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.

Today's UK briefing was with George Eustice, Environment (Food and Rural Affairs) Secretary and Professor Dame Angela McLean, Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser. 
This year we'll be really really short of workers from abroad to help with the harvest. A website - Pick For Britain - has been set up to organise workers to help with fruit and vegetable picking. If you are furloughed and your employer hasn't barred it, or if you are a student, or anyone looking for extra work, you are urged to register for this Summer. (It has already crashed.) 
Angela went to pieces trying to explain the same graphs for the umpyteenth time. I think she knew she was hiding more than she was saying, so she was very stuttery. 
So that we didn't notice the increase in critical care bed use, today we have a new slide, showing mechanical ventilation bed use. This is a bit grim, as we know around 50% of these patients will succumb, and those with a positive outcome may take many months to recover. It's a sad graph. 
There is a more positive side, because aside from the very most poorly patients, we are now mostly treating with CPAP and BiPAP (sleep apnoea machines), and the outcomes are far better all round. (She didn't say that last bit, I did).  
Press really rattled with testing capacity questions and "I think it is getting better" wasn't entirely reassuring. The Track and Trace does not look like it's going to be ready for the end of May. It went very badly for them today. I expect they're sorry the pub is shut....

wellbeing for the NHS

Up until 8th May the UK Dept for Health and Social Care reported 31,241 deaths where patients had a positive test for COVID-19
Up until 8th May the Office for National Statistics reported 41,020 deaths with COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate. 
We are reminded that these figures are falling. 

Nicola Sturgeon says Scottish schools returning on August 11th is under consideration. 

Donald Trump has said that he has been taking a pill form of Hydroxychloroquine for nearly two weeks. Let me remind you there are shortages because of stockpiling and so far no proof of any effectiveness in treating COVID-19 or preventing it. 

The British Medical Association have written to the National Education Union, in support of teachers and education professionals, who are urging caution over plans to reopen schools before there is clear evidence to support the safety of such a move. Full letter at the bottom, but here's the quote:
"...until we have got the case numbers much lower, we should not consider reopening schools." 

The US - Canada border will stay closed until at least June 21st. 

Recent (non-peer-reviewed) studies looking at Pulmonary Embolism (a blood clot, or blood clots in the lungs) and COVID-19 have found very clear links. 
- A French study found "In patients with severe clinical features of COVID-19 infection, the proportion of patients with acute pulmonary embolus was 23% on pulmonary CT angiography". 
- A Strasburg University study found 32 of 106 (30%) patients with COVID-19 infection "were positive for acute pulmonary embolus on pulmonary CT angiograms".
- A 3rd study of 328 COVID-19 positive patients, 72 (22%) were found to have a Pulmonary Embolism.
We are finding out a lot more about the effects COVID-19 can have on the blood now, and other studies are also finding clotting, including in the brain and heart. 

World family doctor day australia

Brazil is in big trouble. Cases have gone up by almost 50% in the last week. Bruno Covas, the mayor of São Paulo, says the health system there is on the brink of collapse. 

The woman who designed Florida's COVID-19 information dashboard has told CBS12 News that her removal was "not voluntary" and that she was removed from her position because she was ordered to censor some data, but refused to "manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen."

People who caught COVID-19 around V.E.Day will start arriving in hospitals around now. 

Donald Trump has written a 4 page letter to the World Health Organisation, threatening that the USA will pull out. He has concerns over China having too much control. 
I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the WHO were nice and polite to China because they aren't stupid, and are incredible diplomats who are science-led. Shouting unproven accusations of incompetency or anything else since January would at no point have helped the world situation or that of any individual country, and it would have severely risked limiting our knowledge of the threat ahead. It could also easily be completely incorrect. 
I raised 7 children - damage limitation first, then sort out the problem and clean up the mess, and then you can start the inquiry. Any other order usually results in people stomping away and you being left to try and save what you can by yourself.

I have covered it before, but a study from Oise in France is getting a lot of press at the moment. After a cluster outbreak around a high school, 661 participants were given an antibody test and a questionnaire about symptoms. 326 were high school pupils, teachers, and non-teaching staff, 345 were parents and siblings. 
171 people had anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (25.9%). 
There was an overall rate of infection of 40.9% within the high school group, and infection rates of:.
- 38.3% of pupils.
- 43.4% of teaching staff
- 59.3% of school support staff
-  40.0% of pupils age 15-17
-  11.4% of parents
- 10.9% of siblings

13 sailors who have returned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt submarine have tested positive again for COVID-19. They all undertook a 14 day quarantine and tested negative twice before returning, and then developed mild symptoms, which is why they were tested again. They don't work together, so the assumption is they haven't infected each other, and resurgence is to blame (they almost beat it, then they didn't). 940 crew tested positive originally, out of around 5,000. 

A South Korean football team have apologised for using blow up sex dolls to make their empty stadium look more lived in. Most places are just using cardboard cut outs or photos, the expense must have been staggering. The photos are hilarious. They all have the same expression... 

US drug manufacturer Moderna have released some very early findings on their vaccine candidate trials. 
So far it shows comparable levels of antibodies to patients treated with blood from recovered patents. They also say it is "generally safe and well tolerated." 

States around America are re-opening the beaches ahead of Memorial Day weekend.... have they never watched Jaws? Fingers crossed we don't need a bigger hospital....

Historical sites, churches and beaches in Greece re-opened to the public today, for the first time in months.

It's apparently World Family Doctor Day - they are very much frontline, and they are also involved with their COVID patient's lives, possibly for years in the past, and years to come. They have a very hard and emotionally exhausting job right now. Thank you all. 

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

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

USA 1,558,175 (+7,881) 92,478 (+497)
Russia 299,941 (+9,263) 2,837 (+115) 
Spain 278,188 not yet reported today 27,709
Brazil 261,717 (+6,349) 17,381 (+528) 
UK 248,818 (+2,412) 35,341 (+545)
Italy 226,699 (+813) 32,169 (+162)
France 179,927 not yet reported today 28,239
Germany 177,696 (+407) 8,161 (+38)
Turkey 151,615 (+1,022) 4,199 (+28) 
Iran 124,603 (+2,111) 7,119 (+62)
India 103,935 (+3,607) 3,216 (+60)
Ghana 5,918 (+183) 31 (+2)
Oman 5,671 (+292) 27 (+2)
Armenia 5,041 (+218) 64 (+3) 
Bolivia 4,263 (+175) 174 (+5)
Iraq 3,611 (+57) 131 (+4) 
Hungary 3,556 (+21) 467 (+5) 
Azerbaijan 3,518 (+131) 41 (+1) 



1 comment:

  1. They really did make a mess of yesterday’s briefing. Poor Brazil. I hope things turn around. The stats here are still very grim. I think the Scottish school date sounds good. I’d have liked my middle one to go back before just for induction days, but only for his sake. Everyone is in the same boat & it’s too soon on the pandemic front. We were due back the 13th I’m sure anyway. Thanks again for all your time and effort you put into these xx


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