Thursday, 29 October 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 28th / 29th October 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 28th / 29th October 2020.

The UK added 23,065 cases today and now has reported a total of 965,340 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 308,763 tests yesterday. 

10,308 people were in hospital on Tuesday 27th, with 958 using a ventilator yesterday, 28th October . 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 280 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 45,955 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

Up until Friday 16th October, 58,925 people had COVID written on their death certificate in the UK. 

Cases last 7 days / Cases all time
England - 127,172 / 818,759
Northern Ireland - 6,976 / 37,216
Scotland - 9,177 / 61,531
Wales - 7,573 / 47,834

Rep. Of Ireland 60,297 (+863) cases and 1,902 (+6)  losses of life.

There have now been a total of 45,073,955 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,183,175. Already 32,856,903 people have recovered.

291020 COVID cases and deaths by WHO region

"For the second consecutive week, Europe accounts for the greatest proportion of new cases, with over 1.3M new cases this past week – a 33% increase compared to the previous week – contributing nearly half of all new cases worldwide this week (46%)."
World Health Organisation weekly epidemiological update. 

"We must learn now, that the people who went to Eton can't run this country. They've had it,  they've tried to do it, and this little small group who all went to school in the same class, it doesn't work. So I feel we need some working class people that have lived a real life. People that are in touch with what's going on in reality..."
Round of applause for Danny Dyer there. The COVID-19 response has treated regular people as numbers in a machine. Go to work, eat out, shop, but don't see anyone you care about - for months on end. A real world recipe for failure. 

Boris has been warned that if he doesn't sort this out, he'll ruin Christmas. He's been warned by various people, including the Shadow Health Minister, and SAGE, his own Scientific Advisory Group. 
If he ruins Christmas it would place him in number 1 spot for the UK's biggest joy thief ever, narrowly pipping current leader, Oliver 'we'll not be having merrymaking on a Holy day' Cromwell. 

UPCOMING UK RESTRICTION CHANGES: 
On 30th October (tomorrow) Nottinghamshire moves to Local COVID Alert Level 3: Very High
On 31 October (Friday) the following move to Local COVID Alert Level 2: High - Amber Valley, Bolsover, Charnwood, Derby City, Derbyshire Dales, Dudley, East Riding of Yorkshire, High Peak, Kingston-Upon-Hull, Luton, North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, Oxford City, South Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Telford and Wrekin
On 2nd November (Monday) the whole of West Yorkshire - including Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield - moves to Local COVID Alert Level 3: Very High.

Bristol is being placed into a set of special restrictions all on it's own. Rather than 'Tier 2 HIGH Alert', they're having 'Tier 1+', which is presumably 'A BIT HIGH ALERT':
- Tighter enforcement
- More local control over test and trace
- Targeted focus on working adults (aged 30 - 60)
- Introduction of COVID marshals to patrol the city

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Lo-Dough Review - low calorie, high fibre, bread and pastry alternative (sent for review).

Lo-Dough is a vegetarian, and GMO, dairy, nut and soy-free alternative to regular flour dough. It has 90% less carbs and is incredibly low in calories. In addition the original Lo-Dough is gluten-free. It can be helpful for all kinds of people, on all kinds of restrictive diets. We've been sent a box full of products to try, including some of the original Lo-Dough bases. 

Lo-Dough products all bursting out from a cardboard box

Since trying some horrendous gluten-free bread a few years ago, I've been a sceptical about 'alternatives', but I was very intrigued to give Lo-Dough a try. Is it tasty and easy to use? Well, yes actually. It's incredibly impressive.,, 

Lo-Dough Miracle Cake Bars in packaging

Inside our box we had some of the brand new Miracle Cake Bars - Chunky Double Chocolate. We all tried them straight away, and I'm very pleased I split one between us because they do qualify as a small meal. 

Lo-Dough miracle cake bar open and broken in half to show chocolatey goodness

They're lovely. Incredibly filling and containing just 131 calories which seems to be mainly comprised of fibre (over 1/3 of your recommended daily intake). They also only have 0.7g of sugar each, and you'd never know it. This is sweet and chocolatey goodness.

Ad | What To Do With The Kids At Home - Autumn/Winter 2020

It's all very different, but that doesn't mean we can't still make it fun! When we look back, we won't really remember 2 weeks of self-isolating that turned into nothing, or all the hours we were trying to work while the kids asked endless questions. The things we'll remember the most will be the times we laughed at technology fails, the zoom calls with Grandma, the fact we sent parcels and letters. The precious hours getting to really know our family, the NHS, the rainbows, Marcus Rashford, and most of all, the way we still made it work.  

Here are lots of people who are still making it work in order to entertain us, and maybe teach us a few things along the way... Throughout the post are some printables that you can click on, save and print off on A4 paper... 

What to do with the kids at home this Autumn and Winter 2020

This Halloween HARIBO have created some amazing free printables - bunting, masks, treasure hunt clues and loads more. It doesn't have to be a damp squib! Find all of the HARIBO Halloween games, printables etc. on the HARIBO events page

National Geographic have now set up an entire 'At Home' platform for families, and content changes every couple of weeks. You can it all on the National Geographic At Home family pages - it's dinosaur month! There is masses to interest anyone who has an interest in plants, animals, the world around them or beyond. We've even joined in with a couple of the FREE online video-conferencing sessions with real explorers and paleontologists... 

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 26th and 27th October 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 26th and 27th October 2020.

The UK added 22,885 cases today and now has reported a total of 917,575 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 261,855 tests yesterday. 

9,199 people were in hospital on Sunday 25th (up from 6,431 a week earlier), with 852 using a ventilator yesterday, 26th October (up from 629 on Sunday 18th). 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 367 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days (up from 241 a week earlier). We now very sadly have a total of 45,365 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

Up until Friday 16th October, 58,925 people in the UK had COVID written on their death certificate. 

Rep. Of Ireland 58,767 (+700) cases and 1,890 (+5) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 44,071,979 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,168,562. Already 32,318,913 people have recovered.

be kind to people with covid simple soft toned cartoon drawing of adult on video conference to adult and child

"We understand the pandemic fatigue that people are feeling. It takes a mental and physical toll on everyone and no one wants more so-called lockdowns. But if we want to avoid them, we all have to play our part and we cannot give up. We must not give up. ACTogether!"
Dr Tedros, Head of WHO, making a pun there with the word ACT, which stands for the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. This is the global communication partnership, which is speeding up development, production, and fair access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.

Nottingham, Rushcliffe, Gedling and Broxtowe will move to Level 3 Very High English restrictions from midnight Thursday.

Starting today, Warrington is in the Very High Local COVID Alert Level 3.

Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed they are making a decision on whether North and South Lanarkshire will face tighter restrictions, possibly either on November 2nd when their new level system comes into force, or beforehand. 

The Welsh government have held extensive talks with retailers and on Friday will be publishing updated guidance on what constitutes "essential" shopping. Supermarkets are currently not usually allowed to sell things 'sold by shops which have been ordered to close' e.g. shoes, clothes, toys, books. This is to protect the livelihoods of those shops who aren't legally allowed to open their doors to customers. 

Monday, 26 October 2020

Funko Games Review - Disney Something Wild! and Marvel Battleworld Battle Ball (Sent for review)

Funko are really well known for their 'Funko Pops', but that's only part of the story, They also make a range of games, and we've been sent some to review. 

We've been sent Mickey And Friends and Toy Story Something Wild! games (age 6+, 2-4 players), and 2 of the Marvel Battleworld Battle Balls (age 6+)... 

Funko Games Review - Something Wild! and Battle Ball! Collage showing aspects of each

The Marvel Battleworld Battle Balls are quite large and heavy, so straight away the boys were very keen to get into them. They have a plastic sleeve around which really needs scissors to open because the rip strip is a bit hit and miss - don't use your teeth! 

Boys trying to open Funko Marvel battleworld battle balls

Inside you have 1 Hero, 1 Hero Card, 1 Thanostone (containing a mystery Hero), 1 mystery Hero Card sealed in black plastic, 5 Battle Cards, 1 Attack Die, 5 Danger Tokens, 1 Danger Coin and Instructions. 

Sunday, 25 October 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update October 25th 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update October 25th 2020.

The UK added 19,790 cases today and now has reported a total of 873,800 positive cases of COVID-19.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 151 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 44,896 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 57,128 (+1,020) cases and 1,882 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 43,240,281 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,157,517. Already 31,814,848 people have recovered.

How to self-isolate UK Government advice. Don't go out.

"We are not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas." 
White House Chief Of Staff Mark Meadows, admitting what we can all already see with our own eyes. . 
Sky News are reporting that English ministers are considering discussing reducing the self-isolation period for people who've come into contact with someone who has COVID. Apparently they're concerned about public compliance. Personally I think it's just another way to blame the public for test and trace failing. Everyone I know has isolated and been cautious when they've had to isolate...in fact, it only seems to be MP's and their bessies who still think they're allowed to jolly around the UK for fun. 

Friday, 23 October 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 23rd October 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 23rd October 2020.

The UK added 20,530 cases today and now has reported a total of 830,998 positive cases of COVID-19. 

England: 704,443 cases (last 7 days +101,605) 
Northern Ireland: 32,286 cases (last 7 days +7,223)
Scotland: 54,016 cases (last 7 days +8,296)
Wales: 40,253 cases (last 7 days +5,768)

7,706 people were in hospital on Wednesday 21st, with 707 using a ventilator yesterday, 22nd October. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 224 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 44,571 officially reported losses of life in all settings.
Up until Friday 9th October 58,164 people had COVID-19 written on their death certificate. 

Rep. Of Ireland 54,476 cases and 1,871 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 42,264,754 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,146,104. Already 31,327,050 people have recovered.

231020 losses of life by week UK with fortnightly doubling

"More than a month ago, nearly 5 weeks, the government scientists said that we need a short, sharp shock, a 14 day circuit break. We agreed with them. If we'd all stayed at home for just 2 weeks, we would have protected the NHS. We would have protected and saved the economy, and we would have saved lives, businesses and jobs. The government didn't accept that advice, they were under a lot of pressure to be fair, and they came up with their 3 Tier  system.... Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions are not stopping the spread of infection, and are causing pretty severe economic damage.... A 14 day lockdown would cut the R value probably to 0.7 and reduce cases by fourfold. But the government have decided to persist with their 3 Tiers. Let's hope that Tier 3 works, but I fear that we are going to have to wait until the epidemic surge reaches it's natural peak, and we are going to have to accept the consequences." 
Professor Anthony Costello, independent SAGE group. 

"We are at a critical juncture in the COVID19 pandemic, particularly in the northern hemisphere. The next few months are going to be very tough and some countries are on a dangerous track. 
Too many countries are seeing an exponential increase in COVID19 cases and that is now leading to hospitals and intensive care units running close or above capacity and we’re still only in October.
We urge leaders to take immediate action, to prevent further unnecessary deaths, essential health services from collapsing and schools shutting again.
As I said it in February and I’m repeating it today: this is not a drill."
Dr Tedros, Head of the World Health Organisation. 

Thursday, 22 October 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 21 / 22 October 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 21 / 22 October 2020.

The UK added 21,242 cases today and now has reported a total of 810,467 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 310,322 tests yesterday (I think that's the second time over 300k in a day). 

7,433 people were in hospital on Tuesday 20th (up from 4,941 a week earlier), with 711 using a ventilator yesterday, Weds 21st October (up from 563 a week earlier). 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 189 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 44,347 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 53,422 cases and 1,868 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 41,734,935 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,139,647. Already 31,059,605 people have recovered.

How to self-isolate UK Government advice

"Lockdowns & 'circuit breakers' are a good way to get #SARSCoV2 cases down fast in bad situations.
But they will only lead to long-term containment if you don't commit to fixing the underlying problems that got you to high cases in the first place. 
They must come with a *plan*."
Dr Emma Hodcroft, Co-developer of nextstrain - who are real-time tracking the strains of COVID as it travels around the world.  

Greater Manchester will move to Tier 3 VERY HIGH restrictions from midnight tonight. 

Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield will move into Tier 3 VERY HIGH restrictions from midnight on Friday. 

Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry and Slough will move into Tier 2 HIGH restrictions on Saturday

Scotland's restrictions placed on the central belt (Lothian, Lanarkshire, Forth Valley, Ayrshire & Arran and Greater Glasgow & Clyde) will continue for another week until 6am on Monday 2 November.
In addition, Scotland will announce details of a new Strategic Framework for control of the virus based on a 'levels' approach (with 5 tiers) tomorrow. They are set to begin on November 2nd. 

Rishi Sunak (UK Chancellor) has announced that cash grants of up to £2,100 will be available to businesses affected by Tier 2 High Alert closures. There will be retrospective - which is excellent news for the North West especially, (who are all saying OMG could you not have just mentioned this 2 days ago?) and for everyone else who has survived weeks of closure or lack of business already:
"- open businesses which are experiencing considerable difficulty will be given extra help to keep staff on as government significantly increases contribution to wage costs under the Job Support Scheme, and business contributions drop to 5%
- business grants are expanded to cover businesses in particularly affected sectors in high-alert level areas, helping them stay afloat and protecting jobs
- grants for the self-employed doubled to 40% of previous earnings"

Sadly a 28 year old Brazilian Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine study volunteer has lost their life to COVID-19. The trial hasn't been stopped, or even paused, and sources say the gentleman was part of the control group who received a placebo, and so it appears the vaccine is definitely not at fault. 
Clinical vaccine trials have to include patients who receive a placebo, because you have to have something to compare to, in order to prove a new drug or therapy works. It's a great shame this gentleman wasn't randomly placed in the group receiving the vaccine... 

Rule of 6 Keep to 6

There are several companies and individuals developing rapid tests for COVID, and they're getting very smart. They usually use a pinprick blood test, but some use saliva (although they are overall finding it harder to get really accurate results). 
PocDoc and BioSure have just launched a 10 minute finger prick test aimed at workplaces, which is over 98% accurate for specificity and sensitivity, and there's a bloke in Buckinghamshire who has created a little pinprick gadget which clips on a smartphone and uploads the information, and you get a result back within seconds. He claims he has achieved 98.7% sensitivity (does it find the COVID?) and nearly 100% specificity (do you get false positives?), which is pretty darn good. 

UK School attendance is still going okay, it's creeping downwards, but incredibly slowly. Latest figures this week show:
"We estimate 4-5% of pupils in state-funded schools did not attend school for COVID-19 related reasons on Thursday 15 October. This includes:
0.1% of pupils with a confirmed case of coronavirus
0.5% of pupils with a suspected case of coronavirus
3.9-4.3% of pupils self-isolating due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus 
0.2% of pupils in schools closed for COVID-19 related reasons
On Thursday 15 October, approximately 21% of state-funded schools said they had one or more pupils self-isolating who had been asked to do so due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus inside the school. This is 46% of state-funded secondaries and 16% of state-funded primaries." 
"A smaller proportion (11-13%) had more than 30 pupils self-isolating due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus inside the school."

A UK led study into the effects of 'Long COVID' has found some pretty grim results. This isn't yet peer-reviewed, so it may have errors, but it seems to back up evidence which is beginning to come in from around the world. 
They studied 201 individuals who are affected by Long COVID, 105-160 days after their initial symptoms. This is a young, fit group, with an average age 44 (70% female, 87% white, 31% healthcare workers), and a low level of pre-existing conditions (obesity 20%, hypertension 6%; diabetes 2%; heart disease 4%). Only 18% had been ill enough with their COVID infection to actually be hospitalised.
"Fatigue (98%), muscle aches (88%), breathlessness (87%), and headaches (83%) were the most frequently reported symptoms. Ongoing cardiorespiratory (92%) and gastrointestinal (73%) symptoms were common, and 42% of individuals had ten or more symptoms.
There was evidence of mild organ impairment in heart (32%), lungs (33%), kidneys (12%), liver (10%), pancreas (17%), and spleen (6%). Single (66%) and multi-organ (25%) impairment was observed, and was significantly associated with risk of prior COVID-19 hospitalisation. 
Interpretation: In a young, low-risk population with ongoing symptoms, almost 70% of individuals have impairment in one or more organs four months after initial symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection. There are implications not only for burden of long COVID but also public health approaches which have assumed low risk in young people with no comorbidities."
Remember that this isn't a percentage of everyone who had COVID, it is just people who are still suffering 3-5 months later. It shows clearly that they have a genuine illness, which can be seen if you examine them. It's still expected and hoped that most people will eventually fully recover, and in many cases won't even realise, for example, that their liver isn't running at 100%. 

Scottish Govt free meals for school kids

Trump Of The Day:
A Dutch 'ethical hacker' has screenshots to prove that last week he guessed Mr Trump's Twitter password and was able to log in and use the account. He says 2-step verification wasn't turned on, and the password was so obvious that we could all have guessed it - MAGA2020! 
Give. Me. Strength. 
Luckily for Donald the information was passed on to him, and government services, and his account is apparently now more secure. (He's probably changed his password to 'JoeBidenSmellsOfWee'.)

The Czech Republic really do seem to be struggling. Around a quarter of their COVID tests are coming back positive. The WHO recommendation is that anything over 5% positive means you are missing cases. At 25% positive, they really can only be testing people who are ill, meaning they have lost any control over spread right now. 
They have closed schools and made mask-wearing mandatory. Bars and restaurants are take away until 8pm only, and drinking outside the home is barred. Doctors who left to work abroad have been asked if they'll consider returning, and agreements have been put into place with the German states of Bavaria and Saxony in case hospitals become overloaded. 

Wales are going to nationalise their railway in order to ensure it continues to run. They've obviously seen a massive drop in passenger numbers due to COVID, and bringing it back under public control ensures it has a future. Unions are asking for the move to be made permanent. (Go on, do it.)

COVID Transmission BMJ article Colourblind version
English schoolchildren in receipt of free school meals will NOT get this extended to cover more school holidays. Sadly all but about 5 Tory MP's voted against bringing in an extension. Those who voted against included the ministers in charge of Universities, Apprenticeships and school standards. The Education Minister and, somewhat unbelievably, the Children's Minister. The Minister in charge of safeguarding didn't vote. 
I despair.
#eatnowttohelpout has been a trending hashtag on Twitter all day. 

Scotland, who often lead the way when it comes to caring for our future generation, WILL be providing all eligible children with a free lunch throughout the school holidays, at least until after Easter break 2021.

NASA have a message: 
"We will be revealing a new discovery about the surface of the Moon from our airborne SOFIA Telescope observatory, and YOU are invited. 
12pm ET on Monday, Oct. 26!"
I tried to work out what time that'll be in the UK, but gave up because of BST/GMT and the clocks going back, but I think it'll be 4.30pm. We had genuine UFOs earlier this year (no-one seemed to notice), but actual aliens would be good. Preferably alien sloths. Everyone likes sloths.... 

Some people. They all have names, but they're shown here as numbers:

Countries / Cases / Losses of life (some states /provinces yet to report):

USA 8,607,785 (+22,966) 227,696 (+287) 
India 7,756,206 (+51,048) 117,277 (+624)
Brazil 5,303,520 (+2,871) 155,500 (+41)
Russia 1,463,306 (+15,971) 25,242 (+290)
Spain 1,046,641 not yet reported today 34,366
Argentina 1,037,325 not yet reported today 27,519
Colombia 981,700 not yet reported today 29,464
France 957,421  not yet reported today 34,048
Peru 876,885 not yet reported today 33,937
Mexico 867,559 (+6,845) 87,415 (+522)
UK 810,467 (+21,242) 44,347 (+189)
South Africa 708,359 not yet reported today 18,741
Iran 550,757 (+5,471) 31,650 (+304)
Chile 497,131 (+1,494) 13,792 (+73)
Italy 465,726 (+16,079) 36,968 (+136) 
.
.

Sources


https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/2020-week-42
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-czech/czechs-to-build-field-hospitals-as-covid-19-cases-soar-idUSKBN2700JI
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.14.20212555v1.full.pdf
https://twitter.com/TeacherToolkit/status/1319025040302669828?s=19
https://news.stv.tv/politics/new-tiered-lockdown-system-set-to-begin-on-november-2?amp
https://twitter.com/PickardJE/status/1319229675072331776?s=19
https://www.facebook.com/beth.hawthorne.77/videos/5114488255243957
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plan-for-jobs-chancellor-increases-financial-support-for-businesses-and-workers
https://www.volkskrant.nl/nieuws-achtergrond/dutch-ethical-hacker-logs-into-trump-s-twitter-account~badaa815/



Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia Game Review (Age 7+) Sent for review

Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia is a video game based on the popular TV series Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia. It was released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows on September 25th and we were sent a code to review on the Playstation. 

It's been a little while since I spent any quality time on a game, but sadly I've had my right hand in a brace since June, so I still can't actually join in this time. My 12 year old has given me his opinion for this review... 
Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia Game pack shot in all available formats

The game is a familiar side-scrolling platformer, and you take the role of  Jim Lake Jr. (in two-player co-operative mode you can also play as Claire Nuñez). The aim of the game is to collect dirty socks and coins, fighting any enemies you meet on the way. Well, okay, the aim of the game is to prevent evil troll Porgon causing a Time-pocalypse.... 

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 19th / 20th October 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 19th / 20th October 2020.

The UK added 21,331 cases today and now has reported a total of 762,542 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 260,338 tests yesterday. 

6,431 people were in hospital, with 629 using a ventilator, on Sunday 18th October. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 241 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 43,967 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

According to ONS figures, up until Friday 8th October, 58,164 people had COVID-19 written on their death certificate. 

Cases / Losses of life (going by death certificate, 2 weeks in arrears):
England 647,025 / 50,309
Northern Ireland 28,953 / 913
Scotland 49,164 / 4,301
Wales 37,400 / 2,641

Rep. Of Ireland 52,256 (+1,263) cases and 1,865 (+13) losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 40,874,258 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,126,263. Already 30,481,449 people have recovered.


Wear a face covering wash hands make space

“You cannot, in an epidemic, just take your own risk. Unfortunately, you’re taking a risk on behalf of everybody else.”
Chief Medical Officer of England, Professor Chris Whitty. 

“We can look to happier days, but these are going to be some tough months ahead."
Former head of the US FDA, Dr Scott Gottlieb. 

The UK had a coronavirus briefing with Boris Haircut, Jonathan Van-Tam, (Deputy Chief Medical Officer) and Stephen Powis (NHS England).
Greater Manchester was given until noon today to come to agreement over Tier 3 Restrictions, and the amount of money that would be given to support people unable to work, or the Government said they'd step in. They did not manage it by noon. Nor by 2pm.
"At 2pm, the Government walked away from negotiations"
Andy Burnham, Manchester Mayor (he had asked for £65m).
The press conference started with latest data on case rates per 100,000 population by local authority across England. It's grim.
Estimates of new infections by region are rising in all age groups except the young people, which are levelling off. It's obviously the older age groups who are at greater risk of succumbing to COVID, and these people do need protecting. Sadly though, hospital admissions show that they are rising rapidly among people around 75+.
They did show graphs for Greater Manchester specifically, and it was very black.
Boris said our measures aren't in vain, we have brought the infection rate down below it's natural level, to around 1.3 or 1.5 (erm....whoop?) instead of 3 or 4. (This does slow spread, but it's still spread...)

Greater Manchester will move to Tier 3 VERY HIGH ALERT AT MIDNIGHT THURSDAY.
- Pubs and bars will close unless serving main meals
- No household mixing indoors or out in most settings
- Travel into or out of the area is advised against.
- The Rule Of 6 must be adhered to.
- Additionally to base Tier 3 restrictions -  casinos, bingo halls, betting shops, adult gaming centres and soft play must also close.
He talks about the Job Support Scheme and Universal Credit giving the lowest paid up to 80% of their regular wage (what about people on zero hour or 10 hour contracts?...). Greater Manchester will receive £22m in support (this is far less per head than has been given to Lancashire and Liverpool, which is what they are all arguing about). 

Public asked if the rules can be changed so that they can visit care homes. Boris burbled and then Jonathan Van Tam was overly-sincere. The answer is that it endangers everyone in the care home. It's not wise now.
Press asked why we don't have a national 'firebreak' lockdown. Jon and Steve both said it wasn't fair to do that nationally. Greater Manchester has more COVID patients than the entire South West of the country.
Press asked what difference arguing for 10 days will have made to Greater Manchester (well, the pubs in Bolton managed to open for a whole fortnight). Jon spoke about cases per 100k in age 60+, which have just about doubled. Steve talked about hospitalisations - which follow around 12+ days after people catch the virus. Greater Manchester had 330 patients with COVID 2 weeks ago, and 620 yesterday. At it's peak, on 18th April, Greater Manchester had 1,277 patients with COVID, so in 2 weeks we could be back at that level (and it's already too late to change that).
Jonathan seemed so demoralised. He needs a hug. "We can't afford just to let our elderly die. And we can't afford to let our NHS be completely consumed by COVID, so they can't do their usual work." 

"We are running now with the brakes partially on, and the R is 1.3-1.5 according to the latest estimates, so we can't take the brake off on this, and we may have to push on it a little bit harder."
Jonathan Van-Halen-Morrison. 

Press asked about the £22m being given to Manchester - he said this is half of what Liverpool has been offered, and not the £60m Boris was rumoured to have offered last night. 'So will local leaders be penalised i they aren't compliant?' Underneath that floppy exterior Boris is a hard-hearted soul. He clearly has ice inside. He didn't give a real answer. My guess is yes.
Press asked about contact tracing. All the lolz... *insert non-answers and misplaced credit here*