I was on Sky News earlier where I explained why I thought test 4 (new variant test) for the next stage of the roadmap had not been met, because of B.1.617.2 (the so called "Indian" variant of concern). 1/5
I then also said what I, personally, thought that meant for next steps.
Added to these must be much more support for local teams to beat outbreaks *and* proper financial & practical support for those who test positive & contacts. Once in place, could enable safer opening. 2/5
@markaustintv pointed out that people would be shouting at the telly hearing me suggest delaying Monday's opening... this is what I said about that. 3/5
The govt set out 4 tests for proceeding each stage of the roadmap. Tests 1 & 2 relate to vaccination, test 3 is hospitals in no danger of being overwhelmed and test 4 is that there are no new variant concerns.
Test 1-3 have been (easily) met, but I don't think Test 4 has. 2/18
Last Friday, Public Health England designated B.1.617.2 (an "Indian" variant) as a variant of concern because of worries that it was more transmissible than B.1.1.7 ("Kent") and cos we didn't know much about its response to vaccines.
It's become a VOC because it's been spreading so fast - and in the community.
PHE are pretty sure (MODERATE) it's *at least* as transmissible as our dominant "Kent" variant (B117) (RED rating). They are worried (AMBER) it might have some immune escape but don't know yet (LOW)
First, note that as overall cases have come down, we're sequencing *more* community cases - since early March about 50% of all postive PCR cases. This means estimates of spread are pretty good. And less bias from traveller data (all traveller +ves sequenced).
TLDR things are looking pretty good right now. Caveat is variants (which is a whole other thread). 1/16
Overall UK cases are hoevering at just over 2K a day and back to levels back at the end of last summer. We can see drop over Easter hols (partly due to less testing) - but clear that opening outdoor spaces & shops has not caused an uptick (good!!). 2/16
Looking at types of tests done, clear upticks in twice weekly rapid LFDs when schools are open.
The drop off in LFDs over last few weeks also obv. School kids doing them less? other people? no idea. But clearly govt aim for loads of people to do them not happening. 3/16
New paper led by @SarahESeaton from the @DEPICT_Study team - we analysed over 9,000 transports of critically sick children from local hospitals to paediatric intensive care units...
DEPICT, led by @pic_pram , has been such a great study to work on. 1/6
There are two main ways you can do this: "scoop and run" where you get the child to PICU as fast as possible or "stabilise first" where you spend some time (often hours) at the local hospital treating the child there before transport. 2/6
Of course it's not quite that simple - for very sick children you just *have* to stabilise at the local hospital before transport, so patients with longer stabilisation times tend to be sicker.
Once you account for that there is no significant difference in mortality 3/6
FRIDAY GOOD NEWS THREAD:
how about some positivity?
Here's a brief overview of state of Covid in UK right now.
TLDR: pretty good, couple of things to keep an eye on. 1/13
Case rates are below 50/100,000 people/week in all nations (orange), dropping from prev week (grey) and approaching levels last seen Sept 1 last year (green). 2/13
England is the flattest in terms of case rates and this is reflected regionally (orange and grey dots close together). Yorks & Humber still highest region, confirmed by the ONS infection survey too. 3/13
The Sanger Institute has just released webpages that let you explore genomes that they sequences every week...
I had a look - two variants are currently growing "S Africa" and "India" but v small numbers. 1/7
This chart show the numbers of potentially worrying variants sequenced each week.
The recent rapid growth of the India variant (B1617) & the highish, steadier, numbers of S African variant (B1351) are clear (not great).
Brazil variant (P1) almost negligible (good!). 2/7
These are small numbers.
But S African & Indian variants are growing in the context of overall numbers going down. So the *proportion* of sequenced cases that are these two variants is going *up* - and for the Indian variant - going up A LOT.
However, this has not happened. Govt messaging around a cautious opening has been counterbalanced by the focus on the dates of the roadmap, lack of emphasis on protective behaviours & (partial!) vax numbers.
And sure enough, adherence is dropping - particularly in over 50s. 2/3
Yes, numbers are ok here right now - but soon we open up a LOT more indoor mixing.
Chile shows how opening too fast, even with high vax, can cause bad surges requiring new lockdown.
We need better communication - esp after THAT daily express letter.
Japan is going through a major new Covid wave and this potentially puts the Olympics later this summer at real risk... (and of course Japan's large population!) 1/4
The sequencing data for Japan is sparse, but it does seem as if B117 (the "Kent, UK" variant) has become dominant there over last couple of months and that this might be behind the recent increase. 2/4