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? 
The UK Government have announced up to £93m investment for the UK’s first dedicated Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) - so hopefully it will open within 6 months, 12 months ahead of schedule.
A further £38 million will establish a rapid deployment facility this summer.
"To be located on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire, the new Centre will be the UK’s first not-for-profit organisation established to develop and advance the mass production of vaccines."
The VMIC "will have capacity to produce enough vaccine doses to serve the entire UK population in as little as six months."

Good news! The number of people using UK A&E (Hospital Emergency Room) is becoming much more 'normal'. Actually is that good news? It is for everyone not staying at home and suffering serious symptoms, or worse. 

Public question to Alok Sharma was asking why we will not quarantine arrivals from France? His answer was a bit blah, but basically we will end up with reciprocal agreements with lots of countries - as long as we get COVID-19 under better control, and they keep it under control.  

Press asked "Are we there yet?" They really did.... 

R level distancing measures UK Gov

Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has decided if the English Government won't publish local R numbers, he will at least publish regional data. Latest figures show it really does seem to be dropping fantastically in London and the Midlands - which is where the largest numbers of cases were at the peak. It's not only the North that's behind that point though, seems everywhere else is similar - but definitely improving since last week. (Data is from the PHE/Cambridge research group models). 
These are obviously estimates - upper and lower confidence ranges are in the image below:
Whole England 0.75
North East And Yorkshire 0.8
North West 0.73
South West 0.76
East Of England 0.71
South East 0.71
Midlands 0.68
London 0.4

India has extended their nationwide lockdown until 31st May. They have Containment, Buffer, Red, Orange and Green zones with different levels of restrictions. 

South Korea seem to have suppressed their nightclub outbreak, with just another 5 cases yesterday. Plans to reopen schools in phases starting Wednesday will go ahead. 

There is a lot of press at the moment about the part children play in spreading COVID-19. It's still an unknown.
- A child in France had contact with around 170 people and didn't seem to infect anyone
- Studies show children have the same viral load as adults.  
- The UK random study figures last Thursday found people of all ages were equally likely to have COVID-19. 
- We know children can pass COVID-19 to their parents and siblings. 
- We know children can pass COVID-19 to other children. 
- We know children seem to pass on COVID-19 less than adults.
- We know the virus particles are heavier than air and, except in specific circumstances, they don't seem to become aerosol. 
I hate to be terribly non-scientific, but children have smaller breaths than adults and they are often much shorter. An adult can belt out virus at a mouth height of 5ft, and breathe it 6ft across the room before begins to drop to the floor. Children can't. I think this one will be inconclusive a little while longer. (I covered more studies on April 30th if you want to scroll back.) 

Andy Burnham mayor of Manchester UK R numbers

Turkey is easing restrictions pretty swiftly and has announced they will allow COVID-19 negative medical patients and health tourists from 31 countries from 20th May. 

Health Canada has approved their first vaccine candidate for clinical trials. 

The Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes visited a hospital in Brussels yesterday and hospital staff lined the road, and turned their backs to her car as she went past. Brutal. Belgium has one of the highest number of losses of life worldwide per million population. They have reported 55,280 (+291) cases and 9,052 (+47) losses of life. Their population is 11.5m. 

20,000 UK Biobank participants and their children and grandchildren (over 18yrs) are being invited to a major study of Covid19 immunity. Participants will post a dot of blood every month and it'll be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. 

All of the extra money for the UK Oxford vaccine trials and vaccine manufacture may have something to do with a progress paper published today. It's not peer-reviewed, but results are really promising. 
Results of trials in mice and Rhesus Macaque monkeys show modest antibody responses and protection from pneumonia after one dose. Multiple dose vaccinations are common, and it could be the case here. Good news.

Thailand are removing more restrictions and shopping malls can now re-open. Spokesman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), Taweesilp Witsanuyotin said: “We still need to wear masks, clean our hands and keep social distancing practices as long as we don’t have a vaccine.” 
That was a special gift for anyone reading aloud. 

Thank you for staying home UK Government

Genomics England is looking for volunteers who have had COVID-19, to have their genome sequenced. They want to find out if genetics affect who becomes seriously Ill. 
Working with NHS England, they hope to sequence up to 20,000 people who have been severely affected by COVID-19 – requiring intensive care – and 15,000 people who had mild symptoms.
Register your interest at the Genomics England website. 
The results really should be helpful - there have been cases where entire families have died. It would be great to know why, and if we could prevent it in future. 

Today, for a change, I have shown the countries in order of total deaths per million of population. So if you have 1 death for 500,000 people then it will be 2 per million, or Germany's 83m population and 8,027 losses is 96 per million.  Some of these populations may be very small, but they are hardest hit on the globe. Many of the below countries, territories or provinces don't even have 1m inhabitants. 

Some people. Shown as numbers because their names would take too long to type: 

Countries / Cases / Losses of Life / Losses per million population: 
(Some states/provinces yet to report)

San Marino 654 (+1) 41 PM=1,209
Belgium 55,280 (+291) 9,052 (+47) PM=781
Andorra 761/ 51 PM=660
Spain 277,719 (+1,214) 27,650 (+87) PM=591
Italy 225,435 (+675) 31,908 (+145) PM=528
UK 243,303 (+3,142) 34,636 (+170) PM=511
France 179,365 not yet reported today 27,625 PM=423
Sweden 30,143 (+466) 3,679 (+5) PM=365
Sint Maarten 77 / 15 PM=350
Netherlands 43,995 (+125) 5,680 (+10) PM=332
Ireland 24,112 (+64) 1,543 (+10) PM=313
Isle of Man 335 / 24 PM=282
USA 1,511,295 (+3,522) 90,198 (+85) PM=273
Channel Islands 554 / 43 PM=248
Switzerland 30,587 (+15) 1,881 (+2) PM=218
Children and adults transmission

1 comment:

  1. Lots of interesting and conflicting things happening just now xx


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