10 million Covid cases, half a million deaths

The Covid case count has just topped ten million on Worldometer (it is currently 9.96 million at Reuters and 9.81 million at JHU but they will also pass 10 million today).

New case numbers climbed rapidly in March, levelled off, but then took off again late May and increased by 180,000 on Thursday and 194 thousand on Friday (current numbers are Saturday GMT).

This is just confirmed cases, there are likely to be many more than this.

A quarter of the cases – two and a half million – are in the United States. Numbers there had seemed to peak in April, dropped back a bit from there but have also surged again in the last week with the worst of the problem there moving to different states, where lockdowns were light or relaxed too soon.

Reuters: Florida, Arizona, Nevada hit daily highs for COVID-19 cases

Florida, Arizona and Nevada recorded daily highs for cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, highlighting the worsening spread of the virus in several southern and western states, prompting some of them to rollback their reopening plans.

The surge in cases has been most pronounced in a handful of southern and western states that reopened earlier and more aggressively, serving as a warning to the potentially illusory nature of any perceived progress in controlling the virus.

On Friday, as the United States recorded its largest daily case count of the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said the government’s current strategy for finding and isolating infected people was “not working,” partly due to significant asymptomatic spread.

The number of deaths world wide is also likely to pass half a million today as well (currently 499,001).

UPDATE: deaths now 500,533

And a quarter of those deaths are in the US (128,000).

It’s not just the deaths that are causing problems – Scientists just beginning to understand the many health problems caused by COVID-19

Scientists are only starting to grasp the vast array of health problems caused by the novel coronavirus, some of which may have lingering effects on patients and health systems for years to come, according to doctors and infectious disease experts.

Besides the respiratory issues that leave patients gasping for breath, the virus that causes COVID-19 attacks many organ systems, in some cases causing catastrophic damage.

“We thought this was only a respiratory virus. Turns out, it goes after the pancreas. It goes after the heart. It goes after the liver, the brain, the kidney and other organs. We didn’t appreciate that in the beginning,” said Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California.

In addition to respiratory distress, patients with COVID-19 can experience blood clotting disorders that can lead to strokes, and extreme inflammation that attacks multiple organ systems. The virus can also cause neurological complications that range from headache, dizziness and loss of taste or smell to seizures and confusion.

And recovery can be slow, incomplete and costly, with a huge impact on quality of life.

The broad and diverse manifestations of COVID-19 are somewhat unique, said Dr. Sadiya Khan, a cardiologist at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.

With influenza, people with underlying heart conditions are also at higher risk of complications, Khan said. What is surprising about this virus is the extent of the complications occurring outside the lungs.

Khan believes there will be a huge healthcare expenditure and burden for individuals who have survived COVID-19.

A lot of work is being done to try to deal with this. As world approaches 10 million coronavirus cases, doctors see hope in new treatments

Doctors say they’ve learned enough about the highly contagious virus to solve some key problems for many patients. The changes could be translating into more saved lives, although there is little conclusive data.

Nearly 30 doctors around the world, from New Orleans to London to Dubai, told Reuters they feel more prepared should cases surge again in the fall.

“​We are well-positioned for a second wave,” Patel said. “We know so much more.”

Doctors like Patel now have:

  • A clearer grasp of the disease’s side effects, like blood clotting and kidney failure
  • A better understanding of how to help patients struggling to breathe
  • More information on which drugs work for which kinds of patients.

They also have acquired new tools to aid in the battle, including:

  • Widespread testing
  • Promising new treatments like convalescent plasma, antiviral drugs and steroids
  • An evolving spate of medical research and anecdotal evidence, which doctors share across institutions, and sometimes across oceans.

Despite a steady rise in COVID-19 cases, driven to some extent by wider testing, the daily death toll from the disease is falling in some countries, including the United States. Doctors say they are more confident in caring for patients than they were in the chaotic first weeks of the pandemic, when they operated on nothing but blind instinct.

A vaccine is probably some time away from becoming widely available despite many teams of scientists working on one.

RNZ – Human trial of new vaccine begins in UK:

About 300 people will have the vaccine over the coming weeks, as part of a trial led by Prof Robin Shattock and his colleagues, at Imperial College London.

Tests in animals suggest the vaccine is safe and triggers an effective immune response.

Experts at Oxford University have already started human trials.

The trials are among many across the world – there are around 120 vaccine programmes under way.

Prof Shattock said: “We’ve been able to produce a vaccine from scratch and take it to human trials in just a few months.

“If our approach works and the vaccine provides effective protection against disease, it could revolutionise how we respond to disease outbreaks in future.”

Healthline: Here’s Exactly Where We Are with Vaccines and Treatments for COVID-19

These drugs are still being tested in clinical trials to see whether they’re effective against COVID-19. This step is needed to make sure the medications are safe for this particular use and what the proper dosage should be.

It could be months before treatments are available that are known to work against COVID-19. It could be even longer for a vaccine.

“Even though technological advances allow us to do certain things more quickly,” Lee told Healthline, “we still have to rely on social distancing, contact tracing, self-isolation, and other measures.”

And that is what we are relying on in New Zealand, with now stringent (after some hiccups) isolation and testing of people coming into the country. While the number of active cases is rising, having been on zero for a while, we have just 16 and they are all contained in quarantine, and are all new Zealand citizens or residents returning to the country.

Some semblance of normality has returned to the country, except for international travel. The borders will have too remain strictly limited and controlled probably for the rest of the year at least. Even the hoped for bubble with Australia looks to be some time away after a resurgence of cases in Victoria in particular.

Even Donald Trump seems constrained after a return to running political rallies proved to be not very popular with the population, and after a number of Covid cases hitting his organising team. And now Journalist who attended Oklahoma Trump rally tests positive for Covid-19

After a number of absurd claims about testing trump now seems to be trying to ignore Covid and belatedly divert – Trump says he is staying in Washington to protect law and order

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday canceled a planned weekend visit to his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, and said he was staying in Washington “to make sure LAW & ORDER is enforced.”

“The arsonists, anarchists, looters, and agitators have been largely stopped,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “I am doing what is necessary to keep our communities safe – and these people will be brought to Justice!”

Trump has pledged to take a hard line on anyone destroying or vandalizing historical U.S. monuments and has threatened to use force on some protesters, as activism against racial injustice sweeps the country.

What’s he going too do, personally pepper spray anyone who protests or criticises him? More diversion from the Covid crisis:

There are far more urgent health problems facing the US right now. He has done an abysmal job of leading the country worst affected by Covid and sadly for the US that doesn’t look like changing.

Trump’s decision to cancel his trip to New Jersey comes amid a spike in coronavirus cases in many states.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said the cancellation was not related to New Jersey’s requirement that visitors from states with high coronavirus infection rates self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Trump visited one of the states with high rates, Arizona, earlier this week.

Trump tweets while the country burns.

Other countries with major and growing Covid problems are Brazil, Peru, India, Russia and Mexico (which may have contracted the problem from neighbouring USA).

The pandemic is going to remain a big problem for some time to come.

 

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30 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  28th June 2020

    Many cases few deaths is the optimal outcome.

    Reply
    • Generally yes, but that’s complicated if there are significant medium and long term health problems for the survivors. There are indications this could be an issue with Covid.

      Reply
      • Some idiot in NZ was squawking that we’d have 10% of the population dying of it, which would mean that we’d double the international death rate. That sort of scaremongering is grossly irresponsible.

        Reply
        • And as they also imagined that we’d all have it, we’d have as many cases here as the rest of the world put together have, they were barmy as well.

          Reply
        • duperez

           /  28th June 2020

          There were some who wanted the least possible to be done. There were those who wanted the most possible done. (Possibly some who said we’d have hundreds of thousands die or in the US that there’d be millions die.)

          To use your extreme comment ‘some idiot in NZ was squawking that we’d have 10% of the population dying of it,’ there were also some in NZ squawking that lockdown would have hundreds committing suicide.

          The US president tried to create the impression, from the ‘least possible’ perspective, that there was nothing to worry about, that there’d be but a handful of deaths. Some of his people now claim success because there aren’t millions of deaths there.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  28th June 2020

            We have the Covid death data but not the suicide data. Why?

            We certainly have some extreme distress amongst migrant workers and other jobless in NZ.

            Reply
            • We have had suicides known to be because of the lockdown, like that butcher who saw his business, livelihood and all his hard work going down the drain.

  2. Pink David

     /  28th June 2020

    “Scientists are only starting to grasp the vast array of health problems caused by the novel coronavirus, some of which may have lingering effects on patients and health systems for years to come, according to doctors and infectious disease experts.”

    Great scare story. You could be forgiven you are keen to propagate the fear.

    How did the story about kawasaki disease pan out?

    Reply
    • Great diversion. Now divert on this:

      Pence has canceled his planned trip to Florida and Arizona. Seems the Covid spread, that he said was totally under control yesterday, is now not sufficiently under control for him to safely visit. What about the people living there?

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  28th June 2020

        OK. why are all the references to Florida and Arizona, but not California?

        https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/26/california-coronavirus-covid-19-cases

        Reply
        • Pence was going to Florida and Arizona, not California.

          And there’s plenty of concern in the media about the surge in CA. The very same article you linked to highlights that:

          “the fact that the number of hospitalizations are also increasing means that there’s more going on,” Riley said. As of Thursday, the number of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 is 32% higher than it was two weeks ago, Newsom reported. The number of patients in intensive care also increased 19% over the past fortnight – more than a third of ICU beds available across the state are now occupied by coronavirus patients.”

          Along with these comments:

          “There’s a group of people who go around bragging that they’re practicing individual freedom by not wearing masks,” Riley said. “These people are not practicing freedom – they’re practicing pure selfishness.”

          And:

          “As Donald Trump and rightwing politicians and media outlets derided masks as unnecessary, Dr Anthony Fauci, the health official leading the US response to coronavirus, told Californians who were skeptical of covering their faces in public to “forget the politics. Look at the data.” A string of new research released this summer suggests that masks can reduce the risks of spreading the virus, even if they’re far from foolproof.”

          Reply
          • Pink David

             /  28th June 2020

            “A string of new research released this summer suggests that masks can reduce the risks of spreading the virus, even if they’re far from foolproof.”

            So, from the start of this the narrative was masks are not useful, but you all must be locked in your homes at a massive cost in lives. All public health officials agreed that masks were not useful.

            Now masks are everything. How much of that research was in population work, or is it all narrow lab stuff? It’s not even a certified mask, it’s just a rag over your face they are recommending. Any random bit of cloth.

            I’ll repeat this, I’ve worked with hygienic and sterile facilities for decades, design, construction and commissioning of them. I’ve had people do research of behavior around gowning and hygienic control. It is a complex process and requires constant vigilance and control to keep risks at an acceptable level.

            Getting good outcomes even when people are paid very well to comply is not straightforward.

            Uncontrolled, general use in public with ‘any old rag’ is very likely going to create far more harm than good. There is strong evidence that this will increase the risks, not reduce them.

            One simple data point is that people wearing a mask will touch their face many more times than someone without a mask. You can add to that what happens to the bacterial load being collected in the mask? What is the impact of people breathing through that day after day? In a controlled environment these masks are changed and disposed of very frequently. That is not going to happen in public.

            “forget the politics. Look at the data.”

            I have. Nothing supports it.

            Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  28th June 2020

        What about the people living there?

        Same as elsewhere. Older and vulnerable people should take risk based precautions while younger ones get on with their lives. Happily that might mean hearing less about politicians.

        Reply
    • duperez

       /  28th June 2020

      Obviously scientists will only start to grasp the vast array of health problems and effects caused by the novel coronavirus as time goes by. Not contentious at all.

      Great scare story? The scary thing was, and is, the stupidity of those with no knowledge or experience blathering on as if they know about the science involved. Naturally professionals will differ in their opinions but the uninformed would pick some expert they chose as the right horse in the race and start rubbishing other experts. They then use social media to turn themselves into authorities

      The media, desperate for any angle would find any smidgen of a possibility of a line and that became the latest big thing. I’m surprised no-one’s come up with some notion of how there are similarities and interesting connections between the virus and ringworm.

      What happened to Kawasaki disease? Well, that’s part of “scientists are only starting to grasp the vast array of health problems caused by the novel coronavirus, some of which may have lingering effects on patients and health systems for years to come, according to doctors and infectious disease experts.”

      https://time.com/5842902/covid-19-kawasaki-disease/
      https://www.dicardiology.com/article/kawasaki-inflammatory-disease-affects-children-covid-19

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  28th June 2020

        Null hypothesis applies.

        “The scary thing was, and is, the stupidity of those with no knowledge or experience blathering on as if they know about the science involved.”

        Yes, you leave it to the experts you chose to listen too. Stay in your hobbit hole. This is your new normal. Do what you are told. 15 years ago I cleaned up a mess left by ‘experts’ reacting to an epidemic. The actions of those ‘experts’ resulted in dozens of people killing themselves. The ‘experts’ were wrong, and some of those same experts have been pivotal in these lockdowns for Covid.

        There are very many scientists who are very much against the lockdowns, Why do you think you do not hear from them? One of the very best is currently warning about how social distancing is creating a serious risk of very bad future flu epidemics, there is plenty of good evidence for that. Did you miss that?

        Instead the media feed you speculation about kawasaki disease.

        Reply
        • duperez

           /  28th June 2020

          There is plenty of good evidence for all sorts of things. About masks for instance. Some people say they are a waste of time, others something totally different. What do people do? What do community and civic leaders do? Shrug their shoulders and say “make up your own mind, do what you want?”

          The simplistic “what about Kawasaki disease?” and ‘the media feeding us speculation about that’? For scientists involved in the medical and research world that is interesting, not just as an academic exercise but in furthering understanding. Possibly there is critical learning to be done regarding that.

          The media? As I said before, they’re ‘desperate for any angle would find any smidgen of a possibility of a line and that became the latest big thing.’ Some people involved in the scientific world, from their knowledge base, drew some links with Kawasaki disease and said something about it. Should they not have said say anything? Should they not investigate and research it? Should the media not have reported it?

          Reply
          • Pink David

             /  28th June 2020

            “Should the media not have reported it?”
            The media chose what to report and control people’s reactions in that way. Mostly peaceful protests in the UK injure dozens of police, while riots the week later injure 6.

            News isn’t what you think it is.

            In the graph below there are 36,000 excess deaths in the US from the lockdowns. Not from Covid, from the lockdown.

            Does the media report this? The UK has similar, somewhat higher numbers. Seen it on the ‘news’?

            Reply
            • duperez

               /  28th June 2020

              News isn’t what I think it is and the media choose ‘what to report and control people’s reactions in that way’?

              You started the chat about the media by criticising it being in the media that “Scientists are only starting to grasp the vast array of health problems caused by the novel coronavirus … according to doctors and infectious disease experts.”

              You have it as a ‘Great scare story.’ Then you go on about Kawasaki Disease. “How did the story about Kawasaki disease pan out?” seems to be chucked in there as some criticism of the media. Why?

              At the end you put up other stuff you think should be in the media. They choose what stories to put up for their own reasons. You seem to have it that it is to control people’s reactions.

              Maybe they put up, “Scientists are only starting to grasp the vast array of health problems caused by the novel coronavirus, some of which may have lingering effects on patients and health systems for years to come, according to doctors and infectious disease experts” because that is the case, is real and widens public perspectives of the situation.

              Criticise them for their omissions and mistakes sure, but your criticism on here is all over the shop.

            • Pink David

               /  28th June 2020

              “You have it as a ‘Great scare story.’ Then you go on about Kawasaki Disease. “How did the story about Kawasaki disease pan out?” seems to be chucked in there as some criticism of the media. Why?”

              One thing we know with a high degree of certainty is Covid has almost no impact on children. None. The UK, for example, still has schools closed causing great harm. The Kawasaki story is intended to seed fear. There is nothing too it, it is empty speculation. That is, however not what the headlines say.

              Once again, all the actual evidence we have is that Covid has effectively no impact on children. Flu is far more dangerous to those under 45.

              “vast array of health problems caused by the novel coronavirus”

              There is no truth to this. It is conjecture and speculation that reinforces the fear. Ten of thousands are actually dying as a result of lockdowns around the world. Where is what headline?

              “You seem to have it that it is to control people’s reactions.”

              Driving fear absolutely controls peoples reactions.

  3. Pink David

     /  28th June 2020

    Lots of reason to celebrate. The US is back to average all cause mortality.

    Reply
  4. Pink David

     /  28th June 2020

    So much good news.
    “CDC Confirms Extremely Low COVID-19 Death Rate
    For the first time, the CDC has attempted to offer a real estimate of the overall death rate for COVID-19, and under its most likely scenario, the number is 0.26%”

    https://technocracy.news/cdc-confirms-extremely-low-covid-19-death-rate/

    Reply
  5. Pink David

     /  28th June 2020

    Reply
  6. Pink David

     /  28th June 2020

    This is one for those sold on the lockdowns. Care to explain?

    Reply

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