Sunday, 31 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 31st May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 31st May 2020.

The UK added 1,936 cases today and now has reported a total of 274,762 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 115,725 tests yesterday. 7,639 people are in hospital, down 15% from this time last week.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 113 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 38,489 losses of life in all settings.

England 152,176 / 34,272
Northern Ireland 4,716 / 522
Scotland 15,400 / 2,353
Wales 13,995 / 1,342

Rep. Of Ireland 24,990 (+61) cases and 1,652 (+1) losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 6,209,364 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 372,067. Already 2,770,322 people have recovered.

Lockdown restrictions reductions UK 5 phases

"In my opinion the rules are clear and they have always been clear. In my opinion they are for the benefit of all. And in my opinion they apply to all."
Prof Jonathon Van Tam, UK briefing 30/05. 

Luckily very little news yesterday, so it was a good day for a day off. Sadly Boris and Dom didn't take a day trip as far as we know, but Jonathan Van Tam made the above remark, which I'm incredibly relieved about. Our scientific advisors cannot allow fact to be overruled by politics, or we cannot trust them.

The 2.2 million very high risk people who’ve been shielding in England and Wales can go outside from Monday, but you are still shielded and must maintain social distancing and avoid busy places etc. In a bizarre and very sudden UK govt. announcement at 10pm last night, you can now go outside with your own household or meet 1 other person if you live alone. 
(This is against what Public Health England said the day before, and there's no obvious science behind it. I believe it to be a mental health move, which may be temporary, and may also be because they believe restrictions may last for a long time yet. Please continue to be really cautious about social distancing, stay outdoors, get changed when you get home if you have been near anyone else, through gates, sat on a bench etc. Treat everyone else as if they have the plague. Wash your hands.)

Other changes tomorrow, 1st June, vary by country. In England competitive sport, including horse racing. can resume with no spectators. Some children can return to school. Outdoor shops and markets can reopen, and car showrooms. 

Friday, 29 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 29th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 29th May 2020.

The UK added 2,095 cases today and now has reported a total of 271,222 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 131,458 tests yesterday.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 324 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 38,161 losses of life in all settings.

England 151,982 / 34,010
Northern Ireland 4,696 / 518
Scotland 15,327 / 2,316
Wales 13,827 / 1,317

Rep. Of Ireland 24,876 (+35) cases and 1,645 (+6) losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 5,970,911 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 364,291. Already 2,629,624 people have recovered.

Medical masks how to wear them safely WHO advice

Today's UK briefing was with Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, and Steve Powys of NHS England.
The furlough scheme will be in place until October. Employers are being asked to contribute towards the wages of their staff. 
In June and July the furlough scheme continues as before. 
In August the taxpayer contribution stays at 80% and employers are asked to pay employer pension contributions and National Insurance. 
In September taxpayers will pay 70% and employers contribute 10%
In October employers 60% and taxpayers pay 20%. 
Then the furlough scheme will close. 
You must be registered by June 10th to benefit from furlough.
Flexible Furlough is being introduced from July 1st. Employers have flexibility for themselves and their staff. You can go back part time while it's quiet, and do more hours later for example. 
Self-employed people who are affected can also apply for another payment of 70% of 3 months average profit, up to £6,570. 
Press said Downing Street admitted this morning that we are still at Alert Level 4, but we are beginning to relax restrictions, which we said we'd do only when we were at Alert Level 3? Are we still 'following the science'? Did we 'press ahead regardless?'. Rishi talked lots and said little. 

Thursday, 28 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 28th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 28th May 2020.

Better news today, as the UK's weekly losses of life to COVID-19 has fallen below 1,000 for the first time, and London has lost less than 100 people. 

The UK added 1,887 cases today and now has reported a total of 269,127 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 119,587 tests yesterday. 8560 people are in hospital, down 11% from this time last week. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 377 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 37,837 losses of life in all settings.

England 151,422 / 33,710
Northern Ireland 4,679 / 516
Scotland 15,288 / 2,304
Wales 13,725 / 1,307

Rep. Of Ireland 24,803 cases and 1,631 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 
There have now been a total of 5,854,248 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 359,812. Already 2,539,969 people have recovered.

Track and Trace Sq 1

England and Scotland's Test And Trace has launched. The app. has some problems, so isn't yet live, but around 25,000 human contact tracers are now working, to inform people when you've been in contact with someone who has tested positive. This could be in your home, workplace, school or other location. Contact is currently defined as a distance of less than around 2m/8ft for 15 minutes or more. 

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 27th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 27th May 2020.

The UK added 2,013 cases today and now has reported a total of 267,240 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 117,013 tests yesterday. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 412 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 37,460 losses of life in all settings.

England 150,903 / 33,362
Northern Ireland 4,663 / 514
Scotland 15,240 / 2,291
Wales 13,653 / 1,293

Rep. Of Ireland 24,803 (+68) cases and 1,631 (+16) losses of life. 
There have now been a total of 5,741,807 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 354,762. Already 2,470,546 people have recovered.

1 bed 3 fridges stay apart

Today's UK briefing was led by Matt Hancock, our stand-in PM, and Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, plus Dido Harding, Executive Chair of NHS Test and Trace. Totally missed most of it and watched it on fast forward, because I was watching the Boris thing (see below). 
They launched the UK's Track and Trace service. 
If you have been in close contact (within 2 metres/8 ft for more than 15 minutes) of someone who develops symptoms, you'll be contacted and instructed to isolate for 14 days, to see if symptoms develop. 
This is a move from a national lockdown, to more localised and targetted reaction. It will help restore freedoms that we all want back. 
We have capacity for 161,000 tests a day.
Eligibility for testing is now open to any person with symptoms, whatever their age. 
If you have symptoms, YOU MUST isolate yourself and book a test. 
FROM 9am TOMORROW, IF YOU ARE CONTACTED BY A UK TRACK AND TRACE ADVISOR, AND TOLD TO ISOLATE, EVEN IF YOU HAVE NO SYMPTOMS - YOU HAVE TO ISOLATE FOR 14 DAYS. 
Your household don't have to isolate unless you develop symptoms or have a positive test result. 
There will be bumps ahead, it's a big system launched quickly, but it's one of the tools to finish the job. The app. isn't quite ready, so that will follow. 
Yesterday 94$ of people had a test result within 48 hours, and they are improving that and listening to user feedback.

Build Your Own Telescope Kit Review age 8+ (Sent for review)

The Build Your Own Telescope is a really fantastic set with a very beautiful telescope, but much more than that, you learn how a telescope works as you build, and along with that learn about light, reflection, construction and engineering! It's an all round STEM toy, and we were sent one to review. 

Build Your Own Paper Telescope STEM toy review Age 8+

We love our STEM toys and all things space, so the Build Your Own Telescope really caught the attention of my 11 year old son. He was so excited he built it within 48 hours of it arriving. Everything is paper, the only plastic parts are the lenses, so it's an incredibly eco-conscious toy. 

Even the packaging is a cleverly designed cardboard box, which is folded to protect the lenses during transit. 

Build your own telescope clever packaging

Inside the very small box is everything you'll need. 29 slot together cardboard parts, magnification lens, eyepiece lens, mirror and easy-to-follow instruction leaflet. 

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 26th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 26th May 2020.

The UK added 2,004 cases today and now has reported a total of 265,227 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 109,979 tests yesterday. 8,802 people are in hospital, including 98 members of NHS staff. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 134 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 37,048 losses of life in all settings. 

For the first time since the 18th March, yesterday there were no deaths recorded in Northern Ireland. This is a fantastic piece of news. Well done to the whole of Ireland for suppressing cases so well. 

England 150,294 / 32,979
Northern Ireland 4,637 / 514
Scotland 15,185 / 2,273 
Wales 13,556 / 1,282

Rep. Of Ireland 24,698 cases and 1,606 losses of life. 
There have now been a total of 5,637,544 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 349,301. Already 2,404,977 people have recovered.

Children mental health

I was hoping not to cover any more Dominic Cummings news, but the conservative party is imploding. Almost 40 Conservative MP's have asked for his resignation, 1 minister had already resigned by lunchtime, and the internet was awash with the fact Cummings said his blog demonstrated 'his Coronavirus knowledge was essential' - but he added everything mentioning Coronavirus in mid-April. Sadly we are in the middle of a pandemic, so it's not ideal timing for this, but it's beginning to feel like an episode of Game Of Thrones where we're not sure who is paying the advisor, or why the King feels he can't sack him, but the peasants are definitely revolting. 

The ONS (Office For National Statistics) have released more accurate figures for England and Wales in the week ending 15 May 2020 (Week 20). (The early May Bank Holiday in Week 19 means the number of registrations in Week 20 was artificially high.)
The number of deaths registered in Week 20 was 14,573, which is 4,385 more than the five-year average.
Of the deaths registered in Week 20, 3,810 mentioned COVID-19, the lowest number of deaths involving COVID-19 in the last six weeks, 26.1% of all deaths.
People aged 90 years and over continued to have the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in Week 20.
In Week 20, 30.6% of all deaths occurred in care homes.
The number of deaths in care homes was 2,350 higher than the five-year average.
37.2%. of all deaths in care homes mentioned COVID-19. 
The percentage of deaths involving COVID-19 continued to decrease across all English regions; the North West had the highest number of COVID-19 deaths (620) for the second week in a row.
In Wales, there were 180 deaths registered in Week 20 involving COVID-19, accounting for 23.3% of all deaths registered in Wales.
The number of deaths registered in the whole UK in the week ending 15 May 2020 (Week 20) was 16,366 of which 4,210 deaths involved COVID-19.

Monday, 25 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 25th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 25th May 2020.

There's a problem with figures and hospital tests aren't included today, plus it is a Bank Holiday after a weekend, so numbers are artificially low. 

The UK added 1,625 cases today and now has reported a total of 261,184 positive cases of COVID-19. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 121 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 36,914 losses of life in all settings.

England 149,802 / 32,864
Northern Ireland 4,609 / 506
Scotland 15,156 / 2,270
Wales 13,415 / 1,274

Rep. Of Ireland 24,698 (+59) cases and 1,608 losses of life. For the first time since March they have reported no new losses of life - excellent news. 
There have now been a total of 5,554,316 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 348,139. Already 2,331,597 people have recovered.

Physical distancing when shopping Pacific region WHO

I'm not waiting for a 7pm UK briefing because we won't get tea until gone 9pm, so if anything exciting happens, I'll seamlessly edit it in later. 

The average timescale for COVID-19 (will vary):
Day 0 - catch COVID-19 
Day 2 - become infectious
Day 5 - symptoms start (day 2 to day 14+. Around 30%+ have no symptoms) 
Day 12 - patients whose symptoms have not eased may now have the severe form of the virus (and develop pneumonia and other complications). 

At 8am today Weston Super Mare hospital was full:
"Weston General Hospital will temporarily stop accepting new patients, including into its A&E department, as of 8am today (Monday 25 May 2020).
This is a precautionary measure in order to maintain the safety of staff and patients in response to the high number of patients with Coronavirus in the hospital."

2 weeks ago Weston Super Mare tourism bosses were in the media, worried about people visiting over the V.E. Day Bank Holiday weekend and bringing COVID-19 from harder hit areas. 

Sunday, 24 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 24th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 24th May 2020.

The UK added 2,409 cases today and now has reported a total of 259,559 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 110,401 tests yesterday. 8,951 people are in hospital, down 11% from this time last week. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 118 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 36,793 losses of life in all settings.

England 149,308 / 32,760
Northern Ireland 4,570 / 505
Scotland 15,101 / 2,261
Wales 13,309 / 1,267

Rep. Of Ireland 24,639 (+57) cases and 1,608 (+4) losses of life. 
There have now been a total of 5,462,638 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 345,406. Already 2,286,820 people have recovered.

Physical distancing when shopping Pacific region WHO

The UK government is in a bit of disarray at the moment. Many MP's from all parties are unhappy and utterly exasperated with Dominic Cummings' lockdown flouting, especially now unproven witnesses have come forward to say they saw the family out on a day trip to Barnard Castle. It's also alleged Mr Cummings returned to London, and then drove back up to Durham on a later occasion, where he was seen at Houghall Woods with his wife.  
It's really not going so well for anyone trying to defend his actions. 
Led By Donkeys this lunchtime parked a van outside his house playing video and audio clips of people who have suffered horrendously because of COVID-19. 

Today's UK briefing had a special surprise guest, Prime Minister of Great Britain, Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, and with him was Professor Stephen Powis of NHS England. 

Boris started by saying "I want to begin by answering the big question everyone's been asking for the last 48 hours, and that is, 'Is this government asking you, the people, the public, to do one thing, while senior people here in government do something else?'. He has spent several hours with Dominic Cummings and concluded that:
"In travelling to find the right kind of childcare, at the moment when both he and his wife were about to be incapacitated by Coronavirus, and when he had no alternative, he followed the instincts of every father, and every parent.... I believe that in every respect, he has acted responsibly, and legally and with integrity." 

Saturday, 23 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 23rd May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 23rd May 2020.

The UK added 2,959 cases today and now has reported a total of 257,154 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 116,585 tests yesterday. 9,331 people are in hospital, down 11% from this time last week. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 282 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 36,675 losses of life in all settings.

England 148,724 / 32,666
Northern Ireland 4,545 / 504
Scotland 15,041 / 2,245
Wales 13,169 / 1,260

Rep. Of Ireland 24,506 cases and 1,592 losses of life. (Not yet reported today).

There have now been a total of 5,360,914 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 341,829. Already 2,187,269 people have recovered.

Scarf as a face covering UK Government

Scandalous political news of the day is that Dominic Cummings (Boris' top aide) drove from London to Durham, to isolate at his parent's house when he had symptoms of COVID-19. Apparently it was because his wife was ill and nearby relatives were on standby to help with the kids and do their shopping for them, however it remains against the spirit of the lockdown, against the lockdown rules and potentially moves COVID-19 around the country. He's had support from people including Health Secretary Matt Hancock, and a few choice words from people who have kept to the lockdown, including plenty who have had to manage alone. 

Today's UK briefing was with Grant Shapps, Minister for Transport, and Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer. 
A public transport fund of £283m to start returning to full service, but even at best we can only manage 1/5 of previous passenger numbers. 
PLEASE walk, cycle or drive if you can - in that order. Consider travelling off peak if possible. 
There'll be jolly people at stations to offer assistance (and I imagine remind you to maintain social distancing). 
This bank holiday weekend they're fixing Leeds station and the track to Wakefield, as well as about 490 projects that can happen much more quickly while we're all at home. 
Lots of other new road and rail schemes will happen, examples below:
They're replacing lots of stations axed by the Beeching Act - including the Ivanhoe line for Leicester to Burton, and branch lines in Somerset and Isle of Wight. 
The A66 will be finished too. 
More park and ride outside town centres.
We need to permanently change the way we use transport (bit long term that one!). 
From next month you can apply for a £50 Bicycle Maintenance Voucher. 

Press asked if it was appropriate to drive hundreds of miles to isolate nearer to family if you have symptoms of coronavirus (snigger). Grant and Jenny knew they were had. There was nothing they could say that helped the position. Press hammered them. 'Is it okay for anyone to drive all those miles if people can't attend funerals, see dying loved ones? What is the travel advice if you are ill? How far can you go to be near people to help you with shopping? "2 senior aides have already resigned after breaking lockdown, what is different about Dominic Cummings?" etc'.
They had an admirable attempt, but nope. They did manage to remind us that if you are vulnerable it would be a safeguarding issue, so in that case appropriate. They also managed to suggest TWICE that Dominic Cummings is not capable of looking after his own 4 year old by himself without it becoming a safeguarding issue - which I'm pretty sure is not what they intended. I can't comment, they know him, I don't. Surely even he can open spaghetti hoops. 
They had no chance. Second time running I bet Jenny has hit the gin straight afterwards.

Friday, 22 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 22nd May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 22nd May 2020.

The UK added 3,287 cases today and now has reported a total of 254,195 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 140,497 tests yesterday. 9,307 people are in hospital, down 14% from this time last week. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 351 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 36,393 losses of life in all settings.

England 147,745 / 32,417
Northern Ireland 4,504 / 501
Scotland 14,969 / 2,221
Wales 12,984 / 1,254

Rep. Of Ireland 24,506 cases and 1,592 losses of life. 
There have now been a total of 5,255,285 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 336,817. Already 2,122,399 people have recovered.

1 bed 3 fridges 4 chairs the distance we should be apart

The SAGE advice that the UK government received, which we are told led to their decision to plan to reopen schools to more pupils from 1st June (subject to us meeting conditions), was published today on the gov dot uk website......  SAGE studied the possible effects of 9 different options (including 'stay as is' and 'all back to school as normal'). Bizarrely none of these modelled options was chosen as the Government's actual plan. Awesome. Following the science hmmmm? I'm leaving that there.

Today's UK briefing was with Priti Patel, who is like a feisty teenager putting forward an argument for not doing the washing up. Grrrr....
She was joined by Paul Lincoln of UK Border Force and Patrick Vallance, UK Science Chief. 
The UK government plans for quarantine will happen from 8th June. Anyone arriving to the UK will need to self-isolate for 14 days at their own arrangement and expense 
Arrivals will be expected to provide addresses for spot checks. 
Failure to co-operate could result in removal from the UK or refusal of entry. 
A fixed penalty of £1,000 for non-compliance, repeat/serious offenders could end up in court. 
Exemptions include seasonal agricultural workers, road hauliers, medical professionals, foreign officials (E.g. French police), Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man. 
(It all sounds fairly standard and is pretty much what you'll find with most countries.)
Slides show the UK has a current R rate between 0.7 and 1.0. 
2-3 out of every 1,000 people in the UK actually had COVID-19 on any given day from 4th May to 17th May.  

The Government briefing ended with a reminder it is 7 years since Lee Rigby lost his life, and 3 years since the Manchester Arena bomb. 2 events which affected my own local community directly. She spoke with genuine respect. I never thought Priti Patel would make me cry.  

Thursday, 21 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 21st May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 21st May 2020.

The UK added 2,615 cases today and now has reported a total of 250,908 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 128,340 tests yesterday. 9,543 people are in hospital, down 14% from this time last week. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 338 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 36,042 losses of life in all settings.

England 146,662 / 32,117
Northern Ireland 4,481 / 494
Scotland 14,856 / 2.184
Wales 12,846 / 1,247

Rep. Of Ireland 24,391 (+76) cases and 1,583 (+12) losses of life. 
There have now been a total of 5,138,992 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 331,696. Already 2,050,461 people have recovered.

Quarantine loneliness simple drawing shows man on the phone

"The Home Office is extending the offer of indefinite leave to remain, free of charge, to the families and dependants of NHS support staff and social care workers who die as result of contracting coronavirus.
The offer of indefinite leave to remain will be effective immediately and retrospectively."
This afternoon Boris Johnson has also asked the Home Office to exempt NHS and care workers who were originally born elsewhere from having to pay the Immigration NHS surcharge for using the NHS. 

Don't ask and you don't get. Ask and sometimes they pay attention. 

Today's England briefing was with Matt Hancock, the stand-in Prime Minister, plus Prof Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer and  Prof John Newton, coordinator of the national testing effort. 
He started by mentioning Mental Health Awareness Week. It really is okay to not always be okay -  especially right now. We are ALL a bit scared. 
A further £4.2m is being allocated to mental health charities including The Samaritans, Mental Health UK and Young Minds. 
He talked about the Oxford Vaccine (more below) and the antibody testing (more below). 
The UK's random antibody surveillance testing is showing us information about UK spread. So far the results suggest that: 
Around 17% of people in London and
Around 5% or greater of people across England
have tested positive for coronavirus antibodies. That's higher than earlier results seemed to show, and really does bring down our mortality rate massively. It's still horrific, but it is actually good news. 
Public Health England have authorised use of the 2 different reliable antibody (did I have it?) tests, and over 10m have been ordered. They'll be rolled out across the UK from next week, to NHS workers and social care firstly. 
A 20 minute swab test (have I got it?) is being trialled from today. They've been using these in Asia for a long time. 
The UK Test, Track and Trace (shouldn't we have 'isolate' on the end of that?) is on target to launch for 1st June. It is anticipated we have testing capacity to cope. 

Robbie Savage, ex-Wales and Man Utd/Crewe/Derby etc football player (and newspaper columnist) asked a question at today's UK briefing. Because the world wasn't mad enough already... 

My Life In Thirty Seven Therapies by Kay Hutchison Book Review (Sent for review)

My Life In Thirty Seven Therapies by Kay Hutchison has been a popular book since it hit the shelves last year. Last month it was given an audiobook release, and I've been sent a copy to review.

This is a memoir which starts with the author leaving everything she has, and follows her through the 37 therapies she tries to find out the answers to questions she doesn't even know she has...

My life in 37 Therapies by Kay Hutchision Sent for review

I'm a bit of a therapy-sceptic, and I'm not known for being wishy-washy, so when I am offered 'therapy books' I politely decline. A light-hearted book about trying 37 of them appealed to me - will any of them be any good? 

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 20th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 20th May 2020.

The UK added 2,472 cases today and now has reported a total of 248,293 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 177,216 tests yesterday (that's really impressive). 9,953 people are in hospital, down 13% from this time last week. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 363 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 35,704 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 24,251 cases and 1,561 losses of life. Not yet reported today.
There have now been a total of 5,037,764 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 326,413. Already 1,993,037 people have recovered.

Children mental health Thailand

"For everything COVID19 has taken from us, it has also given us something: 
A reminder of what really matters and the opportunity to forge a common future.
Dark and difficult days may lie ahead. But guided by science, together we will overcome."
Dr Tedros, Head of WHO, at the World Health Assembly.

Today's UK briefing was with newbie Oliver Dowden, the Digitial, Cultural, Media and Sport (DCMS) Secretary and Prof Stephen Powis of NHS England.
Random bag today. 
The Queen's birthday honours are being delayed, so that "everyday COVID heroes" can be recognised. 
National fundraising campaigns for the NHS have raised over £800m, plus masses more at local level. The Government will match everything raised by the Big Night In - that's over £70m for frontline charities. 
The small and medium sized charity support scheme, the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, will open for applications this week, with an initial £200m fund. 
We are also releasing £150m from dormant accounts for affordable credit for social enterprises. 
He's put together a group of people you've almost heard of, to become a special Task Force and look into how best to reopen the arts, and live sports, without crowds. 

Ad | Back To The Garden - Indoor and Outdoor Gardening With Children

This month we've been working with Sudocrem to encourage everyone to grow something. The time is right to plant all kinds of seeds for food and flowers, and you don't need a big garden or expensive equipment to do it. 

Ad | Back to the garden indoor and outdoor gardening equipment with logos

We've been sent an outdoor growing kit, and I've got a giveaway where 3 people can win their own indoor or outdoor growing kit (ends Sunday), plus Sudocrem are giving away 100 sets themselves. 

To enter Sudocrem's Gardening Kit giveaway with 100 prizes, head over to the Sudocrem Back To The Garden page on their website before the end of May and fill out the form! 

Even with no specialist equipment, and no big garden, you can plant things and watch them grow. 

Back to the garden get growing boy holding mini trug of potatoes

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 19th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 19th May 2020.

The UK added 2,412 cases today and now has reported a total of 248,818 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 89,784 tests yesterday. 10,025 people are in hospital, down 17% from this time last week, but an increase of 617 since yesterday. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 545 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 35,341 losses of life in all settings.

England 144,984 / 31,530
Northern Ireland 4,421 / 482
Scotland 14,655 / 2,105
Wales 12,570 / 1,224

Rep. Of Ireland 24,251 (+51) cases and 1,561 (+14) losses of life.
There have now been a total of 4,946,173 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 322,579. Already 1,936,661 people have recovered.

Health Workers Stress WHO advice

"Dark & difficult days may lie ahead.
But guided by science, together we will overcome.
Let hope be the antidote to fear.
Let solidarity be the antidote to division.
Let our shared humanity be the antidote to our shared threat.
Now, more than ever"
Dr Tedros, Head of the World Health Organisation. 

It's Tuesday, so the latest ONS (Office for National Statistics) figures are out for Week 18, week ending 8th May. The number of registrations was impacted significantly by the Early May Bank Holiday on the Friday:
The number of deaths registered in England and Wales was 12,657, a decrease for the third week running, but 3,081 more than the five-year average.
3,930 deaths mentioned "novel coronavirus (COVID-19)", which was 31.1% of all deaths; this is a decrease of 2,105 deaths compared with Week 18.
The number of deaths in care homes (from all causes) for Week 19 was 4,248, this is 2,247 above the five-year average. Deaths involving COVID-19 as a percentage of all deaths in care homes continued to rise to 39.2%. 
"For the second week running, all regions showed a decrease in the percentage of deaths involving COVID-19; the North West had the highest number of COVID-19 deaths (597 deaths) for the first time."
"In Wales, there were 211 deaths registered in Week 19 involving COVID-19, accounting for 30.5% of all deaths registered."
Of deaths involving COVID-19 registered up to Week 19, 66.6% occurred in hospital with the remainder mainly occurring in care homes (26.7%), private homes (4.6%) and hospices (1.2%).
The number of deaths registered in the whole UK in the week ending 8 May 2020 (Week 19) was 14,408, of which 4,426 deaths involved COVID-19.

Monday, 18 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 18th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 18th May 2020.

The UK added 2,684 cases today and now has reported a total of 246,406 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 100,678 tests yesterday. 9,408 people are in hospital (first time under 10,000 in a long time) and down 13% from this time last week. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 160 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 34,796 losses of life in all settings.

England 144,127 / 31,010
Northern Ireland 4,401 / 476
Scotland 14,594 / 2,103
Wales 12,404 / 1.207

Rep. Of Ireland 24,200 (+88) cases and 1,547 (+4) losses of life.
There have now been a total of 4,851,974 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 318,051. Already 1,882,132 people have recovered.

"The COVID19 pandemic is a reminder of the intimate & delicate relationship between people and planet" 
Dr Tedros, Head of WHO, at the World Health Assembly opening speech. 

standing 2 metres apart is standing up to the virus

"The Earth has confronted several pandemics before. This is the first caused by a coronavirus. This a dangerous enemy, with a dangerous combination of features: efficient, fast and fatal. 
COVID19 can operate in the dark, spread silently if we’re not paying attention, then suddenly explode if we aren’t ready. We’ve seen the same pattern repeated in cities & countries the globe." Dr Tedros.

Today saw the opening of the 2 day 73rd annual meeting of the World Health Assembly. This is the forum through which the World Health Organization (WHO) is governed. It is the highest health policy setting body in the world, and is composed of Health Ministers from all 194 member states.
For weeks Taiwan have been asking to be included, but at the last minute postponed their request for observer status. China say they're part of China, other countries, including Australia, say they're entitled to be there, and there's no doubt their expertise with COVID-19 is invaluable. 
Australia has called for an independent coronavirus inquiry. By the time today's assembly convened, 116 countries had co-sponsored the motion. They include the African Group's 54 member states, all 27 members of the EU, Russia, Indonesia, India, Japan, Britain and Canada, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Turkey and New Zealand.
The Assembly started with standard greetings and introductory statements, and then an address from China’s President Xi Jinping. He made the following proposals to bring COVID-19 under control:
-- We must do everything we can for COVID-19 control and treatment;
-- The World Health Organization should lead the global response;
-- We must provide greater support for Africa;
-- We must strengthen global governance in the area of public health;
-- We must restore economic and social development;
-- We must strengthen international cooperation.
 “All along we have acted with openness, transparency and responsibility.” He pledged $2b towards the COVID19 response and help to set up hospitals and health infrastructure in Africa.

A deal has been reached over an inquiry at the World Health Assembly this afternoon. China supports a "comprehensive evaluation" of the global response to coronavirus "after pandemic under control".

Since they called their highest alert level - a Public Health Emergency of International Concern - on January 30th, the World Health Organisation have shipped diagnostics, personal protective equipment, oxygen & other medical supplies to at least 120 countries, and trained more than 2.6 million health workers, in 23 languages.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 17th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 17th May 2020.

The UK added 3,142 cases today and now has reported a total of 243,303 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 91,206 tests yesterday. 10,035 people are in hospital, down from 10,484 yesterday and down 15% from this time last week. (Northern Ireland testing data isn't complete.)

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 170 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 34,636 losses of life in all settings.

England 143,311 / 30,866
Northern Ireland 4,357 / 473
Scotland 14,537 / 2,094
Wales 12,304 / 1,203

Rep. Of Ireland 24,112 (+64) cases and 1,543(+10) losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 4,770,160 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 314,530. Already 1,843,376 people have recovered.

ask a question at the UK press briefing see gov dot uk slash ask

Today's UK briefing was with  Alok Sharma, Business Secretary, and with Prof Stephen Powis of NHS England, we had an update on vaccines. The human trial people are doing well, and have all had their vaccine dose as planned. 
He announced an additional £84m for the Oxford Vaccine team and Imperial College for vaccine research and trials. AstraZeneca and the gov. have come to an arrangement about manufacturing. 

He warned it is always possible we may never have a vaccine, so therapeutics (drugs and treatments) are important. 6 drugs have now entered clinical trials in the UK. He didn't mention what they were. Long, tricky names and live TV maybe? 

Saturday, 16 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 16th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 16th May 2020.

The UK added  3,451 cases today and now has reported a total of 240,161 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 136,486 tests yesterday. 10,484 people are in hospital, down from 11,041 yesterday and down 12% from this time last week. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 468 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 34,466 losses of life in all settings.

England 142,523 / 30,753
Northern Ireland 4,357 / 469
Scotland 14,447 / 2,053
Wales 12,142 / 1,191

Rep. Of Ireland 24,048 (+92) cases and 1,533 (+15) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 4,682,011 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 310,651. Already 1,790,568 people have recovered.

Social distancing India

Today's UK briefing was with Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson. 
He thanked school and other education and care staff who have looked after children and their education for the last 8 weeks. He said that we have been quite clear all along that we'd only start inviting children back into schools when the 5 key tests have been met. We do want to see children back in. 
"We can now start the plan, for a very limited return to school, for some pupils, potentially as early as next month."
"If the rates of infection are decreasing, it will give us the green light to get children back into childcare, and more of them back into school, from 1st June."
Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 are invited back to school first. Exam year high school students Year 10 and Year 12 are also hoped to achieve some face-to-face tuition. 
"We're prioritising these children because they stand to lose more." 
(There's masses of information on the dot Gov website about how they intend to make schools safer - you will get it instantly if you Google "UK Gov schools coronavirus".)
He reassures us that this approach is based on the best scientific advice.
At one point he nearly said something he shouldn't. 
"There is no better way of levelling up than through education, and the department has been doing an awful lot of work.....we're looking at different initiatives that we could maybe look at rolling out during the Summer period, but if you'll forgive me, I'll probably not divulge those just at the moment. They need a little bit more work." 

Over 20% of people who have died in the UK have had diabetes. Jenny Harries explained it's still not clear whether this is essentially because they have diabetes, or because they also have cardio-vascular disease, or are in fact simply far older. (Diabetes does seem to be more of a risk factor than previously thought.)

Friday, 15 May 2020

#TBCSmiles May 2020..... 69 months.

How are you getting on? How is your mental health? Some of us have got into a routine and it's working okay, but for a lot of people the day-to-day is not getting any easier. It's Mental Health Awareness Week coming up, and the theme is Kindness. If we can all just reach out to one other person, it'll spread a warm glow around the UK. 

Coronavirus has affected us all, and we aren't alone. Around the world 87% of schoolchildren have had extra time off. Over half the world population have been in lockdown simultaneously. We're all a bit scared, but we aren't ever alone in that. Remind someone that they aren't alone, and encourage your children to do the same. 


And forgive people when they don't quite behave like themselves. Fear can make some people very angry, or very quiet, or snappy, or loud.  Be kind. 

Thank you to everyone who has shared their smiles this month. Anyone can join in! It seems we can all still smile, and not fall out with our family, even under lockdown. Loads of outdoor photos this month, we have been pretty lucky with the weather. 

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 15th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 15th May 2020.

The UK added 3,560 cases today and now has reported a total of 236,711 positive cases of COVID-19. Yesterday we completed 133,784 tests, and all together we have tested 1,663,492 people. 
10,024 people are in hospital, down from 11,041 yesterday and a 13% fall since last Friday. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 384 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 33,998 losses of life in all settings.

England 141,387 / 30,364
Northern Ireland 4,317 / 454
Scotland 14,260 / 2,007
Wales 11,960 / 1,173

Rep. Of Ireland 23,827 cases and 1,506 losses of life. Not yet reported today.

There have now been a total of 4,586,274 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 306,063. Already 1,734,903 people have recovered.

"Through solidarity, through trust, through working together;
we have a chance to turn a tragic pandemic into a beacon of hope for the future of our planet" - Dr Mike Ryan, World Health Organisation. 

Health Workers mental health WHO

The ONS (Office for National Statistics) have published data on care homes: 
"Since the beginning of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (between the period 2 March and 1 May 2020, registered up to the 9 May 2020) there were 45,899 deaths of care home residents (wherever the death occurred); of these 12,526 involved COVID-19, which is 27.3% of all deaths of care home residents."
"The Care Quality Commission collect information on recipients of domiciliary care in England, between 10 April 2020 and 8 May 2020 there were 3,161 deaths of recipients of domiciliary care, this was 1,990 deaths higher than the three-year average (1,171 deaths)." (Domicillary Care is extra help for people who live in their own homes.)

Thursday, 14 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 14th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 14th May 2020.

The UK added 3,446 cases today and now has reported a total of 233,151 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 126,064 tests yesterday. 11,041 people are in hospital. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 428 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 33,614 losses of life in all settings.

England 140,275 / 30,028
Northern Ireland 4,291 / 449
Scotland 14,117 / 1,973
Wales 11,834 / 1,164

Rep. Of Ireland 23,401 cases and 1,497 losses of life. Not yet reported today.

There have now been a total of 4,485,940 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 has met another unwelcome milestone, at 300,674. Already 1,687,565 people have recovered.

Book your test now UK workers

Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, took today's UK briefing, with Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer. 
The transport system will have to change. You should walk or cycle whenever you can. If you can't, and you have access to a car, please use it. Public Transport is going to be a mess while social distancing occurs. 
He explained that while we've been at home, they've done absolutely tons of work on the transport infrastructure. They've done loads of big jobs, including 419 upgrades to Network Rail over Easter. The A14 upgrade has been completed 7 weeks early. £96m of improvements occurred on Northern train lines over April. 
They're working on filling potholes for cyclists and the upcoming scooter trials (available to any local authority who wants them). He announced a £2b package for upgrading roads. 
We want to retain some of the air quality improvements we've noticed and are already benefiting from. We want to move on. We've already learned a lot is possible. We need to continue to think outside the box and use the skills we've gained over the last few weeks to make improvements. 
Sounds like there may in future be incentives for electric car use. Don't forget if you want to get a bike to go to work, your employer can help - Google Cycle To Work Scheme. 

No age group is more or less likely to catch COVID-19. Children catch it as much as adults of any age. See below.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 13th May 2020.


COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 13th May 2020.

The UK added 3,242 cases today and now has reported a total of 229,705 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 87,063 tests yesterday. We have 11,327 people in hospital, down 15% from last week.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 494 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 33,186 losses of life in all settings.

England 139,086 / 29,673
Northern Ireland 4,253 / 447
Scotland 13,929 / 1,912
Wales 11,706 / 1,154

Rep. Of Ireland 23,401 cases and 1,497 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 4,394,058 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 295,647. Already 1,636,843 people have recovered.

the power of soap

The lockdown in England reduces today, so you can now do more things as long as you stay at least 6ft / 2m from anyone who isn't in your household whenever you can. And don't use public transport unless you really have to. And work from home if at all possible. And eat cake because you deserve it. .

Today's UK briefing was with Robert Jenrick, Housing and Communities Secretary, and Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer.
He announced a Support Package for Care Homes, with £600m funding (some of which has been brought forward from future plans). The Government previously gave £3.2billion to local councils for Adult Social Care.
The UK housing market can open up again. Estate and letting agents can reopen immediately. House viewing should be virtual wherever possible and no 'open house' viewings should take place. Social distancing and particular cleaning should occur, including washing hands before entry and all door handles. Anyone shielded or isolating should not really be moving house.

Construction sites in the UK can apply to extend working hours to facilitate safety of workers and staggered start/finish times.

The Lancet report that using Public Health England data, at least 20% of the population falls within the high-risk mortality category for COVID19: 13·7% based on age over 70 and a further 6·3% based on having one or more underlying conditions.
Without any restrictions, they estimate excess mortality because of COVID-19 over the entire year would have been 146,996 excess deaths with a reproductive rate of 1·5, 293,991 with an RR of 2·0, and 587,982 with an RR of 3·0. The reproductive rate was between 3 and 4 when we locked down.

UK education unions are not happy about schools reopening, as they don't feel they can guarantee the safety of pupils or teachers, or the parents and wider community. They've issued a joint statement asking the Government to reconsider:
“We call on the government to step back from the 1st June and work with us to create the conditions for a safe return to schools based on the principles and tests we have set out.”
The principles and tests include:
- Safety and welfare of pupils and staff as the paramount principle
- No increase in pupil numbers until full rollout of a national test and trace scheme
- A national Covid-19 education taskforce with government, unions and education stakeholders to agree statutory guidance for safe reopening of schools
- Consideration of the specific needs of vulnerable students and families facing economic disadvantage
- Additional resources for enhanced school cleaning, PPE and risk assessments
- Local autonomy to close schools where testing indicates clusters of new covid-19 cases

What you can do now UK 13th May 2020

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 12th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 12th May 2020.

The UK added 3,403 cases today and now has reported a total of 226,463 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 85,293 tests yesterday. We have 11,605 people in hospital, up from 11,465 yesterday.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 627 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 32,692 losses of life in all settings.

England 137,940 / 29,260
Northern Ireland 4,193 / 438
Scotland 13,763 / 1,862
Wales 11,573 / 1,132
Rep. Of Ireland 23,242 (+107) cases and 1,488 (+21) losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 4,309,359 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 290,361. Already 1,555,092 people have recovered.

nurses day image from the RCN
Image from the Royal College Of Nurses

This afternoon UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak made this announcement:
"The job retention scheme will be extended for 4 months, until the end of October. By that point we will have provided 8 months of support to British people and businesses. 
Until the end of July there will be no changes whatsoever. Then from August to October the scheme will continue for all sections and regions of the UK , but with greater flexibility to support the transition back to work. Employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part time, and we will ask employers to start sharing, with the government, the cost of paying people's salaries."
Employers will, from August, be asked to put money towards the furlough, in order to continue paying people 80% wages. 

It's Tuesday, so the UK's ONS (Office for National Statistics) mortality figures are out: 
Week ending 1 May 2020 (Week 18): 
"The number of deaths registered in England and Wales was 17,953, a decrease for the second week running, but 8,012 more than the five-year average for Week 18."
"Of the deaths registered in Week 18, 6,035 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, which was 33.6% of all deaths."
The number of deaths registered in the whole UK was 20,033, of which 6,676 deaths involved COVID-19.
Yearly totals: 
"Of deaths involving COVID-19 registered up to Week 18, 68.5% (22,873 deaths) occurred in hospital, with the remainder mainly occurring in care homes (8,312), private homes (1,562) and hospices (386)."

Monday, 11 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 11th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 11th May 2020.

The UK added 3,877 cases today and now has reported a total of 223,060 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 100,490 tests yesterday. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 210 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 32,065 losses of life in all settings.

England 135,982 / 28,467 
Northern Ireland 4,119 / 430
Scotland 13,486 / 1,847
Wales 11,344 / 1,111 

Rep. Of Ireland 23,135 (+139) cases and 1,467 (+9) losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 4,227,461 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 285,294. Already 1,512,701 people have recovered.

When to use a mask WHO Advice

After Boris' message last night, media was full of photos of traffic jams in London and busy commuter trains first thing this morning. Once that lot were all clocked in at work, Dominic Raab went on the morning telly and radio, to make it clear that the return to work shouldn't happen until Wednesday. Shame Boris hadn't mentioned that minor detail.  Massive oops. 

I'm wasn't waiting until after 7pm for today's press conference, because, sheesh, how much UK Govt. news today?! But I accidentally did, so there are the only new points made below: 
11,401 people are in hospital. 
Public asked if we can see friends and family at the park? If we see them, should we say hello and leave? We shouldn't meet up with multiple people at once. We can arrange to meet 1 person, but not 2, 3 or many. We literally just don't want 1 person to accidentally infect an entire other household suddenly at once. If that happened to many people, we could suddenly have 600,000 cases and overwhelmed hospitals in 2 weeks time. 
Step 2 aims to reopen Primary Schools for 1 month before the end of term. 

The English government have indeed published a 50-page document detailing their strategy - and they ARE advising you wear face coverings!! 
There's also a shortened, more user-friendly version giving major points. I'll add links to both below in the comments. 
Social Distancing IS STILL IN PLACE and any leisure activity can only be carried out alone, with members of your household, or with one other person from outside your household, while keeping two metres apart at all times.

If you have symptoms of Coronavirus, you should isolate until you are well again, as before, isolating your household for 14 days until they've all caught it and got better too (or miraculously escaped it). 

"...people should aim to wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and they come into contact with others that they do not normally meet, for example on public transport or in some shops." 
"Face-coverings are not intended to help the wearer, but to protect against inadvertent transmission of the disease to others if you have it asymptomatically."
They stress that surgical masks and respirators must continue to be reserved for those who need them. Face-coverings should not be used by children under 2, those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly, or those with respiratory conditions. It is important to use facecoverings properly and wash your hands before putting them on and taking them off. I'll add a link to their advice on 'making your own home made cloth face coverings' in the comments below! (There are no sew options). 

Sunday, 10 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 10th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 10th May 2020.

The UK added 3,923 cases today and now has reported a total of 219,183 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 92,837 tests yesterday.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 269 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 31,855 losses of life in all settings.

England 135,982 / 28,467
Northern Ireland 4,119 / 430
Scotland 13,486 / 1,847
Wales 11,344 / 1,111

Rep. Of Ireland 22,996 (+236) cases and 1,458 (+12) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 4,152,885 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 282,733. Already 1,465,595 people have recovered.

"Important we take one step at a time towards the new normal. We’re not out of the woods. It’s about steady progress rather than making a dash for the exit."
Arlene Foster, First Minister for Northern Ireland.

food safety world health organisation

We had Boris's long-awaited and pre-recorded gig at 7pm today, so this report is a little late.
He said what an excellent job we've done, because the reasonable worst case scenario was 500,000 losses of life. He also said that we can't throw away what we've already achieved.
We have a plan, but it is conditional and we cannot move forward unless we satisfy the 5 tests.
We are establishing a new 'COVID Alert Level', which will have 5 levels, from "we have no COVID in the UK" at 1, to "the NHS is in danger of or being overwhelmed" at 5. Throughout lockdown we have been at level 4, but we are looking towards level 3.
In order for this to work, we need world class testing.
The R level is between 0.5 and 0.9, but potentially not far below 1, so it is not yet time to reduce the lockdown.
Work from home if you can, but if you can't, please try to go to work.
Avoid public transport if at all possible.
Employers are receiving guidance on how to make workplaces safe.
From Wednesday people can take unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise. Social distancing rules must be adhered to, but you can drive there, and you can play sports with members of your household.
In order that social distancing is taken seriously, fines will be increased for those who break social distancing rules.
If we keep to these rules, then in the weeks and months ahead, we can look at reducing restrictions, depending always on the data.
"In step 2, at the earliest by June 1st, after half term, we believe we may be in a position to begin the phased reopening of shops, and to get primary pupils back into school, in stages, beginning with Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. It is our ambition that secondary pupils facing exams next year will get at least some time with their teachers before the holidays."
Step 3 at the earliest by July, we will hope to reopen at least some hospitality and other public places, as long as it's safe, socially distanced and the numbers support it.
Quarantine for arrivals to the UK by air will occur when cases here are lower.
If we can't proceed on those dates, we will simply wait until the time is right.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

AD | COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 9th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 9th May 2020.

The UK added 3,896 cases today and now has reported a total of 215,260 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 96,878 tests yesterday. We have 11,809 people in hospital.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 346 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 31,587 losses of life in all settings.

England 134,975 / 28,250
Northern Ireland 4,078 / 427
Scotland 13,305 / 1,811
Wales 11,121 / 1,099

Rep. Of Ireland 22,541 cases and 1,429 losses of life (not yet reported today).

There have now been over 4 million cases worldwide. The total reported cases is 4,057,900. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 277,946. Already 1,414,731 people have recovered.

How to survive quarantine World Health Organisation

Today's UK briefing was with Grant Shapps, Minister For Transport, who talked about changes in order to maintain public transport for essential workers. In many parts of the network, we will only be able to have 1/10th of the passengers due to social distancing. When people start to return to work, we can't go back to how we were, we simply can't fit. And we can't all go in a car or it'll be horrific. More people will need to cycle or walk to work. Popularity of scooters will also increase (https://www.vulyplay.com/en-AU/scooters).

During the crisis, a lot of people have discovered the benefits of walking or cycling for exercise. It would be great if that could continue. There is a £2b package for cycle and walking in the UK. We will build pop-up bike lines, wider pavements, cycle lanes. Employees who want to cycle and don't have a bike can take advantage of the Bike To Work scheme, there will also be vouchers for bike maintenance, and bike fixing facilities around the country.
A trial of Electric Scooter rental schemes which was due to start next year will be brought forward and will take place in any local authority who wants to take part.
(Anyone else ever have a dream which involved Greta Thunberg, 12 monkeys and David Attenborough as an evil genius? Just me?).

Ad | What To Do With Your Bigger Kids (age 7+) While You Are At Home

Everyone who would usually keep you busy out of the house will need to hold on to some of their plans for a while until it's safe for everyone, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to do. A lot of folk are still determined to entertain you and they have temporarily moved online, so here are some of the sights you can still see....virtually...

Dotted through the post are some free printables from Puffin that you can click on, save and print off on A4 paper... 

Z-Arts crafts for kids at home

Z-Arts aren't open to the public, but the creative teams behind their fantastic arts projects are busy behind the scenes putting together loads of things you can do at home.

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre are doing 'Build At Home' Sessions with Masterbuilder James over on Facebook on Fridays at 3pm
If you have the same bricks as James you can follow his build, or work with whatever you have to create your own awesome version. Each video will be posted on LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Manchester's Facebook page. If you can't make it live, it will stay there for you to access whenever suits.

HOME Manchester have the Manchester Open Exhibition online, and are creating a series of works "Artists In Isolation".

People’s History Museum in Manchester may be closed, but you can still explore their collections and take part in digital events and activities using their Ideas Worth Exploring online resources.

The Science Museum Group have put together an awesome site where you can view loads of the exhibits from National Collections Centre, National Railway Museum, National Science & Media Museum, Science & Industry Museum and the Science Museum.