they were connected and present with their families.

Of course this was dependent on what your home life was, what your set-up at home was and what you did for a living.

I personally loved going into the office.

However I was certain the genie was out of the bottle and the stats reflected this.

Those who did 0 hours working from home had shifted from 49 per cent pre-pandemic to now 37 per cent.

May 26

Wednesday and the COVID cluster in Melbourne grew to 15 people with six new cases in the community.

It’s good that everyone is linked at this stage, but we are concerned about the number and the kind of exposure sites. I cannot rule out taking some further action but we will update people as soon as we know,” Victorian Acting Premier James Merlino said.

The next 24 hours were going to be crucial.

Three hundred known prmary close contacts had been tested and 80 results received so far with the rest expected in the next 24 hours.

The exposure sites that they then generate, how many close contacts they might have, and how long they have been in the community – they are all factors we need to consider,” Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said.

More than 26,000 COVID-19 tests were administered in the 24 hours to midnight Tuesday, and 15,858 vaccine doses were administered through the state.

As the cluster of cases grew to fifteen in Victoria, New South Wales residents were encouraged to postpone travel to Melbourne.

There also several locals who had visisted one of the contact sites, a shopping mall in Melbourne, who had gotten tested with two returning negative results. There were two that I was aware of, but there were a number of others that had gone to the shopping centre,” New South Wales Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant explained.

‘And as you can imagine, a shopping centre could have captured a broader group of people.’

The government to the north of Victoria was falling over itself to not close to their neighbour but yeah but nah but yeah but nah but.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard apologises for calling Labor Leader Jodi  McKay 'quite stupid' in mask stoush

Those who had been in Greater Melbourne or Bendigo since May 12 were advised to not visit residential aged care or health care facilities unless it was to seek treatment or for compassionate reasons.

People who had been in Melbourne’s far north well limit your attendance at locations at pubs, and clubs, and gyms and

Yeah large family gatherings

But you know you can still see your family and

Look avoid crowded indoor settings

But you know we won’t make you quarantine at home like those mongrel Queenslanders!

But you know… speaking of your house… do you like your house yeah… houses are great!

I mean if you like your house so much that you spend the new few days there then that’s probably for the best.

And if you got out and you can go out but like when you’re out………………….

Don’t go anywhere where there’s like ooooohh…lots of people

Or old people

Or sick people

Or people with disabilities

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand if you do….

Like could you wear a mask?

Nobdoy else will be wearing a mask and we’re certainly not going to mandate you wear a mask

Just like we’re not going to make you quarantine

Because there is no need to do any of that and we wouldn’t do that to you!

But if you could kind of do all of that then that’s probably for the best but we’re not going to do that because we’re not like the Queensland and WA governments.

You know..

………………………………………..

Well you know………………………………….

Cause we’re fucking morons.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian faces biggest test of nerves yet over  Christmas coronavirus crisis - ABC News

Or as they put it.

If you don’t really need to go to Greater Melbourne it might be an idea just to leave it for a few days until we get some clarity from the Victorian government as to what’s going on,” New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard advised.

While the vaccine is our way out [of the pandemic], we know that there’s certain behaviours that we needed to embed on that journey, and one of those is if you have the most minimal symptoms, please get tested,” Dr Chant said.

On Tuesday there had been 16,698 tests carried out in the state.

The same day 13,200 vaccine doses were dispensed by New South Wales Health.

So far in NSW, 1,142,002 doses had been dispensed, 371,117 by NSW Health and 770,885 by GPs and the Commonwealth.

NSW Health was stepping ahead of the national rollout getting over 40s to regsiter interest getting Pfizer jabs at their Sydney Olympic Park clinic.

There was still work to be done in Phase 1A and 1B which included front line health care workers, those who worked in quarantine or border control and their household contacts, thsoe with underlying health conditions aor disability.

Then there were the over 50s to get AstraZeneca.

The 40-49s who had registered for Pfizer were starting to get contacted.

-Lloyd Marken

ONE YEAR EARLIER: May 23, 2020

Trump went and played golf on Saturday the 23rd, on the weekend that the United States of America neared 100,000 deaths.

94,011 of the 334,534 deaths reported in the world from COVID were American.

May 25, 2020

George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis.

I got tested for COVID-19 for the first time returning a negative result.

COVID-19 DIARY – REPATRIATION

Howard Springs quarantine capacity boosted | Katherine Times | Katherine, NT

 

May 14

 

The first repatriation flight for Australians from India since the short lived travel ban took off from New Delhi with only half of the 150 the passengers scheduled to be on board.

Forty-six people had COVID and twenty four were close contacts. 

Forty six having tested positive for the more contagious Indian variant and people close to them left behind for what would have been their deliverance.

While the government tried to fill the flight with more passengers, it struggled to do so because of the window for pre-flight testing restrictions.

People like Jitin Wig whose wife and toddler tested positive. 

“The whole medical system here is a shambles, so if it does get serious here for any of us, I’m not sure how I’d be able to get help. I’m not sure if I’d be able to get any medicines, I’m not sure if I’d be able to get any oxygen, or anything else they might need,” Wig said of the overworked Indian health care system they might need help from in the coming days.

I understand the government’s position, if people are testing positive, they don’t want to bring the infection over, I understand they are trying to protect the economy, the people. Even though I’m one of those people who didn’t get to go on a flight today, I would still agree that I somebody is testing positive, it is best – for the larger good, I would say – to not bring them over,”the father added.

He did want the government to help those left behind with medical support and consider taking particularly vulnerable people if they had COVID. 

Would you want to board an international flight with someone with COVID on board?

What was the likelihood somebody on that flight would ultimately test positive?

Could other arrangements be made to get those vulnerable people home than just putting them on a flight with others? 

Surely.

Sunny Joura interviewed on ABC News was due to travel on the same flight with his elderley mother but he tested positive. 

In a moment that would have been unsettling he did well to stay calm during an interview with ABC News. He had previously tested negative to fly back on the 28th of April when the ban was put in place. 

He did suggest that decision could now potentlally prove to have turned out to be a death sentence for him.

He also said that only five repatration flights had been sent over from June to December 2020 to India which had been a missed opportunity to get people home before this subsequent wave. Only 750 out of 10,000 Australians in the country had been able to get on repatriation flights during that six month period. He had been trying to get home for 11 months and had had two flights previously cancelled but this was the first time he had tested positve.

The goverment had tried to fill the suddenly spare seats but pre-flight testing didn’t give much of a window of time.

Prior to boarding people take a PCR test two days before the flight and then a rapid antigen test. Both have to return negative results.

 

 

QF112 arrived at the RAAF base in Darwin on Saturday morning. Picture Glenn Campbell

 

May 15

 

The next day Qantas Flight 112 touched down in RAAF Darwin with the passengers headed for quarantine in Howard Springs.

I’m sure they didn’t feel that whatever they had gone through was over but hopefully the worst of it was.

How many would test positive while in quarantine?

How many had left for India to care for a loved one or bury them?

How many counted themselves lucky just to be home?

I wonder.

For what its worth in this small corner of the internet.

Welcome home, it’s good to have you back and hope to have everyone home soon.

“We really need to ensure that we have a system in place to bring these people safely home so they can receive the medical care here in Australia that they require. If our system can’t handle easily 100 people coming back who are testing positive a week, if that if it can’t handle that, then we need to look seriously at our healthcare system,” Associate Professor Adam Kamradt-Scott, from the Global Health Security Network, said.

 

 

May 16

 

On the 16th of May, 2021 the World Health Organisation reported there had been 161,854,452 confirmed cases globally with a daily increase of 675,747. 

There had been 3,367,187 deaths worldwide with a daily increase of 12,305.

They're our family': Australia pledges 1m Covid-19 vaccine doses to Papua  New Guinea | Papua New Guinea | The Guardian

In Papua New Guinea there had been 13,928 confirmed cases. There had been 136 deaths.

There had been 504 new daily cases on May 11. Thirteen deaths would be reported on the 20th of May, the most in one day in the small nation. The spread of the virus was still going on in PNG.

As of the 13th of May there had been 11,537 vaccine doses dispensed in the country. 

In Australia there had been 29,967 confirmed cases with a daily increase of ten. There had been 910 deaths.

As of the 27th of April there had been 3,089,183 vaccine doses dispensed in the country.

In Canada there had been 1,318,399 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 5,991. There had been 24,869 deaths with a daily increase 44.

As of the 20th of May there had been 20,124,578 vaccine doses dispensed in the country. The population of Canada was 37.59 million people.

African nation worst hit by COVID-19 falling behind on vaccines | The Japan  Times

In South Africa there had been 1,611,143 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 2,750. There had been 55,183 deaths with a daily increase of 59. 

As of the 25th of May, 2021 there had been only 182,983! vaccine doses dispensed in the country. The population of South Africa was 58.56 million people.

In the United Kingdom there had been 4,447,984 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 1,156. There had been 127,675 deaths with a daily increase of seven.

Those daily numbers were similar to the early part of March 2020 when the first wave was building and late August before numbers continued to rise to devastating effect over winter. Not quite the lull of June and July 2020 but close.

As of the 24th of May there had been 60,965,594 vaccine doses dispensed in the country. The population of Great Britain was 66.65 million people. Given they were now vaccinating people 38 years old and over there must be a few who had gotten second doses or even more?

World reacts to India's catastrophic COVID surge | Coronavirus pandemic  News | Al Jazeera

In India there had been 24,684,077 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 311,170. There had been 270,284 deaths with 4,077.

A record of new daily deaths had been set on the 12th of May with 4,205 deaths recorded that day.

As of the 24th of May there had been 200,494,991 vaccine doses dispensed in the country. 

In the United States of America there had been 32,574,504 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 40,431. In March, April, May and June 2020 the daily averages had never been that high. Many had been less than 20,000 back then. 

There had been 579,664 deaths with a daily increase of 680.

As of the 13th of May there had been 283,181,265 vaccine doses dispensed in the country. The population of the U.S. was 328.2 million people.

 

-Lloyd Marken

 

ONE YEAR EARLIER: May 14, 2020

A MacDonalds at Fawkner in Melbourne Victoria had 90 staff tested and isolated pending results after a break-out of eight COVID-19 cases from the fast food outlet including four staff members and four family members of a worker.

May 15, 2020

On the 15th of May the World Health Organisation reported 6,989 confirmed cases in Australia with a daily increase of 14. 98 Australians had died and there was no daily increase.

 

COVID-19 DIARY – ROLL OUT ROLL UP – PART XII

What is the Moderna COVID vaccine? Does it work, and is it safe?

May 13

Thursday Australia announced a deal to procure 25 million doses of the American Moderna vaccine with 10 million jabs hopefully by the end of year and then 25 million booster jabs next year to deal with variants.

As the federal govenrnemt looked to set-up production of MRNA vaccines in Australia Moderna’s CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement, “We look forward to continuing discussions with Australia about establishing potential local manufacturing opportunities.

Adelaide plant BioCina who had bought a plant in Adelaide off Pfizer threw its hat into the ring as being able to produce MRNA vaccines like Moderna at its facility within 12 months.

We can have the ability to manufacture a hundred, a hundred and fifty million doses that would serve the region rather than just Australia so there is an export oppourtunity as well,” BioCina Chief Executive Ian Wisenberg said.

This followed deals with AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Novaxin and Moderna would still need to secure the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

If supplies from Pfizer were delayed maybe ones from Moderna, which had a cited efficacy rate of 94.1 per cent, might help with numbers..

We think there is no reason why you can’t mix and match vaccines. The trial data is not out yet. There’s some trials being done UK looking at AstraZeneca first done and Pfizer or Moderna second dose.” Department of Health Secretary Professor Brendan Murphy said looking ahead to the future.

The Univesity of South Australia was also developing a vaccine in partnership with Biotech Company Semetis had also received three million dollars from the Australian government. It was possible still a year from getting to the market. 

In New South Wales 7,500 people got vaccinated in one day.

WIth 7 new cases of blood clots in Australia there were now 18 cases of blood clots from 1,800,000 vaccinations in Australia. That was 1 in a 100,000 chance of having it happening to you someone vaccinated. Remember 1 in 600 Americans had died from COVID last year.

An independent panel for the handling of the pandemic released its findings.
It didn’t get much news coverage despite holding many lessons for I learn from not just for future pandemics for the current ongoing one.

Some critical points were the sharing of information between nations, empowering the World Health Organisation and effectively in terms of the outbreak in the West a lack of action throughout the month of February, 2020.

ABC News reported some suggestions were a disease surveillance system that could publish information about developments in a country they were working in without the need to get permission to do so and rich countries doing more to vaccinate poorer nations.

Let’s hope some lessons are learned from the panel’s findings.

On the 12th of May, 2021 the World Health Organisation recorded in India there had been 4,205 deaths in one day.

A new record.

May 14

A new step in the vaccine roll-out a week on from the 2A cohort was due to start next Monday with 400,000 Pfizer doses to be dispensed to 14 different sites across Victoria for a small group of those under age 50.

You had to make a booking and priority would be given to critical and high risk workers, adults with underlying health conditions, disabiltiy and aged care carers and workers.

Uber Drivers and public transport workers could make a booking from May 24th the following Monday.

Victorian Acting Premier James Merlino advised the state was averaging 8,000 vaccinations a day. A testing clinic at the Melbourne Showgrounds would also open a mass vaccination hub on Monday as well.

I am very supportive of any measures to get as many people vaccinated as possible as quickly as possible. Winter is coming,” Shadow Health Minister Georgie Crozier said.

The bulk of contract tracing and COVID tests following in the wake of a man who had tested positive earlier in the week having travelled from Adelaide had returned negative results with no new daily community cases. The man had originally departed India on the 19th of April and travelled via the Maldives and Singapore.

Channel Nine News reported three hundred thousand vaccine doses had been given out so far in the state.

Army drafted in as 'mass' coronavirus testing is rolled out in Bolton | The  Bolton News

In Great Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the staged steps to lower restrictions could be disrupted by the Indian strain which was spreading through Great Britain.

In one week Public Health England reproted cases of the variant had tripled in the country with 1,255 in England, 35 in Scotland, 12 in Northern Ireland and eleven in Wales.

On May 14th, 2021 the World Health Organisation reported in the United Kingdom there were 2,656 new daily cases.

On Monday England was due to open up pubs and restaurants and six people from two households could gather at one of their places.

After that was the fourth and final step due June 21 where there will be no limits on social gatherings indoors or outdoors, no limits on weddings and nightclubs will re-open.

That seemed to still be on the cards but the PM warned, “I have to level with you that this new variant could pose a serious disruption to our progress and could make it more difficult to move to step four in June.

But I urge everyone to exercise the greatest caution because the choices we each make in the coming days will have a material effect on the road ahead,” he added.

Having down throught the ages with one jab currently anyone over 38 could get vaccinated. Now there was a run on to cut the 12 week gap between the first and second jab to just eight weeks for those over 50 or with underlying health conditions.

Mr Johnson added that there was “no evidence to suggest that our vaccines will be less effective in protecting people against severe illness and hospitalisation”.

The UK’s Chief Medical Adviser Professor Chris Whitty warned that if the Indian variant was more transmissible the island nation would see a significant surge.

That’s a really critical question to which we do not yet have the answer. We expect over time this variant will overtake and come to dominate in the UK in the way that the Kent variant did,” he added.

Remember how the UK strain was up to 70 per cent than the orginal COVID that across the West, well the Indian strain could be 50 per cent more transmissible than the UK strain according to the Scientific Adivsory Gorup for Emergencies (Sage).

The British Army were deployed to the towns Blackburn and Bolton to help with handing out test kits.
Mobile testing units had been set up Bolton and opening hours and delivery of doses had been increased at that town’s vaccination centres.
A rapid response team of 100 nurses, public health advisers and environmental health officers had also been sent.
Opération gif 3 » GIF Images Download
In the United States of America the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) eased indoor mask wearing guidance for vaccinated people allowing them to not wear masks in most indoor places.

The CDC guidelines showed quite clearly by vaccinating you were less at risk and could engage in more activities.

As vaccinations slowed down there was a push to encourage more of the populace to drive those vaccinated numbers just a little higher.

Governors were doing their part like in Ohio where vaccinated adults could go in the draw to win one million U.S. dollars. I’ll do it for free but God Bless America.

But New York Mayor Bill De Blasio was a man more after my own heart tucking into fast food that New Yorkers could get from Shake Shack if they got vaccinated. Free fries and a burger?! Hmmmmmm.

God Bless America!

And God bless Bill de Blasio, don’t listen to the haters Mr Mayor, you looked good tucking into that burger. I would’ve made a meal of it.

-Lloyd Marken

Bill De Blasio GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

ONE YEAR EARLIER: May 13, 2020

The number of unemployed was cited as 10% or 1.4million Australians. This was the highest unemployment rate since the early 1990s recession in Australia and in which unemployment had risen at a far slower rate then during the pandemic.

May 14, 2020

A MacDonalds at Fawkner in Melbourne Victoria had 90 staff tested and isolated pending results after a break-out of eight COVID-19 cases from the fast food outlet including four staff members and four family members of a worker.

COVID-19 DIARY – ONE LOCKDOWN ENDS AND A NEW BAN BEGINS

Cyclist wearing mask rides near fence of lookout over looking Perth city skyline of tall buildings.

April 26

Monday.

Perth came out of its snap lockdown with no new community cases reported that day.

Mandatory mask wearing would remain until at least 1 minute past midnight on Saturday morning.

Retaurants, pubs and cafes could re-open but indoor gyms, nightclubs and casinos would remain shut.

“The short three-day lockdown has done the job it was designed to do. It was the circuit-breaker we needed to limit community spread. Western Australians have done their bit to keep our community safe,” Premier Mark McGowan said.

QANTAS plane on tarmac in Hobart.

April 27

On the larger scale the Australian government made a decision to stop all direct flights returning from India India due to the higher number of COVID cases from returned travellers in hotel quarantine in particular from India.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said all indirect flights through other cities like Doha, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur had been paused by their respective governments.

Last week on the 22nd of April, National Cabinet had made the decision to reduce flights from India by 30 per cent. 

It followed a reduction in repatriations and travellers going through hotel quarantines due to increased case numbers in said quarantine.

The ban halted two passenger flights from India to Sydney, two repatriation flights from India to Darwin and eight further repatriation flights scheduled for the first two weeks of May.

Travel to India was also retricted to matters of national interest, under medical exemption and for COVID-19 purposes.

Specialist staff at the Howard Springs facility wear heavy PPE gear.

On the 24th of April the number of positive cases at the Howard Springs facility in the Northern Territory had reached 48.

“The Northern Territory only has a certain amount of ICU beds,” the Northern Territory Deputy Opposition Leader Gerard Maley had said.

As of that Saturday, a total of 6,668 people have arrived in Darwin on repatriation flights since October last year, of which 117 have tested positive to COVID-19.

The total number of positive coronavirus cases reported in the Territory is 160, with all cases relating to international or interstate travel.

The Prime Minister said the total number of weekly cases in hotel quarantine had risen from 90 to 143.

The pause would last until May 15.

It was reported 9,000 Australians in India wanted to return home with 650 of them categorised as vulnerable.

Australia says chance of jail remote for India travel ban offenders - Times  of India

We don’t think the answer is to just forsake those in India and just shut them off. I don’t see this as a problem we have to solve, I see this as a group of people we need to help. These are Australians and Australian residents who need our help, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

When flights resume, all passengers will be required to have both a negative COVID-19 PCR test result and a negative rapid antigen test result prior to departure.

The Australian government was also sending 500 ventilators, 1 million surgical masks, 500,000 P2 and N95 masks, 100,000 goggles, 100,000 pairs of gloves and 20,000 face shields.

On the 27th of April, the World Health Organisation reported there had been 17,636,307 confirmed cases with a daily increae of 323,144. There had been 197,894 deaths with a daily increase of 2,771.

“I stress this is an initial package, there’ll be more to follow,” the Prime Minister advised about the aid being sent.

“This is the challenge of a pandemic, you don’t get the perfect of all situations,” the Prime Minister said.

The European Union decided to sue AstraZeneca for breach of contract after they failed to deliver 30,000,000 dozes of their COVID vaccine by the end of June. The pharmaceutical company was only going to be able to deliver a third of that amount.

The U.S. government planned to send 60 million doses of AstraZeneca overseas to where it is needed if the move gets approval from the Food and Drugs Administration.

-Lloyd Marken

COVID-19 DIARY – ROLL ON ROLL UP – PART IV

Ladakh to Kerala, vaccine rollout begins | India News,The Indian Express

February 28

On Sunday 300,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Western Sydney from Europe.

CSL Limited was going to produce 50 million doses of the vaccine locally and starting from late March the hope was for them to produce 1 million doses a week.

The hope was to have the whole population vaccinated by October. Of course I am writing this from a later date that saw has seen a dramatic change to those projections but at the time there was great hope in these new arriving and administered vaccines.

On Sunday news came that the U.S. had approved the previously covered Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Vaccines were being dispersed throughout the world but the race was on.

Six billion people to be vaccinated or at least enough to reach herd immunity.

To stop the virus from continuing to mutate.

To stop one more person dying that could have been saved.

Logistically there was nothing like it. It was the greatest undertaking we had ever undertaken. Against the greatest crisis of our lifetimes.

The Indian government was racing to get an inital 300 million it most at risk vaccinated like police, defence, teachers, sanitation workers and health care staff. The next phase was to include people over 60 and those younger with underlying health care conditions. The vaccines being administered were AstraZeneca and the Indian produced Covaxin which had been rushed into service before trials were completed. The government aimed to reach a goal of 5 million jabs administered daily.

The Australian Broadcasting News reported on the recent uptick in cases in India following a lull. They cited a report that showed over half of New Delhi residents had developed COVID anti-bodies meaning so many people had caught COVID that the population was nearing achieiving herd immunity. To say nothing of the high amount of deaths. Worse yet that immunity would not protect against new variants in the community.

India was about to expereince a crashing second wave.

Their vaccine roll out continued in earnest.

On the 28th of February the World Health Organisation reported there had been 113,443,826 confirmed cases globally with a daily increase of 401,933.

There had been 2,525,729 deaths worldwide with a daily increase of 8,582.

In Australia there had been 28,965 confirmed cases with a daily increase of seven. There had been 909 deaths.

In Canada there had been 861,472 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 3,255. There had been 21,915 deaths with a daily increase of 50.

In the United Kindgom there had been 4,173,691 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 6,567. There had been 122,705 deaths with a daily increase of 290.

In India there had been 11,096,731 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 16,752. There had been 157,051 deaths with a daily increase of 113.

India had reached 11 million cases on the 22nd of February with 11,005,850.

Brazil had reached 10 million cases on the 20th of February with 10,030,626. Only three countries had reported 10 million or more cases. The South American nation had also reached 243,457 deaths the same day.

On the 28th of February in the United States of America there had been 28,174,978 confirmed cases with a daily increase of 72,812. There had been 506,760 deaths with a daily increase of 2,106.

-Lloyd Marken