Tuesday, 3 March 2020

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).

The UK government have created new Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 - they are a supplement to the existing Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984. This is basically the framework for legally obliging people to conform to quarantines, testing and restrictions on movement if deemed necessary, and the care of those people if that occurs.

Boris held a press conference this morning to outline the newly released UK Action Plan. We have actual doctors on the panel, so it was useful and had lots of general facts which were mostly pretty spot on.
The NHS is preparing for a worst case scenario of 80% population catching COVID-19, with approx 20% of those needing hospital care, and 1% mortality rate. Clearly we cannot fit all of those people into hospital at once, so slowing infection rates remains no.1 priority, and would continue to remain so even if we reach a point containment has failed.
They are aware of the financial burden people will face if they cannot work, and say they are modelling this, and the idea of school closures, to have better idea of when and if it would be effective and prudent. They believe it will be 2-3 months before we reach peak infection, and another 2-3 months while that peak drops. I'm no epidemiologist, but from what I do know, that would be my guess right now too.

Rest Of The World: 

Lee Man-hee, the founder of the Shincheonji Church, and 11 others are in trouble. Mr Lee is accused of homicide, causing harm and disrupting the government's anti-coronavirus measures. At least 2113 of South Korea's 5186 total cases are related to the fringe Christian group.

In China Wuhan's first temporary hospital transferred their final 76 patients to other hospitals over the weekend and has ceased operation.

Medical professionals in the US are taking to twitter to say they've been seeing atypical pneumonia patients now for the last 3 weeks...

A low wage temporary team of Italian scientists have isolated the Italian strain of the coronavirus.

France now has 191 cases of COVID-19 including Francois Deviet, the mayor of the village of La Balme-de-Sillingy, and Bruno Fortier, the mayor of Crépy-en-Valois.

Egypt has reported only 2 cases of COVID19 to date, yet it seems likely there have been at least 5 exported cases - to Canada (1), Europe (2) and the USA (2). You might want to look at that a little bit more closely Egypt.

EDEC - the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control held a meeting to discuss COVID-19. As the UK is distancing itself from the EU, but can't actually not be in Europe, they're referring to the grouping as EU+ . Their assessment is exactly what you'd expect:
 - they expect more cases
- risk of widespread sustained transmission is considered moderate to high
- research needs to continue into which are the most effective methods to slow progression.

The US has seen the expected glut of cases since they finally started testing, but it's actually quite slow moving. Currently their total is 103 cases with 6 lives lost.

China now has registered 80,151 cases and 2943 souls lost. Italy has 2336 cases, Germany 165, Spain 120.

Italy has continued exporting cases abroad. New countries declaring their first cases thanks to Italian visits include Tunisia, Andorra, Portugal and Jordan. (How did all of these people fit into Italy 2 weeks ago? And how did they all manage to catch COVID-19? Did they give it away free at the airport? )

Iran has the 5th highest number of cases (behind China, South Korea, Italy and Diamond Princess) and appears to be struggling to keep on top of testing and quarantining. Britain, Germany and France (the E3 Group) have offered a 5€m (£4.4 m) package to Iran to help fight coronavirus in the country. This is a prudent move because currently they are exporting it at just a slightly lower rate than Italy, so it has worldwide benefit. A WHO team has just arrived in Tehran to assist. A member of WHO staff already based in Iran has tested positive for COVID-19

Tajikistan has announced that they are banning citizens from 35 countries that have recorded COVID19 cases to enter the country. The list of countries includes China, the US, UK, Iran, Japan etc.

Coronavirus is now present in more than 60 countries.

Japan have limited public events and asked people to stay home, so the Tokyo marathon only allowed the elite and wheelchair runners to compete. They raced in virtually empty streets.

Numbers are staying low in China as everyone begins to return to work and school. The WHO are keeping a very close eye, but say we should not ignore lessons we learn from China, as it is entirely possible the lockdowns and quarantines have been very successful at slowing infection to a trickle.

Mike Pence held a press conference in the US to show everyone how good America are at figures. He stated the total number of cases to be almost exactly half the number of cases we could count by adding up each state's declarations. Nice one Mike. Trump outdid Mike by suggesting during a press conference with big pharmaceutical reps that we can use flu vaccine to beat COVID-19.... Donald repeat after me, yet again "this is not flu".

Keep an eye on Iran and the African countries starting to get odd cases. Spread into war torn countries such as Syria, or poorer sub-saharan African countries is a massive worry. Even basic medical facilities are often not easy to access and very limited. The effect of COVID-19 could be catastrophic. A team from the WHO arrived in Tehran yesterday to assist Iran.

Russia is keeping pretty quiet, but reports from inside the country claim they are being incredibly strict with quarantines and facial recognition to spot potential infected people or those breaking quarantine.

Health/Medical Updates:

With more patients finding they have positive results again, after negative results and discharge from hospital, Zhang Dan, a doctor at Wuhan University Hospital’s respiratory department wrote on WeChat that China’s benchmark for discharging patients is too low. He said his hospital delayed the process of discharging 18 patients and conducted 5 RNA (COVID-19) tests on all 18 patients. They found 13 patients’ test results became positive after three tests and only 5 patients’ test results remain negative after 5 tests. Other studies back up his findings.

COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) is a disease caused by the virus SARS Cov 2 (Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus 2). For comparison Chicken Pox is a disease caused by Varicella Zoster virus.

Does Alcohol Gel Hand-Sanitiser kill Coronavirus?
Yes. There are different shapes and designs of virus. Hand sanitisers don't work against norovirus or rhinovirus, but they do work against coronavirus. Get 60% alcohol or greater, and don't try making your own - it's highly flammable and will probably be very unkind to your skin. If you run out, old-fashioned soap and water often does the trick even better.

The World Health Organisation pointed out in their press conference today that in the case of influenza, we would have expected far greater transmission by now. Worldwide numbers are not as bad as they could be. While this is excellent news, it's not reason for complacency yet. We are still learning, and whereas flu has a usual incubation of only 2 days, we know COVID-19 has an average of 2-3, but is regularly up to 2 weeks and rarely even longer than that.

Advice is being given to sing or hum "Happy birthday" twice to ensure you've spent minimum 20 seconds washing your hands. Personally I prefer the chorus from 'Bat out of hell' or 'The Imperial March' from Star Wars. Learn how to wash your hands effectively (handy picture below).

How to wash your hands effectively


Sources:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-to-set-out-governments-action-plan-on-the-coronavirus-outbreak--2
https://t.co/OKlRMLUhJT
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/129/contents/made?
https://t.co/phAegbdyq2
fbclid=IwAR0AdaQdaOR__rod7zjA7vP80Fowr4rQZFox4OgwXlpOuwUm51A21St1Ps4 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/28/hand-sanitiser-or-hand-washing-which-more-effective-against-coronavirus-covid-19
https://t.co/MdiF8IezRx
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2762452
https://t.co/3mR2uyM1Am
https://www.who.int/gpsc/clean_hands_protection/en/

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