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.

Press questions about masks - asking would they change their advice to the public? Replies were that we will continue to look at the emerging evidence and science, and won't rule it out, but right now advice is as before - that for most people, especially those who don't have COVID-19, it'll offer little help.

Patrick Vallance answered questions about lifting of restrictions and transmission. He explained (yet again) it's all about waiting and relies on the public. He explained very clearly that we are hoping to have an R value of less than 1 in the community now, although in care homes and hospitals it is more.
An R value stands for 'reproductive' value and tells you how many other people each person infects on average. We had an R value of around 2.5 when we locked down.

Prof Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer, answered the questions about different data on deaths. He explained that the official data is only deaths in hospital and the ONS data will list everyone who has COVID-19 as a cause of death in the community. He mentioned that some people who have COVID-19 will actually be those who may have succumbed during this period anyway, and unlike with flu, prevalence is so high that we have to assume people with symptoms more than likely do have COVID-19.
He said that 'all cause mortality' will be the most important figure at the end of all of this. We will have to look at all of the data and work out what differences COVID-19 has made to the full picture. It was the most sensible, honest and transparent thing any of them have ever said. He's my hero of the day.

Follow social Distancing UK Govt

13.5% of UK care homes now have outbreaks and in the past 24 hours alone 92 care homes have reported an outbreak. When an outbreak is suspected, public health authorities will go in and conduct testing, and those with symptoms isolated.

At today's WHO press briefing there was a reminder to countries considering imposing or lifting restrictions, that it should be done with protecting human health as first consideration. They have published a new strategy which includes 6 criteria for countries as they consider lifting restrictions:
1. Transmission is controlled
2. Health system capacities are in place to detect, test, isolate & treat every COVID-19 case & trace every contact
3. Outbreak risks are minimized in special settings like health facilities & nursing homes
4. Preventive measures are in place in workplaces, schools & other places where it’s essential for people to go
5. Importation risks can be managed
6. Communities are fully educated, engaged & empowered to adjust to the “new norm”
Dr Tedros also mentioned that not everyone has the luxury of a lockdown. In poorer countries there may be overcrowding or little access to health care, and people may work to pay for that day's food, making lockdowns unsuitable or impossible.
He thanked the UK for our donation of £200m towards the global response. 

South Korea is sending hundreds of thousands of test kits to the USA after an urgent request.

The UK aren't the only country who have suffered with officials becoming infected with COVID-19. At least 23 members of the Iranian Parliament were infected.

Italian mortality figures for March, when compared to last year, imply that at least 3 times as many people died from COVID-19 as were officially reported. Like the UK, victims are only added to official figures if they have had a positive test result and died in a hospital.

People require more than 1 COVID-19 test - to double-check they have it and to find out if they've recovered. In the 24 hours up until 9am this morning, the UK reported 10,745 people tested, but this only added another 8,346 to the total. 2,399 people had their 2nd or 3rd tests.

Sudan are banning intercity travel.

It's been noted that Michael Gove's 17 year old daughter bypassed the queue and was tested for COVID-19 before NHS staff. Twitter are having a field day with this one.

The World Health Organisation say "There are 70 coronavirus vaccines in development globally, with three candidates already being tested in human trials".

China are imposing a 28 day quarantine for Chinese nationals returning from Russia, after reporting hundreds of imported cases over the last couple of weeks.

Key findings of a Long Term Care Policy Network study into mortality associated with COVID-19 found that:
 - Official data on the numbers of people affected by COVID-19 is not available in many countries.
 - Due to differences in testing availability and policies, and to different approaches to recording deaths, international comparisons are difficult
 - Data from 3 epidemiological studies in the United States show that as many as half of people with COVID-19 infections in care homes were asymptomatic (or pre-symptomatic) at the time of testing
 - Data from 5 European countries suggest that care home residents have so far accounted for between 42% and 57% of all deaths related to COVID-19.
(Bear in mind this is official reported data, which usually doesn't record people who die outside hospital. Care home residents may be more likely to attend hospital).

NHS staff can now refer vulnerable people who are staying at home for support from the NHS Volunteer Responders for:
- Medicine and grocery deliveries
- Lifts to appointments
- Check in and chat telephone support

According to Reuters it seems the simpler design of ventilator for the government's BlueSky project isn't proving so effective with COVID-19 patients, so the government has cancelled the order and is concentrating on using components in other models.

After almost 2 weeks of decreasing cases in Spain, they are loosening restrictions slightly. Some businesses, construction and manufacturing will reopen, but the rest of the lockdown remains in place until at least April 26.

Russia appears to be having a disaster. Footage of ambulances queuing at hospitals is an indication Moscow is really struggling already. They have reported their highest daily new cases - 2,558

WHO tips to stay active

When a country reports a similar number of new cases day after day, what you are really seeing may simply be the limits of their testing capability.

In his video upon discharge from hospital, Boris Johnson made it clear he understood he could have died, and specifically thanked the two nurses who were his main caregivers - two people who wouldn't ordinarily qualify to stay in the UK under terms of the new immigration bill. Jenny McGee from New Zealand and Luis Pitarma from Portugal. The press are having a bit of fun with that one.

Anyone needing to flee domestic abuse can arrange free train travel to a recognised refuge once they've been offered a place. You can apply through Women’s Aid or Imkaan, whether you are male or female, alone or with children.

Last night, on Easter Sunday, the statue of Christ The Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro was lit up so that it wore a doctor's coat, and images of medical workers from around the world were projected, some bearing cards with the phrase popular the whole world over, in Portugese "We stay here for you, please stay home for us".
Below the images in many languages were the words "Thank you".

Some numbers. Every one of them represents a person who used to be scared of the dark:

Countries / Cases / losses of life (Some states/provinces yet to report):

USA 573,138 (+12,838) 22,931 (+826)
Spain 169,496 (+2,665) 17,489 (+280)
Italy 159,516 (+3,153) 20,465 (+566)
France 132,591 Not yet reported today 14,393
Germany 128,048 (+194) 3,032 (+10)
UK 88,621 (+4,342) 11,329 (+717)
China 82,160 (+108) 3,341 (+2)
Iran 73,303 (+1,617) 4,585 (+111)
Turkey 61,049 (+4,093) 1,296 (+98)
Belgium 30,589 (+942) 3,903 (+303)
Netherlands 26,551 (+964) 2,823 (+86)
Switzerland 25,623 (+208) 1,129 (+23)
Canada 24,804 (+421) 717
Brazil 22,625 (+433) 1,245 (+22)
Russia 18,328 (+2,558) 148 (+18)
Portugal 16,934 (+349) 535 (+31)
Austria 14,013 (+68) 368 (+18)
Israel 11,235 (+90) 110 (+7)
Sweden 10,948 (+465) 919 (+20)
S. Korea 10,537 (+25) 217 (+3)


1 comment:

  1. Let's hope the plateau starts to go downwards soon xx


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