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.)

In all photos of today's "Stop The Lockdown" rally in Hyde Park that I've seen, more than half the people shown have very fancy cameras and a lot have their press passes visible. Also there's a man with a really badly laid out placard which will spawn a thousand memes -  "I'm a free, I am not man, a number". Okay. Point well made. 

160520 critical care beds UK

Italy are hoping to lift foreign travel restrictions from June 3rd.

Germany's Bundeslega professional football has returned this weekend - no spectators, everyone except players wears a mask and all players will be tested twice a week. 

48 American states start to reduce restrictions this weekend. It doesn't exactly match the scientific advice. Best of luck to you all. And God help you. 

Kenya has closed the borders with Tanzania and Somalia to all but essential traffic. 

A French child has now also died from the paediatric inflammatory multi-system syndrome. A Swiss research group say that 230 children in Europe have been affected so far, with 2 known fatalities. There are also cases in North America.  
The European CDC have added it as a possible complication of COVID-19. 
“I call on all clinicians worldwide to work with your national authorities and WHO to be alert and better understand this syndrome in children.” WHO Director Dr Tedros

Here from the WHO is the PRELIMINARY case definition for multisystem inflammatory disorder in children and adolescents (simplified):
Children and adolescents 0–19 years of age with fever for at least 3 days
AND two of the following:                          
~Rash or conjunctivitis or swollen/red lips/mouth, hands or feet.
~Low blood pressure or shock.
~Heart abnormalities
~Problems with blood clotting (long nosebleeds, mystery bruises etc)
Acute gastrointestinal problems (diarrhoea, vomiting, or abdominal pain).
Elevated markers of inflammation in blood tests. 
No other obvious microbial cause of inflammation.
Evidence of COVID-19 or likely contact with patients with COVID-19.

Over 3 million people worldwide have tested positive for COVID-19. A teeny tiny percentage of those who become severely ill are children, and a very small number of those have developed this new syndrome. I almost hate to say this - be alert - but don't let things get out of perspective. 

Grocery shopping Canada under COVID

Spain has recorded their lowest loss of life since March 18th, at 102 people, but has added 539 cases, which they say is due to increased testing. 

Since March 8th 76.84% of deaths in care homes for the elderly or people with mental health conditions in Spain have been due to coronavirus. 

Luxury Cruise Crews News:
They're pretty much all still out there. Thousands of crew due to be flown home last week from ships moored off the USA are still waiting. Reasons include concerns about legal liabilities, including potential imprisonment for owners, if a crew member is shown to have infected US citizens after disembarking. Ships are even deciding to give up, leave and try for Europe - although that's no guarantee of a quick solution. There are several ships moored off Rotterdam waiting to disembark. 
There are an estimated 100,000 crew still on cruise ships, and often consigned to cabins for most of the day, in efforts to prevent COVID-19 breakouts. Many of them are young people far from their home and family, with work contracts that ended weeks ago, and who haven't touched dry land since March.
This is an international problem and needs an urgent, international, cooperative solution. 

There's a hoax that we may have a coronavirus vaccine this year, and it's being spread in part by an overly-confident, highly fake tanned world leader. Human testing has to take at least 9 months at the absolute minimum. A vaccine this year would be a miracle. 

A (not yet peer-reviewed) study from University Of East Anglia looked at the effectiveness of lockdown measures in 30 countries:
"We found that closure of education facilities, prohibiting mass gatherings and closure of some non-essential businesses were associated with reduced incidence whereas stay at home orders, closure of all non-businesses and requiring the wearing of facemasks or coverings in public was not associated with any independent additional impact."
There are caveats that they are trying to distinguish, and different countries have more than 1 restriction in place at the same time: 
“It is important to remember that single epidemiological analyses do not prove cause and effect, especially where multiple interventions have been implemented very close to each other as in the case here.
“It is vital that we carefully monitor the future trajectory of the pandemic as restrictions are gradually relaxed across Europe, only then will we know with greater certainty what interventions were beneficial and what were not”.

Coronavirus has spread throughout almost the entire world incredibly quickly, and has already reached at least 38 different tribes in the Amazon. 446 cases and 92 deaths have so far been reported, mainly in the Brazilian Amazon. 

The UK Gov advice for schools suggests:
"You should encourage parents whose children have been invited in to call you each day if they are not coming in as normal, so you understand why and can discuss it with them if needed."
I can see that getting boring very quickly. Weekly might be more sensible. 

UK 5 alert levels of covid

China's ambitious plan to test every single resident in Wuhan (11m people) is likely to cost around $140m. 

Members of the Washington National Guard helped to hand out about 200,000lbs of free potatoes, donated by farmers who were unable to sell to restaurant customers.

Cambodia is free of COVID-19. They have announced all 122 cases have recovered, and they have had no new cases for over a month. They haven't lost any people to COVID-19. They aren't messing though. Restrictions remain in place for now. Schools are closed, there are entry checks on borders and quarantines for arrivals. Mass gatherings are banned. 
Best of luck. 

Some people, each of whom was once a twinkle in their father's eye:

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

USA 1,495,561 (+11,276) 89,129 (+622)
Spain 276,505 (+2,138) 27,563 (+104) 
Russia 272,043 (+9,200) 2,537 (+119) 
UK 240,161 (+3,450) 34,466 (+468) 
Italy 224,760 (+875) 31,763 (+153) 
Brazil 222,877 (+4,654) 15,046 (+229) 
France 179,506 not yet reported today 27,529
Germany 175,843 (+144) 8,001
Turkey 148,067 (+1,610) 4,096 (+41) 
Iran 118,392 (+1,757) 6,937 (+35) 
India 90,343 (+4,559) 2,857 (+104)
Peru 84,495 not yet reported today 2,392
China 82,941 (+8) 4,633
Canada 75,004 (+391) 5,595 (+33) 
Belgium 54,989 (+345) 9,005 (+46) 
Saudi Arabia 52,016 (+2,840) 302 (+10) 
Mexico 45,032 (+2,437) 4,767 (+290) 


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