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.

Prof John Newton, coordinator of national testing effort talked about testing. He said we were meeting requirement to test in hospitals, and have tested over 100k staff in health and social care. The drive-in centres aren't always ideal, so we are piloting ways of testing, including mobile and by post.
We are doing some 'representative population studies', testing everyone, to try and find out how many people are carrying the virus. They are working with prisons and the NHS on this, because in those locations we will need to find asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic patients.

The Office for National Statistics have published data for the week ending April 10th.
6,213 deaths mentioned COVID-19 out of 18,516 that week.
There were 7,996 more losses of life than the 5 year average for that week.
During that week 53% of deaths in London mentioned COVID-19, and 37% of deaths in the West Midlands.
It's the highest weekly total loss of life since January 2000.

In total 10,350 UK deaths involving COVID-19 were registered up until 10th April 2020. 83.9% (8,673 deaths) occurred in hospital. The remainder of 1,677 occurred in care homes, private homes and hospices.

210420 UK deaths by age group until 10 april 2020 graph covid

Saudi Arabia is suspending all public prayers inside the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina during the holy month of Ramadan.

Mexico is seeing a big expansion in the number of cases. Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said: “Today we want to announce the start of ‘Phase 3’ of the COVID epidemic, remembering that we are in the phase of rapid spread where a large number of infections and hospitalizations are accumulated.”

Feed The NHS is now delivering 25,000 meals a day to 68 hospitals across the UK - Google 'Thank you baked potato'.

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, in battle with his state governors, staged an anti-quarantine protest attended by what looked like thousands. He gave his address to the crowd from the back of a truck and was coughing throughout. It was like watching the beginning of Holby City and guessing who is off to hospital first. Bolsonaro hopes restrictions will end this week, despite being nowhere even near the peak of their epidemic.

The Houston Rodeo is going ahead.

Japan's numbers have been rising, as did Singapore's. They both seemed to have COVID-19 well under control for a long while, and shows just how careful you have to be when lifting restrictions.

Spain have cancelled the Running Of The Bulls in Pamplona. (Yeeeay).

There's a row on Twitter, with people accusing the government of creating fake NHS staff accounts to give a positive view of what's happening. I can't comment on whether that's true or not, but in the last couple of days I have encountered someone who insisted COVID-19 was entirely made up purely to keep us in our homes, and someone who claimed they worked in my local hospital, the pandemic only killed incredibly old people who were already very sick, and was in fact already over. I asked for my mate's 40 year old cousin back.

Hong Kong has extended restrictions until May 7th.

UK Parliament reconvened today. Due to social distancing rules there were only about 18 of them in the room, with others taking part via video.

Some German states, including Berlin, have made mask wearing compulsory on public transport.

Famous People With COVID:
Rio de Janeiro's state health secretary Edmar Santos
Rio de Janeiro's governor Wilson Witzel

Lost Their Fight:
100 UK frontline health care workers.

Mr Pyae Sone Win Maung, a driver for the World Health Organization, has been killed in a security incident in Myanmar while delivering COVID-19 surveillance materials.

Viruses mutate, and according to the China National Centre for Bioinformation, COVID-19 changes at an average speed of about one mutation per month. By Monday, more than 10,000 strains had been sequenced by scientists around the globe, containing more than 4,300 mutations in total. Not only that, but they are now fairly certain they can see weaker and more powerful strains - a theory first proposed a couple of months ago, when it became apparent different areas have different mortality rates.

Germany have cancelled the Octoberfest

Albania has a 2-8 year jail term for people who break quarantine.

A crowd of around 2,500 people gathered in Washington on Sunday to protest lockdown orders.

Lehlohonolo Moramotse, the Police Minister for Lesotho, spent last night in a police cell, for contravening the COVID19 regulations by buying alcohol.

After yesterday's reply to articles in The Times, the UK Government have continued their new practise of posting massive and very clear responses to media stories. This time it's to The Sun's claims about Public Health England's  testing strategy, readiness and procurement of PPE. Mostly the response covers the fact that PHE aren't even responsible for PPE procurement.

The first newly-adapted ventilator design from the government’s Ventilator Challenge, Penlon’s Prima ES02 model, has received regulatory approval and the first batch of 40 are ready for delivery.

80 of Smith’s paraPAC plus ventilators were delivered to the NHS front line across all four nations last weekend.

COVID-19 is a virus that lurks. It can hang around and make you feel rough again. Even if you feel better, take it easy and don't overdo it, and keep an eye on yourself for a couple or 3 days.

Georgia, USA, is allowing businesses to reopen later this week

Primark is safe. Not only that, but they're honouring all payments and orders placed before COVID-19, so that their suppliers worldwide don't go bust - and they'll be ready when they re-open. Part of Associated British Foods PLC, their food production is feeding us and shoring up the rest of the business. George Weston, Chief Executive, has published a letter thanking all of his staff who are still working. Thanks from me too.

George Weston Owner of Primark COVID letter

The United Arab Emirates have become the latest country to express an intention to test all residents.

Ghana have had to lift the lockdown to enable people to work to eat, but schools remain closed and public gatherings are still banned.

Singapore created Virus Vanguard superheroes, but apologised and removed them a day later after red dressed "Always Walk Alone Man" offended Liverpool supporters.

Admiral are giving everyone who has their car insurance a £25 rebate, because they've saved so much money on insurance claims.

Trump has temporarily suspended immigration to the US.

opening of NHS Humber

Today the NHS Nightingale Yorkshire and the Humber was launched by NHS fundraiser Captain Tom Moore. Disappointingly they made every effort to ensure he definitely did not look like Big Brother.

An Icelandair Boeing 767, returning with medical supplies from Shanghai, flew a heart shaped path over Reykjavik, as a special message for Iceland’s healthcare workers.

Some numbers. Each one once thought their mother's eyes were the most beautiful thing on Earth:

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

USA 803,018 (+10,259) 43,558 (+1,044)
Spain 204,178 (+3,968) 21,282 (+430)
Italy 183,957 (+2,729) 24,648 (+534)
France 155,383 (not yet reported today) 20,265
Germany 147,958 (+893) 4,934 (+72)
UK 129,044 (+4,301) 17,337 (+828)
Turkey 95,591 (+4,611) 2,259 (+119)
Iran 84,802 (+1,297) 5,297 (+88)
China 82,758 (+11) 4,632
Russia 52,763 (+5,642) 456 (+51)
Belgium 40,956 (+973) 5,998 (+170)
Brazil 40,814 (+71) 2,588 (+1)
Canada 37,398 (+569) 1,728 (+38)
Netherlands 34,134 (+729) 3,916 (+165)
Switzerland 28,063 (+119) 1,436 (+7)
Portugal 21,379 (+516) 762 (+27)
India 18,985 (+446) 603 (+11)
Peru 16,325 not yet reported today 445
Belarus 6,723 (+459) 55 (+4)
Australia 6,645 (+20) 71
Philippines 6,599 (+140) 437 (+9)
Qatar 6,533 (+518) 9




1 comment:

  1. It is nice to see some positive changes and how people are coming together to give our NHS workers meals and things. I hope people do remember all the little things once this is over. x


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