Good call to offer this option of a 2nd booster https://t.co/lsOpyPKIUs by @SharonLNYT
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) March 26, 2022
Covid vaccinations—including boosters —have fallen to lowest levels since 2020. Fewer people in the U.S. are getting vaccinated even as another surge may be imminent. #Omicron sibling BA.2 is rekindling waves of infection in many parts of the world https://t.co/J0Kb4drY0Y
— delthia ricks ? (@DelthiaRicks) March 26, 2022
Shanghai's COVID 'slice and grid' model comes under pressure as cases surge https://t.co/PzDlos7KDG pic.twitter.com/vIDXV75tWZ
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 25, 2022
Shanghai’s bespoke approach to tackling coronavirus outbreaks is coming under strain as new cases rise in the Chinese metropolis, with authorities reluctant to impose a comprehensive lockdown as other cities have done.
The city of 26 million has become a testing ground for China’s ability to control flare-ups of the more contagious but less deadly Omicron variant while keeping the economy steady in an approach it describes as “slicing and gridding”, which involves screening neighbourhoods one by one.
Shanghai’s handling of the latest COVID-19 wave was an opportunity to showcase its virus-tackling ability without imposing the blanket closures that have brought major Chinese cities such as Xian and Changchun to a standstill…
Shanghai’s locally transmitted asymptomatic infections surged to a record 1,582 on March 24, up from 979 a day earlier, but just 29 new symptomatic cases were recorded, up from 4.
“Shanghai feels it cannot do a city-wide lockdown because it is not only tantamount to admitting the failure of the Shanghai model, but also feels like it is disobeying Xi Jinping’s directive,” said Yanzhong Huang, global health specialist at the Council On Foreign Relations, a U.S. think tank.
Shanghai is caught between the need to stay as close to “zero-COVID” as possible while keeping the country’s most important financial hub ticking over.
“You can have all this policy innovation, but it is all subject to the constraints of zero-COVID,” Huang said.
This is nuts. 3.5 million people positive with SARS-CoV-2 in the last week in England. 1 in 16 people. In Scotland this is 1 in 11. We're at the level of the infections at the previous omicron peak in England & have exceeded it in Scotland & Wales. ? pic.twitter.com/YCTmNUghvP
— Dr. Deepti Gurdasani (@dgurdasani1) March 25, 2022
#LongCovid symptoms may depend on which variant you caught. New study finds different symptoms in the #alpha wave compared w/ initial coronavirus wave. During alpha shortness of breath & brain fog were common. In prior wave absence of taste/smell dominated https://t.co/DMsU9nzF5M
— delthia ricks ? (@DelthiaRicks) March 25, 2022
… Researchers, biotech companies and public health experts say major pharmaceutical companies are integral to getting a proven treatment for the disease, which currently afflicts more than 100 million people, according to the World Health Organization.
“When you look at the numbers for heart failure, for diabetes, etc, that is the ballpark we are talking about,” said Amitava Banerjee, a leading researcher on a long COVID trial.
Long COVID, with some 200 reported afflictions that include fatigue, chest pain and brain fog, is defined by symptoms that last longer than 3 months. It sidelines people who have had both mild and severe COVID-19, including children. In the United States, it is estimated to have affected 1-in-7 working age adults…
“We are getting to the stage where we are getting traction, and for people suffering, we are getting treatments tested,” said David Strain, a University of Exeter Medical School lecturer whose research has informed which treatments will be tested in a major British trial. “Hopefully we will have things we can we offer them to get their lives back to normal in the near future.”
Big pharmaceutical companies are looking for disease-specific biomarkers that would allow them to assess the value of tested medicines, experts say.
“What they’re struggling with is a case definition for long COVID,” said Dr. Amy Proal, an expert in post-viral diseases at the PolyBio Research Foundation in Mercer Island, Washington. She said she has held confidential meetings with two venture capital groups and one major pharmaceutical company…
Possible underlying causes researchers are studying include damage from the original infection, lingering reservoirs of virus in the body, an autoimmune response, in which the immune system attacks its own cells, and a dysregulated immune response causing excess inflammation that damages small blood vessels or nerves. It could be a combination of those or other factors, they say…
This is so distressing. People should not be taking out their anger over how the pandemic has disrupted normal life on health workers, public health officials or scientists studying the problem. These are the people guiding us through this event. https://t.co/2VdYrIm9eS
— Helen Branswell ?? (@HelenBranswell) March 25, 2022
Nearly a year after COVID vaccines became freely available to U.S. adults, one fourth of American adults remain unvaccinated. The cost of vaccine hesitancy includes financial risks for individuals, companies and publicly funded programs https://t.co/saepMi5T07 via @jschney pic.twitter.com/eKwuKNhr04
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 25, 2022
I honestly wonder how many more Americans…left and right…would be alive now if the first wave hit the midwest instead of the northeast.
So many died just to own those stuck up libs in New York. https://t.co/ZGb6Vt0VFe
— zeddy (@Zeddary) March 25, 2022
U.S. Supreme Court backs Navy in fight with anti-vaccine SEALs https://t.co/v7bOHTYX8O pic.twitter.com/zm3ExZ0igT
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 26, 2022
(Thomas, Alito & Gorsuch dissenting)
Seems like a good bet that the Supreme Court will also reverse other wacky decisions mandating the deployment of unvaccinated troops—including the notorious ruling that's literally preventing the Navy from deploying a guided-missile destroyer. https://t.co/uy6cur1O2c
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) March 25, 2022
Locally, as of 60 minutes ago,
(Link from earlier this month.) Will yours truly be going maskless in the immediate future? Not on your tintype.
Meanwhile (expanding on something up top),
In order to provide timely, effective targeted medical intervention, what is being done to distinguish those with actual long-term covid brain-fog issues from those who consume conservative media?
Monroe County, NY:
147 new cases. Finally coming down again.
Or disproportionately hit white people at the start.
New Deal democrat
Cases rose in the US to 31,400, an eight day high. Deaths continued to decline to 814, the lowest since last August. Only 3 months in 2020 and 4 months in 2021 have seen a lower number of deaths.
Cases are rising in the Northeast and South, flat in the Midwest, and still declining in the West. In the Northeast, where BA.2 makes up a majority of cases, cases are rising in VT, MA, NY, and CT. They are flat in NH and NJ, and declining in RI, PA, and ME. The biggest increase has been in NY, which has risen from 8.3 to 13.5 cases per 100,000 in the past 11 days, still very low relative to most of the past 24 months.
Internationally, cases were flat in the UK, Portugal, and Italy, which have likely just peaked. Cases are down decisively in Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Greece, Germany, and Austria. France, Cyprus, Malta, and Belgium are still rising, and also rising slightly in Spain. In Ireland they are now rising sharply. Generally in Europe the BA.2 wave is only lasting about 3 weeks before peaking.
If the US follows the pattern in Europe, cases should peak here around April 10 to 15. Even in the worst case comparison, there would be a doubling of cases to 60,000. In the meantime, deaths should continue to decline. The exception would be, if like in the UK, BA.2 has struck the elderly first while younger ages were still mainly BA.1, which explains why in that country deaths and hospitalizations rose simultaneously with total cases.
Malaysia’s Ministry of Health reported 21,839 new Covid-19 cases yesterday in its media statement, for a cumulative reported total of 4,101,081 cases. It also reported 53 deaths for an adjusted cumulative total of 34,717 deaths – 0.85% of the cumulative reported total, 0.90% of resolved cases.
Malaysia’s nationwide Rt stands at 0.92.
142 confirmed cases are in ICU, 95 of them on ventilators. Meanwhile, 22,324 more patients have recovered, for a cumulative total of 3,819,299 patients recovered – 93.1% of the cumulative reported total.
One new cluster was reported yesterday, for a cumulative total of 6,923 clusters. 242 clusters are currently active; 6,681 clusters are now inactive.
21,552 new cases reported yesterday were local infections. 287 new cases were imported.
The National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) administered 33,034 doses of vaccine on 25th March: 12,567 first doses, 1,297 second doses, and 19,170 booster doses. The cumulative total is 68,642,700 doses administered: 27,462,692 first doses, 25,795,683 second doses, and 15,595,578 booster doses. 84.1% of the population have received their first dose, 79.0% their second dose, and 47.8% their booster dose.
Let the record show that I agree 100% with Justice Kavanaugh.
What a world. What a world.
New Deal democrat
Two further comments in response to the linked tweets:
1. The *actual* data from the wastewater surveillance, as shown, is 54% of sites declining 10% or more, and only 39% increasing 10% or more.
2. The Biden Administration’s surrender on public health measures has been disheartening. Even this wacko SCOTUS has been upholding mandates as to the military, and indicated it was willing to uphold more narrowly crafted mandates as to all federal workers and under OSHA. It has also upheld mandates at the State level, where there is recognized broad State power. In VA for example, the counties with big military populations had been lagging in vaccinations, but are now equal to the highest in the entire State.
I had a vivid dream last night that I was walking through a crowded indoor shopping mall. Very crowded, everyone almost shoulder to shoulder. I realized suddenly I’d forgotten my mask, then noticed no one else was masked, either. I worried at first and then I realized the pandemic was over.
This was the second time I’ve had this dream. Anxiety at first, and then a realization that the whole thing had ended, everyone was vaccinated, and masks were no longer necessary.
Wishful thinking on my part, I suppose. I still wear a mask in indoor settings. I don’t want even a mild case.
1918. “Federal truck — San Francisco Casket Co.” Makers of the box you’ll go in. A sobering scene from the depths of the Spanish Flu epidemic.
@Spanky: Stopped clocks and all that.
@p.a.: One of the many difficulties for people with post-COVID conditions is the tendency for their symptoms to be minimized or made light of.
There are some excellent online discussions among the disability community, who point out that they’re often on the receiving end of similar dismissive attitudes.
Here’s an article from a couple of years ago. There’s lots more within easy reach of a Google search, on social media as well as in more formal publications. Very interesting stuff.
I know I read that one shot plus infection immunity is equivalent of 2 shots and a booster. So unvaccinated holdouts could still have a chance to own us libs by getting one shot.
“Ha, you virus virtue signalers. We only needed one shot.”
Not quite right, since it would only for those who already caught COVID and maybe not so true for BA.2 variant, which elicits weak immune response. But logic is strictly optional in the AV club. Maybe a few more will cave.
On 3/25 Mainland China reported 1,280 new domestic confirmed (72 previously asymptomatic), 4,320 new domestic asymptomatic cases, 0 domestic suspect cases.
Guangdong Province reported 4 new domestic confirmed & 7 new domestic asymptomatic cases.
Guangxi “Autonomous” Region reported 10 new domestic asymptomatic cases (7 at Fangchenggang, 2 at Baise, & 1 at Guilin). 3 domestic confirmed cases recovered & 7 domestic asymptomatic cases were released from isolation. There currently are 58 active domestic confirmed (32 at Fangchenggang, 3 each at Raise & Nanning, 19 at Qinzhou, & 1 at Guilin) & 256 active domestic asymptomatic cases (8846 at Fangchenggang, 7 at Baise, 68 at Chongzuo, 82 at Qinzhou, 5 at Liuzhou, 3 at Beihai, 4 at Guilin, 2 at Guigang, & 1 at Nanning) in the province. 1 zone at Fangchenggang are currently at Medium Risk. 5 sites at Qinzhou are currently at Medium Risk.
Hunan Province reported 1 new domestic confirmed case (moderate), at Huaihua, a traced close contact under centralized quarantine. As the province does not break down recoveries by administrative divisions, I cannot track the count of active cases in administrative divisions, given the multiple simultaneous outbreaks. 2 zones at Huaihua are currently at Medium Risk, as are 4 sites at Changsha & 1 zone at Shaoyang.
Inner Mongolia “Autonomous” Region reported 4 new domestic (all previously asymptomatic) cases. There currently are 14 active domestic confirmed & 30 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the province.
Tianjin Municipality reported 35 new domestic confirmed (12 previously asymptomatic, 32 mild & 3 moderate) & 32 new domestic asymptomatic cases, 53 are traced close contacts already under quarantine & 2 via screening of residents in areas under movement control. 14 domestic confirmed cases recovered. There currently are 390 active domestic confirmed & 178 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the city. 8 sites are currently at High Risk. 10 sites are currently at Medium Risk.
Shandong Province reported 6 new domestic confirmed (2 previously asymptomatic) & 75 new domestic asymptomatic cases. 61 domestic confirmed cases recovered & 58 asymptomatic cases were released from isolation. There currently are 839 active domestic confirmed cases & 2,402 active asymptomatic cases in the province. As not all of the administrative divisions in the province provide data on recoveries, I cannot track the count of active cases in all of the administrative divisions, given the multiple simultaneous outbreaks.
At Jinzhong in Shanxi Province here currently is 1 active domestic confirmed case remaining.
Hebei Province reported 19 new domestic confirmed & 184 domestic asymptomatic cases. 8 domestic confirmed cases recovered & 8 domestic asymptomatic cases were released from isolation. There currently are 355 active domestic confirmed & 3,128 active asymptomatic case in the province. As the province does not break down recoveries by administrative divisions, I cannot track the count of active cases in administrative divisions, given the multiple simultaneous outbreaks.
Liaoning Province reported 14 new domestic confirmed (1 previously asymptomatic) & 132 new domestic asymptomatic cases. 4 domestic confirmed cases recovered & 2 domestic asymptomatic cases were released from isolation. There currently are 468 active domestic confirmed & 1,222 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the province. As the province does not break down recoveries by administrative divisions, I cannot track the count of active cases in administrative divisions, given the multiple simultaneous outbreaks.
Heilongjiang Province reported 9 new domestic confirmed (all mild) & 11 new domestic asymptomatic cases. 4 domestic confirmed cases recovered & 2 domestic asymptomatic cases were released from isolation. There currently are 237 active domestic confirmed & 250 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the province.
Jilin Province reported 1,122 new domestic confirmed (43 previously asymptomatic, 1,112 mild & 10 moderate) & 1,374 new domestic asymptomatic cases. 564 domestic confirmed cases recovered & 126 domestic asymptomatic cases were released from isolation. As the province does not consistently break down recoveries by confirmed & asymptomatic cases or by jurisdictions, I can no longer track the count of active case counts in the different jurisdictions.
Beijing Municipality reported 1 new domestic confirmed & 1 new domestic asymptomatic cases, both traced close contacts under centralized quarantine. 1 village & 1 community are currently at Medium Risk.
Shanghai Municipality reported 38 new domestic confirmed (5 previously asymptomatic) & 2,231 new domestic asymptomatic cases. 1,776 of the new domestic positive cases are traced close contacts already under centralized quarantine, & the rest from screening of persons deemed at risk of exposure. 13 domestic confirmed cases recovered & 102 domestic asymptomatic case was released from isolation. There currently are 224 active domestic confirmed & 8,764 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the city. 19 sites are currently at Medium Risk.
Shaanxi Province reported 1 new domestic confirmed (mild) & 2 new domestic asymptomatic cases. 26 domestic confirmed cases recovered. There currently are 255 active domestic confirmed & 4 active asymptomatic cases in the province. As the province does not break down recoveries by administrative divisions, I cannot track the count of active cases in administrative divisions, given the multiple simultaneous outbreaks.
At Hubei Province there currently are 2 active domestic confirmed (both moderate, 1 each at Wuhan & Shiyan) & 2 active domestic asymptomatic (at Xianning) cases in the province..
Jiangsu Province reported 6 new domestic confirmed (1 previously asymptomatic) & 8 new domestic asymptomatic cases. 2 domestic confirmed cases recovered & 7 domestic asymptomatic cases were released from isolation. There currently are 69 active domestic confirmed & 403 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the province. As not all of the jurisdictions in the province track recoveries, I cannot track the count of active cases in all of the administrative divisions, given the multiple simultaneous outbreaks.
Anhui Province reported 1 new domestic confirmed (1 previously asymptomatic, mild, at Wuhu) & 16 new domestic asymptomatic (9 at Tongling, 4 at Wuhu, & 1 each at Anqing, Bengbu & Haozhou) cases. 7 of the cases at Tongling are tracked close contacts under centralized quarantine & 2 via screening of residents in areas under movement control, the cases at Wuhu are traced close contacts under centralized quarantine. 4 domestic asymptomatic cases were released from isolation. There currently are 8 active confirmed (2 each at Ma’anshan & Wuhu, & 4 at Tongling) & 133 active domestic asymptomatic (27 at Ma’anshan, 9 at Haozhou, 5 at Wuhu, 4 each at Bengbu & Suzhou, 77 at Tongling, 3 each at Anqing & Hefei, & 1 at Chuzhou) cases in the province. 3 sites at Ma’anshan & 4 at Tongling are currently at Medium Risk.
Zhejiang Province reported 1 new domestic asymptomatic case. As the province does not break down recoveries by imported versus domestic cases, I cannot track the count of active domestic cases in the province.
Gansu Province reported 7 new domestic confirmed & 33 new domestic asymptomatic cases. 7 domestic confirmed cases recovered & 6 domestic asymptomatic cases were released from isolation. There currently are 177 active domestic confirmed & 318 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the province.
Fujian Province reported 4 new domestic confirmed (3 previously asymptomatic) & 157 new domestic asymptomatic cases. 1 domestic confirmed case recovered & 2 domestic asymptomatic cases were released from isolation. There currently are 1,081 active domestic confirmed & 1,171 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the province. As the province does not break down recoveries by administrative divisions, I cannot track the count of active cases in administrative divisions, given the multiple simultaneous outbreaks.
At Xining in Qinghai Province there currently is 1 active domestic confirmed case in the city.
At Guizhou Province there currently are 9 active domestic confirmed (8 at Zunyi & 1 at Qiandongnan Prefecture) & 3 active domestic asymptomatic (all at Zunyi) cases in the city.
Jiangxi Province reported 3 new domestic confirmed (all mild) & 25 new domestic asymptomatic cases. 5 domestic confirmed cases recovered & 10 domestic asymptomatic case was released from isolation. There currently are 62 active domestic confirmed & 323 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the city. As the province does not break down recoveries by administrative divisions, I cannot track the count of active cases in administrative divisions, given the multiple simultaneous outbreaks.
Henan Province reported 3 new domestic confirmed (2 at Zhoukou & 1 at Luohe) & 10 new domestic asymptomatic cases (4 at Jiaozuo, 3 at Luohe, 2 at Zhoukou & 1 at Zhengzhou). There currently are 45 active domestic confirmed & 40 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the province. As the province does not break down recoveries by administrative divisions, I cannot track the count of active cases in administrative divisions, given the multiple simultaneous outbreaks. 2 sites at Zhoukou, as well as 2 at Luohe & 13 at Jiaozuo, are currently at Medium Risk.
Chongqing Municipality reported 1 new domestic confirmed case (previously asymptomatic, moderate). 11 domestic confirmed cases recovered & 4 domestic asymptomatic cases were released from isolation. There currently is 40 active domestic confirmed & 9 active domestic asymptomatic cases in the city. 3 dormitory buildings are currently at Medium Risk.
Yunnan Province reported 1 new domestic confirmed & 11 new domestic asymptomatic cases. 5 domestic confirmed case recovered & 32 new domestic asymptomatic were released from isolation. There currently are 63 active domestic confirmed & 352 active domestic asymptomatic cases remaining in the province. As the province does not break down recoveries by administrative divisions, I cannot track the count of active cases in administrative divisions, given the multiple simultaneous outbreaks.
On 3/25, Mainland China reported 55 new imported confirmed cases (18 previously asymptomatic, 2 in Guangdong), 110 imported asymptomatic cases, 1 imported suspect case:
Overall in Mainland China, 917 confirmed cases recovered (144 imported), 536 asymptomatic cases were released from isolation (140 imported) & 90 were reclassified as confirmed cases (18 imported), & 23,887 individuals were released from quarantine. Currently, there are 27,312 active confirmed cases in the country (1,095 imported), 50 in serious condition (1 imported), 30,850 active asymptomatic cases (1,407 imported), 13 suspect cases (all imported). 372,498 traced contacts are currently under centralized quarantine.
As of 3/25, 3,247.624M vaccine doses have been injected in Mainland China, an increase of 4.025M doses in the past 24 hrs.
On 3/26, Hong Kong reported 8,841 new positive cases, 6 imported & 8,835 domestic (3,878 via RT-PCR & 4,957 from rapid antigen tests), 139 deaths.
On 3/26, Taiwan reported 103 new positive cases, 82 imported & 21 domestic.
Friday here in the UK we had 77,509 reported new cases. The rolling 7-day average is up by 8.5%. New cases by nation,
England – 63,371
Northern Ireland – 1910
Scotland – 10,100
Wales – 2128.
Deaths – There were 172 deaths within 28 days of a positive test reported yesterday. The rolling 7-day average is up by 26.3%. 123 deaths were in England, 5 in Northern Ireland, 41 in Scotland and 3 in Wales.
Testing – 736,666 tests took place on Thursday. The rolling 7-day average is up by 2%.
Hospitalisations – There were 17,440 people in hospital on Thursday and 302 on ventilators on Wednesday. The 7-day average for hospital admissions was up by 17.4% as of 21 March.
Vaccinations – As of 24th March, 91.7% of all Uk residents aged 12+ had had 1 shot, 85.8% had had 2, and 67.3% had had a 3rd shot/booster.
That’s all until Tuesday as the UK no longer updates over weekends.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@Baud: Same thing would have happened; this is being driven by god bothering, conspiracy theories and simple greed. Let us note, China, with it’s government that won’t tolerate media anti vac nonsense and it’s population who takes disease seriously is having problem getting it’s elders vaccinated.
I don’t think Shanghai’s “bespoke” response is working, giving the still rapidly increasing daily incidence rate. The city, as well as Jilin City & Changchun in Jilin Province, are the main sources for seeding clusters & outbreaks in the rest of China, too. Cases & close contacts are so widespread across the city so that most of the city is under some form of lock down, anyway. Shanghai’s more targeted response worked for all variants up to & including Delta, but w/ Omicron BA.2 it is now stuck in a purgatory. The case counts are so high that it can now take 2 – 3 days between an asymptomatic or mild case testing positive & being sent to centralized isolation facilities (temporary hospitals). Some cases are now also logged 1 – 2 days after being tested positive, due to overstressed system. Contact tracing is also overstressed. At the same time, residents are worn out & resentful of the unpredictability & opacity of the “targeted” lock downs. A residential compound may lock down for 2 days for a couple of rounds of testing, open back up, & goes back into lock down a few days later due to emergence of cases or close contacts. This unpredictability & opacity erodes the most important pillar of China’s pandemic response – population compliance. Before, & elsewhere in China, a residential compound/community/sub-district/district/city locks down, everyone involved (from residents to community workers to response personnel to government bureaucrats) have a common goal – exit lock down & get back to normal life, & a common understanding of the means to achieve that objective – comply w/ the restrictions & have 14 days of no community cases. As long as the residents are properly supported w/ daily food packages & supplies, the vast majority of people will put up w/ the restrictions. This is now starting to fray at the edges in Shanghai.
For while it appeared that outbreak was getting out of hand at Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, due to Omicron BA.2 spiller over from Hong Kong. Then the city went into a 1 week of snap lock down & several rounds of city-wide mass screening (some of my colleagues there living in areas under movement control have been tested daily for the past 3 weeks), which crushed the outbreak & daily incidence rate is now in the single digits, & very few from the community. Now the city can get back to Test/Trace/Isolate & much more targeted restrictions. All of my colleagues are back to working in office, after 2 weeks of mandatory WFH. The world must be breathing a sigh of relief, as both Shenzhen & Dongguan have contained their outbreaks, & the widespread lock downs ended up being relatively short in duration. Qingdao in Shandong Province, Lianyungang in Jiangsu Province, Xi’an/Baoji in Shaanxi Province, have all managed to similarly contain & suppress Omicron BA.2 outbreaks that had been rapidly escalating. Jilin City & Changchun in Jilin Province are cautionary tales that if an outbreak progressed too far, even a total lock down will take a while to turn it around w/ the Omicron BA.2 Variant.
OTOH, > 99% of positive cases at Shanghai are asymptomatic. It is not just an anomaly at Shanghai, either. All of the clusters & outbreaks seeded by travelers from Shanghai show similarly very high levels of asymptomatic cases, but the ratio is not nearly that high for other places w/ Omicron BA.2 outbreaks (more like 50 – 60%). It may simply reflect the presumably high vaccination & boosting rates at Shanghai, was well as the neighboring provinces (Jiangsu, Zhejiang & Anhui) that have received the vast majority of Shanghai’s exported cases.
In the meantime, Hubei Province continues to be an island of calm, despite outbreaks of various sizes in neighboring Henan, Anhui & Hunan Provinces. Not sure how long that will last. My daughter has a been swabbed twice in the past week in her kindergarten, as part of the city government’s effort to periodically screening everyone in educational facilities. The crowded conditions in such facilities, as well as the extremely high rate of mild/asymptomatic cases among student populations, means an outbreak there can quickly explode before spreading into the wide community, before anyone takes notice. Our kindergarten’s admins has strongly encouraged all parents to vaccinated their children, as China’s inactivated whole virion vaccines are approved for > 3 y.o. Not mandated, but there will be persistent nagging until it is done, not that we need any convincing on that score.
Flu Report for 3/14/22-3/20/22
Positivity up from 6.8% to 7.7%. Lab cases up from 2,685 to 3,248, with 1,185 added to previous weeks. H3N2 continues its unprecedented dominance, 99.1% of all typed flus and 100% of subtyped Type A flus. Hospital admissions up from 2,082 to 2,733.
Mortality due to pneumonia, influenza and COVID down to 9.1% from last week’s 10.8%, now at “only” the level of a bad flu season. This reflects falling deaths due to COVID as there are very few flu deaths at present. The CDC now classes the current flu situation as “increasing”, although these increases are not fast compared to a bad flu season ramping up.
Flu continues to worsen with repeal of anti-COVID health measures. Probably not enough time in the season for it to get really bad, but instructive.
@YY_Sima Qian: Don’t see how Shanghai’s vax rate is going to be high enough to make essentially everybody asymptomatic. There’s a twitter rumor that some strains of BA2 have mostly gastrointestinal symptoms; maybe people are getting different symptoms with this strain and so are getting misclassified.
@Fair Economist: Also possible, though China’s SOP counts diarrhea as a COVID-19 symptom.
I have a hunch that what will end up being the downfall of China’s approach is their insistence on using only home-grown vaccines. One can buy American Teslas and iPhones in China but apparently not Pfizer or Moderna.
My wife is both a physician and Chilean and we have all our extended family (on her side) living in Chile so we have been keeping a close eye on the pandemic down there. Chile has been extremely aggressive in its vaccination campaigns and has among the highest vaccination rates in the world. But since they don’t have very much in the way of a home-grown pharma industry they are reliant on vaccine imports and have basically been buying vaccine wherever they can get it. Earlier in the pandemic that meant lots of SinoVac as the American vaccines were harder to get.
But what it also means is that Chile may be unique in that they are essentially running a large-scale experiment on the effectiveness of the various vaccines within the same population and across all the different variant waves. So they have experience with Sinovac, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca and from what I understand, the Pfizer has proven superior to the Sinovac, especially against Omicron.
I have to wonder if this decision is going to come back to haunt China.
It looks like South Korea’s daily infections and daily deaths may have finally started turning down.
Be careful out there. The pandemic isn’t over.
My area is down to ( 7 day rolling average) 6 reported cases per day per 100K. Since home rapidtests are widely available (including the two rounds of free ones from the US government) the number is probably around 10-20/day/100k , and perhaps 20-40/day/100k asymptomatic or “colds”. (Many “colds” at the current time are COVID-19.)
So N95 masking for me when indoors around anyone not completely trusted.
I would very much like a proper tissue tropism study for the Omicron variants, to make a better-informed guess about the risks of long COVID from infection with a current variant. And more work on the weird aspects of long COVID, like brain effects and heart arrhythmias/other cardiovascular auto-regulation problems (like blood pressure; complicated system).
@Baud: Yep, the minute it became known it was mostly killing non-white people in cities, white people in rural areas decided Covid was no big deal.
In fact, some went to far as to think it was God-sent.
@Kent: Pfizer-BioNTech & Moderna vaccines (especially boosted) are indeed quite a bit better than the inactivated whole vision vaccines at preventing symptomatic Omicron infection, relatively speaking. In absolute terms none of the current vaccines are all that great at preventing Omicron infection. In terms of preventing hospitalizations & deaths, mRNA vaccines are still better, but not a large difference. Furthermore, looking at the impact of the Omicron wave in countries that have used large quantities of mRNA vaccines, it is not acceptable to the Chinese government or population. So the somewhat higher efficacy of mRNA vaccines against hospitalizations & deaths would not allow China to qualitatively change its approach. Mind you, I am pissed that the Chinese authorities have been sitting on approval of the BioNTech vaccine for more than half a year, but we should not delude ourselves into thinking that the mRNA vaccine is a magic bullet against an Omicron BA.2 driven pandemic, particularly in populations that has had negligible levels of prior infection.
I think the use of Sinovac vaccines held Chile avoid a massive death toll during its Delta wave last summer/fall, even though case count reached high levels. Now that the population has been/is being boosted by mRNA vaccines (& natural infection), Chile should be able to avoid massive death tolls in future waves.
There has been a natural experiment going on right now in Hong Kong, which used both Sinovac & BioNTech, the the elderly population (< 30% that chose to be vaccinated prior to the Omicron tsunami) strongly preferred Sinovac. Right now, the deaths are overwhelming among the un-/partially vaccinated elderly. If Hong Kong had managed to give > 95% of its vulnerable population Sinovac vaccines, & > 60% boosted, it would be in a much better position now. (Of course, better still if the elderly got BioNTech shots, instead).
The reason for China’s precarious position against Omicron BA.2 is the low vaccination rate among the > 80 y.o. cohort – as of last week still just over 50% fully vaccinated & ~ 20% boosted. If it weren’t for the concern about the tens of millions of unvaccinated vulnerable cohorts, the dramatically reduced pathogenicity demonstrated by the Shanghai outbreak might have allowed the authorities to recalibrate away from “Dynamic Zero COVID” strategy. As it is, I don’t think Shanghai is getting back to “Zero” if it continues to pursue its “bespoke” measures.