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,
Sometimes when I transcribe these figures I am very pleased that I built in some automatic checks to make sure I made as few errors as possible, and this week is definitely one of those times. Many countries have reduced their total case counts, sometimes by a few thousand, and as for vaccinations … who knows what’s really happening??
Last week there were nearly two and a half times (2.32) as many new cases worldwide, as the week before, mirrored by a slightly higher proportion (2.35) of fatalities. It has not gone away, people. I have pasted in the relevant table for those of you who don’t open the spreadsheet; this shows the proportion of new cases this week compared with last week. The relevant sheet shows this pattern over almost all of the pandemic, and whilst sometimes the new cases one week are higher than the week before, it is a while since all the WHO regions have had a rise, and it is particularly marked in the Western Pacific and the Americas. Some of this might of course be a slow-down in reporting as many countries have moved to weekly (or even less) updates, but this is still a worrying trend. I presume that the Americas are playing catch-up with such a huge rise. Overall though this is NOT good news.
|Average change in cases weeks 26 Oct-01 Nov 2022||Average change in fatalities week 26 Oct-01 Nov 2022|
Both South Korea and Japan have had a quarter of a million cases last week, and many countries report tens of thousands.
At last the Johns Hopkins data have overtaken the WHO data – until last week they were lagging behind.
Depressingly, the proportion of fully vaccinated people according to their national protocols has fallen – globally about 0.5%, but by a few percentage points in some places.
About two thirds of the world’s peoples have completed a primary course, and nearly one third have had booster/s.
Papers and reports:
And for people going on holiday on a boat:
From Nature this week, I have copied the introduction:
“The current crop of immunity-dodging offshoots of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 is unprecedented in its diversity, [making it harder to predict coming waves of infection]. In Europe, North America and Africa, the prevalence of Omicron offshoots in the BQ.1 family is rising quickly, even as overall cases seem to fall. In Asian countries including Singapore, Bangladesh and India, a lineage called XBB has already set off fresh waves of infection. Scientists are closely watching several regions where both are circulating, to see which has the edge. “In the end, probably, some variants are going to dominate, but it’s less decisive than it was in the past,” says computational biologist Cornelius Roemer.”
So, another gloomy week, but you all know what to do to best protect yourselves and families and friends. Keep well everyone.
Priscilla (from a suitably gloomy London).
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.