Covid-19 daily post: 6 more cases, 1 more death

I’m doing this a bit different, starting early to put things of interest on before the daily update at 1 pm.

Study Of Hydroxychloroquine As Coronavirus Treatment Finds More Deaths, No Benefit

A malaria drug widely touted by President Donald Trump for treating the new coronavirus showed no benefit in a large analysis of its use in U.S. veterans hospitals. There were more deaths among those given hydroxychloroquine versus standard care, researchers reported.

The nationwide study was not a rigorous experiment. But with 368 patients, it’s the largest look so far of hydroxychloroquine with or without the antibiotic azithromycin for COVID-19, which has killed more than 171,000 people as of Tuesday.

Researchers analyzed medical records of 368 male veterans hospitalized with confirmed coronavirus infection at Veterans Health Administration medical centers who died or were discharged by April 11.

About 28% who were given hydroxychloroquine plus usual care died, versus 11% of those getting routine care alone. About 22% of those getting the drug plus azithromycin died too, but the difference between that group and usual care was not considered large enough to rule out other factors that could have affected survival.

Hydroxychloroquine made no difference in the need for a breathing machine, either.

Researchers did not track side effects, but noted a hint that hydroxychloroquine might have damaged other organs. The drug has long been known to have potentially serious side effects, including altering the heartbeat in a way that could lead to sudden death.

Earlier this month, scientists in Brazil stopped part of a study testing chloroquine, an older drug similar to hydroxychloroquine, after heart rhythm problems developed in one-quarter of people given the higher of two doses being tested.

While “The nationwide study was not a rigorous experiment” it adds to the knowledge on hydroxychloroquine. This has been reported by a number of media.

Fox News:  Kentucky sees record spike in coronavirus cases days after lockdown protests

Kentucky witnessed its highest daily spike in coronavirus cases Sunday – just days after hundreds of protesters broke social distancing measures and gathered outside the state capitol building to demand Gov. Andy Beshear reopen the economy.

Despite the demonstrations, Beshear, a Democrat, said Kentucky would not begin incrementally reopening the economy or easing its lockdown restrictions until seeing a downward trajectory of reported coronavirus cases for at least 14 days.

It was not immediately clear whether the surge in cases was linked to the protests.

Police have charged nearly 4000 people with breaching lockdown restrictions, many in the days before the prime minister announced the change next week to alert level 3. As the country entered the final week of alert level 4, there were increased reports of people stepping out of their bubbles, congregating in public areas and not obeying physical distancing rules.

RNZ have bits from the Epidemic response Committee today: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/414800/covid-19-live-updates-from-new-zealand-and-around-the-world-on-22-april


Daily update from Dr Ashley Bloomfield

6 new cases (all confirmed), the total now 1,451

3 new cases linked to travel, 3 linked to known clusters.

Another death from Rosewood Rest Home, a woman in her 80s, total deaths now 14.

1,036 recovered now,

11 in hospital, 2 in ICU (both stable)

A record 5,289 tests were completed yesterday, total tests now 94,497

Health Order amended

The following order requires premises to be closed, with the exception of essential businesses, and prohibits mass gatherings.

On 21 April an amendment was made to this order to allow businesses to carry out necessary work ahead of New Zealand moving to Alert Level 3.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Safety for schools and workplaces remains paramount as some prepare to re-open.

Ardern disagrees with the Medical Association describing the flu vaccine as a debacle, saying they started the programme sooner than normal (but that doesn’t explain distribution problems).

See ODT Live: Govt criticised over flu vaccine ‘debacle’, Covid funding

The roll-out of the flu vaccine which saw doctors go without for up to 10 days without supply has been described as a “debacle” and “total disaster” by the NZ Medical Association.

And the block of second tranche of funding to GPs could see some practices and doctors without work by next week, the association’s chair Kate Baddock warned the Epidemic Response Committee today.

The NZ Medical Association, Aged Care Association, Pharmacy Guild, Disability Support Network, Dental Association and epidemiologist Professor David Skegg  were making submissions to the committee, which assesses the Government’s response to the coronavirus. The committee is chaired by Opposition leader Simon Bridges.

Dr Kate Baddock said the issues with the roll-out of flu vaccine meant her practice went without for 10 days while they had 4000 vulnerable people they needed to vaccinate.

“The flu vaccine was a complete debacle – there’s absolutely no doubt about that,” she told the committee.

And news that Cabinet had stopped another tranche of funding to keep GPs will have an immediate impact on practices, she said, with some GPs who are going to be out of work by the end of the week.

“We are very much hand to mouth in terms of cash flow … when that cash no longer flows because we have delayed payments because of virtual consultations … that cashflow which funds out staffing requirements is just not there.”

She said the ministry, DHBs and minister all agreed on the funding before lockdown but “have reneged on that expectation”.

There have been 4128 breaches of the CDM and Health Acts under the level four lockdown
– 433 have been prosecutions, 3580 official warnings and 115 youth referrals

As at 9.00 am, 22 April 2020
Total Change in last 24 hours
Number of confirmed cases in New Zealand 1,113 6
Number of probable cases 338 0
Number of confirmed and probable cases 1,451 6
Number of cases currently in hospital 11 -1
Number of recovered cases 1,036 30
Number of deaths 14 1

There will be an announcement tomorrow on what rules will be in place for hunters under the level three lockdown.

Will the election go ahead in September? There’s time to access the right alert level for an election to be held – Ardern hints at Level 2 – but decisions will need to be made by some time in June.

Dr Bloomfield – we have not just got down to a very small number of new cases, but more importantly all the new cases are now coming from known sources.

Ardern is expecting that Minister of Health David Clark and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters will return to Parliament in Wellington under Level 3 next week.

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60 Comments

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  22nd April 2020

        Had a skim through it. Not peer reviewed yet and acknowledges significant differences in the three groups compared without identifying what they were. Seems a bit peculiar to then report the raw outcomes without any adjustment for those differences though reportedly statistical analyses of them were run. Also previous reports were on the drug being administered in combination with zinc as well as the antibiotic. Still it doesn’t look like a life saver.

        Reply
  1. In the highly unlikely event the usual suspects here would ever want to wear a face mask, here are some useful test findings:

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/best-coronavirus-face-mask-materials-new-study_l_5e99b576c5b6a92100e63129

    Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  22nd April 2020

    ‘Police have charged nearly 4000 people with breaching lockdown restrictions, many in the days before the prime minister announced the change next week to alert level ‘

    Unfortunately there are many,selfish, people concerned solely with their own wants who are happy to jeopardise their communities well being .
    If you know of any remind them of the seriousness of the situation or…report them.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  22nd April 2020

      My cousin-in-law is an AA patrol officer, an essential service. Although the Main Road in Tawa is quiet (most people out and about are walking or running – either alone or in their “family bubble” groups.

      But he told me the other that when he’s going to callouts, some suburbs are nearly as full of cars driving the streets as in pre-lockdown days. “You can bet all of them have shopping lists on them, but most of them aren’t going shopping”, he said.

      Reply
    • Pink David

       /  22nd April 2020

      “Unfortunately there are many,selfish, people concerned solely with their own wants who are happy to jeopardise their communities well being”

      Does this not perfectly describe all those you are happy to see most of NZ put under house arrest simply out of fear of a minor virus?

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  22nd April 2020

        Ask them in Wuhan about a minor virus and the interesting way it was eventually controlled

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  22nd April 2020

          “minor virus ”

          This thing.

          ” interesting way it was eventually controlled”

          Is not this thing.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  22nd April 2020

            ‘Minor virus’ update
            “Coronavirus deaths in the US top 45,000, doubling in a week”

            Doubling in a week . These are often only ‘hospital deaths’

            Reply
            • Pink David

               /  22nd April 2020

              “Coronavirus deaths in the US top 45,000, doubling in a week”

              This is a lie. The deaths are ‘with’ Covid, not from. We simply don’t know the from. The simple fact is old people with serious medical conditions die. This has clearly come as a huge surprise to many.

              The 45,000 deaths you quote barely make a blip in normal mortality in the US.

            • Blazer

               /  22nd April 2020

              @PD…why is everyone lying,why are they exaggerating the effect of this virus?
              Do you think it is a cover for the impending collapse of the western financial ponzi scheme that has escalated since the GFC.?

            • Duker

               /  22nd April 2020

              So low deaths in Greece are a lie , high deaths in US are a lie .
              I think your ‘barely a blip ‘ is the lie

              NY times has charted various countries ‘usual deaths’ for this time of year
              England and Wales top left

            • Pink David

               /  22nd April 2020

              When you put it into actual context….

            • Pink David

               /  22nd April 2020

              More and more evidence that the lockdowns are killing thousands of people.

            • Duker

               /  22nd April 2020

              Cumulative deaths …14 weeks .
              No country has detailed deaths data till years later. But then you have taken up the whacko idea deaths from road accidents can only be from the force of impact itself and not related causes and applied it to Covid 19 diseases deaths.

              NZ only had 2017 deaths by ICD data completed by 2019, Im sure you know this

      • US deaths attributed to COVID-19.

        Anyone who thinks this is minor is a jerk.

        8 weeks ago: 0 deaths
        7 weeks ago: 9 deaths
        6 weeks ago: 31 deaths
        5 weeks ago: 111 deaths
        4 weeks ago: 704 deaths
        3 weeks ago: 3,834 deaths
        2 weeks ago: 12,895 deaths
        1 week ago: 26,033 deaths
        Right now: 45,039 deaths

        Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  22nd April 2020

      If you can find anyone who caught the virus while driving a car, please tell us B.

      Easier to catch it listening to someone talking b.s. I bet.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  22nd April 2020

        you’ve got both bases covered then Al.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  22nd April 2020

          True, my car is also a bs-free zone. I get more sense from my dogs than Lurch does from his radio.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  22nd April 2020

            You dont understand how quarantine works – movement is restricted.
            Werent you worried about the call from the cops after someone dobbed you in for your harbourside idyll with sun set views and lights on at night ?

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  22nd April 2020

              Not in the slightest. I’m entitled to walk my dog even under moron rules. Also to sue for unlawful arrest if necessary.

            • Duker

               /  22nd April 2020

              You know the call wasnt about walking your dog

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  22nd April 2020

              If you are talking about the police phone call you are even more totally and randomly clueless than usual. The cop asked for a Moslem name, had no idea who I was, didn’t ask even my name, and the whole call lasted about 20 seconds.

            • Duker

               /  22nd April 2020

              Just confirms to the ‘tracing cop’ its tracked to the same location as holiday lets

  3. David

     /  22nd April 2020

    Why are we using taxpayers money to run a test on the Trump drug ?

    “New Zealand hospitals are hosting three clinical trials exploring potential treatments – including much-touted hydroxychloroquine – for Covid-19.

    The trials are among 13 new studies, also exploring point-of-care testing and self-isolation, just awarded nearly $4 million through an urgent Health Research Council (HRC) funding round.

    One trial, led by Auckland City Hospital intensive care specialist Dr Colin McArthur, will test immune modulation treatments as well as anti-viral drugs for their effectiveness in critically ill Covid-19 patients.”

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  22nd April 2020

      ‘Why are we using taxpayers money to run a test on the Trump drug’
      ‘my money is on Trump touted Remdesivir ‘

      Good work David.

      Reply
    • Pink David

       /  22nd April 2020

      A friend of mine has started clinical trials on hydroxychloroquine in Adelaide. His view it is far more likely to be useful than not. He has spent 30 years researching treatments for flu’s and colds.

      The plus side of hydroxychloroquine is that it is already a very well understood drug that has been around a long time and there is little down side to it use where appropriate.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  22nd April 2020

        What has he discovered in those 30 years?

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  22nd April 2020

          Relenza, the first neuraminidase inhibitor. This technology underpins all the influenza pandemic stockpiles.

          Does that satisfy you?

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  22nd April 2020

            ‘The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation is an Australian federal government agency responsible for scientific research. CSIRO works with leading organisations around the world. From its headquarters in Canberra, CSIRO maintains more than 50 sites across Australia and in France, Chile and the United States, employing about 5,500 people.Wikipedia

            Reply
            • Pink David

               /  22nd April 2020

              Are you satisfy Blazer? Has answering your question given you the respectability you where seeking?

            • Duker

               /  22nd April 2020

              https://csiropedia.csiro.au/relenza/
              It seems Peter Colman , who now works in Melbourne was the ‘guy’ behind relenza, but these things are a team effort

            • Pink David

               /  22nd April 2020

              Correct. They are a team effort. But there is always a driving force, who is indeed Peter.

              Are his credentials to everyone’s satisfaction?

            • Blazer

               /  22nd April 2020

              Colman can’t be PD’s friend…the discovery was over 30 years ago.

            • Duker

               /  22nd April 2020

              And Colman works in Melbourne at a Cancer research Institute
              https://www.wehi.edu.au/people/peter-colman
              I cant see him halting all his current work in his lab. maybe hes advising others in Adelaide on their work. But someone of that calibre he would mainly work on the hardest problems ..clinical trials of a well known drug in a new area sounds like an average team could handle it..average by medical research standards which is far higher than most research

            • Pink David

               /  22nd April 2020

              Give him a call.

      • Duker

         /  22nd April 2020

        “already a very well understood drug that has been around a long time and there is little down side to it use ”
        That will be the principle reason for testing it. But for a disease which has huge variation in symptoms- from didnt know I had it , to hypoxia.
        Having almost all patients on trial recover without hospital intervention just mimics the effects of the disease. Of course the standard method is to have a large trial and give a placebo to half ….I dont think this has been done yet for obvious reasons.
        men are more likely to die than women , theres the many other factors ( previous BCG immunisation) that I cant see conclusive results way way down the track

        Reply
  4. AG Barr Threatens DOJ Could Take Action Against States With Strict Coronavirus Rules

    Attorney General William Barr said in an interview on Tuesday that the Justice Department will consider taking legal action against governors who don’t follow President Trump’s guidelines for reopening the country and continue to impose strict coronavirus lockdowns in their states after the crisis subsides.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/sergeiklebnikov/2020/04/21/ag-barr-threatens-doj-could-take-action-against-states-with-strict-coronavirus-rules/#3166bc041901

    Reply
  5. Pink David

     /  22nd April 2020

    This is fun. The NHS, in it’s lockdown policy, clear many hospitals of the elderly patients by moving them to rest homes. That was regardless of them having Covid-19 or not.

    This is still NHS policy. Unless the patient is ill enough to require hospital care, they are still discharged into the most at risk environment possible.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-stepdown-of-infection-control-precautions-within-hospitals-and-discharging-covid-19-patients-from-hospital-to-home-settings/guidance-for-stepdown-of-infection-control-precautions-and-discharging-covid-19-patients

    Do you think anyone who came up with this insane policy will ever be held to account?

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  22nd April 2020

      The UK NHS is showing the brainless incompetent idiocy of bureaucratic control. At the same time its front line medics have run out of PPE the private sector is exporting container loads of PPE because the NHS refuses to buy from them.

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  22nd April 2020

        Clear the hospital
        Clear the hospital
        Clear the hospital
        Clear the hospital
        Clear the hospital
        Clear the hospital
        Clear the hospital

        This lockdown has killed thousands.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  22nd April 2020

          once again…
          @PD…why is everyone lying,why are they exaggerating the effect of this virus?
          Do you think it is a cover for the impending collapse of the western financial ponzi scheme that has escalated since the GFC.?

          Reply
      • Pink David

         /  22nd April 2020

        “because the NHS refuses to buy from them.”

        The NHS has 47,000 procurement staff.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  22nd April 2020

          Boris Johnson is in charge.

          Reply
          • Pink David

             /  22nd April 2020

            “Boris Johnson is in charge.”

            Boris’s plan was sound. He made a terrible mistake when he threw it out on the advice of all the experts.

            The policies currently being enacted in the UK are under the control of experts.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  22nd April 2020

              did he do that before or after he was admitted to…I.CU?

            • Duker

               /  22nd April 2020

              Another day and he could have been dead….the hypoxia from covid related pneumonia works like that ..they are talking and otherwise alert but blood oxygen is so low if it was ‘normal’ pneumonia he would be nearly comatose and low chance of survival
              Plus he also got advantage of newer treatment rather than a general anesthetic for a week and a tube connecting him to a ventilator.

        • Why were these people in hospital ?

          If they needed to be, why are they being chucked out ?

          If they didn’t need to be, why are they there ?

          Reply
  6. 6 more cases, 1 more death today (total deaths now 14)

    Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  22nd April 2020

    My model has been tweaked a little. I found an error which was double counting international arrivals when counting infectiousness. I modified the calculation to use R0 directly so as to compare it with international estimates. And I dropped the assumption that testing delays changed on 16 March. I also dropped the attempt to model the curve before 16 March as the numbers were so small and random looking.
    https://1drv.ms/x/s!AuhKWHlH5hzQhN507FQv1VbLRzs3mw?e=RtFXxn

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  22nd April 2020

      The interesting bits are the R0 = 2.6 pretty consistent with international findings, so too the 5 days between infection and infectiousness with a further day delay to detection.

      But the isolation factor of about 0.5 halving the R0 impact to 1.3 is insufficient to stop the spread of the disease and that is shown in the predicted future curves in the chart. What is stopping the spread is contact tracing and isolation and that is mainly what has sent the infectivity (green line) downwards. When it stops (at present just lack of data) the green line heads upwards. The pulses in the line are the consequence of earlier pulses in the international arrivals as travellers rushed home.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  22nd April 2020

      Why have community infections so high… dont you mean didnt arrive from overseas with disease.
      Community infection according to MOH seems to mean ‘not connected to a cluster’
      is that just a nomenclature thing .
      But zero Community infection is agoal number to show we can go to a lower level of lockdown, as the small extension this weekend showed after the 4 CI from Monday

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  22nd April 2020

        Yes, the model has no data on clusters. It treats all non-arrival infections as community infections.

        The institutional cluster infections seem largely what has kept the R value so high through the lockdown.

        Reply
  8. Gezza

     /  22nd April 2020

    Driving back from ma’s place this afternoon reminded of something I’ve noticed recently around Tawa because there were so many of them today.

    There are a lot of very pleased-looking women out & about walking, smiling, & chatting happily away to their husbands or partners, where previously they’d be out walking & with their female friends.

    Reply
  9. Gezza

     /  22nd April 2020

    1News at 6 tonite was interesting. They focussed most, I thought, for the first time on the various complaints & issues that are now coming to the fore, & in particular were critical of Jacinda’s response to a question at her briefing today when she told reporters that there are plenty of stocks of flu vaccinations, now widely available, & earlier this year than usual.

    After being told that numerous GPs & patients are saying they cannot get enuf flu shots for their areas, 1News showed a 1-2 second clip of Jacinda dismissing those reports as untrue, saying simply that she “did not accept the premise of the question”.

    In typical lamestream tv media fashion, we didn’t get to hear the reporter’s question or anything else but that one sentence, so we don’tbknow the full context. But they took a negative angle, the implication being that she was untruthful, spinning, or just wrong.

    Reply

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