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, a London-based Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Health at La Trobe University, and an editor for the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.
Hello one and all, from an extraordinary London.
You may have noticed that WHO is announcing soon, and the USA has announced, that the pandemic is over. Could have fooled me – there are still a few million cases and several thousand deaths all over the world, and a few places (such as St Helena) have announced their first cases. Several countries, especially in SE Asia have notified several hundred thousand cases, so for many of us it is definitely not over yet.
In Australia it is impossible to tell you what is going on. Having moved to ‘weekly reporting’ there has now been an almost two-week delay in government-endorsed new cases reports, leading to the impression that nothing is happening, which is certainly not the case – no communicable diseases with such transmission patterns and with an R over 1 (remember R?) do not disappear just like that. But as I said a couple of weeks ago, so who cares? Apart from the health service provision, aged care, schools, and so on that is.
Remains depressing. Several countries have reduced their completed vaccination rates, and whilst booster rates continue to improve, it looks like the ‘preaching to the converted’ scenario where people who are already vaccinated are happy to get boosted.
So why does understanding the patterns of this disease still matter? Well, remember long Covid and other after-effects? On this front there is gloomy news.
This Conversation summary of that paper a number of implications are discussed, plus links to previous Conversation pieces about why reducing quarantine and dropping mask mandates are quite silly ideas no matter how much people might want them.
That’s it for this week. From a sad and respectful London, where the almost silent Lying-in State was broadcast 24/7 (with NO ADVERTISEMENTS, thank you BBC!!), and the funeral was of course widely available anywhere all day. Yes, for people who mind, there is discussion about the future and roles of the Royal Family (pared down to key members) and whether this is time to discuss the UK becoming a republic (truly, and it happens from time to time). For the record, Harry and Megan whom the M press insist can do nothing right were not the only couple to be holding hands, and who is in line for what jobs is defined by various Acts of Parliament (and not the King/Queen). Just so you know.
See you next week, if COVID reporting has not been abandoned before then.
Keep safe, and go against the trend and keep wearing that mask…
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.
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.