Friday 22 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 22nd May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 22nd May 2020.

The UK added 3,287 cases today and now has reported a total of 254,195 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 140,497 tests yesterday. 9,307 people are in hospital, down 14% from this time last week. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 351 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 36,393 losses of life in all settings.

England 147,745 / 32,417
Northern Ireland 4,504 / 501
Scotland 14,969 / 2,221
Wales 12,984 / 1,254

Rep. Of Ireland 24,506 cases and 1,592 losses of life. 
There have now been a total of 5,255,285 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 336,817. Already 2,122,399 people have recovered.

1 bed 3 fridges 4 chairs the distance we should be apart

The SAGE advice that the UK government received, which we are told led to their decision to plan to reopen schools to more pupils from 1st June (subject to us meeting conditions), was published today on the gov dot uk website......  SAGE studied the possible effects of 9 different options (including 'stay as is' and 'all back to school as normal'). Bizarrely none of these modelled options was chosen as the Government's actual plan. Awesome. Following the science hmmmm? I'm leaving that there.

Today's UK briefing was with Priti Patel, who is like a feisty teenager putting forward an argument for not doing the washing up. Grrrr....
She was joined by Paul Lincoln of UK Border Force and Patrick Vallance, UK Science Chief. 
The UK government plans for quarantine will happen from 8th June. Anyone arriving to the UK will need to self-isolate for 14 days at their own arrangement and expense 
Arrivals will be expected to provide addresses for spot checks. 
Failure to co-operate could result in removal from the UK or refusal of entry. 
A fixed penalty of £1,000 for non-compliance, repeat/serious offenders could end up in court. 
Exemptions include seasonal agricultural workers, road hauliers, medical professionals, foreign officials (E.g. French police), Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man. 
(It all sounds fairly standard and is pretty much what you'll find with most countries.)
Slides show the UK has a current R rate between 0.7 and 1.0. 
2-3 out of every 1,000 people in the UK actually had COVID-19 on any given day from 4th May to 17th May.  

The Government briefing ended with a reminder it is 7 years since Lee Rigby lost his life, and 3 years since the Manchester Arena bomb. 2 events which affected my own local community directly. She spoke with genuine respect. I never thought Priti Patel would make me cry.  
The 22 victims of the Manchester arena bomb, depicted as bees, with names.

The not-Government-approved Independent SAGE group published their report on school reopening today, and held a live streamed public meeting (backed by the British Medical Association and Mumsnet) to discuss it - so that we can all get an insight into what scientists really think and hear experts answer our questions. 
They have concluded that first and foremost opening schools should be decided on a very local level and should be decided with input by everyone it actually affects (parents, school staff, communities etc). 
2 major requirements must be in place:
- Evidence of low covid infections in the local community
- Ability to respond rapidly to new infections using test, trace and isolate. 
They advise that reopening schools to more pupils on June 1st is too early, and delaying it by just 2 weeks will halve the risk to your child of catching COVID-19. Delaying until September reduces it to a very tiny chance (all being well!). 
They looked at children's welfare and education, and the effect of all aspects on individuals, families, school staff and the local community. 
It is a fascinating 80 minute video which explains loads of things (including risks to diabetics/BAME community, use of outside spaces / sports grounds / big local buildings for education, etc) and you can find it on the 'Independent SAGE' you tube channel. 

"I will be lowering the flags on all Federal Buildings and National Monuments to half-staff over the next three days in memory of the Americans we have lost to the CoronaVirus...."
"....On Monday, the flags will be at half-staff in honor of the men and women in our Military who have made the Ultimate Sacrifice for our Nation."
Donald Trump (forgetting he already had something booked for Monday) on Twitter. 

The next round of trials for the UK Oxford vaccine hopes to enrol 10,000 people aged 5 or older, with no upper age limit, and will include some people being vaccinated with other approved vaccine candidates for comparison.

Compared to the size of their population,  the Navajo Nation has more cases of COVID-19 than New York. 

The NHS is open

A study out this afternoon in The Lancet is dreadful news for Hydroxychloroquine /Choloroquine (and Donald Trump): 
"Study finds use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine with or without a macrolide (antibiotic, in this case Azithromycin) is linked to increased rates of mortality and heart arrhythmias among hospital patients with COVID19."
This is an observational study which has looked through published results of nearly 15,000 patients & 81,000 controls with COVID19, and doesn't include anyone who was critically ill when they started taking the drugs:  
“The findings...add to preliminary reports suggesting that regimens of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, alone or with azithromycin, are not useful & could be harmful in hospitalised patients with COVID19.”
(Comment from C Funck-Brentano & J Salem). 
Guess that's a big "darrrnnnnn shame" and a firm "No". It really does match with early findings, and it is really disappointing. Mortality Rates were found to be: 
Control group 9·3%
Hydroxychloroquine 18·0%
Hydroxychloroquine with a macrolide 23·8%
Chloroquine 16·4%
Chloroquine with a macrolide 22·2% 
Several specific studies are still ongoing, including in the UK, although some have already been stopped because of their own early results. 

All of Karachi's hospitals have been placed under a state of emergency after an Airbus crashed into a residential area minutes before it was due to land. Already under pressure from high numbers of COVID-19 locally, they now have hundreds of injured people, and the deceased, to try to care for with dignity. 

The UK Government have published new guidance for Working Safely in Factories, Plants and Warehouses, and in vehicles. It's up to your employer to ensure measures and restrictions are in place. 

Cannes Film Festival is cancelled, and they've turned a beach front car park into a drive-in cinema in homage. I have to say it looks the best place to watch a movie... 

Donald Trump may not recall everything, but he remembers he's clearly meant to avoid saying anything 'negative':
"I tested very positively in a, in another sense, so... This morning yeah, I tested positively towards negative, right. No, I tested err, perfectly this morning. Meaning I tested, I tested negative."

The UK Government have a new image which makes it very clear how big 2 metres is (and also that they underestimate UK intelligence). For reference, it's 1 bed, 2 benches, 3 fridges or 4 chairs. 
If you worry about standing too close to someone else, simply carry 3 fridges with you at all times to check. 

Luxury Cruise News:
The Australian government have extended a ban on all cruise ships until September 17th. No ship with more than 100 people can enter Australian waters. 

facemasks why you should wear them

The World Health Organisation have managed to raise the number of African countries capable of COVID-19 testing from 2 to 44. Africa now have almost 100,000 cases. 

The SAGE advice, right at the end, makes some really important points that the Government also seem to have missed: 
"Wider contextual issues must be taken into account when assessing the impact of the options for relaxing school closures. 
First, households with BAME & adolescent or young adult members may create greater susceptibility among children to the virus for different reasons.
Second, it may be possible to prioritise younger teachers’ attendance in order to decrease the likelihood of infection for teachers in more vulnerable groups. This must be negotiated, rather than imposed. 
Finally, testing can be maximised through partnerships approaches to school-based health programmes. This will be needed to inform the understanding of the severity of coronavirus events in school populations."

Taiwan have reported no new cases of COVID-19 (aside from quarantined individuals arriving from other countries) for 40 days. Well done to you all. 
Being so close to the Chinese mainland and having experience with SARS, they took the threat very seriously and imposed restrictions incredibly early on. 

If you can fist bump, you're definitely too close - one of you needs to take a big step back. And be careful you don't trip over a fridge. 

10 year old Chelsea Phaire from Connecticut has sent art kits to over 1,500 US children in homeless shelters and foster care homes, to give them something happy to do when they're feeling down. She collects donated items using an Amazon wishlist, and then her Mum helps package them up and deliver them. 

When Mohan Paswan, an autorickshaw driver, was injured, his wife and 15 year old daughter went to look after him. His wife had to return home to work, and then Mohan and his daughter Jyoti were among millions of people trapped by Coronavirus and India's strict lockdown. Out of money and food, they were about to be evicted and couldn't stay. Public transport is closed, so Jyoti gave her father a lift on the back of a pushbike all 1,200km (746 miles) home. Longest backie ever! 
The Cycling Federation of India have heard about her feat and invited her for an all-expenses paid trial, and the chance of a residential scholarship, once the lockdown ends.

Some people. All of whom looked up at the same stars: 

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

USA 1,629,176 (+8,274) 96,767 (+413)
Russia 326,448 (+8,894) 3,249 (+150) 
Brazil 314,769 (+3,848) 20,267 (+185)
Spain 280,117 not yet reported today 27,940
UK 254,195 (+3,287) 36,393 (+351) 
Italy 228,658 (+652) 32,616 (+130)
France 181,826 not yet reported today 28,215
Germany 179,410 (+389) 8,325 (+16) 
Turkey 154,500 (+952) 4,276 (+27) 
Iran 131,652 (+2,311) 7,300 (+51)
India 124,073 (+5,847) 3,707 (+123) 
Peru 108,769 not yet reported today 3,148
Canada 81,767 (+443) 6,180 (+28) 
Mexico 59,567 (+2,973) 6,510 (+420) 
Belgium 56,511 (+276) 9,212 (+26) 
Pakistan 50,694 (+2,603) 1,067 (+50) 
Ecuador 35,828 (+522) 3,056 (+117)
Belarus 34,303 (+932) 190 (+5)
Sweden 32,809 (+637) 3,925 (+54)
Armenia 5,928 (+322) 74 (+4) 
Bolivia 5,187 (+268) 215 (+16) 
Greece 2,874 (+21) 169 (+1) 
Haiti 734 (+71) 25 (+3) 


Hydroxychloroquine/Chloroquine study:

Independent SAGE Meeting:
Independent SAGE report:

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