11 New #Covid Cases in Orkney

The cumulative total of Covid cases in Orkney is now at 5,089.

The stats for Scotland published on the PHS website for 20th of April are as follows:

There is increasing concern about a new strain of Covid-19 which may be even more infectious than Omicron.

In a recent analysis of global data, the World Health Organisation (WHO) found that a new, recombinant variant has been identified in the UK. A recombinant variant is the combination of existing strains, as opposed to a truly new evolution of the virus.

XE COVID variant 10% more transmissible than Omicron

The International Health Committee for WHO’s Covid response “noted with concern the growing fatigue among communities worldwide in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and challenges posed by the lack of trust in scientific guidance and governments.”

“The Committee recognized that SARS-CoV-2 is a novel respiratory pathogen that has not yet established its ecological niche. SARS-CoV-2 continues to have unpredictable viral evolution, which is compounded by its wide-spread circulation and intense transmission in humans, as well as widespread introduction of infection to a range of animal species with potential for animal reservoirs to be established. SARS-COV-2 is continuing to cause high levels of morbidity and mortality, particularly among vulnerable human populations. In this context, the Committee raised concerns that the inappropriate use of antivirals may lead to the emergence of drug-resistant variants. “

The committee of experts also noted with concern the decrease in testing taking place in some countries.

” In addition, Committee members acknowledged national, regional, and global capacities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic context, but noted with concern that some States Parties have relaxed PHSM and reduced testing, impacting thus the global ability to monitor evolution of the virus. The Committee also noted with concern the inconsistency of global COVID-19 requirements for international travel and the negative impact that inappropriate measures may have on all forms of international travel. In this context, the Committee noted that offering vaccination to high-risk groups of international travelers on arrival could be considered a means to mitigate the risk of severe disease or death due to COVID-19 among these individuals.”Statement on the eleventh meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic

The Scottish Government, in alignment with the rest of the UK has lifted all the legal requirements designed to limit the onward transmission of Covid-19. They are relying on the public to have ‘Covid sense’.

  • get your vaccine when offered to ensure you are fully protected
  • open windows when socialising indoors
  • wear a face covering in indoor public places and on public transport
  • wash your hands to protect yourself
  • take a PCR test and isolate if you have symptoms
  • take an LFD test before visiting someone in a hospital or care home

The estimated percentage of the community population in the UK that had COVID-19 was (ONS 14th April 2022):

  • 6.92% in England (1 in 14 people) 
  • 7.63% in Wales (1 in 13 people) 
  • 5.23% in Northern Ireland (1 in 19 people) 
  • 5.98% in Scotland (1 in 17 people)

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