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.

Press questions asked about ethnicity - PHE are looking into this urgently. It is as yet unknown why the impact of COVID-19 is harder on BME (black and minority ethnic) communities, and not just in the UK. A lot of people worldwide are trying to find out why?

The Government have released new guidance about PPE. Press asked about this because it includes suggestions to re-use gowns. The reply was that there is massive global demand and we are doing everything we can. (People are literally nicking this stuff from planes on runways, it's a complete worldwide disaster). Steve Powys said he is a doctor and these are his colleagues. He said we have been stretched almost to limits (that's very clear).
NHS England are currently using 155,000 gowns a day.

Steve Powys says we are beginning to see antibody test results from other countries - it's tricky data, because the tests are really quite unreliable (this is true) and we don't yet know if anyone or everyone produces antibodies (also true). However we're hopeful it will better show just what percentages of people are asymptomatic or become ill, and therefore give us a better idea of how many people in the UK are affected in total.

There was a press question about the UK's lack of manufacturing and inability to provide our own PPE and reliance on imports. I think the fact we have Burberry and every home sewist making gowns for us is probably as clear an indicator of that as you'd ever need.

wash your hands UK Government advice

Science Magazine has published a couple of articles about the damage COVID-19 is doing, especially to seriously ill patient's bodies.
"Although the lungs are ground zero, its reach can extend to many organs including the heart and blood vessels, kidneys, gut, and brain."
The possibility of long term and permanent damage is obviously being mass studied, but it is still far too early to tell how severe or common this will be.

Florida have re-opened the beaches. By all accounts within 30 minutes they were packed.

The Ministerial Coordination Group on COVID-19 has issued a 'Declaration on Maintaining Essential Global Links'. The hastily convened group of foreign ministers aims to protect economies, flow of goods, trade and travel. Excitingly we are involved. The 13 countries are UK, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, South Korea, Singapore and Turkey.

New York City has now lost 1 person to COVID-19 for every 1,000 people who live there.

Coronavirus testing will be rolled out to additional frontline workers:
"Thanks to increased testing capacity, this will now include police, fire and rescue services, local authority staff, judiciary and prisons staff, among others."

Yesterday saw the official opening of NHS Nightingale Hospital Manchester. Sadly no comedy photo for this one.

Spain officially have over 190k positive cases of COVID-19, and are also tracking  at least 419k people who have reported symptoms but not had a test.

Texas have closed schools for the rest of the academic year.

Travel on London buses will be free from Monday as part of efforts to protect drivers. 26 London transport workers have now died from COVID-19, including 20 bus drivers.
Public transport continues to run, so that essential workers can get to work.

New York City has cancelled all non-essential events in May. (You'd hope so really).

There is a possibility that skin rashes can be added to the list of symptoms. It seems to be an early symptom in a significant number of cases, and mostly just minor on the torso, which is why it's not really been noted much. Rashes range from redness of the skin to a nettle rash or heat rash type, or even rarely blisters like chicken pox.

There have been a significant number of people whose children are apparently developing chicken pox right now... coincidentally. The treatment remains mainly the same whichever it is. Mostly hugs, hair stroking and paracetamol.

A shipment of 250,000 items of personal protective equipment including N-95 face masks, surgical masks and protective suits for the NHS is due to arrive at RAF Brize Norton from Turkey.
(Robert Jenrick actually said today that tomorrow 84 tons of PPE including 400,000 gowns will arrive from Turkey. I don't know if this is a separate shipment or just upgraded.)

Canada and the USA have agreed to keep the border closed to non-essential travel for another 30 days.

We know some incredibly unreliable COVID-19 tests exist, the UK Government (and others) unfortunately bought millions of them. Don't be tempted to buy them yourself from selling sites. 

Popular singer Joy Fayyad has entertained patients in the Lebanon by throwing a rooftop concert across the road from the hospital.

President Trump is now being accused of a crime he has clearly committed - inciting insurgency. He tweeted "LIBERATE MINNESOTA", "LIBERATE MICHIGAN" and "LIBERATE VIRGINIA", referring to relaxing restrictions due to COVID-19 and in direct opposition to their governors. There may be trouble ahead.

Last month was the first March without a school shooting in the United States since 2002.

The BBC Big Night In will be on Thursday 23rd April 7pm-10pm on BBC One and iPlayer.
"Expect big surprises, money can’t buy prizes, and live music performances." Matt Baker, Zoe Ball, Lenny Henry, Davina McCall and Paddy McGuinness will host, alongside Peter Kaye, Catherine Tate and Gary Barlow, and David Walliams and Matt Lucas with Little Britain.
The money raised will “provide essential support to local charities, projects and programmes across the UK to help those most in need.”

WHO tips to stay active

Tonight is the One World:Together At Home music and celeb filled extravaganza organised by The World Health Organisation, Lady Gaga and Global Citizen. Starts at 12GMT, so that's 1am in British Summertime if you are still up, but also available on most social media platforms and Amazon Prime, and the BBC tomorrow.

Captain Tom Moore has now raised over £23m for the NHS. He's a gent - and so are all of those who sponsored him. Thank you. He will be guest of honour at the opening of NHS Nightingale, Harrogate. I hope they have him on the giant screen as Big Brother or it's a wasted opportunity.

Some numbers. Every one represents a person who might have a different language to you, but they would all tell you the same thing. "Stay home".

Countries / Cases / Losses of life (some states yet to report):

USA 715,105 (+5,370) 37,889 (+735)
Spain 191,726 (+887) 20,043 (+41)
Italy 175,925 (+3,491) 23,227 (+482)
France 147,969 Not yet reported today 18,681
Germany 142,569 (+1,172) 4,405 (+53)
UK 114,217 (+5,525) 15,464 (+888)
China 82,719 (+27) 4,632
Iran 80,868 (+1,374) 5,031 (+73)
Turkey 82,329 (+3,783) 1,890 (+121)
Belgium 37,183 (+1,045) 5,453 (+290)
Russia 36,793 (+4,785) 313 (+40)
Brazil 34,913 (+1,231) 2,201 (+60)
Canada 32,412 (+485) 1,346 (+36)
Netherlands 31,589 (+1,140) 3,601 (+142)
Switzerland 27,404 (+326) 1,366 (+39)
Portugal 19,685 (+663) 687 (+30)
India 14,792 (+440) 488 (+2)
Austria 14,671 (+76) 443 (+12)
Ireland 14,758 (+778) 571 (+41)
Sweden 13,822 (+606) 1,511 (+111)
Romania 8,418 (+351) 421 (+10)
Saudi Arabia 8,274 (+1,132) 92 (+5)
Pakistan 7,638 (+613) 143 (+8)
Denmark 7,242 (+169) 346 (+10)
Norway 7,036 (+99) 163 (+2)
Mexico 6,875 (+578) 546 (+60)
Czechia 6,606 (+57) 181 (+8)
Australia 6,565 (+32) 69 (+4)


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