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. 

Steve went through the slides, a much easier job than yesterday. We tested a lot of people and case numbers are not going up - we are getting on top of this, and so far V.E. day isn't causing a big blip. Fingers crossed over the next few days. 

Currently the family of NHS frontline staff who die from COVID are entitled to additional benefits under the Bereavement Scheme. This is not true for porters and cleaners, who are in fact still frontline and putting themselves in danger. Press asked if it would be considered. Oliver said it would be. 

ECDC Physical distancing not social distancing

WHO has joined forces with the UK government to run “Stop The Spread”, an awareness campaign about the risks of incorrect and false information regarding the COVID19 pandemic. 

Trump signed an executive order last night which gives him massive power over US regulations:
He said “instructing federal agencies to use any and all authority to waive, suspend and eliminate unnecessary regulations that impede economic recovery...” And then he signed it with a big black felt tip.

China have hit Australia with a massive 80%+ tariff for imported barley. This basically means if Australia want to sell barley to China, they have to sell it at 180% of the price. It's likely a swipe back after Australia lead the request for an independent inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Masks are mandatory in Spain from tomorrow. 

The UK Government are under fire for sending COVID-19-positive elderly patients back to care homes, and in many cases simply not offering a test. Justice Minister Robert Buckland MP admitted on Sky News earlier that protecting the NHS was prioritised and in retrospect care homes didn't get the protection that they needed. 

Lost Their Fight:
Annie Glenn, the widow of astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn
Kumiko Okae, Japanese actress, voice actress and TV host

Worldwide schools are reopening with all kinds of different strategies to manage COVID-19:
In Iceland children under 11 have no restrictions or differences, over 11 they must maintain social distancing and no more than 50 can be in a single place at once. 
In New South Wales children go in 1 day a week and work remotely for 4. 
In many countries staff or staff AND pupils over 11 wear masks. In Bavaria children over 7 wear masks. 
In many countries there are limits on pupils of 10 or 15 per class. 
Some countries, including Denmark, keep children within a 'bubble' with 1 teacher and 10-15 children staying together all the time. 
In Taiwan and The Netherlands schools have created screens to separate pupils sitting at desks - The Netherlands have clear, Taiwan yellow! 
In Norway children stay in small groups of 3 or 6 depending on their age. 
In The Netherlands children attend on alternate days, so all children get a week in school every fortnight. 
Denmark are moving outside whenever they can, and even teaching in local parks. 
In many places, including Singapore, students have their temperature regularly checked.
Wuhan is testing all students for COVID-19. 

2 people 2 metres

The Labour Autumn conference is going to be virtual. 

There's a fascinating thread on Twitter where scientist and reporter Kai Kupferschmidt discusses how we transmit COVID-19 to each other. 
Although you might have 10 people infectious, you might find only 2 or 3 spread COVID-19 to anyone else, and they might spread it to 3 or 300 people. It's these large spreading events, like the Seoul South Korean nightclub incident or the Diamond Princess cruise ship, or the Daegu church outbreak, that we really, really need to learn how to avoid. 

Rolls Royce are cutting 9,000 jobs as a direct result of the impact and anticipated longer term impact of COVID-19 on flying. They will mostly be in Derby. My home city - and it'll have a massive impact. 

In parliament today Boris Johnson told the Commons that the UK is now testing more “than virtually any country in Europe”. That would be something we could be really proud of if other countries in Europe had as many suspected cases as we do. They simply don't have as many people to test.

Donald Trump really was on form last night:
“When we have a lot of cases, I don’t look at that as a bad thing. I look at that in a certain respect as being a good thing because it means our testing is much better. ... So I view it as a badge of honour, really,” he said. 
(And another badge for the 98,000 people who have died?) 

Cambridge University are moving all courses online until Summer 2021. 

Mental health NHS workers help

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have been looking cluster outbreaks and admit data they had was sketchy at the time, and it's only really a guide because most group activities are not currently happening, so further detail and research is a bit tricky right now. 
They found that clusters occur in mostly indoor settings (2/3 of cluster settings were indoor). 
Most involve less than 100 people, the few with more were in hospitals, elderly care, worker dormitories, ships and religious settings.
(I'd add prisons and meat-packing plants to that list now.) 
Theories on what links clusters include the fact that people are singing and/or shouting in confined spaces. (Big breaths travel further.)

McDonald's are opening more drive through restaurant lanes in the UK, mainly it seems in Peterborough for some unknown reason. Queues were already being videoed and shared on Twitter by this afternoon. 

Colonel Tom Moore, who single-handedly is attempting to fund the NHS (£33m and counting), is to be Knighted. He's a gentleman I'd certainly address as Sir. 

Some people. All very different, but much more the same: 

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

USA 1,576,950 (+6,367) 93,858 (+325) 
Russia 308,705 (+8,764) 2,972 (+135) 
Spain 278,803 not yet reported today 27,778
Brazil 275,382 (+3,497) 18,130 (+147)
UK 248,293 (+2,472) 35,704 (+363)
Italy 227,364 (+665) 32,330 (+161) 
France 180,809 not yet reported today 28,022
Germany 178,170 (+343) 8,213 (+20)
Turkey 152,587 (+972) 4,222 (+23) 
Netherlands 44,447 (+198) 5,748 (+33)
Singapore 29,364 (+570) 22
Denmark 11,117 (+73) 554 (+3)
Norway 8,267 (no reported new cases) 234 (+1) 
Iceland 1,803 (+1) 10 (They have 4 active cases). 
Taiwan 440 / 7 (They have 31 active cases)

"100-year-old veteran Colonel Tom Moore to be knighted for NHS fundraising"

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