Wednesday 27 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 27th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 27th May 2020.

The UK added 2,013 cases today and now has reported a total of 267,240 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 117,013 tests yesterday. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 412 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 37,460 losses of life in all settings.

England 150,903 / 33,362
Northern Ireland 4,663 / 514
Scotland 15,240 / 2,291
Wales 13,653 / 1,293

Rep. Of Ireland 24,803 (+68) cases and 1,631 (+16) losses of life. 
There have now been a total of 5,741,807 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 354,762. Already 2,470,546 people have recovered.

1 bed 3 fridges stay apart

Today's UK briefing was led by Matt Hancock, our stand-in PM, and Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, plus Dido Harding, Executive Chair of NHS Test and Trace. Totally missed most of it and watched it on fast forward, because I was watching the Boris thing (see below). 
They launched the UK's Track and Trace service. 
If you have been in close contact (within 2 metres/8 ft for more than 15 minutes) of someone who develops symptoms, you'll be contacted and instructed to isolate for 14 days, to see if symptoms develop. 
This is a move from a national lockdown, to more localised and targetted reaction. It will help restore freedoms that we all want back. 
We have capacity for 161,000 tests a day.
Eligibility for testing is now open to any person with symptoms, whatever their age. 
If you have symptoms, YOU MUST isolate yourself and book a test. 
Your household don't have to isolate unless you develop symptoms or have a positive test result. 
There will be bumps ahead, it's a big system launched quickly, but it's one of the tools to finish the job. The app. isn't quite ready, so that will follow. 
Yesterday 94$ of people had a test result within 48 hours, and they are improving that and listening to user feedback.

The Quality Care Commission has written to mental health providers, to highlight concerns about coronavirus related deaths of patients subject to the Mental Health Act. Between March 1st and May 1st 2020, 112 patients died, which is twice as many as the previous year. 54 patients who died were suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. 

The US CDC has warned about being reliant on antibody test results, as they simply haven't yet proven immunity. 
"Antibodies most commonly become detectable 1-3 weeks after symptom onset, at which time evidence suggests that infectiousness likely is greatly decreased and that some degree of immunity from future infection has developed. However, additional data are needed before modifying public health recommendations based on serologic test results, including decisions on discontinuing physical distancing and using personal protective equipment."

Today Spain begins 10 official days of mourning for the people lost to COVID-19. 

Keep your distance and save lives. Red heart on a pink background

A study by Mumsnet today (965 respondents) has found: 
23% of parents have been in a situation where one parent was ill, and the other suspected they may become ill too, whilst both were caring for a young child and did not travel for emergency childcare back up.
81% of respondents say they either didn’t or wouldn’t have travelled for emergency childcare during lockdown.
90% say that in their view Dominic Cummings and his family broke the rules of lockdown.
33% of respondents say that knowing the actions he took, they are more likely to break lockdown rules as they now stand and 75% of those respondents say they would be most likely to break the rules to visit family or friends.

Boris Johnson faced a Commons Liaison Committee today, to answer questions on the coronavirus crisis. 
This was basically a chance for MP's who aren't famous or ridiculously wealthy to speak, and get across the opinions of their constituents. A lot of the comments and questions referred to Dominic Cummings' UK gadabout. Boris Johnson called it a distraction and asked to leave it to one side and move on. 
MP's repeatedly said that their inboxes were full of emails from disgruntled constituents. They said that if another lockdown is called, it won't be accepted and adhered to with such energy, as a direct result of one of his top advisor's behaviour. Boris said he didn't believe that was true. 
The target for track and trace results is 24 hours
He admitted the UK didn't learn lessons from SARS and MERS. (Or from people who caught COVID-19 before us either.)
The UK's Track and Trace will go into wider operation tomorrow. 
He will make enquiries on refunding the final year for students who have finished early to work for the NHS, and to examine eligibility to the furlough scheme for people given 'right to remain' with 'no recourse to public funding'.

Dr Anthony Fauci has told US media that:
“I still think that we have a good chance, if all the things fall in the right place, that we might have a vaccine that would be deployable by the end of the year, by November-December.” 

Did you notice that UK Govt. guidelines now advise you to wear a face covering in busy areas such as shops or public transport? Very few people have noticed, or follow, this advice. I'm honestly not sure why they are keeping it so low-key? 

Tim Peake Tonight Space

"Yesterday, 40 million health professionals sent a letter to the leaders of each of the G20 nations, calling for a healthy and green recovery from COVID19. I fully support this" Dr Tedros. 
Yesterday, the World Health Organisation also published their manifesto for a green and healthy recovery from COVID-19, with 6 simple prescriptions:  
1. Protect nature, which is the source of the air, water and food on which human health depends
2. Ensure that homes and health facilities have water and sanitation, access to clean and reliable energy, and are resilient to Climate Change
3. Invest in a quick transition to clean energy that will cut air pollution, so that when COVID 19 has been defeated people can breathe clean air
4. Promote healthy and sustainable food systems, to give people access to healthy and affordable food
5. Build cities that integrate health into all aspects of urban planning, from sustainable transport systems to healthy housing
6. Stop subsidizing fossil fuels that cause pollution and drive Climate Change

It seems UK Health Minister and stand-in public leader, Matt Hancock, spoke out of turn when he suggested they might do a review of all fines issued to people travelling for childcare reasons. It's not happening. (Damn shame. My intuition tells me I should find a sitter in the New Zealand area.)

A report on different sex couples with children, by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, has found that most women are picking up the childcare and still doing the housework, even when both parents are working from home. 
The only women not juggling housework and children for around half their working day, tend to be those in households where the man is currently not working. 

South Korean high school children went back to school this week. 447 schools have chosen not to open yet. All students have their temperature checked regularly, have to remain physically distanced and wear masks.  

After recent worrying results seem to show Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine actually harm patients with COVID-19, France have become the first country to bar their use in this context. Both drugs are still useful for other conditions. 

President Trump has fallen out with Twitter, after they added 'Fact Check' links to some of his wildest claims. He's furious - he isn't used to being told he's sharing fake news himself, even by a computer. 

South Africa reopens places of worship on 1st June - all visitors must wear masks and wash their hands. 

Mumsnet survey results 270520 Dominic Cummming

French city Strasburg was host to an illegal football match at the weekend, and officials are very keen to find the organisers, as well as around 400 people who attended. Anonymous free testing is available for anyone who was there, in an effort to locate anyone positive and understand the risk to the area. 

Nicola Sturgeon has reminded us that it's not actually evil to make you isolate, it's mostly within your control: 
"Important point to remember about test, trace, isolate - if you want to reduce your risk of being asked to self isolate, make sure you always stay at least 2 metres distant from anyone not part of your own household. If we all do this, we also help to keep the virus suppressed."

Vietnam has had no losses of life from COVID-19. It's been over a month since they lifted their lockdown and life is returning to normal. They were very strict and very hard, employing contact tracing immediately, screening arrivals to the country, implementing temperature testing in many buildings and large cities, and locking down locally whenever cases appeared. They have a clear information campaign, which explained exactly why measures were necessary, and detailed cases where people had broken a quarantine and spread the virus. 
Well done to them all - I hope this is a record that's never broken. 

UK Premier League clubs will resume contact training, in the next stage of plans to restart the season.

South Korea have a new outbreak of around 40 cases in a logistics warehouse - the first of these cases is suspected to be linked to last week's nightclub outbreak. The warehouse has temporarily shut and all 3,600 employees will be tested. 

New Zealand have discharged their last remaining COVID-19 patient from hospital. The world has everything crossed in hopes it'll be their last. Best of luck, and well done Jacinta!  

Montenegro are the first European country to declare themselves free of COVID-19. They haven't had any domestic cases since May 5th and Prime Minister Dusko Markovic announced on Monday that the final patient had been released from hospital. Congratulations to you all, and fingers crossed.

Don't book just yet - Montenegro will only allow visitors from countries that have kept coronavirus cases low at under 25 patients per 100,000 people. UK visitors aren't likely to make it this Summer... 

Some people, almost all had plans this Summer: 

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

USA 1,735,360 (+10,085) 101,351 (+779) 
Brazil 396,166 (+3,806) 24,746 (+197)
Russia 370,680 (+8,338) 3,968 (+161) 
Spain 283,339 not yet reported today 27,117
UK 267,240 (+2,013) 37,460 (+412)
Italy 231,139 (+584) 33,072 (+117) 
France 182,722 not yet reported today 28,530
Germany 181,719 (+431) 8,520 (+22) 
Turkey 159,797 (+1,035) 4,431 (+34) 
India 158,042 (+7,249) 4,534 (+190) 
Iran 141,591 (+2,080) 7,564 (+56) 
Peru 129,751 not yet reported today 3,788
Canada 87,481 (+834) 6,760 (+121) 
Netherlands 45,768 (+190) 5,871 (+15) 
Belarus 38,956 (+897) 214 (+6) 
Bangladesh 38,292 (+1,541) 544 (+22)
Ecuador 37,355 not yet reported today 3,203
Sweden 35,088 (+648) 4,220 (+95) 
Singapore 32,876 (+533) 23
UAE 31,969 (+883) 255 (+2)
Portugal 31,292 (+285) 1,356 (+14) 


It would still kill around 500,000 people in the UK if we attempted herd immunity by transmission. It would be ridiculously hard to orchestrate in order that we didn't overwhelm hospitals (leading to far more deaths), and we'd possibly only have immunity for a number of months. It might take years for the virus to become 'weak enough' that it wouldn't stop us, and we'd catch it multiple times. Average time people are ill is 15 days, but for a lot of people it's more like 6-8 weeks, and around 17% will take months to recover. Then there's the mental health effect for those who lose loved ones, and the potential cost of long term or permanent health problems for recovered people. Herd immunity is not the best choice in any scenario. We actually have little choice but to aim for eradication. 

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