Tuesday, 31 March 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 31st March

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 31st March

The UK added 3,009 cases today and now has reported a total of 25,150 positive cases of COVID-19. We had in total tested 143,186 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 381 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 1,789 losses of life.

Total cases are: England 21,008, Scotland 1,993, Wales 1,563 and Northern Ireland 586. Already 135 of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.

Rep. Of Ireland have 2,910 cases and 54 losses of life (not yet reported).

There have now been 837,022 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 41,245. Already 176,040 people have recovered.

UN WHO Avoid Stigma


Michael Gove drew short straw again today for the daily briefing, with Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries and Professor Stephen Powis, Medical Director of NHS England.

In London 3,915 COVID-19 patients are in hospital, in the Midlands it's 1,918. Gove talked about increasing testing and says we are negotiating the necessary components to increase both the COVID-19 'have you got it' testing, and the 'did you have it' testing when that starts.
We are buying more ventilators from abroad, as well as producing ventilators within the UK in an arrangement with companies including Ford, Airbus, Dyson, Rolls Royce and Mercedes F1.
A team from UCL will develop thousands of CPAP machines (I mentioned these yesterday) as a quick and easy method of ventilating COVID-19 patients.
The Government are delivering food and medicines to 1.5m of our most vulnerable people, and volunteers will also work with other people, including those who just need a friendly voice.
We've moved all of our helicopters around so that we can support remote members of the public and get them to hospital if they need it.

Steven Parries explained how the NHS is coping - so far it's okay.
NHS Nightingale will be ready to take patients this week.
He explained around 1/3 of the UK's hospital admissions are in London, which is the worst affected area. When asked about the large number of deaths today, he explained that it will vary and it's important to look at the pattern over a few days, rather than just one or two figures.
Jenny Harries talked about the drive-through Boots testing clinics for NHS workers, and says they are being expanded. She also talked about the possibility of postal tests to save the time of NHS employees.
There were actually interesting press questions - London has 1400 NHS ICU beds and 1000 people in Intensive Care, so we don't yet have to overflow into the NHS Nightingale Hospital. At one point Jenny Harries said 'have you got it' and 'did you have it' tests, which was a bit weird for me because I'd just typed that.

Monday, 30 March 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 30th March

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 30th March

The UK added 2,619 cases today and now has reported a total of 22,141 positive cases of COVID-19. We had in total tested 134,946 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 180 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 1,408 losses of life.

Total cases are: England 18,594, Scotland 1,563, Wales 1,451 and Northern Ireland 533. Already 135 of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.

Rep. Of Ireland have 2,615 cases and 46 losses of life (not yet reported).

There have now been 764,866 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 36,864. Already 160,148 people have recovered.

Amplify the good The WHO

At the UK Press conference today our rabbit in the headlights was Dominc Raab. He's the Foreign Secretary & First Secretary of State, so covered UK nationals abroad.
He reminded us 17th March the Government advised everyone against foreign travel, and on 23rd March they advised everyone to return home. There are still thousands of British travellers abroad and the UK are working with other governments, airlines and other agencies in order to try and repatriate as many people as they can, as quickly and safely as they can.
Where commercial flights are still available, book tickets and go home asap. Where commercial flights are no longer available, tens of thousands of British travellers will be flown back under £75m of new charter flight arrangements starting this week. Follow UK Embassy social media in the country you are in to keep updated.

The press questions were honestly mainly "we can't give you an answer to that" questions about figures. It wouldn't matter who was standing there, they can't tell you something we just don't know. We are still roughly following France's pattern, but we can't be precise as to whether we'll be exactly the same point as them in a few days or not. The assumption is it will be similar.

The SEC (Scottish Event Campus) in Glasgow will be our 5th temporary hospital. It will have 300 beds to start with and has capacity for 1000 patients.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 29th March

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 29th March

The UK added 2,433 cases today and now has reported a total of 19,522 positive cases of COVID-19. We had in total tested 127,737 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 209 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 1,228 losses of life.

Total cases are: England 16,486, Scotland 1,384, Wales 1,241 and Northern Ireland 410. Already 135 of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.

Rep. Of Ireland have 2,415 cases and 36 losses of life (not yet reported).

There have now been 702,368 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 33,180. Already 149,219 people have recovered.

WHO lets face this together

Today's unlucky dip press conference podium-sweater was the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick. Luckily for him he had the only remaining UK COVID-19 lead with him, Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer.

To be honest there wasn't a lot of real information at today's press conference and most of the press questions were ones that don't have an answer.
We simply can't give an accurate mortality rate because we really aren't sure how many people get no symptoms or are at home with mild symptoms. That's not just the UK, it's the whole world. Lowest estimates are under 1% and are very plausible. Mortality rate is far higher as soon as medical services are overwhelmed, because so many people just need some oxygen.
We can't say when any lockdown will end because we don't know yet how long cases will keep increasing. For at least as long as the NHS are at full pelt we need to stop feeding new victims to the virus, and we will stay under restrictions.

Some very sad news today as Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has confirmed that a baby under 12 months old has died from coronavirus.

Saturday, 28 March 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 28th March

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 28th March

The UK added 2,546 cases today and now has reported a total of 17,089 positive cases of COVID-19. We had in total tested 120,776 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost 260 more people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 1,019 losses of life.

Total cases are: England 14,427, Scotland 1,245, Wales 1,093 and Northern Ireland 324. Already 135 of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.

Rep. Of Ireland have 2,415 cases and 36 losses of life.

There have now been 659,546 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 30,628. Already 141,420 people have recovered.

FACTS beat fear WHO advice sheet

Today's scared chap on a podium was Alok Sharma, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who led a mainly financial press conference:
Some competition rules have been suspended for supermarkets and IOW Ferries. (Previously they couldn't share lorries or stock.)
Annual leave will be able to be carried over for the next 2 years.
Reminder of extensions to company tax.
Insolvency system changes to keep more companies trading.
Reducing red tape for hand sanitiser producers.

Medical questions from press were put to Stephen Powis, Medical Director of NHS England:
Intensive care capacity hasn't yet been reached.
Antibody testing for NHS staff members has already begun.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will go to the front of any queue for testing.
"If we can keep the number of deaths down to 20,000 we will be doing very well".

What's On This Easter For Families Staying Home!

Okay, so the UK is under lockdown. Lots of people have spent months preparing to keep you busy this Easter, and they will need to hold on to some of their plans for a while until it's safe for everyone. That doesn't mean they won't still be entertaining you though - loads of artists and others have temporarily moved online, so here are some of the people you can still be entertained by....

Z-Arts

Z-Arts might not be open to the public, but the creative teams behind their fantastic arts projects are busy behind the scenes putting together loads of things you can do at home.

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre are doing 'Build At Home' Sessions with Masterbuilder James over on Facebook. The first was at 3pm on Friday 27th March and you're invited to give it a go too.
If you have the same bricks as James you can follow his build, or work with whatever you have to create your own awesome version. Each video will be posted on LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester's Facebook page. If you can't make it at 3pm don't worry - it will stay posted for you to access whenever you like!

HOME Manchester have the Manchester Open Exhibition online, and are creating a series of works "Artists In Isolation".

The Science Museum Group have put together an awesome site where you can view lots of the exhibits from National Collections Centre, National Railway Museum, National Science & Media Museum, Science & Industry Museum and the Science Museum.

Friday, 27 March 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 27th March

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 27th March

It's taking so much of my time to re-order everything and post every two days that it's actually easier to post every day. So I shall...

There have now been 590,015 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 26,939. Already 132,447 people have recovered.

The UK added 2,885 cases today and now has reported a total of 14,579 positive cases of COVID-19. We had in total tested 113,777 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost 181 more people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 759 losses of life.

Total cases are: England 12,288, Scotland 1,059, Wales 921 and Northern Ireland 275. Already 135 of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.

Rep. Of Ireland have 2,121 cases and 22 losses of life.


Health workers look after yourself WHO advice sheet

With the UK's COVID trinity all testing positive (if this is news to you - Surprise!! See below), Michael Gove is designated survivor and had to step up to the podium. He repeated a lot of things we've heard before and explained about the Antigen testing - which will start this weekend so that self-isolating NHS workers can find out if they actually have COVID-19 or can get back to work.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 26th March

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 26th March

Today worldwide cases of COVID-19 passed half a million. There are now 519,603 cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 23,581. Already 123,294 people have recovered.

The UK added 2,129 cases today and now has reported a total of 11,658 positive cases of COVID-19. We had in total tested 104,866 people as of 9am this morning.

The UK has lost 113 more people to COVID-19, we now sadly have a total of  578 losses of life.

Total cases are: England 9782, Scotland 894, Wales 741 and Northern Ireland 241. Already 135 of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.

Rep. Of Ireland have 1,564 cases and 9 losses of life.(Not yet reported)

Rishi Sunak hosted today's press conference and had the promised support for the UK's Self-Employed.
He announced a new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.
"The government will pay self-employed people, who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus, a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last 3 years, up to £2,500 per month.
Open for at least 3 months across the UK, I will extend if necessary."
"You’ll be able to claim these grants and continue to do business.
It’s only open to those with trading profits up to £50,000, who make a majority of their income from self-employment. To minimise fraud only those already in self-employment, who have a tax return for 2019 can apply."
You have until the beginning of June to apply.

At 8pm tonight, open your windows and give a round of applause for our health and social care staff - lots of whom are scared as heck because they understand what is coming. Some of whom are already going through hell, in areas of London especially.
(Then continue to stay home and make life much easier for them.)

clap for the nhs

All NHS workers and social care staff will be given free car parking in hospitals, and local council on-street spaces and car parks in England to help staff carry out their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak.
About blinking time. They should never have had to pay.

The National Car Parking Group (NCP) have confirmed that they will also provide NHS staff free parking at all 150 of their car parks in England.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 24/25 March

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 24/25 March

The UK now have reported a total of 9,529 positive cases of COVID-19. We had in total tested more than 97,019 people as of 9am this morning.

The UK has a total of 463 losses of life.

Total cases are: England 7973, Scotland 719, Wales 628 and Northern Ireland 209. Already 135 of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.

Rep. Of Ireland have 1,564 cases and 9 losses of life.

The total number of cases worldwide is now 464,683. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 20,942. The number of people who have already recovered is 113,802.

Health Workers Stress WHO advice sheet

UK NEWS: 

At today's press conference Boris said he would talk about financial support for the self-employed tomorrow. Chris Whitty explained there is a global shortage of tests, and we are obviously falling behind. NHS workers and people in Intensive Care have priority for testing until we have an excess, then we can start testing more widely.
There was explanation about the antibody tests, which will be able to be taken a week or so after symptoms, to tell you if you definitely had COVID-19.

Boris repeated the basic message - "If you can stay at home then you absolutely should stay at home". If you have to go to work, your employer has to ensure proper safety measures are taken, including the 6 feet / 2 metre distancing rule.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

New Dragon Ball Toys Review (Sent by BandaiUK).

This March sees the launch of a brand new range of Dragon Ball toys and Bandai have sent my boys some to have a play with. Suitable for age 4+ (blind bags 6+), the range includes blind bag miniatures, highly posable figures and super-sized Limit Breaker figures.

We've been sent Piccolo (Cape Version) and Krillin Dragon Stars figures, Super Saiyan Goku Limit Breaker and 2 x blind bag Super Collectibles.

Monday, 23 March 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 22-23 March

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 22/23 March

A good statistical milestone today, as over 100,000 people have now recovered from COVID-19 worldwide. 101,554 in fact. Sadly though the total number of cases worldwide is 374,768. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 16,355,

The UK has reported a total of 6,650 positive cases of COVID-19. We had in total tested 83,945 people as of 9am this morning. The UK now have a total of 335 losses of life.

Total cases are: England 5585, Scotland 499, Wales 418 and Northern Ireland 148. Already 135 of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.

Rep. Of Ireland have 1125 cases and 6 losses of life.

"Life shouldn't feel normal right now, so if your life still feels entirely normal, ask yourself if you are doing the right things" Nicola Sturgeon.

Health Workers look after yourselves WHO

UK NEWS:

Today Boris held an emergency COBRA meeting and the press statement time was moved back twice, making everyone realise what was likely to be announced. We are on lockdown.

It's vital to reduce the spread of the disease. We've been asking people to stay at home, huge numbers are complying, but we need to do more.

You must stay at home except:
Infrequent shopping for basic necessities - food, medicine.
1 form of exercise a day
Any medical need
To provide care /help vulnerable
Travelling to work if it cannot be done from home.

No gatherings of more than 2 people who are not living together already as a group.

The police do have the powers to enforce compliance or disperse groups. Close all shops selling non-essential goods. Closing libraries, gyms, places of worship. All social events including weddings and baptisms cancelled. Parks are open for exercise, gatherings will be dispersed.
We will look at this again in THREE weeks.

At Sunday's press conference Boris stressed the importance of being 2m away from other people, especially anyone who isn't a member of your household. Everyone should follow this rule. Parks are not for playing together or congregating. Fresh air is great, inhaling someone else's COVID-19 infection, not great.
Everyone who is especially vulnerable now needs to isolate themselves from the rest of the community as best as possible. You'll receive a letter within days if this is you, and should isolate for 12 weeks from when you receive your letter. It includes distancing from the rest of your household as much as possible. Eat and sleep separately, all wash hands often. There is additional advice on the gov dot uk website. The army will be offering support to enable people to do this where they don't have family or friends who can support them.

People going for a last drink on Friday, the daytrippers on Saturday and some of you who went to see relatives today, alongside being behind with testing, will add up to the hundreds of thousands of cases as yet undiscovered. We know they exist, it's better to find out who they are. Most will start to show symptoms this week and infect their household, who will mostly be Ill next week and the one after. We are at the point our hospitals will within days become overwhelmed.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

COVID-19 coronavirus UK and World News update 20/21 March

COVID-19 coronavirus UK and World News update 20/21 March

The UK now has reported a total of 5,018 positive cases of COVID-19 and 233 losses of life. We had tested 72,818 people as of 1pm today.

Total cases are: England 3,257, Scotland 373, Wales 280 and Northern Ireland 108.
93 of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.

Rep. Of Ireland have 785 cases and 3 losses of life.

The world has reported 305,268 cases and 12,988 losses of life.
94,677 people have been reported to have already recovered. 186 countries or territories have reported cases.

WHO coronavirus advice children emulate stress

UK NEWS:

Friday's press conference with Boris was not that much of a surprise. You're all going out too much! SOCIAL DISTANCING guys. Now you have less chance of sharing. All pubs, clubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms, bars, restaurants, leisure centres and basically any leisure facility has to close tonight. The situation will be reassessed monthly.

Thursday, 19 March 2020

COVID-19 coronavirus UK and World News update 18/19 March

COVID-19 coronavirus UK and World News update 18/19 March

Wednesday lunchtime the global total cases passed 200,000. Just over 81,000 in mainland China. Over 35,000 in Italy.

The UK now has reported a total of 3,269 positive cases of COVID-19. We had tested 61,352 people as of 9am this morning.

The UK has a total of 144 losses of life.

Total cases are: England 2,756, Scotland 266, Wales 170 and Northern Ireland 77..
65 of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.

Rep. Of Ireland have 557 cases and 3 losses of life.

The world has reported 244,615 cases and 10,014 losses of life.
87,407 people have been reported to have already recovered.

In Norway the Prime Minister Erna Solberg held a press conference especially for children, answering their questions. She told them: 'It's normal to be scared, but everything will be okay.'

COVID is a world problem WHO

UK NEWS:

Wednesday's press conference with Boris gave us the announcement on England's schools - finally :
They admitted the spike in cases is increasing more quickly than anticipated, and more measures are now necessary. Schools will close at 3.30pm this Friday until further notice. They will remain open to the children of key workers (police, medical staff, delivery drivers and other essential tasks) and they'll be open to vulnerable children, including those who have a social worker, or ECHP. Meals or vouchers will be available to all children who qualify for free school meals.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

COVID-19 coronavirus UK and World News Update 16 /17th March 2020

COVID-19 coronavirus UK and World News Update 16 /17th March 2020

The UK added 407 cases today and now has reported a total of 1,950 positive cases of COVID-19. We had tested 50,442 people as of 9am this morning.

The UK has a total of 71 losses of life.
Total cases are: England 1,557, Scotland 195, Wales 136 and Northern Ireland 62.

65 of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.

Rep. Of Ireland have 223 cases and 2 losses of life.

The world has reported 197,135 cases and 7,949 losses of life. 81,683 people have been reported to have already recovered.

COVID-19 coronavirus UK and World News Update 16 /17th March 2020

UK NEWS:

There is a hoax that you can obtain baby milk free of charge if you ring 111 or the number on the inside of the tin. You can't.
If you bought loads to stockpile, please think of others. There are shortages in some parts of the country and we don't want babies being fed substitutes. If you have plenty, see if anyone in your local buy and sell groups needs some, and please don't charge them a premium, we are all in this together.

The NHS will contact you from Monday 23 March 2020 if you are at particularly high risk of getting seriously ill with coronavirus. You'll be given specific advice about what to do.

The Dropkick Murphy's are streaming their St Patrick's Day concert live at 11pm tonight - you should just be in time to catch it.

The Grand National is cancelled. Also Manchester Marathon, also Summer 2020.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus World And UK News 13-15 March

COVID-19 coronavirus UK and World News update 15/03

The UK added 330 cases today and now has reported a total of 1,391 positive cases of COVID-19. We had tested 40,279 people as of 9am this morning.

The UK has now reported 35 people have lost their life to COVID-19.

Total cases are: England 1,099, Scotland 153, Wales 94 and Northern Ireland 45.

18 of the UK's positive testing cases have been reported recovered.

Rep. Of Ireland have 169 cases.

The world has reported 169,149 cases and 6,494 losses of life. 76,618 people have already recovered.

Look after your neighbours WHO

UK NEWS:

Please remember we had a backlog for testing and are now testing far more people each day, so the numbers will of course be higher. Even Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer, said 2 days ago that he believed there were 5-10k cases out there as yet undiscovered, and that total grows each day. It's better to know who these people are, so they can isolate from vulnerable members of society.

NHS current advice is to use the online 111 service if:
you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
your condition gets worse
your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

March #TBCSmiles... 67 Months

I've been very remiss with commenting on #TBCSmiles this month, and if you follow my Facebook page then you'll see why. I'm sharing facts, world and UK news about Coronavirus every day. I started sharing things I found interesting. and it grew.

I get a lot of feedback that I make people feel less anxious, and I know that was why I first started researching COVID-19. Knowledge can be great power. Knowing your enemy a little better always makes you less scared of them.


Back in December I wrote:
"I think one of the biggest problems with the UK and the entire world right now is that we forget how important people are. We are so busy and so stressed that we get on the treadmill and start walking, Our employers, our government, our society and everyone else train us and tell us to keep walking, but we all need to remember to step off regularly.
It's too easy to lose sight of what is really important."

We may not have any idea exactly where we'll be or what will face us in a month's time, (although hopefully you'll all be back here!), but the coronavirus is reminding us, all of us worldwide, of what is really important.

Friday, 13 March 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus Update 11-13 March

COVID-19 coronavirus update 11/03 - 13/03

The UK added 208 cases today and now has reported a total of 798 positive cases of COVID-19. We had tested 32,771 people as of 9am this morning.

The UK has reported a total of 11 losses of life.

Total cases are: England 491, Scotland 85, Wales 38 and Northern Ireland 29.

18 of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.

Rep. Of Ireland have 43 cases.

The world has reported 144,031 cases and 5,397 losses of life. 70,920 people have already recovered.

Getting your workplace ready WHO poster

UK NEWS:

Thursday's COBRA meeting came on the back of utter disaster in Italy and 2 waves of heavy COVID-19 infection occurring across the whole of Europe.
- We aren't going to bother testing people who are ill unless they get super ill. This is a bit naughty and means we will never have a true number. Shame as we started so well.
-This is going to happen
- We are only 4 weeks behind Italy (3 by my measure)
- Bothering of the NHS from now on should be reserved for people who genuinely NEED help. Don't ring 111 or your GP unless you require actual assistance. No quibbles or grumbles just now.
- If you have: a new continuous cough OR a high temperature (37.8 degrees or higher), you should stay at home for 7 days.
- Schools for now at least stay open, as we have a long way to go before this epidemic is over, and don't want to start too early. (Most UK children have only 2 weeks left before they break up for Easter.)
- You'll all no doubt be delighted with the news foreign school trips are barred. As Italy has now been a mess for 3 weeks, and the whole of western Europe is about to join them, I'm stunned anyone would even consider it.
- Older people and those with existing health conditions are advised they shouldn't go on cruises. Erm....yes.

Nicola Sturgeon spoke earlier, immediately after the COBRA meeting. In Scotland events with over 500 people are cancelled because of additional pressure on health services, but otherwise advice and restrictions are the same.

The UK woke up on Friday to discover not only are we feeling like a bit of an experiment, some of the world thinks so too. In case you didn't quite grasp what UK policy is, we're going to allow people to catch COVID-19 at a nice slow rate until everyone who will catch it has had it, never overwhelming the health services.
That's clearly a great idea, but a potentially impossible game to win, especially wearing a blindfold.

Ad | Join in with the Mancunian Miles project, get fitter and stay active!

This year I'm working with Manchester Marathon to promote their Mancunian Miles project. The aim is simple, get people to bump up their physical activity and see if together we can walk enough extra miles for one lap all the way around the Earth before race day on Sunday 5th April.

Best of it is, ANYONE can join in, and you add as many or as few miles as you manage, but if you manage to complete a whole marathon distance then you can earn a certificate or even prizes to celebrate your achievement.

Boy pretending to be runner Usain Bolt

My partner and I are notoriously inactive. Since he had Meningitis and I had lots of exciting abdominal surgery, we've really been very lazy and got used to not being able to participate. That has to change now. We're both as well as we'll ever be and really should be building our health back up. And everyone can do with being a bit stronger and smoothing out the tummy cushion a bit.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK And World News Update 09/03-11/03

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK And World News Update 09/03-11/03

The UK now has reported a total of 456 positive cases of COVID-19, and we have 8 losses of life on home soil (plus 1 on the Diamond Princess).

18 of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered. 27,476 people have been tested.

Total cases assumed to be: England 387, Scotland 36, Wales 13 and Northern Ireland 18 (based on news reports).

Rep. Of Ireland have 34 cases.

The world has 124,968 cases and 4,585 losses of life. 67,050 people have already recovered.

At the WHO conference today, Dr Tedros said "In the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID19 outside Flag of China has increased 13-fold & the number of affected countries has tripled".
"WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction"
"We have therefore made the assessment that COVID19 can be characterized as a pandemic"
"There’s been so much attention on one word. Let me give you some other words that matter much more, & that are much more actionable:
Prevention.
Preparedness.
Public health.
Political leadership.
And most of all, People".

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK And World News Update 09/03-11/03

UK News

On television Tuesday morning Boris upset a huge portion of the population by mentioning the 'take it on the chin' approach for a second time. There is genuinely a MASSIVE debate here between business/economists and humanitarians/health workers. Letting everyone just catch COVID-19 will definitely speed up the epidemic and save trillions of $$$'s on the stock exchange, but it will easily kill around 3 times as many people. An article in The Lancet warned last week that world money is all built on such fragile loans and promises that countries will be faced with a choice. Save your economy, or save lives. Boris maintains the UK will keep a balanced mix.

On Monday Chris Whittey said that from today the UK will be screening everyone who finds themselves in hospital with a chest condition, not just those who are in Intensive Care.
He was really sensible actually, and advised that we don't yet have to make major changes to behaviour, but be aware that if we have a bad chest, we probably don't want to give it other people whatever it is, so use common sense. Everyone is asked to stay home if you are ill.
Within 10-14 days the UK will move to a situation where “everybody who has even minor respiratory tract infections or a fever should be self-isolating for seven days afterwards” - this is being held up by the world as an example of how to be realistic without causing panic. (It may be a little on the generous side time wise). Further measures are to be expected.

The Government are allowing local authorities to relax current delivery time restrictions to UK shops and supermarkets. They will be allowed to deliver any time of the day or night temporarily, in order to keep shelves stocked during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The General Medical Council have released updated guidance for medical professionals. It includes specific powers and allowances for COVID-19
"In an emergency the Secretary of State for Health can activate Section 18a of the Medical Act (1983) and ask us to grant temporary registration to certain groups of appropriate people, to supplement doctor numbers and provide cover in a range of roles." These include Doctors who have recently retired or relinquished position, registration is automatic and free. Volunteers are not needed unless an emergency is declared.

I hope you have paracetamol, because panic buying has not only cleared shelves, it's emptied some stores of items such as ibuprofen, paracetamol, Calpol and hand sanitiser. Well done to everyone who was greedy. A few stocks are still available for pharmacies, so we haven't run out entirely, but at massively hiked prices. Expect to pay more.

The 32nd Vietnamese COVID-19 patient should be one of the UK's. After attending a party in London with a Vietnamese person who became ill and tested positive upon their return home, she went her local London hospital with a dry cough. Even with her history she was told she wasn't going to be tested and should self-isolate. She took a chartered flight to Vietnam herself, and was tested there instead.

Health Minister Nadine Dorries has become the first UK parliamentarian to be diagnosed with COVID-19. She has met with hundreds of people over the past week and even attended a reception at No 10 with Boris Johnson.

According to Sky News at least one of the big 4 UK supermarkets has asked the government to suspend competition laws temporarily, so that in the event of stores closing or lack of supply, different supermarkets can work together to make sure customers still have access to what they need.

Ahead of the UK budget The Bank Of England started a very early day by cutting interest rates to the lowest in history - 0.25%. This is among a package of measures intended mainly to help shore up small and mid-sized business in the short term, and prevent job losses.

The UK budget itself offers several special provisions to help individuals and business survive Coronavirus financially, including:
1. A blank cheque for the NHS during the outbreak.
2. SSP and contributory Employment and Support Allowance from day 1
3. A sick note alternative by contacting 111
4. Over the next twelve months, nearly half of all business properties in England will not pay a penny of business rates
5. Allowing businesses and the self-employed to defer tax payments
6. A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support small and medium-sized enterprises.

NHS England has only been carrying out 1500 tests a day - so it looked great until now, but it seems likely a backlog has formed. Testing will now be scaled up to 10,000 a day.
Expect a big jump in figures once this takes effect. We were about 3-4 days behind France by numbers until last week. You aren't scared - you know it's coming. More cases already exist, we just don't know who they are yet, and it's better to know. France has currently reported 1,784 cases and 33 deaths.

Public Health England has revealed it's own shiny new arcgis dashboard logging cases and which health authority they are in, along with a map. Bad news is it's always at least 24 hours out of date, but offers clear information for the public.
The UK's arcgis dashboardThe John's Hopkin's whole world arcgis dashboard

When to use a face mask

Rest Of The World

Until Monday I was being shouted at and called an idiot by Americans on Twitter, but on Tuesday our side of the globe woke up to incredible and very strong advice from the CDC for older people and those with chronic conditions to stay away and stay home when COVID-19 is in your community. This rapid turnaround probably means Trump has finally understood the difference between COVID-19 and flu, but begs the question, why so sudden? Did Donald Trump suddenly realise he's really high risk and all the power and money in the world won't change that?

US media reported that 2 of the 4 members of the Congress who are now under self-imposed quarantine had close contact with Donald Trump last week. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is also under self-quarantine.

Japan still insist the Olympic Games will go ahead as planned.

My genuine sympathy to anyone who has spent the last 4 years training for any international sporting event that happens to be cancelled due to COVID-19.

Italian medical staff are having to make horrific decisions about which patients to save. They are over full to capacity with patients needing help breathing and have created Intensive Care wards in corridors and operating theatres, but are still unable to treat everyone. There is an amazing thread on Twitter from a Doctor in Italy describing conditions there. Heartbreaking in the extreme, they describe the arrival of patients as a tsunami, and the life and death choices they have to make. (Source link below)

Not good news with some new countries reporting cases, including Morocco and Democratic Republic of Congo. DRC medical infrastructure has been obliterated by Ebola, and they are currently celebrating the last case leaving hospital, but we are still in the countdown hoping no new cases appear. COVID-19 is not what they need right now.

Israel has ordered all visitors are quarantined. We are only a few weeks before Passover and Easter, which are traditionally incredibly busy times.

The USA is the only industrialised nation which has no national provision for paid sick leave.

After a big jump in cases on Monday, adding 376 for a total 1050 cases, Spain closed all schools in and around its capital Madrid.

An article in the New York Times has asked for the CDC to stop holding their tongue and speak out. With the developments overnight maybe this is about to happen. Currently the US has incredibly strict criteria for testing and insufficient test kits. The 11th richest country has until now maintained a policy of 'don't test, don't get numbers'. They aren't the only ones... The USA has now reported 1,051 cases and 31 losses of life.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is visiting the epicentre of the Chinese outbreak, Wuhan, for the first time today. I've seen several suggestions he'll send a body double, but I couldn't possibly comment.

Romania have closed their schools.

To prevent the risk of spreading Coronavirus, passengers at the Kigali Bus Park have to wash their hands before getting onto buses. They have these awesome little portable sinks on stands for people in the queue. Rwanda has recorded NO case of the epidemic yet - fingers crossed it continues.

Klaus Lederer, Mayor of Berlin, Germany has announced all large events have been cancelled until 19th April.

Japan has 1,335 COVID-19 cases in total, including 696 they unwillingly adopted from the Diamond Princess cruise liner. Unfortunately 12 domestic and 7 cruise line occupants have lost their lives, but much more encouragingly 443 patients have already recovered.

The Netherlands have been a bit quiet so far, but a sample of 301 employees at a hospital in Tilburg discovered 28 members of staff with Covid-19. The tests were all on employees who had mild airway complaints. Worryingly, the hospital staff have not been in risk areas and have not been in contact with COVID-19 positive patients. The Netherlands currently have 503 reported cases of COVID-19, after adding 121 today.

Taiwan is one of the biggest mask producers in the world, but has strictly rationed masks to 3 per person per week to maintain stocks. Macau has limited masks to 10 per person per 10 days.

A few days ago India limited exports of some drugs, but yesterday pharmaceutical suppliers petitioned the government to lift the ban and export to the world while excess stocks still exist. Thank you.

On Tuesday President Trump had a message for any Americans who were worried "It will go away, just stay calm. Be calm. It's really working out. And a lot of good things are going to happen."
(Errrrrmmm.... what? ) Current USA case count 1,016 with 31 losses of life.

The Mayor of New York City says he has no plans to cancel St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which usually attracts over 2m visitors. Dublin and many other parades in Ireland have already been cancelled.

Angela Merkel has warned the German people “When the virus is out there, the population has no immunity and no therapy exists, then 60 to 70% of the population will be infected....The process has to be focused on not overburdening the health system by slowing the virus’s spread. It’s about winning time.”
Germany has a population of over 82m and currently has reported 1,908 cases of COVID-19.

How to remove a mask

The Whole World

Since the beginning of the outbreak, WHO Operations, Supply and Logistics have "shipped more than 584,000 surgical masks, 47,000 N95 masks, 620,000 gloves, 72,000 gowns and 11,000 goggles to 57 countries.”
"Global demand for critical items continues to outpace global supply availability”.

Apple have updated their support pages to say that you can use a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipe to clean your phone or laptop - but you do have to be careful. Don't sue me, read the full instructions yourself.

If you want to watch the COVID-19 genome mutate and move around the world in close to real-time, then a website called NextStrain dot org is tracking it's evolution as it travels.

Italy have published a report on 155 patients who succumbed on 6th March.
When patients first arrived at hospital their symptoms were:
-  Fever 86%
-  Dyspnoea (difficulty breathing) 82%
-  Cough 50%
-  Diarrhea and hemoptysis (coughing blood) 5%
Their findings are that if you only have a fever, you do not need to be hospitalised. Anyone with symptoms should not attend for medical care, instead ring for advice and instructions.
At least 136 of the patients had pre-existing medical conditions. 48 were women. All were over 50. The average age was 81.4.

Where hospital staff are overwhelmed, other hospital departments are being reassigned. Staff are all working in whatever capacity they can with COVID-19 patients, so some bizarre drugs are trialling from some random departments and specialities. There's nothing like a disaster to repurpose obscure solutions. Current favourites include remdesivir, originally developed to treat Ebola, HIV drug ritonavir, HIV combination drug Kaletra, Hepatitis drugs and Quinine-based anti-malarials.

A 103 year old Grandma in China has recovered from COVID-19 in less than a week. She is the second oldest patient to recover, after a 100 year old man was discharged yesterday. She was treated using platelets taken from the blood of recovered patients, something Chinese medics are currently trialling.

The WHO have held a telephone meeting with Facebook, who have offered to help combat disinformation in several ways:
-proactive strategy to ensure vital messages on coronavirus get to people in need
-unlimited ads offer for WHO campaigns
-removing harmful content & limiting misinformation
-banning ads & sales listings of masks to ensure access for those in need the most.

South Korea continue to show how it should be done. They have published updated mortality rates, which are still currently the lowest in the world, but bear in mind they have yet to have an outcome for thousands of people:
< 30: 0%
30-39: 0.1%
40-49: 0.1%
50-59: 0.4%
60-69: 1.3%
70-79: 4.1%
80+: 6.5%
Overall: 0.7%
86% of deaths were in patients aged 60 or over. South Korea has a very young population. Only around 14.4% are over age 65

Percentages of populations over age 65 (going by recently reported figures):
UK- 18%
Italy - 23%
USA - 23%
China - 9.5%

In an article for Science Mag, molecular evolutionary biologist at the University of Edinburgh Andrew Rambaut says "Over the length of its 30,000-base-pair genome, SARS-CoV-2 accumulates an average of about one to two mutations per month. It’s about two to four times slower than the flu,”. Vaccines, once completed, should be effective. We currently have to make a new flu vaccine every 12 months or so because of these teeny tiny mutations adding up.

Tempted to make your own hand sanitiser? Let me repeat the message that ordinary soap is perfect against coronavirus. The structure of COVID-19 is really unstable, like blocks held together just with fats. Dissolve the fats, the blocks fall apart and the virus is destroyed.

If you know anyone who is feeling smug that no-one they love fits into the 'high risk' category, remind them that right now Italian doctors are having to guess which patients have the best chance of life, and give them treatment while others die - and that's the whole hospital. Your personal chances of dying from Coronavirus might be tiny, and you might not have any loved ones in the at risk categories, but if you get appendicitis, fall down the stairs or your child gets hit by a car, when your health service is a mess, so are you.



Sources:

https://www.gmc-uk.org/news/news-archive/coronavirus-information-and-advice/our-emergency-powers
https://deframedia.blog.gov.uk/2020/03/10/supermarket-delivery-hours-extended-to-support-coronavirus-response/
https://www.ordinemedicilatina.it/segui-quotidianosanita-it-stampa-coronavirus-iss-febbre-e-affanno-sintomi-iniziali-piu-comuni-per-i-deceduti-positivi-al-virus-da-quotidianosanita-it-del-7-marzo-2020/
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/09/opinion/trump-corona-cdc.html
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30522-5/fulltext
https://twitter.com/WilliamYang120/status/1237186367714553857?s=19
https://twitter.com/silviast9/status/1236933818654896129 - Italian ICU Doctor
http://m.koreaherald.com/amp/view.php?ud=20200309000327&ud=20200309000327&np=1&mp=1&__twitter_impression=true
https://tradingeconomics.com/south-korea/population-ages-65-and-above-percent-of-total-wb-data.html
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/mutations-can-reveal-how-coronavirus-moves-they-re-easy-overinterpret
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/coronavirus-china-wuhan-outbreak-xi-jinping-visit-hubei-cases-deaths-a9389251.html
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204172
https://twitter.com/klauslederer/status/1237414282473754624
https://www.gmc-uk.org/news/news-archive/coronavirus-information-and-advice/our-emergency-powers
https://twitter.com/NewTimesRwanda/status/1237048775526547456
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sport/tokyo-2020-olympics-chief--not-considering-changing-plans-for-games-12527268
https://twitter.com/DrTedros/status/1237472345016631297
https://propermanchester.com/news/grandma-103-recovers-from-coronavirus-in-less-than-a-week/
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/11/angela-merkel-most-people-will-get-the-coronavirus.html
https://www.silive.com/coronavirus/2020/03/mayor-says-nyc-has-no-plans-to-cancel-st-patricks-day-parade-as-ireland-cancels-dublins-parade-amid-coronavirus-fears.html


Monday, 9 March 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK And World News Update 07/03-09/03

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK And World News Update 07/03-09/03

The UK now has reported a total of 319 positive cases of COVID-19, and we have 4 losses of life on home soil (plus 1 on the Diamond Princess).

18 of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered. 24,641 people have been tested.

Total cases for England 290, Scotland 18, Wales 4 and Northern Ireland 7 (based on news reports).

Rep. Of Ireland have 21 cases.

The world has 111,784 cases and 3,893 losses of life. 62,722 people have already recovered.

Another milestone we didn't want as over 100 countries have now reported positive cases of COVID-19.

Getting your workplace ready advice from the WHO

UK News: 

Rishi Sunak, UK Chancellor, has pretty much held out a blank cheque for the UK NHS. “I can say absolutely categorically the NHS will get whatever resources it needs to get us through this and to respond to the health crisis.”

A London tube worker has tested positive for COVID-19.

Shops and supermarkets, including Tesco, Boots, Costco and Waitrose, have started rationing products which are in big demand. Among rationed items are toilet rolls, paracetamol, hand sanitiser, anti-bacterial gels, wipes and sprays. Bleach, dried pasta, long-life milk, canned vegetables, water and children’s medication.
Remember - panic buying raises prices and creates shortages where there are none. You only need a couple of weeks worth of toilet roll, paracetamol, soup and/or noodles. Most students will find they already have this.

Saturday, 7 March 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus World Updates 5th to 7th March

A milestone we didn't want to reach as the total number of cases in the world goes over 100k. The current total is now 104,094. Losses of life is 3,526. A massive 58,559 people have already recovered.

The total number of cases in the UK is now 206. There are currently 189 cases presumed to be in England, 11 in Scotland, 2 in Wales and 4 in Northern Ireland.

Rep. of Ireland now have 18 confirmed positive cases.

The UK

The UK were a bit late with their 2pm figures on Thursday, but they have revealed a shiny new chart and table with geographical location, plus a chart which is 24 hours behind showing number of cases in each local authority. They said Wednesday that they were going to release locations only once a week on a Friday, but have backtracked on that. It really wasn't a very popular suggestion, and if anything caused UK wide concern, which I don't think they were expecting.

Can you believe people are stealing hand sanitiser from the ends of beds when they visit people in hospital? Seriously why? You honestly think you really need it more than they do? Once you've removed it you can't even take it back. It's not just B&M who have run out, our NHS is in danger of running out too. SOAP AND WATER IS JUST AS GOOD. Handy handwashing guide from the World Health Organisation below.

How to wash your hands properly from the World Health Organisation

I've praised the UK government so far, because actually they've done a surprisingly good job. We have been testing, tracking and notifying far, far better than many countries. I have been told today that we may have a temporary backlog on testing for lower risk individuals in my area at least.

I guess it was obvious we'd have a lot of people come forward for tests right now, but bear in mind the existence of COVID-19 doesn't mean every other bug and germ has taken a break. By Friday the UK had tested 20,338 people, of which 20,175 were confirmed negative and 163 were confirmed as positive. That's 0.8%. Your cough, for now at least, is probably not COVID-19.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

The Sapphire Society by L.C. Sarll Young Fiction Review (sent by Matador).

The latest young fiction book sent to me for review by Matador is The Sapphire Society. A blend of modern day and fantasy set in the Faroe Islands, where it seems the water might be hiding more secrets than we could ever dream of...

The story revolves around 12 year old Savannah, who moves to the Faroe Islands with her family, to live in her Grandmother's old cottage. While moving her mother finds an old dull sapphire necklace that had belonged to her own mother, and gives it to Savannah.

The Sapphire Society by L.C.Sarll children's Fantasy fiction book review

There are clearly mysteries on the island and Savannah very quickly befriends local lad Rich, son of the wealthy businessman Mr Froodroy. She also meets a woman known by the children as The Doomed Widow. The Doomed Widow is Doreen, whose husband was lost at sea several years beforehand.

COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates 3rd to 5th March

COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates 3rd March to 12.30 gmt 5th March

The global total for COVID-19 positive cases is at time of typing 96.609, loss of life is 3,308 souls.

Outside China cases 16,179 / Loss of life 295

UK cases are currently 90 (6 Scotland, 1 Wales, 3 N. Ireland, 80 England). England's updates occur at 2pm GMT.

COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates 3rd to 5th March

UK Updates:

Great news for workers and business - UK workers will receive Statutory Sick Pay from the first day off in the event of it being due to  COVID-19, rather than the 4th. This includes people self-isolating. It's still not enough to really live on, but it's got to be a huge relief to people on low incomes and with no built-in sick pay at work which would cover it.

Paying SSP, even to people self-isolating with no symptoms, is a vital part of slowing down the spread of COVID-19. It will allow people to take less risks and stay home from work without starving or losing their house. Slowing spread will always be top priority, even if we do end up with an epidemic.
While you have a manageable number of patients everyone can get full care and other departments of hospitals can run effectively. If you have thousands of people needing oxygen for the same 2 week period, they can't.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

A Cake for the Gestapo Children's Fiction by Jacqueline King Review (Sent by ZunTold)

A Cake For The Gestapo is a children's novel set on Jersey in 1940, and we were sent a preview copy for review by Zuntold Publishing. Suitable for confident readers aged around 9+, as the book starts we are a couple of weeks away from the Nazi occupation, which lasted almost the entire war.

Our main characters are Joe, Spinner, Clem, Ginger and their original enemy, Percy the bully. They are a close-knit group of youngsters about to enter their teenage years with no certainties ahead.  The book travels with them for a year, as they are forced to grow up quickly, with the realities of war on their own doorstep.

A Cake for the Gestapo Children's Fiction by Jacqueline King Review (Sent by ZunTold)

The children at the beginning of the book are already far more adult than you'd like them to be. They have had to take on the role of carers, providers, housekeepers and support for their own parents. With the arrival of the German Army, they also become the resistance and defenders of their island and way of life.

The group attack the Germans in innocent, childish ways, like throwing berries and leading bees to attack them. You have the sense always that it's always a dangerous game they are playing, and they know that.

COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates 1st to 3rd March

COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates 1st to 3rd March

The global total for COVID-19 positive cases is (at time of typing 12 noon GMT 03/03/20)

World cases 92138 / Loss of life 3134
Outside mainland China cases 11,987 / Loss of life 191

New UK cases since last update are:

01/03 England 12 new cases - locations include Bury and Bradford (infected in Italy), Leeds (2 brought it home from Iran). Scotland has their first case in Tayside (imported from Italy)
02/03 England has 4 further cases - no prizes for guessing where all 4 imported it from. Yep, Italy. The patients live in Hertfordshire, Devon and Kent.

The total UK confirmed cases is now 40 (37 England, Wales, Scotland and N.Ireland 1 case each). Rep. Of Ireland has 1 case.

COVID-19 Coronavirus Update 2-3 March

UK

Boris had an emergency COBRA meeting on Monday. The results of which are mainly obvious. They do expect it to spread and assert that "This country is very, very well prepared". (They actually rewrote their Pandemic plans in 2011 as far as I'm aware, so we actually do have a plan).

Sunday, 1 March 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus Update 28 Feb to 1 March

COVID-19 Coronavirus Update 28 Feb to 1st March

The global total for COVID-19 positive cases is (at time of typing 9.30GMT 01/03/20)

World cases 86980 / Loss of life 2979
Outside mainland China cases 7156 / Loss of life 109

The UK currently has 23 positive cases of COVID-19.

New UK cases since last update are:
1 UK case in Northern Ireland. Another traveller from Northern Italy - an adult who travelled from Dublin airport to Belfast.
2 more travellers from Italy
2 more cases in England - both travelled from Iran.
1st case in Wales - travelled to Northern Italy.
3 new patients in Berkshire, Hertfordshire and Gloucestershire. All 3 cases were imported from Italy and Asia.

Rep.of Ireland has it's first case, someone from the East side who travelled to Italy.

COVID-19 Coronavirus Update 28 Feb to 1 April advice for workplaces - if ill you have to stay home

Final Luxury Cruise News:

The UK has lost it's first COVID-19 patient, a former passenger on the Diamond Princess. Another former passenger has also died, increasing the loss of life to 6. There are 705 passengers who tested positive for COVID-19 while on board, 10 are recovered. My best wishes that the rest of you are home safely before long.

The UK

An announcement this morning tells us the UK War Room is being dusted off and an updated Action Plan will be with us later this week.