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.

Press asked about the booking website for tests for essential workers who have symptoms. All 16,000 slots filled very quickly today, more slots will be released tonight and tomorrow. The online booking system will also be expanded to cover Scotland and N.Ireland.

Press asked about people flying in. The managing director of Heathrow has personally asked for screening. It was explained that it's not reliable, and as we have so much COVID-19 here, there's not really any point right now.

Jenny Harries responded to a press question: "Nobody should be injecting anything, and we should be using evidence based and properly trialled treatments that we know will be safe." (see below).

Press asked about ethnicity and do we yet know why BME people are more likely to succumb. We  don't, but it's vital we know. Jenny Harries mentioned a few factors that may be important, including 'disadvantage'. She also mentioned the fact that huge numbers of our frontline staff are from BME groups. Maybe we should have paid our carers more in the first place? (she didn't say the last bit).

Sunny weekend - please stay home. We've come a long way, but we aren't quite there yet.

Don't spray yourself with alcohol

Trump has truly excelled himself. He's said possibly the most dangerous and horrendously stupid thing you've ever heard. I can say this because everyone else has. Caution - life-threatening comment follows:
He suggested that medical doctors might look into finding a way of using disinfectant or UV light to counter coronavirus inside people's bodies. He even proposed injections, or a 'cleanse'.
Injecting disinfectant or bleach into your body WILL CERTAINLY BE FATAL. Attempting to drink or inhale it also has a really stupendously high risk of death. Never try this at home or anywhere else, because it's potentially the last thing you'll do.

Zoflora have responded:
"While it’s nice to be trending on Twitter, we would like to remind you all that Zoflora is NOT for human consumption in any way, despite what certain world leaders may be suggesting
Stay safe guys!"

The makers of Lysol and Dettol have responded:
"As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route). As with all products, our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines. Please read the label and safety information."

In response to Trump's suggestion we could kill coronavirus inside the body with UV light, the short answer is no. You could kill it in the body parts, but you'd have to remove and possibly dissect them first, and unsurprisingly the resultant instant death wouldn't make it worth it.

Trump's suggestions have overshadowed the interesting news - that after less than a couple of minutes exposure to UV Light, US teams found COVID-19 was already half dead. The full results should be published soon. UV light has been used for decades as a disinfectant - too strong for human bodies though! (Think Chernobyl.)

The EU has agreed an aid package of 540 billion euros to provide immediate support for member states.

Canadian PM Trudeau has announced that eligible small and medium-sized businesses will only pay 25% rent due in April, May and June.

Big crowds gathered on Westminster Bridge once again last night, to cheer for the frontline staff and carers they'll be meeting in hospital in 3 weeks time. (Also reminds me of Chernobyl).

Sadly the Remesdivir trial isn't going well and early results from the Chinese study, accidentally posted to the WHO website, aren't finding quicker recovery or less loss of life. However the trial was stopped early, it's not yet peer-reviewed and there are already suggestions it needs to be used in an earlier stage than the study appears to have given it to patients. Fingers crossed, eh.

Indonesia has temporarily banned domestic road, air and sea travel until May 31st. Troops will ensure restrictions are followed, and people don't travel for the Ramadan holiday.

The UK will host a Global Vaccines Summit on 4 June. "Diseases have no borders so we must come together to make sure that GAVI (the global vaccine alliance) is fully funded and its expertise is at the heart of efforts to secure broad access to any COVID-19 vaccine.

Lost Their Fight:
Bronx rapper Fred The Godson (Frederick Thomas)
Anyone who attempts to drink disinfectant

World leaders will join the World Health Organisation to launch their global initiative against COVID-19 on Friday. The USA will not take part.

Don't go out this weekend UK govt

Baghdad will reward medics who diagnose Coronavirus with plots of land and other material goods.

Doctors Without Borders (Medicins Sans Frontieres) say there are around 20 ventilators for 2 million people in Gaza, there are 3 ventilators for 5 million people in the Central African Republic and in Burkina Faso there are only 12 intensive care beds for 20 million potential patients.

Australia are making it a crime to use the Coronavirus Tracking App for anything other than health purposes. Worries over data being used by other agencies is almost certainly the main reason for any reluctance to use it.

Doctors at Warrington Hospital, have now helped hundreds of patients by using 'Black Boxes' from their sleep clinic. A low-tech type of CPAP machine (like those used by people with sleep apnoea), when used quickly they found some patients were already showing improvement within 15 minutes, and they stabilised quickly, avoiding the need for ventilation. Ventilation is proving life-saving for only around 50% of patients who need it.

New York has had it's 3rd consecutive day with less loss of life, and it looks like they are finally over that peak. They have already lost 21,283 people.

Every time someone recovers from coronavirus and leaves North Manchester General Hospital to go home, a laminated bee is hung on one of the trees by the paediatric entrance. (There's a photo on the Manchester Evening News page - they're a gorgeous symbol). .

Good guy Tom Hanks received a 'get well soon' from an 8 year old boy in Queensland, who is being bullied because his name is Corona. Tom wrote back to thank him for being a good friend, and even sent the youngster his Corona typewriter, along with stationery so that Corona can write back. He ended his letter "You've got a friend in me".

Some people. They look like numbers here, but they are all people:

Countries / Cases / Losses of life (Some states yet to report - Ecuador have added 11,000 cases collected during a reporting backlog):

USA 903,202 (+16,760) 50,952 (+716)
Spain 219,764 (+6,740) 22,524 (+367)
Italy 192,994 (+3,021) 25,969 (+420)
France 159,828 (+1,645) 22,245 (+389)
Germany 154,111 (+982) 5,632 (+57)
UK 143,464 (+5,386) 19,506 (+684)
Turkey 104,912 (+3,122) 2,600 (+109)
Iran 88,194 (+1,168) 5,574 (+93)
China 82,804 (+6) 4,632
Russia 68,622 (+5,849) 615 (+60)
Brazil 51,073 (+1,581) 3,407 (+94)
Belgium 44,293 (+1,496) 6,679 (+189)
Canada 42,773 (+663) 2,197 (+50)
Netherlands 36,535 (+806) 4,289 (+112)
Switzerland 28,677 (+181) 1,578 (+29)
India 24,434 (+1,395) 780 (+59)
Portugal 22,797 (+444) 854 (+34)
Ecuador 22,719 (+11,536) 576 (+16)

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