Thursday, 30 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 30th April 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 30th April 2020.

The UK added 6,032 cases today and now has reported a total of 171,253 positive cases of COVID-19.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 674 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 26,711 losses of life. The UK are now adding ALL positive-testing loss of life to the daily totals, wherever it occurs.

Total numbers given:
England 118,343 / 24,110
Northern Ireland 3,536 / 338
Scotland 11,353 / 1,415
Wales 9,812 / 908


Rep. Of Ireland have 20,612 (+359) cases and 1,232 (+42) losses of life.
WHO advice Domestic Violence India

There have now been 3,272,102 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 231,312. Already 1,031,502 people have recovered.

Guess who was back for today's UK briefing? That man who used to be Prime Minister! Yes, it was Boris himself, just sneaking 1 appearance in for April. He thanked the NHS for his life, and apologised for not being here.
Tomorrow is our deadline for 100k tests a day - we managed 81,611 yesterday, so not bad at all - they are trying.
We have 15,043 people in hospital today.
We have so far succeeded - numbers are all going down, and no patient went without a ventilator, or intensive care. The reasonable worst case scenario was 500,000 deaths. "We are past the peak and we are on the downward slope."
Today Oxford University has announced a partnership with Astra Zenica, so that when a vaccine is ready, it will be available as soon as possible, not only to the UK, but affordably to poorer countries.
Next week he will set out a comprehensive plan for how to restart the economy. We are being guided by the science, and will try to build political cross-party consensus, support of the population, and it will rely on the 5 key tests.
1. Protect the NHS ability to cope.
2. Sustained fall in deaths,
3. Infection rate falling (consistently below R1 = reproductive rate 1).
4. Operational and logistical challenges on testing and PPE sufficient
5. We must not overwhelm the NHS with a huge peak.

Century: A New World Family Game Review Age 8+(Sent by Asmodee Board Game Club).

Our latest review for the Asmodee Blogger Board Game Club is Century: A New World, which has been sent to us for review. Suitable for 2 to 4 players aged 8+, this is a tabletop strategy game which is the 3rd in the very popular series by creator Emerson Matsuuchi, and can be played alone or with either or both of the other Century games (Spice Road and Eastern Wonders).

A New World sees players take the role of explorers travelling the land, trading and collecting goods... and it's all done beautifully, with gorgeous illustrations and wooden playing pieces, including tiny tiny people.

Century A New World Board Game Review pack front

Inside the box are 6 Double-sided Location Boards, 4 Player Boards, 48 Wooden Workers, 56 Cards, 10 Exploration Tiles, 25 Bonus Tiles, 4 Bowls, 105 Wooden cubes and 4 rulebooks (depending on whether you play standalone, or with 1 or both of the other games).

Century A New World Family Game review box contents

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 29th April 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 29th April 2020.

The UK added 4,076 cases today and now has reported a total of 165,221 positive cases of COVID-19. We tested 33,455 people yesterday, 632,794 in total.

The UK are now adding ALL positive-testing loss of life to the daily totals, wherever it occurs. Some numbers may be provisional. In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 765 people to COVID-19, but collective loss of life prior to that adds another 3,811 souls. Today's total is 4,419. We now sadly have a total of 26,097 losses of life.

England 115,859 / 23,550
Northern Ireland 3,463 / 329
Scotland 11,034 / 1,332
Wales 9,629 / 886

Rep. Of Ireland 19,877 / 1,159 (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been 3,186,694 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 225,529. Already 986,446 people have recovered.

NHS Advice to parents

Boris has had a baby boy. Both mother and baby are said to be doing very well. It's her first baby, and believed to be his 5th or 6th. It's not yet known if he'll ever actually stand at the briefing podium himself.

Today's UK briefing was hosted by Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary.
He talked about what's happening in Germany, where cases and losses are rising at the moment, as a direct result of easing restrictions. We are still very slowly creeping down the curve, we can't go too early.
He listed some of the PPE we have recently received from abroad, and talked about repatriated UK citizens - including final passengers from luxury cruise ships (not all the crews are home yet though!).
We are still looking towards a vaccine, and the UK will give GAVI (Global Vaccine Alliance) £330m each year for the next 5 years. This will help ensure a vaccine is available to whoever needs it, wherever they are, and will benefit the entire world.

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 28th April 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 28th April 2020.

The UK added 3,996 cases today and now has reported a total of 161,145 positive cases of COVID-19.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 586 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 21,678 losses of life in hospitals. (Losses of life in the community are reported by ONS on Tuesdays - see below.)

Total cases and losses reported are assumed to be:
England 137,504 / 19,204
Northern Ireland 3,408 / 329
Scotland 10,721 / 1,332
Wales 9,512 / 813
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 19,877 cases and 1,159 losses of life.

There have now been 3,105,224 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 214,372. Already 944,116 people have recovered.

parenting spent time with each child

At 11am this morning the UK held a minute's silence for all of the health and social care workers so far lost to COVID-19.

It's Tuesday, so the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures have been released for England and Wales -  week ending 17 April 2020 (Week 16).  They include the losses of life in hospitals given by the government in the daily coronavirus totals, and also everyone who died outside hospital. They make grim, yet sadly not unexpected, reading:

The provisional number of deaths registered in week 16 was 22,351
This weekly total is 11,854 more than the five-year average.
8,758 deaths (39.2%) mentioned novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
In London, over half (55.5%) of deaths registered in Week 16 involved COVID-19. In the North West 42.3% and North East 41.1%

For the year up to Week 16 (April 17th) a total of 19,112 deaths involving COVID-19 had been registered in England and Wales.
77.4% (14,796 deaths) occurred in hospital
22.6% occurred in care homes (3,066), private homes (883) and hospices (190).

The ONS are trying to be completely transparent, so are working with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to bring us provisional numbers for Week 17 (Up to 24th April). They show that in the 2 week period 10 April to 24 April, CQC had been notified of a total of 4,343 deaths from COVID-19 in care home settings.

Monday, 27 April 2020

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

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

The UK added 4,310 cases today and now has reported a total of 157,149 positive cases of COVID-19. We had all together tested 569,768 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 360 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 21,092 losses of life in hospitals. Losses of life in the community are reported by ONS with a 2 week delay.

Total cases and losses reported are assumed to be:
England 133,974 / 18,749
Northern Ireland 3,374 / 309
Scotland 10,521 / 1,262
Wales 9,280 / 796
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 19,648 cases and 1,102 losses of life.

There have now been over 3 million reported cases worldwide - 3,029,761. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 209,244. Already 900,334 people have recovered.

ask a question at the UK daily briefing

Boris did a big speech outside Downing Street this morning. He promised all decisions will be made with complete transparency and scientific backing,  the opposition will be involved and we will be informed throughout the process. He asked for patience:
"I refuse to throw away all the effort and the sacrifice of the British people, and to risk a second major outbreak and huge loss of life, and the overwhelming of the NHS."
He pointed out we have defied predictions (we really have, 5 weeks ago no-one believed we wouldn't overwhelm the NHS).
He reminded us of the 5 points we need before we can move on to the second phase and make decisions on reducing restrictions:
1. Loss of life falling
2. NHS protected
3. Rate of infection solidly below R1
4. We have enough tests and PPE
5. Avoiding a second peak
To be honest the press are an absolute liability here. A reporter immediately shouted "when will the lockdown end?" to Dominic Raab when he arrived. Boris literally just said it. NOT YET. It makes the public twitchy and gives us a false sense that it could be any time now. It can't. Everyone going out today and adding to the count is being egged on by the UK press. There, I said it.

Today's UK press briefing was with Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, and he started by saying each day a member of the public will have a question (see image below).
Today the Government is setting up a life assurance scheme. Families who lose someone on the NHS and social care frontline to COVID-19, in the course of essential work, will receive £60,000.
We have 15,051 people in hospital, down from yesterday again, and today we have 3,190 spare critical care beds. Everyone has had the hospital care they needed so far.
Our 8th Nightingale hospital opened today.
We are reminded yet again to GO TO HOSPITAL if you are really ill. Our A&E visits are down by over 50%. Some is because our behaviour is different (less booze and driving), but some is because people are scared of COVID-19. If you need it, it's there for you.
Starting tomorrow, some ongoing medical care services will be resumed, starting with urgent Cancer treatments. It will be decided locally.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

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

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

The UK added 4,463 cases today and now has reported a total of 152,840 positive cases of COVID-19. We had all together tested 543,413 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 413 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 20,732 losses of life in hospitals. Losses of life in the community are reported by ONS with a 2 week delay.

Total cases and losses reported are presumed to be:
England 130,130 / 18,396
Northern Ireland 3,308 / 299
Scotland 10,324 / 1,249
Wales 9,078 / 788
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 18,561 cases and 1,063 losses of life (not yet reported today).

There have now been 2,965,711 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 205,656. Already 871,265 people have recovered.

WHO how much physical activity

There are claims we should expect Boris back at work tomorrow, possibly in a staged return.

The UK briefing today was led by George Eustice, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Food availability levels are back to normal, supermarket staff have introduced measures and customers must respect this. Absence is now reducing, staff are back at work.
500,000 food parcels have been delivered to the shielded group, and supermarket delivery slots will be prioritised.
Other people are also in need of help with food shopping. Local Authorities, Age UK and other charities can make direct referrals for those in need through the Good Samaritan app.

Most trade is going well, there are a few problems, notably with goods coming from India, but it's mostly travelling freely.
England's fresh food season is ahead, only around 1/3 of the workers who would usually be coming from abroad are here, we are actively recruiting food pickers from June onward (Google 'Feed The Nation' if you fancy some cash for hard honest work). 

Prof Stephen Powis of NHS England with the slides.
IOS users are walking and driving more according to Apple maps data. 
We have 15,953 people in hospital with COVID-19, down again, especially in the Midlands. This is really positive and has been reducing every day consistently for most of this week.
We are beginning to see a slight overall drop in the number of patients lost.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 25th April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 25th April 2020.

The UK added 4,913 cases today and now has reported a total of 148,377 positive cases of COVID-19. We had all together tested 517,836 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 813 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 20,319 losses of life in hospitals. Losses of life in the community are reported by ONS with a 2 week delay.

Total cases and losses reported are:
England 108,051 / 18,083
Northern Ireland 3,226 / 278
Scotland 10,051 / 1,184
Wales 8,900 / 774
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 18,561 cases and 1,063 losses of life.

There have now been 2,873,629 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 200,719. Already 823,306 people have recovered.

"As I've said before, this is not a sprint, this will be a marathon."
Stephen Powis, NHS England

WHO children emulate stress be calm

Today's UK briefing was with Priti Patel, the Home Secretary. None of them fit their clothes any more, they've all lost weight.
16,411 people are in hospital, that's almost 1,000 less than yesterday and really positive news. Sadly we have now officially gone above the 20,000 losses which the Government had aimed for - it was always hopeful.
She talked about domestic violence and reminded us it's not being tolerated.
Police data shows a drop in overall crime. We are cracking down on coronavirus related crime, including cyber crime against children, fake PPE, phishing scams, people driving at 150mph on empty roads etc. Police are still there for any crime, as well as supporting vulnerable people.

Lynne Owens of the National Crime Agency talked about changes to policing in order to adapt to changes in crime, but existing investigations haven't stopped - drugs and firearms are still being seized for example. People with online fake shops, sales of PPE and bogus home made testing kits have all been arrested.
Check out the cyberaware website to update yourself on your own protection, and the scams being run right now. If you believe you are a victim of any crime online, report it to the police immediately.

Professor Stephen Powis of NHS England was very clear - GO TO HOSPITAL if you are really poorly. Don't be so afraid of coronavirus that you don't call 999 if you need it. The NHS is still open for everyone, and we want to save lives.

Friday, 24 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 24th April 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 24th April 2020.

The UK added 5,386  cases today and now has reported a total of 143,464  positive cases of COVID-19. We had all together tested 444,222 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 684 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 19,506 losses of life in hospitals. Losses of life in the community are reported by ONS with a 2 week delay.

Total cases and losses reported are:
England 105,225 / 17,372
Northern Ireland 3,122 / 263
Scotland 9,697 / 1,120
Wales 8,601 / 751
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 17,607 cases and 794 losses of life (not yet reported today).

There have now been 2,799,642 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 195,114. Already 775,504 people have recovered.

Health workers stress does not mean you are a failure WHO advice

Today's UK briefing was with another terrified looking bloke, Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary.
We have 17,049 people in hospital with COVID-19, down from 17,615  yesterday, down 10% from this time last week.
The government has secured a trilateral agreement with France and Ireland that goods, medicines etc. will be able to travel freely. Ferry routes are being protected, and money is being allocated to ensure this continues (including to the Isle Of Wight, Isles of Scilly, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands).
Money is also being allocated to Department of Transport, military, National Rail and trams. They will all work together to ensure supplies, energy, food parcels to vulnerable people and patients are all transported, as well as ensuring essential workers can get to work.
They are also trialling drones to deliver medical supplies. Money had already been allocated, so that testing programme is now part of our logistics and supply network.
A reminder that we don't know yet when the day will come that we meet the 5 points to reduce restrictions, but it will be quicker if we all stay home.

Luxury Cruise News: All British holidaymakers are now off cruise ships (we already knew this - see Sunday) but no mention of all of the crews.

Dr Jenny Harries went through the slides. Transport use is creeping up, it's 3% higher this week. Cases have gone up a little and it shows clearly that essential workers are around 1/3 of our new positive cases today. Increased tests are now available, so this rise is expected.
London shows a nice drop in cases in hospital. The number of new patients yesterday has fallen below 1,000 for the first time since before our peak.

Ad | Sudocrem Back To The Garden Indoor/Outdoor Growing Kit Giveaway.

This Summer we're working with Sudocrem on their Back To The Garden campaign - to encourage families to get growing, whether you have a garden, a yard, a balcony or a window.

Most of us are temporary teachers to our children, supporting their learning whether your school is sending work online, you are following the BBC Bitesize lessons, printing off worksheets or something else. We all take in much more information when it's fun, and growing your own plants is incredibly rewarding, as well as being a perfect opportunity to learn.
Long term projects are important right now. They give us a focus and something to look forward to. They can also offer some control in a world of uncertainty. Gardening is a brilliant way to get away from screens and focus on life.
Ad | Sudocrem Back To The Garden logo with flowers and plants
Sudocrem are giving away 100 growing kits to families, and they're also going to give away 3 to my readers. The kits are worth around £40 each, and have everything you need to get started, including seeds, gloves and gardening tools - and of course some Sudocrem to soothe a gardener's skin that's been scratched, prickled or stung, or just become dry from handwashing.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

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

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

The UK added 4,583 cases today and now has reported a total of 138,078 positive cases of COVID-19. We had all together tested 425,821 people as of 9am this morning (testing total excludes N.I.)

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 616 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 18,738 losses of life in hospitals. Losses of life in the community are reported by ONS with a 2 week delay.

Total cases and losses reported are:
England 102,221 / 16,785
Northern Ireland 3,016 / 250
Scotland 9,409 / 1,062
Wales 8,358 / 641
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 16,671 cases and 769 losses of life (not yet reported today).

There have now been 2,692,579 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 188,063. Already 738,428 people have recovered.

"No-one wants to hear this, but it's the truth. We are not in the end phase of the pandemic. It is still very much in it's inception. We will be living with this virus for a long time to come, and the question of how we prevent this virus at any point overwhelming our healthcare system, taking countless lives with it, is a question that will be the key question for politicians and policymakers... for a long time to come."
Angela Merkel, German Chancellor and Quantum Chemist.

The Big Night In BBC UK Fundraiser

Today's UK press conference was with Matt Hancock, Health Secretary (do you remember in the olden days, when we used to have a Prime Minister?). He started by reiterating that we need to protect life and protect the NHS.
We have 17,615 people in hospital.
"Test, track and trace" update - capacity is now ahead of plans and is at 51,000 per day (we actually only did 23,560 tests in the last 24 hours). We are expanding who can get a test.
Any ESSENTIAL WORKER with symptoms in their household can request a test for themselves and their household members. Employers can request a test for employees, and employees can also book a test on the gov dot uk website themselves.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Discovery Mindblown Hydraulic Robot Arm (age 10+) Review and Giveaway (sent by The Essential One).

A lot of online vendors have had to close shop for a while, and obviously we don't have instore shopping right now, but The Essential One are still open for business online. They sell all kinds of products for babies and children, and have sent us two of the toys for bigger kids from the Discovery Mindblown STEM range.

I've already covered the Toy Anatomy 4D Shark. Age 6+ and here is the Discovery Mindblown Toy DIY Robotic Arm with Hydraulics. Age 10+.

Discovery Mindblown Hydraulic Robot Arm box cover

We've never created anything using hydraulics before, so this was an entirely new concept for my 11 and 10 year old boys. We also have our 22 year old engineering student here, so he helped. This is a 176 piece kit, and it's a challenge to a young engineer.

Discovery Mindblown STEM toy Hydraulic Robot Arm kit box contents

The parts are mainly on sprue, and you'll do a better job if you use scissors or snips. You'll need your own basic tools, but they are things you'd tend to have at home - scissors, tape, ruler, screwdriver etc.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 22nd April 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 22nd April 2020.

The UK added 4,451 cases today and now has reported a total of 133,495 positive cases of COVID-19. We had all together tested 411,192 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 759 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 18,100 losses of life in hospitals. Losses of life in the community are reported by ONS with a 2 week delay.

Total cases and losses reported are:
England 99,137 / 16,271
Northern Ireland 2,874 / 220
Scotland 9,038 / 985
Wales 8,124 / 624
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 16,671 cases and 769 losses of life.

There have now been 2,605,771 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 181,476. Already 712,324 people have recovered.

"The Earth will not & cannot go back to the way things were. There must be a “new normal” – a world that is healthier, safer and better prepared"
Dr Tedros, WHO

How to survive quarantine The World Health Organisation

Today's UK briefing was with Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary. He started by saying we are following scientific and medical advice throughout. We are making progress, but easing restrictions too early raises the risk of a 2nd peak, and longer time in lockdown over all. He thanked carers again, and also thanked the armed forces for help with the mobile labs, NHS Nightingale hospitals and delivery of equipment and PPE. We have 7 temporary hospitals.
Over 1m British nationals have been brought home on flights, including 13,000 on charter flights, with more due this week.

Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff, talked about the military and their role. They have supported the NHS and social care first and foremost with delivery and logistics.
He said in 25 days they have gone from 240 to 55,000 delivery addresses. This is the single greatest logistics challenge faced by the armed forces.
They have helped with planning and delivery of the NHS Nightingale hospitals, and organised pop-up testing centres.
They have also provided planes to transport goods, and have helped with repatriation of UK nationals.
They are also watching for disinformation and misinformation.
Press asked why we aren't deploying more military staff. 20k are waiting and we've only used 3k. He said they haven't got skills that been needed yet (they could be doing check ins and shopping for vulnerable people, surely?).

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 21st April 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 21st April 2020.

The UK added 4,301 cases today and now has reported a total of 129,044 positive cases of COVID-19. We had all together tested 397,670 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 823 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 17,337 losses of life in hospitals. Losses of life in the community are reported by ONS with a 2 week delay (see below).

Total cases and losses reported are:
England 96,117 / 15,606
Northern Ireland 2,758 / 207
Scotland 8,672 / 915
Wales 7,850 / 609
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 15,652 cases and 687 losses of life (not yet reported today).

There have now been 2,529,094 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 174,573. Already 667,609 people have recovered.

"In time we can rebuild the profits. We can't replace the people we lose." George Weston, Chief Executive, Associated British Foods

Beat the virus by staying apart

The UK briefing today was with Matt Hancock, Health Secretary.
He said at the heart of our plan is patient capacity, and we have been able to supply that to anyone who needs it. We have a record 2,963 spare critical care beds available right now across the NHS. But there is still much further to go.
We have 17,681 people in hospital with COVID-19.
We can't throw away the progress we've made so far. We were reminded again of the 5 points we need to meet before we can lift restrictions (covered 2 & 4 days ago).
He talked about PPE and thanked people for offers. 159 UK manufacturers so far are going to be working with us on PPE.
Vaccines are our best bet (we think) in the long run. We have put more money than any other country into global vaccine development, and 2 of the leading labs are in the UK. They will both get extra cash:
22.5m to Imperial College for phase 2 clinical trials.
20m to the Oxford team to fund their clinical trials.
The Oxford vaccine will begin human testing on Thursday.
We are also building manufacturing capacity so that if it works, we can be ready to produce in vast quantities.
We are still on target for 100k tests a day (I'll believe that when I see it)

Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, went through the slides. For hospital admissions almost all regions show almost a straight flat line, a plateau, with similar numbers today as yesterday. We have just had a long weekend, so it is with caution, but still far better than rising.
With the ONS figures added, obviously our 'trajectory' line is a little higher, but still around Italy, France and Spain. We were reminded that other countries also won't have precise figures from reported COVID-19 deaths, and we will see 'excess mortality' figures from them when Prof Van-Tam has them.

Regarding face masks, we are keeping evidence under review, and will change advice accordingly.

Regarding pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission (passing it on with no symptoms), we can still find COVID-19 in these patients with the normal PCR test. He believes they aren't as big an issue as symptomatic people because they aren't coughing or shedding as much virus.

Monday, 20 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 20th April 2020

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

The UK added 4,676 cases today and now has reported a total of 124,743 positive cases of COVID-19. We had all together tested 386,044 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 449 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 16,509 losses of life in hospitals. Losses of life in the community are reported by ONS with a 2 week delay.

Total cases and losses reported are:
England 93,030 / 14,828
Northern Ireland 2,728 / 194
Scotland 8,450 / 903
Wales 7,546 / 584
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 15,652 cases and 687 losses of life.

There have now been 2,449,380 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 168,134. Already 641,804 people have recovered.

"Don't use this virus to fight together or score political points, it's dangerous." Dr Tedros, Head of the World Health Organisation.

How to survive quarantine The World Health Organisation

Today's UK briefing was with Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer. 
He started with PPE. They have appointed Lord Deighton to organise home-sourced PPE. Today we have unloaded 140,000 gowns from Myanmar.
The HMRC job retention scheme opened today. 140,000 firms had already applied by 4pm, representing over 1m employees. 
The Futures Fund was launched - loans for early stage UK based high growth companies, and small companies focussing on research and development will also be able to access other cash.
12,000 loans have now gone out to UK businesses.
The UK will provide 30,000 extra mortuary places.

To protect our economy we need to protect the health of our people. 17,971 people are in hospital. Less in total than yesterday for the 7th day running - it's all good stuff. We were reminded once again of the 5 points we need to meet before we can lift restrictions, and thanked us for following govt. advice and staying home.

Sunday, 19 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 19th April 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 19th April 2020.

The UK added 5,850 cases today and now has reported a total of 120,067 positive cases of COVID-19. We had all together tested 372,967 people as of 9am this morning (excluding N.I.).

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 596 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 16,060 losses of life in hospitals. Losses of life in the community are reported by ONS with a 2 week delay.

Total cases and losses reported are:
England 90,629 / 14,399
Northern Ireland 2,645 / 193
Scotland 8,187 / 893
Wales 7,270 / 575
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 14,758 cases and 571 losses of life.(not yet reported today).

There have now been 2,373,077 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 163,641. Already 611,810 people have recovered.

Look after your neighbours WHO

Today's UK briefing was with Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary. Wow he was nervous!
He thanked all of the education and childcare staff making sure that vulnerable children are supported and essential workers can go to work. He said he can't give us a date schools will re-open, and reminded us of the 5 points we need to meet before we can lift restrictions:
1. We need to ensure we have NHS bed capacity for everyone who needs it
2. Daily death rates need to come down consistently
3. We need reliable data showing decreasing rate of infection
4. Confidence in testing capacity and PPE availability.
5. Confidence any changes will not risk a second peak.

No-one will have to leave 'care' during the crisis. Young people who would have been making their own way to independence would be particularly vulnerable.
£1.6bn will be given to support phone helplines supporting children and children's safety - the NSPCC's adult phoneline, and possibly Childline? (his wording was weird).

The Govt have published resources for teaching, and some of the leading state schools have collaborated to create The Oak Online Academy, with video lessons for all children from reception through to year 10.
The BBC has developed the most comprehensive education package ever, on TV and online from tomorrow.
Laptops will be given to young people who are disadvantaged and have exams next year. Laptops or tablets will also be given to children with social workers and care leavers. They will also be given free 4G routers if they do not have internet connection while the schools are shut.
Certain educational resources will be exempt from data charges.
He apologised to all of the young people who are missing their education. He doesn't strike me as a natural childcarer.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 18th April 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 18th April 2020.

The UK added 5,526 cases today and now has reported a total of 114,217 positive cases of COVID-19. We had all together tested 357,023 people as of 9am this morning (excluding N.I.).

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 888 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 15,464 losses of life in hospitals. Losses of life in the community are reported by ONS with a 2 week delay.

Total cases and losses reported are:
England 87,022 / 13,917
Northern Ireland 2,486 / 176
Scotland 7,820 / 837
Wales 6,936 / 534
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 14,758 cases and 571 losses of life.

There have now been 2,292,520 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 157,669. Already 587,666 people have recovered.
Together at home
Today's UK briefing was with Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State and Professor Stephen Powis of NHS England.
Robert Jenrik is also Communities Secretary. He talked about bin collections, schools, homeless support and all of the other essential workers in our communities. He is providing an extra £1.6bn funding to English councils, doubling the original extra funding. There will be proportional extra funds for all UK nations.
250,000 boxes of essentials have been delivered to homes of especially vulnerable people. The call centre is making 130,000 calls a day to support those people.
The NHS volunteers are also ringing people to check up on them.
All parks are to be open for exercise in green spaces.
Funerals can go ahead with close family present and social distancing observed.
Cemeteries and graveyards will be open for private respects.

Steve Powis with the graphs  - numbers of cases are stable, not increasing nor decreasing. Hospital admissions are still reducing though (good stuff). We have 17,759 people in hospital - down again from yesterday.

Friday, 17 April 2020

Discovery Mindblown 4D Shark Review and Giveaway Age 6+ (sent by The Essential One).

While a lot of online vendors have had to close shop for a while, The Essential One are still open for business and have a lot to offer, even if your children are a bit older. They have sent us two of the toys for bigger kids from the Discovery Mindblown STEM range. This is The Discovery Toy Anatomy 4D Shark. Age 6+

Discovery Mindblown 4D Shark review collage showing both sides of shark

My son was ecstatic to see this. He loves sharks and anatomy, and so it is perfect for him. There is a big plastic insert in the box, and we aren't going to keep ours - this is a shelf model my son wants to display.

4D Shark Anatomy Kit review parts organs

Inside the box are all the parts of your shark, and be careful not to miss any because a couple are very small. There are 20 parts in all, and they are really well decorated and nicely shaped from rubbery plastic. It is really nicely made.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 17th April 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 17th April 2020.

The UK added 5,599 cases today and now has reported a total of 108,692 positive cases of COVID-19. We had all together tested 341,551 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 847 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 14,576 losses of life in hospitals. Losses of life in the community are reported by ONS with a 2 week delay.

Total cases and losses reported are:
England 83,474 / 13,133
Northern Ireland 2,338 / 158
Scotland 7,409 / 779
Wales 6,645 / 506
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 13,980 cases and 530 losses of life.

There have now been 2,219,242 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 151,968. Already 566,419 people have recovered.

parenting spent time with each child WHO advice

Rishi Sunak has announced he has extended the furlough scheme until the end of June. "It is vital for people’s livelihoods that the UK economy gets up and running again when it is safe to do so, and I will continue to review the scheme so it is supporting our recovery."

Today's UK press conference was led by Alok Sharma, business secretary. He went back over what we are doing to cover ourselves for the build up of cases over the next few weeks. We have cracked 20k tests today, working towards the 100k a day. He reiterated the 5 conditions for reducing restrictions which we covered yesterday.
18,978 people are in hospital, again lower than yesterday, it really is fantastic - we locked down in time. Just another few days and it would have been entirely different.

The government has set up a Vaccines Task Force to coordinate efforts towards a vaccine, and it is already up and running. Members include people from government, business, education and regulators. We have also given 210m to CEPI, the international fund to find a vaccine. 21 further research projects are going ahead, and will get 14m between them for vaccines, testing and therapeutics (medicines). We are building our first vaccines manufacturing centre, to be ready to mass produce vaccines as soon as one is ready.

He was asked about his comment that we may need to get used to a 'new normal'. Alok explained that many workplaces will have to adapt in order to re-open and ensure physical distancing to keep employees safe.

Patrick Vallance the UK Science Chief went through the slides. We are seeing more travel in areas where there aren't many cases yet - don't be complacent guys, you don't actually want to catch up.
Hospital bed use has dropped more in London, risen slightly in the Midlands and Scotland, but is fairly stable.
He stressed the importance of getting the R level (reproductive level) down. We do believe it is below 1 throughout the UK.
The evidence is very variable on masks, we are going to keep looking at this and will update advice. Currently we are in line with WHO advice.

Press asked the killer question regarding Nurses, Care Workers, Social Care etc: 'Was it a mistake for your government to brand those people as unskilled labour? They are low paid and often can't even afford to take time off if they are ill. Isn't this a risk to public health?'
Replies were mainly 'Everyone in government wants to pay tribute to all of those working in this sector', 'it might take longer for them to get better if they don't take time off'. Errrr okay.
The press came back to ask that people in these sectors are given a decent minimum wage and guaranteed full sick pay?
The government talked about 2 weeks of SSP (£96 a week). Poor answer really, sorry.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 16th April 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 16th April 2020.

The UK added 4,618 cases today and now has reported a total of 103,093 positive cases of COVID-19. We had all together tested 327,608 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 861 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 13,729 losses of life in hospitals. Losses of life in the community are reported by ONS with a 2 week delay.

Total cases and losses reported are:
England 79,489 / 12,395
Northern Ireland 2,201 / 140
Scotland 7,102 / 699
Wales 6,401 / 495
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 12,547 cases and 444 losses of life.

There have now been 2,129,355 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 142,707. Already 539,000 people have recovered.

How to survive quarantine The World Health Organisation

"If the goal is to get society back to normal, you don’t announce a date and then try to justify it.
You set conditions that must be met, and then try to meet them."
Dan Froomkin, Press Watch.

Today's UK press conference was led by Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary. SAGE say we have a mixed and inconsistent picture, but the R value (see below) is below 1 in the community. Any change in our social distancing measures would risk an increase in cases (if we get out too early, there will be masses of infected people, all stepping out into the community at the same time). No surprise he officially said the lockdown isn't ending just yet. It is extended for at least 3 weeks.
We need to be satisfied in 5 factors before anything changes:
1. Protect the NHS' ability to cope. We need to have ability to treat everyone.
2. See a sustained and consistent fall in the death rates, so we have confidence we are over our peak
3. SAGE information must suggest we have a manageable situation
4. Testing capacity and PPE need to be there
5. Any adjustments must not risk a second peak which overwhelms the NHS.

If we do this wrong, it'll be more expensive in lives, jobs and money overall.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

April 2020 #TBCSmiles (3 1/2 weeks under lockdown).

It is the 15th and it's time for this month's #TBCSmiles. We all need smiles more than ever right now, and even under lockdown, it's still possible to find joy - and definitely encouraged.

Spring is here and nature is flourishing without so many cars and people to get in the way. The birds are literally having a field day, we have never had so many fledglings in our trees. The sun has been shining, and I think most of us are beginning to really appreciate our time outdoors.

April 2020 #TBCSmiles (3 1/2 weeks under lockdown).

It isn't only loved ones that COVID-19 is taking from us, and a lot of people are feeling a great deal of hurt right now. It might only be temporary, but it's happening now, and it can be overwhelming. You are allowed to be sad that your plans aren't going to happen, that you can't see your friends, can't just go out. You are allowed to grieve your losses.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 15th April 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 15th April 2020.

A good milestone today. Over half a million people have now been reported as recovered from Coronavirus.

The UK added 4,605 cases today and now has reported a total of 98,476 positive cases of COVID-19. We had all together tested 313,796 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 761 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 12,868 losses of life in hospitals.

Total cases and losses reported are:
England 76,371 / 11,656
Northern Ireland 2,088 / 134
Scotland 6,748 / 615
Wales 6,118 / 463
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 12,547 cases and 444 losses of life.

There have now been 2,044,221 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 131,340. Already 505,282 people have recovered.

FACTS beat fear WHO


Today's UK Press conference was hosted by Matt Hancock, Health Secretary.
He thanked us all for staying home, and thanked Captain Tom Moore! Yeeay. His 100 lap walk round his garden has now raised over £8m for the NHS.

Spare beds in critical care is now at 2,657 beds - capacity is growing faster than demand. At no point so far have we been unable to offer correct care to patients. We currently have 19,529 people in hospital with coronavirus.
We are doing incredibly well, and we can't let up now.
Regarding social care, we have given a boost of £1.6b. Today we've strengthened the rules, so every care home resident will be tested before being returned home from hospital, and any care home resident with symptoms will be tested.
Social Care staff will also be tested, this has started (over 4000 tested already).
Priority drops of PPE will happen while we roll out regular logistics via the Royal Mail.
Social Care needs more respect. It will from today have an identifiable and respected brand, and will get a lot of the benefits and discounts NHS staff currently have. We are also having a recruitment drive as we need more people in the profession.
Working with Public Health England, we are introducing new procedures so that loved ones can when possible, with the correct safety in place, be given the chance to be with a patient at the end of their life.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 14th April 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 14th April 2020.

The UK added 5,914 cases today and now has reported a total of 93,873 positive cases of COVID-19. We had all together tested 302,599 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 778 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 12,107 losses of life in hospitals. Losses of life in the community are reported by ONS with a 2 week delay - see below.

Total cases and losses reported are:
England 73,183 / 11,005
Northern Ireland 1,967 / 124
Scotland 6,358 / 575
Wales 5,848 / 403
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 11,479 cases and 406 losses of life.

There have now been 1,968,893 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 123,783. Already 464,456 people have recovered.

NHS Information for parents

Today's press conference was with Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Earlier today the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimated that the UK economy will shrink by 35% if the lockdown lasts 3 months and no other changes are made. He stressed that the OBR expect the economy to bounce back pretty well, it would be temporary.
Rishi explained that the scale of what we are facing will have consequences. The Government can't protect every business and household, but our planned economic response is protecting most people while restrictions are in place, and will help ensure most business can re-open and people can go back to work.
Right now to protect the health of the economy, we need to protect the health of our people, it isn't an either/or option.
Public services have been given £14.5b in recent weeks. Business grants are with local authorities, loans are going out, and the furlough scheme is still intended to be up and paying out before the end of April - employers should be able to claim by around 20th April.

Monday, 13 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 13th April 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 13th April 2020.

The UK added 4,342 cases today and now has reported a total of 88,621 positive cases of COVID-19. We had all together tested 290,720 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 717 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 11,329 confirmed losses of life in hospitals.
(Losses of life in the community are reported by ONS with a 2 week delay.)

Total cases and losses reported are:
England 69,329 / 10261
Scotland 6,067 / 566
Wales 5,610 / 384
Northern Ireland 1,882 / 118
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 10,647 cases and 365 losses of life.

There have now been 1,897,148 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 117,702. Already 438,205 people have recovered.

"No, this pandemic is not a war. Nations do not stand against other nations, soldiers against soldiers. Rather this is a test of our humanity."
German President, Frank Walter-Steinmeier

Health Workers look after yourselves WHO

Today's figures will reflect the fact that it is the weekend. Whilst they are much more preferable to figures during the week, sadly reporting always has delays and tends to catch up by Tuesday.

Today's UK briefing was led by Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary. He thanked all of the NHS and frontline staff working throughout the weekend. He also thanked everyone for staying home, and reminded us with no doubt, that has saved lives.
There are positive signs from the data that we are beginning to make a difference, but we have a way to go.
This week SAGE will review the effectiveness of our lockdown, but we don't expect any changes to be made.

Sir Patrick Vallance, UK Science Chief, went through the slides. He explained we have many more cases who have not been tested (ooooh, that's a bit honest!). He showed clearly the numbers of NHS and care staff who are being tested, so it is happening finally.
The number of people in hospital beds is growing at a steady rate in London, and other areas. Our epidemic isn't soaring, it is beginning to turn towards a plateau. We just don't know how long our plateau will last, before we start to see less people admitted to hospital each day.

Sunday, 12 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 12th April 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 12th April 2020.

The UK added 5,288 cases today and now has reported a total of 84,279 positive cases of COVID-19. We had all together tested 282,374 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 737 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 10,612 losses of life in hospitals.
(Losses of life in the community are reported by ONS with a 2 week delay.)

Total cases and losses reported are:
England 66,330 / 9594
Scotland 5,912 / 542
Wales 5,297 / 369
Northern Ireland 1,806 / 107
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 9,655 (+727) cases and 334 (+14) losses of life.

There have now been 1,831,130 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 113,013. Already 416,980 people have recovered.

"We know that Coronavirus will not overcome us. As dark as death can be – particularly for those suffering with grief – light and life are greater. May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future." Queen Elizabeth II.

easter stay home

Boris has been discharged and will recuperate at home for a while before returning to work. He's done a short video which is exactly the sort of video you'd hope from someone who just nearly died and is incredibly grateful to the NHS and it's staff for saving his life. Humble. He stresses that everyone please stay home.

The Queen has recorded her first ever audio Easter message. You can find it on Royal Family social media. It is beautifully written.

Matt Hancock led today's briefing. We have now lost more than 10,000 people, which demonstrates just how much of a threat coronavirus is.
We currently have 19,945 people in hospital and 2.295 spare critical care beds. Up from yesterday. We are increasing capacity more quickly than demand.
We haven't had overwhelming of our health services, we have so far done well. We now have a total of 9975 ventilators, and over 5000 staff have returned to work at the NHS.
42,812 NHS and social care staff and their families have now been tested.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 11th April 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 11th April 2020.

The UK added 5,233 cases today and now has reported a total of 78,991 positive cases of COVID-19. We had all together tested 334,974 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 917 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 9,875 losses of life in hospitals. Losses of life in the community are reported by ONS on Tuesdays, with a 2 week delay.

Total cases and losses reported are:
England 62,658 / 8937
Scotland 5,590 / 495
Wales 4,930 / 351
Northern Ireland 1,717 / 92
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 8,089 cases and 287 losses of life (not yet reported today).

There have now been 1,756,267 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 107,028. Already 393,739 people have recovered.

"There's no easy path through a pandemic." Prof Stephen Powis

WHO advice children with stress

Priti Patel, Home Secretary, who has been notable in her absence so far, led today's briefing.
20,101 people who have tested positive are currently in hospital.
Boris is making good progress.
Today's briefing will discuss crime, with Martin Hewitt of the National Police Chiefs' Council. Total crime has decreased, but some crimes have risen. Fraudsters have already conned people out of over a £1.8m. Child abusers know that more young people are online. The Domestic Abuse Helpline has reported up to 120% more calls. There will be no let up for the perpetrators of these crimes. Anybody who is a victim of these crimes should report them.
If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and press 55 on a mobile if you are unable to talk.
Ms Patel launched a new national communications campaign to reach out to those in danger of domestic abuse, to highlight the fact you can still get out and you can access help. They have created a symbol we can all share, to show we are there to listen #YouAreNotAlone
Fujitsu are providing IT equipment so that smaller charities and support groups can work from home. The government are looking at alternative accommodation for anyone who needs it.

Ad | HARIBO Easter Egg Hunting at home

This Easter HARIBO have some awesome new sweets out which are ideal for Easter Egg hunts. We're working with HARIBO and so they've sent us loads of their goodies to have some fun with. Needless to say this is a popular job and I had no shortage of help.


We've been sent some of the brand new Eggs Galore! which come in different sized bags depending on how big your household is - the treat size multipacks are ideal for egg hunts. A mix of Easter Eggs and the all-time favourite Fried Eggs.

HARIBO Eggs Galore! Easter sweets

We've also been sent the Spring Time Friends, and the Chick'n'Mix and Bunny'n'Friends specially shaped packs, which have a selection of different sweets inside. Here are the sweets in the Chick'n'Mix - bunnies, chicks, sheep and eggs.

Friday, 10 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 10th April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 10th April 2020.

The UK added 5,706 cases today and now has reported a total of 70,272 positive cases of COVID-19. We had all together tested 262,537 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 980 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 8,958 losses of life in hospitals. Losses of life in the community are reported by ONS with a 2 week delay.

Total cases and losses reported are:
England 58,817 / 8,114
Scotland 5,275 / 447
Wales 4,591 / 315
Northern Ireland 1,589 / 82
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 7,054 cases and 287 losses of life, and have not yet reported today.

There have now been 1,674,854 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 101,474. Already 371,858 people have recovered.

Health Workers Stress

Sounds like Boris is capable of taking himself to the loo now, so good news there.

Today's UK briefing was hosted by Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, who started by saying this is a national effort. We all need to stay at home and avoid all of the temptations. Hospital staff are busy trying to keep people breathing, don't make their job worse. Share your responsibility.
Testing is getting better, with our highest number of tests yesterday - 19,116
There are currently 19,304 people in hospital with COVID-19.

We have capacity for all key social care and NHS staff to be tested. We've opened 15 drive through testing centres. The first of our mega-labs opened yesterday in Milton Keynes.
Stress on PPE (personal protective equipment) means we have to treat PPE as the valuable resource it is. We are shifting tons of the stuff, but there is a massive global demand and high demand in the UK, and weekly delivery has meant we've had to create a whole new supply and logistics chain. He hinted that regular public don't need PPE, if we follow advice and stay behind our front door. 742m items of PPE have already been delivered where needed, and there's a 24hr hotline to report shortages or trouble receiving supply.

Chief Nursing Officer Ruth May spoke about staying home over Easter - please. She's a nurse, she doesn't want her colleagues to have to go through any more than they already will do. They don't get a weekend, they're working saving lives. The least you can do is stay home.
She announced two more NHS Nightingale Temporary hospitals in Sunderland and Exeter.

Thursday, 9 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 9th April 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 9th April 2020.

Today marks 100 days since the first cases of an unknown pneumonia were reported to the World Health Organisation, and today we have passed the milestone for one and a half million cases reported.

The UK added 4,344 cases today and now has reported a total of 65,077 positive cases of COVID-19. We had all together tested 243,421 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 881 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 7,978 losses of life in hospitals. Losses of life in the community are reported by ONS later.

Total cases and losses reported are:
England 54,554 / 7,163
Scotland 4,957 / 447
Wales 4,089 / 286 (have changed the time they report today)
Northern Ireland 1,477 / 82
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 6,574 cases and 263 losses of life.

There have now been 1,569,849 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 92,191. Already 345,917 people have recovered.

Don't give more than easter eggs this weekend

Tonight's government briefing was hosted by Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary. He started by telling us that Boris Johnson is still in Intensive Care, but remains in good spirits and is communicating with staff. He hasn't spoken to Boris himself, because he's in intensive care.
He thanked all of the NHS staff looking after us, and the carers out in the community. He also thanked just about everyone doing those jobs which keep our lives turning. Cleaners, delivery drivers, shop workers, technicians and everyone else, and all of you volunteers.
Mr Raab explained we must keep going, and why that was important. Early signs are that our measures are working, but we can't say any more than that until the end of next week, and "we need evidence we've moved beyond the peak" before any restrictions will be relaxed. He is sorry that none of us can see our families this weekend, but "we mustn't give the coronavirus a second chance to kill more people".

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 8th April 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 8th April 2020.

The UK added 5,491 cases today and now has reported a total of 60,733 positive cases of COVID-19. We had in total tested 282,074 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 938 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 7,097 losses of life.

Total cases and losses reported are:
England 50,756 / 6,483
Scotland 4,565 / 296
Wales 4,073 / 245
Northern Ireland 1,339 / 73
(The government haven't been reporting how many of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.)

Rep. Of Ireland have 6,074 cases and 235 losses of life.

There have now been 1,485,535 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 87,292. Already 318,876 people have recovered.

Boris Johnson "remains clinically stable and is responding to treatment" in Intensive Care. He's also described as "in good spirits".

"Tomorrow marks 100 days since WHO was notified of the first cases of “pneumonia with unknown cause” in China. It’s incredible to reflect on how dramatically the world has changed, in such a short period of time"
Dr Tedros, Head of the World Health Organisation.

COVID is a world problem WHO


At today's UK press conference, Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, told us Boris has been sitting up and talking, and his situation is improving. Good news. Rishi went on to say we have to work together and support each other. We all depend on each other to get through this.
He explained the Government can't replace every single penny that charities will lose out on this year, but some charities are doing essential work during the coronavirus crisis, and rightly need to be supported. £750m will be given to UK charities.
£370m will be donated to small, local charities supporting vulnerable people.
£360m will be given directly to charities, with up to £200m to hospices and the rest split among groups supporting vulnerable children, victims of domestic abuse and others.
The BBC have announced a 'Big Night In' on April 23rd - the Government will match whatever is raised, with a minimum of £20m to the national charities appeal. (See below).

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 7th April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 7th April 2020.

The UK added 3,634 cases today and now has reported a total of 55,242 positive cases of COVID-19. We had in total tested 213,181 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 786 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 6,159 losses of life.

Total cases are: England 45,968, Scotland 4,229, Wales 3,790 and Northern Ireland 1,255. Already (many more than) 135 of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.

Rep. Of Ireland have 5,709 cases and 210 losses of life.

There have now been 1,408,490 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 80,945. Already 298,514 people have recovered.

FACTS beat fear WHO

Boris Johnson is stable and we were told he is in good spirits and breathing for himself, "hasn't required ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support" and hasn't been diagnosed with pneumonia, but is receiving standard oxygen.

Today's UK briefing was led by Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary, who talked about what it's like to have a colleague and friend ill. He reassured the public that the team will however not lose focus.
18,589 people are currently in hospital with coronavirus in the UK
Sir Patrick Vallance, UK science chief went through the slides. The numbers are showing signs of slowing. They aren't growing as quickly as they were, but it'll be about a week before we know if we have already hit our peak.
Prof Chris Whitty, CMO_England, was asked about what Germany had done to have such a low number of deaths. Testing. It was testing.
Mr Whitty was also asked how it was that the Prime Minister, Chief Medical Officer and Health Minister all managed to catch the virus, when they were the people telling us how not to catch it. Dominic Raab answered - "This is an indiscriminate virus" and we are learning all the time. I'd have said irony, but he's also right. Remember they will have caught COVID-19 around 2-3 weeks ago.
There were questions about deaths in the community and care homes. It is usual for countries to not include these in official death reporting (yep, everyone wants those figures low). The UK will include every community death which mentions coronavirus on the death certificate in Office Of National Statistics reports. In the week up until March 27th there were 539 community deaths from COVID-19.

Monday, 6 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 6th April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 6th April 2020

The UK added 3,802 cases today and now has reported a total of 51,608 positive cases of COVID-19. We had in total tested 208,837 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 439 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 5,373 losses of life.

Total cases are: England 42,990, Scotland 3,961, Wales 3,499 and Northern Ireland 1,158. We've so far only reported 135 of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered, but it's more likely to be in the region of 15,000-35,000, so it'll be brilliant when they do report it.

Rep. Of Ireland have 5,364 cases and 174 losses of life.

There have now been 1,323,605 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 73,608. Already 277,280 people have recovered.

WHO how much physical activity should you get

Mother, Grandma and longest serving British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has addressed her subjects in a special message, just the 4th of her 68 year reign. She reminded us this is a fight, and that we may be apart from loved ones, but it won't be forever.
"We will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again."

Boris Johnson is still in hospital and has sent us this message:
"Last night, on the advice of my doctor, I went into hospital for some routine tests as I’m still experiencing coronavirus symptoms. I’m in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team, as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe."
"I’d like to say thank you to all the brilliant NHS staff taking care of me and others in this difficult time. You are the best of Britain. Stay safe everyone, and please remember to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives."

Sunday, 5 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 5th April 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 5th April 2020.

The UK added 5,903 cases today and now has reported a total of 47,806 positive cases of COVID-19. We had in total tested 195,524 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 621 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 4,934 losses of life.

Total cases are: England 39,814, Scotland 3,706, Wales 3,197 and Northern Ireland 1,089. Already (many more than) 135 of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.

Rep. Of Ireland have 4,604 cases and 137 losses of life, and have yet to report today.

There have now been 1,252,982 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 68,149. Already 257,139 people have recovered.

Look after your neighbours WHO

If you are a fan of royalty, or people called Elizabeth, or just have nowhere to go tonight, the Queen is addressing the nation in a pre-recorded video at 8pm on Royal Family social media, the TV and radio. The cameraman wore PPE (true story).

Today's Press Briefing was hosted by Matt Hancock, Health Secretary (still no sign of Boris or Chris Whitty, and it is 9 days now for Boris).
We currently have 16,702 people admitted to hospital with COVID-19. We currently have 2,336 spare ICU beds in England alone, over 9,000 ventilators available and received another 300 from China this morning, as well as those in current production.
People are mostly following social distancing rules, but the small minority are risking themselves and others. Please don't think it's clever to bend the rules.
Jenny Harries explained that sitting on a park bench is a place where people accumulate, and it's just not worth it. We need to stay home and limit our contact with other humans. .
At the moment it is not necessary to add further restrictions on movement, and Mr Hancock did purposefully avoid answering what these might be. They really won't want to tell us, because there will always be people ready to break them as soon as they're imposed. Better if it's a surprise.
There's to be another NHS Hospital in Belfast.
The UK have launched a tool to look at people with symptoms and learn more. If you have symptoms, Google NHS Status Checker.
An Urgent Directive has gone out to NHS Hospitals, as the sheer volume of patients needing oxygen has caused some instability, and an equipment failure yesterday. It's really no surprise, this is unprecedented, and it gives the other hospitals a heads' up before they encounter similar issues. Huge thanks to any hospital technicians and maintenance staff making it happen.
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for NHS workers has been upgraded in some instances (because of new information regarding procedures which can cause the virus to become an aerosol and linger in the air). UK PPE has always, and still, meets the WHO recommendations (although there are a lot of public complaints about shortages and incorrect supplies).

Saturday, 4 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 4th April.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 4th April.

The UK added 3,735 cases today and now has reported a total of 41,903 positive cases of COVID-19. We had in total tested 183,190 people as of 9am this morning.

As of 5pm yesterday, of those hospitalised in the UK, we have lost another 708 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 4,313 losses of life.

Total cases are: England 34,707, Scotland 3,345, Wales 2,853 and Northern Ireland 998. Already (many more than) 135 of the UK's positive testing cases have recovered.

Rep. Of Ireland have 4,604 cases and 137 losses of life.

There have now been 1,181,134 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 63,894. Already 243,871 people have recovered.

WHO children emulate stress be calm

At today's UK briefing we had the pleasure of Michael Gove's company.
The NHS has 15,073 COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital. In the last day Yorkshire and the NE admissions have gone up by 35%, in the Midlands admissions have gone up by 47%.
7 health care professionals have lost their lives to COVID-19.
A 5 year old child with underlying health conditions has died from COVID-19.
Many different projects are underway, including Mercedes-Benz producing oxygen delivery systems and 300 ventilators today arrived from China. The MOD are organising delivery (cheers for your work people).
School attendance last week was 2%. Children need to be considered and there is more news to come next week.

Professor Steve Powis, Medical Director of NHS England was asked about the 13 residents of a single nursing home who have died without being tested for COVID-19. They will not be added to the regular figures, but will be reported by the Office Of National Statistics (ONS), as will all deaths in the community. Those numbers will be available soon (and it will be very ugly. This is your warning that the number is likely to be substantial because of the nature of COVID-19).
They explained the 5G hoax is rubbish. These are the phone networks which are used by our emergency services and have no relationship to COVID-19 whatsoever. People have been damaging them and putting lives at risk.
He reminded us that if you have symptoms of any health emergency, such as a stroke or heart attack, you should call 999 as you would normally. The NHS Is still caring for all patients.