Saturday 2 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 2nd May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 2nd May 2020.

The UK added 4,806 cases today and now has reported a total of 182,260 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 105,937 tests yesterday. The UK has 14,695 people in hospital, down from 15,111 yesterday.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 621 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have a total of 28,131 losses of life. The UK are now adding ALL positive-testing loss of life to the daily totals, wherever it occurs.

England 122,842 / 25,282
Northern Ireland 3,689 / 365
Scotland 11,927 / 1,515
Wales 10,155 / 969

Rep. Of Ireland have 21,176 (+343) cases and 1,286 (+21) losses of life.

There have now been 3,449,884 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 242,881. Already 1,102,420 people have recovered.

How to lower your chances of catching Coronavirus

Today's UK briefing was with Robert Jenrick, Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Govt.
Repeats that we are past the peak, and we'll find out more about phase 2 next week.
He talked about domestic abuse. The government will ensure victims get Priority Need status to access local housing services.
£16m is already going to Refuge and £15m to support services.
He announced a package of £76m extra for charities to support victims of abuse, sexual violence and modern slavery. This will help fund virtual and phone based services.
Where refuges don't have enough emergency accommodation, the government will work to provide temporary hotel accommodation.
Boots are providing 'safe space' in many shops, where victims can ask for help.
If you are in danger call 999. If you cannot talk, press 55.
National 24hr helpline 0808 2000 247
5,400 rough sleepers have been given accommodation. Over 90% of rough sleepers known to councils.
Dame Louise Casey (who was once head of Shelter) has been appointed to oversee Government plans to end homelessness before the government term is over.
The extremely vulnerable people in the shielding group who have no friends or family in a position to offer support with shopping, have been offered a regular basic package of essentials (food, loo roll etc). The 1 millionth package will be delivered in the next few days.

Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, went through the slides. Reminders of the 5 tests before we can ease lockdown.
The increased COVID-19 testing isn't boosting cases massively. People in hospital dropped everywhere yesterday except Scotland.

Public asked about some people catching COVID-19 twice. Jenny Harries explained we expect to see immunity, but we simply don't have enough evidence yet as to how well it will work, how long, or if it'll be effective in everyone. We ARE seeing antibodies in people the UK are testing.

We have 1.8million people in England alone who are shielding. Press asked about their mental wellbeing and what help is on offer, and how that will work going forward. Bob explained not very much for a very long time - I think it's clear he doesn't really know. He mentioned special supermarket slots and the charity Mind.
Jenny Harries commented that actually we are looking at who actually needs shielding as we learn more about COVID-19. This is good to know and very much needed. It clearly isn't just a respiratory condition, although that's a common symptom.
She also answered questions about contact tracing, it's not perfect, but it seems to work effectively overseas. Preparations are well underway. Press also asked them to define 'contact'. We've already been told this. It's not people you pass in the street, it's people you spend a few minutes with, in the same location.

Press questions about being outdoors. We know sunlight is helpful for health and the UV kills viruses swiftly. You are less likely to catch COVID-19 outdoors. Parks, cemeteries and public waste tips are all open, in efforts to allow people to go wherever is safe - always maintain social distancing.

physical distancing uk government advice

The Ebola drug Remdesivir has been granted emergency COVID-use approval by the US FDA, after preliminary results of a study earlier this week seem to show patients took an average 4 days less to recover. It's not yet clear if survival outcome is improved, but very hopeful news.

The UK has started a trial to see if blood plasma from people who have recovered can treat current patients. More than 6,500 people have registered their interest to donate their plasma.

Dr Abraar Karan has an article in the British Medical Journal. He says:
"There have been 2 types of Covid19 cases at the bedside that have been very tough
1/ those who literally *cannot* social distance because of immense social challenges.
2/ those who did not social distance because they chose not to."
"There are moments as doctors that we feel helpless; a preventable death is one of them. But when it becomes a second, a third, a fourth, a fifth—eventually helplessness turns into outrage. We are left to deal with the aftermath of leadership that moved too slow; policies that did too little; and people who didn’t care about their personal responsibility in transmitting a deadly viral disease, or at the least failed to take it seriously."

France has extended it's state of health emergency until 24th June.

A very small study earlier this week found all patients under 75 in Intensive Care had Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D could play a role in lots of ways, and the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) at Trinity College Dublin has also suggested it may be an important factor in determining severity of infection.
We are definitely seeing a far higher number of losses in Northern Hemisphere countries coming out of Winter, and a massively disproportionate number of people from BME groups are dying in countries with less sunlight - populations who are more prone to vitamin D deficiency.
Get outside in the sun for 20 minutes every day in a short sleeved shirt, to get your own daily dose of vitamin D for free.

020520 daily tests

Researchers in Thailand have found that patients are most infectious from 2 days after they catch COVID-19 until 1 week after they first show symptoms.
This matches previous research. Many studies have found most patients start to get symptoms around day 5.

The Philippines have released almost 10,000 prisoners, to try and prevent them being infected. Their prisons are very overcrowded, and prisons have proven ideal COVID-spreading places.

I've not really mentioned foods before, except that freezing or cooling coronavirus doesn't really bother it. It's likely in correct conditions, it may be able to survive for a couple of years in your home freezer.
Cooking foods kills coronavirus - as well as a host of other parasites, virus, bacteria and nasties.
The UK Food Standards Agency says: "The FSA’s advice is clear that it remains very unlikely that people can catch COVID-19 from food. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness and not known to be transmitted by exposure to food or food packaging."
(That advice was written on 14th April. I think a lot of people would now say that COVID-19 is not purely a "respiratory illness".)
WHO have so far had no known reports of anyone catching COVID-19 from food.
Follow your standard food hygiene, including wiping surfaces, and washing hands before and after handling food,  and before eating.

The Russian Prime Minister, Mikhail Mishustin, who is in charge of Russia's coronavirus response, has tested positive.
Russians have a stay at home order except pharmacy, food and essential businesses until 11th May at the earliest.

020520 global death comparison

Fabulous news from South Korea. It seems likely the 260 people who tested positive for a second time were due to the tests themselves, not reinfections or resurgence of COVID-19.
Oh Myoung-don, who leads the central clinical committee for emerging disease control, says the PCR tests cannot distinguish whether the virus is alive or dead and this can lead to false positives.
“PCR testing that amplifies genetics of the virus is used in Korea to test COVID-19, and relapse cases are due to technical limits of the PCR testing.”

In Lithuania an airport has been used as a temporary drive in cinema, to show the movie Parasite.

Denmark has introduced drive-in concerts. There's always a way...

The USA cases and losses of life have plateaued overall, but as New York goes down, other states are rising. Germany have so far reported no loss of life today (fingers crossed). Cases in Spain, Italy and France continue to go down. Turkey and Russia are testing like crazy - Russia have already tested just under 4 million people - they really aren't messing about! 

Some people. With families, friends and pets who love them:

Countries / cases / losses of life (some countries yet to report):

USA 1,142,688 (+11,658) 66,620 (+867)
Spain 245,567 (+2,588) 25,100 (+276)
Italy 209,328 (+1,900) 28,710 (+474)
UK 182,260 (+4,806) 28,131 (+621)
France 167,346 not yet reported today 24,594
Germany 164,478 (+401) 6,736
Turkey 124,375 (+1,983) 3,336 (+78)
Russia 124,054 (+9,623) 1,222 (+53)
Iran 96,448 (+802) 6,156 (+65)
Brazil 92,630 (+521) 6,434 (+24)
China 82,875 (+1) 4,633
Canada 55,572 (+511) 3,446 (+55)
Ukraine 11,411 (+550) 279 (+7)
Indonesia 10,843 (+292) 831 (+31)
S. Korea 10,780 (+6) 250 (+2)
Denmark 9,407 (+96) 475 (+15)
Serbia 9,362 (+157) 189 (+4)
Philippines 8,928 (+156) 603 (+24)
Bangladesh 8,790 (+552) 175 (+5)



Children and viral shedding:

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