The Code COVID19 International Update is a weekly snapshot of the COVID-19 pandemic, assessing efforts by nations around the world to test, track and fight the virus. It’s compiled by Dr Priscilla Robinson, an Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Health at La Trobe University, and an editor for the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
View the latest spreadsheet here
This is coming to you from London where I arrived this morning. Just in case you were wondering, everyone here is not in permanent floods of tears, although the mood is a bit sad and a little gloomy, so don’t believe everything you read in the press (especially the Murdoch papers). It seems a bit strange to be here at this time in history though, and I imagine the pageantry will be extraordinary as is usual with such events.
Mask wearing was pretty good once we left Australia – it was only at the home airport I was nervous that nobody seemed to be bothered. Most people seemed to be going to exotic holiday destinations (i.e. wearing beach clothes, even though the temperature was about 6C outside), so no wonder holidays remain a major risk factor for transmission. People in the other airports seemed to be much more likely to be wearing masks, and on our flights mask wearing was at almost 100%.
No news that I could really spot (but then I am a little tired right now). A few countries have a few thousand cases, but mostly it is quiet. The number of deaths this week seems to be the same as last week (although I am not convinced about the 0% difference, but I need to think about it more). The increase in cases has been reducing since July, pretty much everywhere, however there is plenty of room for a winter surge in the global north.
Some places have picked up a bit especially with booster doses. Many northern hemisphere countries are now promoting second boosters, presumably ahead of the northern winter. Low income countries are still suffering with miniscule vaccination rates.
This week I have attached a paper which summarises the evidence for the effect of hard and swift lockdowns. In short, they worked. But read the paper, it’s an easy read, and thoughtful.
Apologies that this is a bit shorter than usual, my brain function is definitely having travel and recalibration problems, but nothing a good night’s sleep won’t cure.
See you next week, and keep safe and well.
About Dr Priscilla Robinson and The CODE COVID-19 International Update
Dr Robinson is a public health epidemiologist with particular interests in international health and communicable diseases, and public health competencies. She has worked in health departments in England and Australia, has managed public health teaching programmes, and taught and researched many aspects of public health epidemiology and policy in many countries. She is an adjunct Associate Professor at LaTrobe University, and to stop herself being bored is an editor of PHAA’s journal ANZJPH, and holds board positions (almost all unpaid) on various NGOs, journals, and at her local hospital. Otherwise, 10 acres of untamed bushland on a hill in South Gippsland, VIC, makes weight-bearing gym exercise and strength training a bit redundant.
The CODE Update is a regular Intouch feature to keep readers informed of COVID-19 developments around the world.
The CODE Update originally began at the start of the SARS CoV-2 pandemic as Priscilla’s way of explaining to her friends and family around the world what was happening, and counter their experiences of information overload and misinformation. The update provides links to practical materials and papers written for people who are not versed in the language of outbreaks and epidemic curves. Published weekly, it includes a short commentary to provide context to the numbers included in the spreadsheets.
Note: While every attempt is made to transcribe all data faithfully, every now and again mistakes are made and not noticed until the next Update. Also, on occasion, numbers are revised after posting at the source databases.
We hope you will find these updates to be a helpful tool, and the links to current information useful.