Covid-19 Diary : Thursday 14 October, 2021

After a carefully managed barrage of positive press over the last couple of weeks, Merck has now requested FDA authorization for their Covid-19 mutagenic drug, molnupiravir.  Noting that the US has already placed a $1.7 billion dollar order for the controversial drug, its approval seems to be almost assured.

Here’s a great article about this new drug which gives some very unsettling background.  I do hope the FDA read it before deciding on their response.

A report by MPs in Britain described their country’s early response to Covid as “the worst public health failure ever“.  The amazing thing about this finding is that the MPs are criticizing their own government.

While there’s plenty of debate as to how many additional lives were unnecessarily lost (and that’s before even starting to think of issues such as ivermectin) it seems generally accepted that, for the UK, the number is in the tens of thousands.  But, whatever the number may be, there are two other numbers that are more certain.

The first – 138,000.  This is the total number of deaths suffered in Britain, so far.  The second – 0.  That’s the count of people who will lose their jobs as a result of leading the “worst public health failure ever”.  Some of us would suggest these two numbers would be better if transposed.

Talking about loss of life unnecessarily, and political dysfunction, the Chinese have pressured Pfizer into not supplying their vaccine to Taiwan.  So first China releases the virus on the world, then second, it prevents Taiwan from responding to it.

It is extremely regrettable that China’s economic blackmail succeeds in areas where diplomacy, fairness and kindness have been abject failures.  Details here.

Current Numbers

Some shuffling of positions in the minor country list, with Georgia leaping up two places.

No change of places in the major country list.

The US moved up to sixth place on the death list.

Numbers were generally up in the new cases for last week, so much so that even after a 14% increase in its case count, the UK ended up slipping a place in the table.

In Europe, the Netherlands has reversed itself and reported a 56% increase in cases.  Ireland was up 50%, and both Poland and Latvia had 42% increases.  At the other end, Sweden and Albania both had 18% drops, Switzerland and North Macedonia had 13% drops, and Italy had a 12% drop.  Germany was down 9% and France up 4%.  Europe as a whole had a strong 12% rise in cases.

Mexico had a 12% drop in cases, we in the US had a 13% drop, and Canada enjoyed a 21% drop.  The world as a whole had a 4% drop.

Top Case Rates Minor Countries (cases per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Seychelles (217,299) Seychelles (218,281)
2 Montenegro (213,655) Montenegro (217,587)
3 Andorra Andorra
4 Gibraltar (166,459) Gibraltar (170,052)
5 San Marino Georgia
6 St Barth San Marino
7 Georgia St Barth
8 Bahrain Maldives
9 Maldives Bahrain
10 Aruba (145,211) Slovenia (146,666)


Top Case Rates Major Countries (cases per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Czech Republic (158,100) Czech Republic (158,781)
2 USA (135,006) USA (136,850)
3 UK (117,745) UK (121,700)
4 Netherlands (117,336) Netherlands (118,522)
5 Argentina Argentina
6 Sweden (113,674) Sweden (114,072)
7 Belgium Belgium
8 France France
9 Spain Spain
10 Portugal Portugal
11 Brazil Brazil
12 Colombia (96,328) Colombia (96,494)


Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Peru  (5,948) Peru  (5,952)
2 Czech Rep  (2,841) Czech Rep  (2,844)
3 Brazil (2,797) Brazil (2,807)
4 Argentina Argentina
5 Colombia Colombia
6 Belgium (2,201) USA (2,225)
7 USA (2,190) Belgium (2,208)
8 Italy (2,174) Italy
9 Mexico (2,148) Mexico
10 Tunisia (2,087) Romania (2,137)


Top Rates in New Cases Reported in the Last Week (new cases per million) for Countries over one million population

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Serbia  5,328 Latvia  6,317
2 Lithuania  5,002 Georgia  5,868
3 Mongolia Lithuania
4 Latvia Estonia
5 Romania Romania
6 Estonia Serbia
7 UK  3,530 Mongolia
8 Singapore UK  4,000
9 Georgia Singapore
10 Slovenia Slovenia
11 Cuba Armenia
12 Turkey  2,378 Bulgaria  2,587


The rest of this newsletter is for the very kind Travel Insider Supporters – it is their support that makes all of this possible, and it seems fair they get additional material in return.  If you’re not yet a Supporter, please consider becoming one, and get instant access to the rest of the Diary Entry, all the additional material on previous diary entries, and much extra content on other parts of the website too.

If you’re a contributor, you should make sure you’re logged in to the website, and when you are, you’ll see the purple text and balance of the newsletter below on the website.  If you’re not logged in, or reading this via email, you need to log in on the website first.

Items below include contradictory studies on aspirin, inconsistent attitudes to quickly approving new drugs, is it wise to do more research to find more dangerous viruses, are cheese balls healthy, more on lockdowns, why are the authorities ignoring immunity gained by previous Covid infection, will the FDA listen to its own staff this time, what’s happened to progress on other vaccines, why are our immunization numbers growing three times more slowly than the official numbers would suggest, is this our last Covid surge, and more unexpected shortages.




Please stay happy and healthy; all going well, I’ll be back again on Sunday.

Please click here for a listing of all our Covid-19 articles.



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