Friday 17 April 2020

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.

Yvonne Doyle of Public Health England did speak, but she could have sent a tape of things she's already said 20 times. Everyone together "it's too early to tell".
Keep watching for the numbers to really drop. Look at France, they are still on their plateau. We can have no real idea how long ours will last.

Word of mouth reports from the trials of Gilead's anti-viral drug Remdesivir in Chicago suggest it is going very well. Trials are taking place worldwide, so results of the whole study are eagerly awaited by everyone.

Last night dozens of people gathered on Westminster Bridge to 'clap for carers' together, in a bizarre and not exactly socially-distanced spectacle apparently sanctioned by the police. Let's hope none of them will personally get to meet those carers in hospital in about 2 weeks time.

Quarantine loneliness WHO advice

The One World: Together At Home concert, organised by the World Health Organisation, Lady Gaga and Global Citizen, will be broadcast live on Saturday 18 April at 5:00 p.m. PDT/8:00 p.m. EDT/12:00 a.m. GMT. It will air in the US and Canada live. BBC One will run the program on Sunday 19 April. It will also be available in hour long segments online from lots of providers including Amazon Prime, You Tube, Apple, Twitch, Twitter etc.

There are warnings from the UK's providers of Home Care that they are struggling to maintain services with the spiraling costs of PPE and number of people self-isolating or off sick.

Staff at Dimo's Pizza in Chicago are making face shields in their ovens instead of pizza. They can make 1,000 a day.

President Bolsonaro of Brazil has fired his Health Minister over COVID-19. Bolsonaro has repeatedly objected to suggestions Brazil should adopt social distancing measures.

The National Police Chief's Council has published some guidance on what is likely to be seen as an acceptable reason to leave your house, and what usually isn't. If you can't enjoy exercise locally, you can drive a short distance to take a walk, but day trips to the countryside aren't acceptable. I think most people know when they are pushing it.
WHO Together At Home concert Lady Gaga Global Citizen
Chile are intending to bring in Immunity Cards. Dr Mike Ryan of the WHO has responded to say they will release guidance next week, but "right now we have no evidence that the use of a serologic test can show that an individual is immune or protected from re-infection".

Lost Their Fight:
Care worker Patricia Crowhurst
Leeds United legend Norman Hunter

China have announced revised figures for Wuhan, adding 323 cases and 1,290 losses of life. This adds 50% to their previously reported figures, which goes from 2,579 to 3,869. There have been many people doubting Chinese reporting, this won't help.

Luxury Cruise News:
There are still around 3,200 people at sea. Now. Today.

Everyone on the Theodore Roosevelt US Navy submarine (which caused a storm when the captain's letter begging for help was leaked to press) has been tested for COVID-19, offering very important insight:
4800 crew
655 positive
Around 60% of those positive were asymptomatic (or possibly pre-symptomatic)
5 crew members are currently seriously ill and 1 has lost their life.

On the Diamond Princess, with a significantly older and possibly less healthy average population, of the 712 passengers and crew members who tested positive, 331 (46.5%) were asymptomatic at the time of testing.

It is Bat Appreciation Day. Bats haven't actually done anything wrong, and in fact do a lot of things right. They are the pollinators for hundreds of species of plants, and each consume vast quantities of insects every night.

There are concerns that the number of COVID-19 patients being given antibiotics for secondary infections will cause a rise in resistant bacteria.  Other medical professionals think the increased use of PPE and temporary cancellations of surgeries might actually be beneficial in decreasing them. It's something we can only measure over time.

Don't go out this weekend UK govt

Sweden's Princess Sophia has taken a rapid 3 day course and joined the ranks working in hospitals as a Healthcare Assistant.

Without humans to interrupt them, we have goats reclaiming Llandudno, deer in London, ducks in Paris, wild boar in Barcelona, sika deer in Tokyo, coyotes in Los Angeles, dolphins in Istanbul and even more excitingly, pumas in Santiago, Chile's capital.

Some people. They look like numbers here, but they all have families and friends (some states/provinces yet to report):

Country / Cases / Losses of life:

USA 686,431 (+8,861) 35,578 (+961)
Spain 188,068 (+3,120) 19,478 (+163)
Italy 172,434 (+3,493) 22,745 (+575)
France 147,969 (+1,909) 18,681 (+761)
Germany 138,497 (+799) 4,193 (+141)
UK 108,692 (+5,599) 14,576 (+847)
China 82,692 (+351) 4,632 (+1,290)
Iran 79,494 (+1,499) 4,958 (+89)
Turkey 78,546 (+4,353) 1,769 (+126)
Belgium 36,138 (+1,329) 5,163 (+306)
Russia 32,008 (+4,070) 273 (+41)
Canada 31,642 (+1,536) 1,310 (+115)
Romania 8,067 (+360) 411 (+19)
Saudi Arabia 7,142 (+762) 87 (+4)
Denmark 7,073 (+194) 336 (+15)
Pakistan 7,025 (+106) 135 (+7)
Norway 6,937 (+32) 161 (+9)
Australia 6,526 (+58) 65 (+2)
Czechia 6,499 (+66) 173 (+4)
Mexico 6,297 (+450) 486 (+37)
Indonesia 5,923 (+407) 520 (+24)
Philippines 5,878 (+218) 387 (+25)
Channel Islands 470 (+13) 20 (+1)
San Marino 435 (+9) 39 (+1)
Vatican City 8



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