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
Now that Australia is returning to no control measures at all, perhaps it is time to really consider a winder respiratory infection plan, which covers all respiratory infections which are especially a risk to our more vulnerable people. So that people are discouraged from working with ‘flu, COVID, etc. This of course provides a requirement for vaccines to be available in a timely and accessible manner – which does not happen when one infection has a different programme from another – and automatic sick leave for sick people. This needs a change of policy so that people in the gig economies and insecure casual workforce also have access, or it will just not happen that people stay home when sick. Is it too hopeful to remind our policy makers about what happened at the real start of the COVID pandemic in Australia??? Maybe the CDC – when it happens – can coordinate this at a national level…
The main spreadsheet in the tracker summarises 92% of the world’s notified cases, and 91% of all COVID deaths, at 1.6% of cases. At 615 million, case numbers are again rising, along with the arrival of Autumn in the global north. As Raina McIntyre says, if you think it’s all over, think again. Please!
In the Western Pacific it is the turn of Micronesia to have a surge, having notified almost a quarter of its 14,000 cases during the last week. (Australia has notified … zero. Which is definitely untrue.)
I am more than usually unconfident about these numbers – the Johns Hopkins site seems to have dropped 3.5 billion of its administered doses this week (and I re-rechecked before I sent this out), with no note about why. Maybe it is just today’s glitch.
I also continue to find the vaccination story very depressing. Vaccine wastage continues to be a concern (anything up to 10% of vaccines are wasted, some of them for good reasons, but really it seems to me to be unethical to be wasting this precious resource. Much of the resource-poor world has barely begun a COVID vaccination programme, and whilst we all now know that vaccines do not prevent this particular disease it does seem to have a mitigating effect for people who do get it.
More bad news here:
From John Potter (Massey University, NZ): Viral infections including COVID are among the important causes of dementia – one more reason to consider vaccination with interesting links attached to the article.
And in case you missed it last week, here is the article from Raina McIntyre et al: If you think scrapping COVID isolation periods will get us back to work and past the pandemic, think again, also with some good links.
See you next week
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.