B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by jaap » Thu Feb 10, 2022 3:36 pm

I'm not sure which thread to post this in. It does not deserve a new thread, and as this is where most of the data crunching is done I'll post it here.

The Netherlands shows a weird large spike in its data for the number of daily positive tests.
coronavirus-data-explorer.jpg
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It turns out that this is due to a change in the system of reporting (Dutch link). Basically results were first stored in databases at a local level (ostensibly for track and trace) before being pushed to the national data collection. This caused delays and backlogs, and now that the reporting is being done directly, catching up on the backlog produced the huge spike on a single day.

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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by shpalman » Thu Feb 10, 2022 4:53 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Wed Jan 26, 2022 1:32 pm
shpalman wrote:
Wed Jan 26, 2022 11:44 am
What, you expect the addition of reinfections to the England data to make the overall case numbers go down?
No. The opposite. I'm noting the trend for England already looks worse than the trend for Wales despite England not counting reinfections. So if the Welsh figures were boosted by an increasing proportion of reinfections, I would have expected that trend to be the other way around, all other things being equal, which they aren't of course. What Bob said about hospitalisation rates is more compelling.
I notice that Scotland's total case numbers now include positive rapid lateral flow test results so the number is about 96,000 higher than it was yesterday (plus the ~7000 actual new cases as compared to a recent 7-day average of more like 3000 per day). I also noticed that Scotland's case rate was similar to Wales's. Is Scotland's case rate now going to be similar to England's?
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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by Herainestold » Fri Mar 04, 2022 3:52 pm

Omicron hits Hong Kong and goes through the roof despite Zero Covid policies and the culling of hamsters. Possible lockdown, testing of all HK residents.
Since the pandemic began two years ago, Hong Kong has adopted a “zero-COVID” strategy, aligned with Beijing's effort to control infections across China. The strategy has had some success, with authorities quickly clamping down on rare outbreaks by contact tracing, social restrictions, mass testing and quarantine.

But this year alone, Hong Kong has seen more cases than 2020 and 2021 combined, leaving authorities in an unprecedented health crisis.

On Thursday, Hong Kong recorded a daily high of 56,827 new infections, with 144 deaths. Three-hundred-and-50-thousand-557 positive cases have been recorded, with 1,312 deaths at last report.

Concerned residents say they believe a mainland-style lockdown could be announced soon. China enforced harsh lockdowns at the beginning of the pandemic in efforts to contain cases, with streets empty and citizens prohibited from leaving home.
Late last month, Lam announced a universal testing program for the entire 7.4 million population for March, with each resident undergoing three tests.
Local media have reported the universal testing plan will begin on March 26 and last nine days. City health experts have said March is too early because the infection numbers are still high.
The study by medical researchers at the University of Hong Kong suggests the city could face nearly 7,000 deaths in the next three months if hospitals were to be overburdened.

The overflow of Hong Kong’s medical facilities has led to the city contracting construction firms from China to build isolation and treatment facilities in Hong Kong, with space for a reported 50,000 beds.
Maybe Omicron is not so mild, after all. It will be interesting to see how the mass testing works, and whether a lockdown will be implemented, although it is being downplayed now.

https://www.voanews.com/a/6468746.html
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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by Gfamily » Fri Mar 04, 2022 4:04 pm

Herainestold wrote:
Fri Mar 04, 2022 3:52 pm
Maybe Omicron is not so mild, after all. It will be interesting to see how the mass testing works, and whether a lockdown will be implemented, although it is being downplayed now.

https://www.voanews.com/a/6468746.html
Vaccination seems to be the key issue, as HK and NZ have had similarly timed outbreaks. Although the case numbers have risen dramatically in both as a result of Omicron, the death rate in NZ is not significant, whereas HK is showing some of the world's highest per capita deaths from Covid recently.
This is probably related to the almost 100% double vaccination rate for the over 80s in NZ, whereas HK has not much more than 30% of that group at the same level of protection.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/300532 ... -hong-kong
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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by Herainestold » Fri Mar 04, 2022 4:41 pm

Wow, 30% is very low.

I am a bit surprised as HK has an excellent public health system and Chinese do tend to value their elders.
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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by headshot » Fri Mar 04, 2022 11:40 pm

What could have possibly happened in HK that made people reluctant to trust their Government. I wonder what it could be. 🤔🤔🤔

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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by Herainestold » Sat Mar 05, 2022 5:51 am

According to OWID 68% of Hong Kongers are vaccinated (UK is listed as 72%). So it is a relatively highly vaccinated population - except the elderly- who are most at risk. One thing that UK did right was the meticulous way that older age cohorts were vaccinated first. It seems to make a huge difference.
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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by Herainestold » Mon Mar 14, 2022 8:43 pm

Omicron ripping through Hong Kong
As of Sunday, Hong Kong had registered 3,993 Covid deaths — three-quarters of which occurred in the previous 12 days. The territory’s seven-day rolling average of new Covid deaths has reached 284, or 38 fatalities per million residents, the highest such rate recorded anywhere in the world during the pandemic.

The city’s daily death rate has surpassed several European countries and now far outstrips that of nearby nations which abandoned their zero-Covid ambitions: it is 10 times greater than South Korea, 23-fold higher than Singapore and 37-fold higher than New Zealand.


https://www.ft.com/content/6e610cac-400 ... 870e8635a3
“Omicron is milder than Delta, but it’s not mild by any stretch of the imagination,” said Baker. “It’s really less severe because of the vaccines and the boosters. Without them, we’d all still be in a whole lot of trouble.”
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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by hakwright » Wed Mar 16, 2022 1:18 pm

There seems to have been little coverage of the rising cases throughout Europe over the last week or two. The trend is clear in almost all countries (e.g. UK, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Greece). During all of February cases were falling for all these countries, but they have now turned a corner, and have been rising for the last 10 days or so. Spain is about the only country yet to show a rise in cases.

I guess with events in Ukraine, it's not a huge surprise this hasn't reached the news in any significant way. But if it continues for much longer, it will surely be hitting headlines before long.

The role played by the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron seems significant (e.g. now accounts for 50% of all cases in Germany), and presumably the relaxation of many restrictions in the UK and elsewhere has also helped to push the numbers up. Who knows whether vaccinations and sensible behaviour will be enough to prevent it having too much of an impact.

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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by shpalman » Wed Mar 16, 2022 1:53 pm

hakwright wrote:
Wed Mar 16, 2022 1:18 pm
There seems to have been little coverage of the rising cases throughout Europe over the last week or two. The trend is clear in almost all countries (e.g. UK, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Greece)...
Switzerland and Austria have gone up a lot recently too.

My experience with the lags of these things suggests to me that the death rate in Italy is currently at a minimum but will start to go up next week.
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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by Stranger Mouse » Wed Mar 16, 2022 3:34 pm

CDC reckons that Omicron has five times hospitalisation rate of Delta for kids 0 - 5 https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7111e2.htm
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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by bob sterman » Thu Mar 17, 2022 7:00 am

Stranger Mouse wrote:
Wed Mar 16, 2022 3:34 pm
CDC reckons that Omicron has five times hospitalisation rate of Delta for kids 0 - 5 https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7111e2.htm
In that report that are using "rate" to mean number of children hospitalised per 100,000 population NOT number hospitalised per 100,000 infections.

So this finding mainly arises from the prevalence of Omicron vs Delta in kids - rather than the severity of Omicron vs Delta in kids. More infections = more hospitalisations.

When it comes to severity note that they state that "the proportion of hospitalized infants and children admitted to an ICU was higher during Delta predominance"

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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by Stranger Mouse » Thu Mar 17, 2022 9:11 am

bob sterman wrote:
Thu Mar 17, 2022 7:00 am
Stranger Mouse wrote:
Wed Mar 16, 2022 3:34 pm
CDC reckons that Omicron has five times hospitalisation rate of Delta for kids 0 - 5 https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7111e2.htm
In that report that are using "rate" to mean number of children hospitalised per 100,000 population NOT number hospitalised per 100,000 infections.

So this finding mainly arises from the prevalence of Omicron vs Delta in kids - rather than the severity of Omicron vs Delta in kids. More infections = more hospitalisations.

When it comes to severity note that they state that "the proportion of hospitalized infants and children admitted to an ICU was higher during Delta predominance"
Good catch . Thanks.
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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by bob sterman » Thu Mar 17, 2022 12:23 pm

Stranger Mouse wrote:
Thu Mar 17, 2022 9:11 am
Good catch . Thanks.
The summary was pretty ambiguous!

I guess it's written from a healthcare planning point of view - i.e. you want to know the "rate" at which kids are turning up to be admitted.

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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by Stranger Mouse » Thu Mar 17, 2022 12:37 pm

bob sterman wrote:
Thu Mar 17, 2022 12:23 pm
Stranger Mouse wrote:
Thu Mar 17, 2022 9:11 am
Good catch . Thanks.
The summary was pretty ambiguous!

I guess it's written from a healthcare planning point of view - i.e. you want to know the "rate" at which kids are turning up to be admitted.
I got it off Andy Slavitt’s timeline and he referred to it as the hospitalisation rate too. Just goes to show etc etc.
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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by Herainestold » Tue Mar 29, 2022 1:49 am

The Graun on covid strategies
Last June, a study in The Lancet showed that those that chose elimination over mitigation did a better job of protecting life, the economy and civil liberties – the hat-trick. But no country is an island to a highly transmissible virus – even those that are islands – and the emergence of Delta and Omicron variants of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, combined with the rollout of vaccines that protect against severe disease and death, was bound to change the calculus. Some who favoured elimination previously now think it has outlived its usefulness.
What we’re learning about long Covid – or post-Covid-19 condition as the World Health Organization (WHO) now calls it – only strengthens that case, since it’s looking increasingly likely that countries that tolerated high infection rates, including the UK, are facing a sizeable burden of long-term disability. The vaccines do not stop transmission completely, and by abandoning the non-pharmaceutical interventions that do, those countries also increase the likelihood – far from trivial, as scientists highlighted again this month – that a variant more severe than Omicron or its “stealth” subvariant could arise.
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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Mar 30, 2022 8:29 am

Herainestold wrote:
Tue Mar 29, 2022 1:49 am

What we’re learning about long Covid – or post-Covid-19 condition as the World Health Organization (WHO) now calls it – only strengthens that case, since it’s looking increasingly likely that countries that tolerated high infection rates, including the UK, are facing a sizeable burden of long-term disability.
Has anyone seen any good research on the incidence and severity of long covid in populations with high levels of immunity (from vaccination or prior infection)?
Herainestold wrote:
Tue Mar 29, 2022 1:49 am
The vaccines do not stop transmission completely, and by abandoning the non-pharmaceutical interventions that do, those countries also increase the likelihood – far from trivial, as scientists highlighted again this month – that a variant more severe than Omicron or its “stealth” subvariant could arise.
That's probably correct overall. But there is an enormous collective action problem. A single country the size of the UK that retains restrictions will have a small chance of affecting the probability of a new variant emerging if other countries don't do that. The UK has less than 1% of global population anyway.

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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by dyqik » Wed Mar 30, 2022 7:16 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Mar 30, 2022 8:29 am
Herainestold wrote:
Tue Mar 29, 2022 1:49 am
The vaccines do not stop transmission completely, and by abandoning the non-pharmaceutical interventions that do, those countries also increase the likelihood – far from trivial, as scientists highlighted again this month – that a variant more severe than Omicron or its “stealth” subvariant could arise.
That's probably correct overall. But there is an enormous collective action problem. A single country the size of the UK that retains restrictions will have a small chance of affecting the probability of a new variant emerging if other countries don't do that. The UK has less than 1% of global population anyway.
The concerns around the UK are more in the opposite direction to this - high case rates, and it dropped restrictions anyway.

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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by Herainestold » Wed Mar 30, 2022 7:27 pm

dyqik wrote:
Wed Mar 30, 2022 7:16 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Wed Mar 30, 2022 8:29 am
Herainestold wrote:
Tue Mar 29, 2022 1:49 am
The vaccines do not stop transmission completely, and by abandoning the non-pharmaceutical interventions that do, those countries also increase the likelihood – far from trivial, as scientists highlighted again this month – that a variant more severe than Omicron or its “stealth” subvariant could arise.
That's probably correct overall. But there is an enormous collective action problem. A single country the size of the UK that retains restrictions will have a small chance of affecting the probability of a new variant emerging if other countries don't do that. The UK has less than 1% of global population anyway.
The concerns around the UK are more in the opposite direction to this - high case rates, and it dropped restrictions anyway.
The only way to stop community transmission - and lessen the chance of new variants arising- is targeted lockdown as China is doing now in Shanghai.

https://www.reuters.com/world/china/sha ... 022-03-30/
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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by Herainestold » Wed Apr 06, 2022 2:57 pm

Major lock down in Shanghai. Chinese do not fool around.
As Shanghai announced another daily record high of 16,766 cases on Wednesday, the director of the city’s working group on epidemic control was quoted by state media as saying that the outbreak in the city was “still running at a high level”.

“The situation is extremely grim,” Gu Honghui said.
On 29 March 2022, in China, there were 96 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and 4,381 asymptomatic infections, according to the National Health Commission. Shanghai city imposed a strict lockdown amid the COVID-19 resurgence. A complete lockdown hits the two biggest areas in the city, divided by the Huangpu River. East of the Huangpu River, in the Pudong area the lockdown started on 28 March and lasts until 01 April, while in the western area, in Puxi, people will have a lockdown from 01 April to 05 April.


Although low by international standards, this is China’s worst outbreak since the virus took hold in Wuhan in January 2020 sparking the global pandemic.

Shanghai’s entire population of 26 million is now locked down and there is growing discontent among people who have been living with restrictions on their movements for weeks as the authorities stick doggedly to their zero-Covid policy of eliminating the disease.

At least 38,000 medical personnel have been deployed to Shanghai from other parts of China, along with 2,000 military personnel, and the city is mass-testing residents.
They are using drones to broadcast messages to the populace.
Authorities in China have taken to flying a drone broadcasting a warning to the residents of Shanghai to "control your soul's desire for freedom" amid balcony protests over a strict Covid lockdown was extended. Over 25 million are currently under lockdown as China tries to curb the number of concerning new coronavirus infections recorded across the country.

Alice Su, Senior China correspondent at The Economist, wrote on Twitter to reveal the drone's full message to residents.

She translated the drone's instructions as: "Please comply with covid restrictions.

"Control your soul’s desire for freedom.

"Do not open the window or sing.”
https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/15 ... -latest-vn
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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by shpalman » Wed Apr 06, 2022 4:08 pm

Herainestold wrote:
Wed Apr 06, 2022 2:57 pm
Major lock down in Shanghai. Chinese do not fool around.
If they hadn't been fooling around until now they wouldn't have just had another record daily high of 16,766.

And if they hadn't have fooled around in the first place we wouldn't all be in this mess now, still, after two years.

citizens are complaining about the government’s lack of organisation and preparation
Over the last few days, mobile phone footage showing residents protest against confusing lockdown messaging and being unable to buy daily necessities has been circulating online. In one video, several residents in a housing compound shouted: “We want to eat, we want to go to work, we want to have the right to know.” The footage has been taken down by censors.

The sense of confusion, chaos and helplessness is overwhelming across a city that until recent weeks was a Covid success story.
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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by Herainestold » Sat Apr 09, 2022 3:07 pm

Shanghai starting to ease their massive lockdown as zero covid policies have their desired effect.
Lockdown restrictions in China’s most populous city will soon be lifted in areas that go two weeks without reporting new cases of COVID-19, authorities confirmed Saturday.

Large swaths of Shanghai have been under lockdown since March 28, and nearly all of its 26 million residents are confined at home, leading to complaints about shortages of food and other basic necessities.

Residents in areas deemed “precautionary” with no infections over the past 14 days will be able to move around their districts, but gatherings will be restricted. In “controlled” areas, residents can move around in their neighborhoods, which are smaller than districts. “Locked down” areas will require everyone to stay at home.

“There is still a big gap from everyone’s expectations,” Ming said. “We will do our best to improve it.”
https://nypost.com/2022/04/09/shanghai- ... s-testing/
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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by shpalman » Sun Apr 10, 2022 7:44 am

molto tricky

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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by Herainestold » Sun Apr 10, 2022 7:25 pm

shpalman wrote:
Sun Apr 10, 2022 7:44 am
"Things are quite bad in Shanghai"
Naomi Wu.
A good explanation of why the Chinese put up with what they do, and how their zero covid policies are working. It seems they have very little choice they have to keep going the way they have done so far.

Good luck to them.
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Re: B.1.1.529 Omicron variant

Post by Herainestold » Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:30 pm

Shanghai lockdown
The number of newly detected daily cases in the city edged upward to 26,338, all but 1,189 of them in people showing no symptoms. With more than 200,000 total cases, the ongoing outbreak is China’s biggest of the pandemic. But the mass testing has caught many asymptomatic cases, and no deaths have been reported in Shanghai.
No deaths have been reported in Shanghai.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets ... ar-AAWb874
Liang Wannian, head of China's National Health Commission COVID-19 response expert panel and one of the principal architects of the "Zero-COVID" strategy, said earlier this week that China “doesn’t believe in ‘laissez-faire’.

”Dynamic Zero COVID is a scientific policy that, if implemented properly and correctly, will yield the most benefits at a minimal cost,” Liang said, “China will stick to this policy under the guideline of putting people and their lives first.
https://abcnews.go.com/International/sh ... d=84052348
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