Sunday 31 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 31st May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 31st May 2020.

The UK added 1,936 cases today and now has reported a total of 274,762 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 115,725 tests yesterday. 7,639 people are in hospital, down 15% from this time last week.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 113 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 38,489 losses of life in all settings.

England 152,176 / 34,272
Northern Ireland 4,716 / 522
Scotland 15,400 / 2,353
Wales 13,995 / 1,342

Rep. Of Ireland 24,990 (+61) cases and 1,652 (+1) losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 6,209,364 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 372,067. Already 2,770,322 people have recovered.

Lockdown restrictions reductions UK 5 phases

"In my opinion the rules are clear and they have always been clear. In my opinion they are for the benefit of all. And in my opinion they apply to all."
Prof Jonathon Van Tam, UK briefing 30/05. 

Luckily very little news yesterday, so it was a good day for a day off. Sadly Boris and Dom didn't take a day trip as far as we know, but Jonathan Van Tam made the above remark, which I'm incredibly relieved about. Our scientific advisors cannot allow fact to be overruled by politics, or we cannot trust them.

The 2.2 million very high risk people who’ve been shielding in England and Wales can go outside from Monday, but you are still shielded and must maintain social distancing and avoid busy places etc. In a bizarre and very sudden UK govt. announcement at 10pm last night, you can now go outside with your own household or meet 1 other person if you live alone. 
(This is against what Public Health England said the day before, and there's no obvious science behind it. I believe it to be a mental health move, which may be temporary, and may also be because they believe restrictions may last for a long time yet. Please continue to be really cautious about social distancing, stay outdoors, get changed when you get home if you have been near anyone else, through gates, sat on a bench etc. Treat everyone else as if they have the plague. Wash your hands.)

Other changes tomorrow, 1st June, vary by country. In England competitive sport, including horse racing. can resume with no spectators. Some children can return to school. Outdoor shops and markets can reopen, and car showrooms. 

Today's UK briefing was with Robert Jenrick, Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Dame Louise Casey, Chair of the COVID-19 Rough Sleeping Taskforce and Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer. 
He started by talking about allowing shielded people to go out, the volunteer responders who have helped so far, the medicine and 3 million food boxes that have already been delivered. Support is always available for your mental wellbeing at this time. 
He says the risk for the English population has decreased, and they are giving updated guidance (see above) for shielded people. He clearly said THIS IS ADVISORY. Going out is all your own responsibility. Guidance for shielded people is in place until the end of June, but it may need to be extended. Next review 15th June - all patients on the shielded list will get a letter from your doctor. 
6,000 new supported homes will be made available to rough sleepers who were taken off the streets during the pandemic. 3,300 new homes will be available within the next 12 months, with support staff to help keep people off the streets. 
Dame Louise Casey told us 90% of rough sleepers, 15,000 people, were taken off the streets. Their aim is not to just throw these people back out, it is to keep them housed and protect those who are vulnerable. 
Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer tells us testing capacity is now 200,000 a day. This has never happened, so we just have to take her word for that. 
Press asked why we are moving things to level 3, when we are 'transitioning towards level 3', but aren't there yet?. The answer was that we're being cautious. (Like wandering on tiptoe into the lions den while he's transitioning towards sleep?) 
Press asked Jenny Harries if she agreed with Jonathan Van Tam's comments yesterday, she said: 
"I felt his exposure of what he felt was exactly right. We usually say the same things because we think in public health terms, and from my own perspective, from personal and professional integrity, I will always try and follow the rules. The important thing is they are rules for all of us."

Hilariously Jenny Harries said play parks are shut because you'd have children from lots of different families all touching everything and holding handrails etc. She said it wasn't a place to be. 
The next question was about schools reopening.... 

Prof Van Tam restrictions are for everyone

Israel fully reopened schools 2 weeks ago. In the past 2 days, a superspreader event has occurred in a Jerusalem high school. 103 new cases have been found so far. This is the largest school superspreader event we know of so far. 

The Dominic Cummings thing isn't going to go away. Turns out he stayed in his own second home in Durham during his lockdown jollies - it has no planning permission and he doesn't pay council tax. 

Meanwhile Rosie Duffield, Labour MP for Canterbury, has admitted breaking lockdown to liaise with a married man who she is now living with permanently, and has stepped down from a front bench role. 

It isn't just the UK's privileged who believe they're always above the law. Prince Joachim of Belgium flew to Spain, attended an illegal party with 26 other people, and now has coronavirus. 

Romanian prime minister Ludovic Orban has paid a 3,000 lei fine ($690) for breaking his own coronavirus restrictions - he was photographed indoors with other cabinet members, not wearing a face mask and smoking.

310520 Testing and new cases

Trump has announced that the US are cutting all ties with the World Health Organisation. He gave them 30 days to agree to reforms 11 days ago, so maybe he already got a "no". It really doesn't seem a useful or wise move during a pandemic.

Mexican medics are taking to the streets in protests about lack of PPE.

Total number of infected people is more important than R - reproduction rate. You need a low number. England have got about 7k new cases every day. That's 7000 chances of a superspreader, a cluster or even just infecting 2 people each. It could cause thousands more cases in a single day, and the R (which England wide is around 0.7-0.9) could be instantly out of control. 
Northern Ireland have around 50 new cases a day. It's a much safer position to start from, but the R rate is less useful, because with such a low number it will bounce all over the place. A difference of just 25 people either way changes it to 0.5 or 1.5.

The G7 summit in America next month has been postponed. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had already said she wouldn't be going. 

South Korea's bars, nightclubs, indoor gyms and other venues will be required to keep a QR code-based customer log in order to track outbreaks. All data will be automatically erased after 4 weeks.

If you haven't seen the photos from Durdle Door yesterday then save it for after the kids go to bed, because it's a pure horror show. 4 people tombstoned into the water and 2 are now seriously ill and had to be airlifted away. 2 more were also taken to hospital. The beach was 'socially distanced' but rammed, and the steps down fairly steep and narrow. Thousands of people had to cram together in the queue to evacuate the beach, so that the helicopters could land. 

310520 data from hospitals

Black Lives Matter protest marches have taken place around the world (including London and Manchester) in support of George Floyd, who suffocated by a policeman in Michigan, USA. Curfews are in place in at least 12 US cities. The situation between rioters/protesters and police in the USA is not much improved, despite a murder charge for the officer involved, and there are big fears that spikes in cases of COVID-19 may follow. 

Mosques in Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem have re-opened, including some of the holiest sites for Muslims - Mecca, Medina and Al-Aqsa.

Sri Lanka's Colombo Airport has hosted a drive-in open-air concert. Life with coronavirus does not have to be boring. We just have to use our imaginations. 

Some people. Every one of them on the same piece of rock floating in space: 

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

USA 1,823,296 (+6,476) 105,698 (+141) 
Brazil 501,985 (+3,545) 28,872 (+38) 
Russia 405,843 (+9,268) 4,693 (+138)
Spain 286,308 not yet reported today 27,125
UK 274,762 (+1,936) 38,489 (+113) 
Italy 233,019 (+355) 33,415 (+75) 
India 190,162 (+8,335) 5,402 (+217)
France 188,625 not yet reported today 28,771
Germany 183,420 (+126) 8,602 (+2)
Turkey 163,103 Not yet reported today 4,515
Peru 155,671 not yet reported today 4,371
Iran 151,466 (+2,516) 7,797 (+63) 
Chile 94,858 not yet reported today 997
Canada 90,516 (+326) 7,092 (+19)
Mexico 87,512 (+2,885) 9,779 (+364)
Saudi Arabia 85,261 (+1,877) 503 (+23) 

Local authority data on R number:

1 comment:

  1. Let's hope the new changes don't have us going 1 step forward and 3 back xx


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