Good News and Bad

The Good 
The number of new cases in the UK continue to fall, and yesterday saw the first (very small) fall in the 7 day death rate.
Vaccine roll out is accelerating with over 9% of the population of the UK having had their first jab.
Travel into the UK is now much stricter.

The Bad
The actual death rate for England is still very high (141 per million per week) but worryingly Portugal now has the highest death rate in the world (157) and their new cases are still rising. This is probably the new Brazil variant which has been causing concern.

The Worse
In a previous post I recorded how mortality appears to be increasing.  Here is an update on the figures.

New Deaths this week / New cases two weeks ago

Using this formula:-

  • France has gone from 1.5% to 3.6%. Now at 3.3%
  • Germany from 1.1% to 3.4%. Now at 4.41%
  • Austria from 1.4% to 3.7%. Now at 2.13%
  • Belgium from 1.1% to 4.5%. Now at 3.34%
  • Italy from 2.1% to 3%. Now at 3.05%
  • The U.K from 1.8% to 3.1%. Now at 2.37%
  • England from 1.7% to 3.1%. Now at 2.44%
  • Northern Ireland from 1.5% to 2.5%. Now at 0.99%
  • Scotland from 2.9% to 3.2%. Now at 2.73%
  • Wales from 1.9% to 2.8%. Now at 1.63%
  • The USA from 1.4% to 1.3%. Now at 1.65%
  • Portugal from 1.75% 20th Dec on to 4.92% Now

The accepted mortality rate for the virus is around 1.2%. The overall increase could be due to:-

  1. More people dying as the hospitals are swamped,
  2. Less people presenting to be tested for the virus,
  3. New strains of the virus are more lethal,

or a combination of all of the above.
3. would be the worst case, especially as the new stragins are more contagious

The Data

We can see that the number of new cases has been dropping since week ending 10th January in the UK and Ireland following the Christmas spike.  Portugal’s new cases are still climbing and showing no sign of plateauing yet.

The Christmas spikes in new cases, has led inevitably to a spike in deaths 2-3 weeks later.  Hopefully this is the UK’s peak. Portugal’s death rate can be expected to rise still further over the next three weeks – at least.

We have to hope that the government can keep the Brazil variant out of the UK while the NHS roll the vaccine out AND that the current vaccine works against it.