Tuesday 5 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 5th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 5th May 2020.

The UK added 4,406 cases today and now has reported a total of 194,990 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 84,806 tests yesterday.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 693 people to COVID-19. We now sadly have lost 29,427 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in all UK settings.

England 128,188 / 26,441
Northern Ireland 3,881 / 387
Scotland 12,437 / 1,576
Wales 10,669 / 1,023

Rep. Of Ireland have 21,983  cases and 1,339 losses of life.

There have now been 3,688,107 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 255,174. Already 1,220,696 people have recovered.

"What’s really important is that we have a proper review, an independent review, which looks into the sources of these things in a transparent way so we can learn the lessons and to ensure that, were there to be a virus pandemic potential that would originate anywhere else in the world, we can learn the lessons from that," Australian PM Scott Morrison.

Proper handwashing the World Health Organisation
Click to enlarge
Today is Tuesday, so the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures were released for week ending 24 April 2020 (Week 17).
The provisional total number of deaths registered in England and Wales was 21,997, a decrease of 354 compared with the previous week (the first decrease since week 12) but 11,539 more than the five-year average.
8,237 deaths mentioned COVID-19 (37.4% of all deaths).
The number of deaths in care homes (from all causes) was 7,911. The number of deaths in hospitals was 8,243.
In London 50.5% of deaths registered in Week 17 involved COVID-19, in the North West 38.8%, in the North East 38.0%.
In Wales, there were 413 deaths registered in Week 17 involving COVID-19, accounting for 36.7% of all deaths registered in Wales.

Year to date UK totals: 229,294 deaths were registered by 24th April, which is 33,593 more than the five-year average. 27,356 mentioned the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the death certificate.

Today's UK briefing was with Dominic Raab, who, along with Prof Angela McLean, Deputy Chief Scientific Advisor, seemed completely off-guard and stuttery. I wasn't sure if Angela was going to start crying at one point.
There was a SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group) meeting today, I get the feeling they didn't have great news, or Boris has taken ill again, or maybe it was just the fact that the UK now have the biggest official loss of life to COVID in Europe. There was definitely something going on.
Dominic started by saying it is becoming clear that we will have to adjust to a new normal.

After weeks of "when are we re-opening schools?, UK press now all asked about "opening schools when evidence isn't clear it's safe". At least they've changed questions. Dominic Raab said it seems likely opening all schools would force our R (reproductive rate) above 1 and cause a surge in cases.

Today the UK and US have published joint advice about cyber security, which is a big feature just now. With everyone a bit jumpy and otherwise pre-occupied, it can be easy to forget basic online security - no-one ever legitimately wants your bank pin! If in doubt, hang up or leave the website, and type the address or number yourself to get to the genuine people you want to speak to.

15 children aged 2-15 in New York have been diagnosed with the multi-system inflammatory syndrome which appears to be tied to COVID-19. In a letter to medical staff and colleagues, Demetre C. Daskalakis of New York City Health Department says:
"All patients had subjective or measured fever and more than half reported rash, abdominal pain, vomiting, or diarrhea. Respiratory symptoms were reported in less than half of these patients. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for SARS-CoV-2 has been positive (4), negative (10), and initially indeterminate and then negative (1). Six patients with negative testing by PCR were positive by serology (antibody). More than half of the reported patients required blood pressure support and five required mechanical ventilation. No fatalities have been reported among these cases."

How contact tracing works Lord Bethell

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has asked businesses to refrain from operating until the end of May.

Google and Apple have teamed up to use the data they already collect (which is compliant with all data laws), to create a contact tracing app. which is 'independent', decentralised and anonymised. Google and Apple have strict barring on allowing their data to be used by any other apps, so they'll always have the most precise information, and it is built into their operating system and doesn't eat battery. It is already being used by several countries, including Germany, Switzerland, Estonia and Austria.
The UK, Australia and France are among countries which have created their own centralised (in-house, either government or health service) apps.

Comparing country for country for cases or losses of life is incredibly tricky. All countries are different.
The official tally often only counts people who have had a positive test, but some count people waiting for a result, or suspected cases. Some countries test everyone, some have tested hardly anyone. Some test only those admitted to hospital, some test the entire area when a case is discovered.
Some countries count everyone suspected to have died from COVID-19, wherever they succumbed, most countries only count those with a positive test and /or those who died in a hospital.

There are now over 46,500 confirmed COVID19 cases on the African continent.

The UK's Contact Tracing App. really is in some trouble before it's even rolled out. It has a few opponents:
* The brother of the bloke who organised the Brexit campaign got the contract, he has strong Conservative party connections.
* We were told very clearly that the app. won't attach data to individuals. But, hang on, it has to in order to work.
* The UK app. seems similar to the Australian app., which only actively works if you have your phone unlocked and the app. open in the background - eating battery. (It is 'woken up' if in the vicinity of another phone with the app. active.)

3 Russian doctors who have spoken out, about lack of PPE or working while sick, have each fallen out of windows over the last 10 days. 2 are deceased, 1 critically ill.

France have found a case of COVID-19 from 27th December - before we were even aware of the disease. They are studying previously ill patients and stored blood samples.

While the UK discuss the possibility of quarantining arrivals in future, larger countries with a really hard line are even imposing quarantines on domestic travellers. If you want to go from Sydney to Brisbane,  you'll need to quarantine for 14 days before you can leave the house.

Doctors in Manchester are warning about "happy hypoxia", where patients have incredibly low levels of oxygen, but can breathe fine and feel okay. They are in fact dangerously ill and can even be delirious.
It's being reported as a new phenomenon, but it's not - it was reported way back at the start of the year in patients in China. It can lead people into a false sense of security, they feel fine, they try and go to work or shopping, or clean the house etc. and inevitably at some point collapse. If you run out of oxygen and collapse by yourself, it's a very bad thing.
I've never been able to stress this enough - if you think you have recovered, keep a close eye on yourself for a few days, or get someone else to. Don't overdo it, let your body fix itself first. You can't see or feel what is actually going on inside your lungs.

A team of researchers from the Netherlands and China have built on work done with the SARS virus, and identified a fully human antibody which also fights against the virus behind COVID-19.
Fully human antibodies can have a greater success rate because people are less likely to develop an immune response.
It works in a petri-dish, it'll be a while before we know how well it works in a living body.

Nike is donating 30,000 pairs of specifically designed shoes to healthcare workers across the United States.
Proper hand rub guidelines the World Health Organisation
Click to enlarge
Game of Thrones actor Michael Condron (Lord Steward of the Night’s Watch, Bowen Marsh) is doing his bit - working as an ASDA home delivery driver in Belfast.

New Zealand has just 184 active cases. Out of a total 1,486 cases, 20 people have lost their lives and the rest are recovered. (Jacinta Ardern fan club right here).

It's World Hand Hygiene Day - I'm pretty sure you won't ever forget our best defence against any virus. Wash your hands.

It's also International Day Of The Midwife. They are at work, risking their own health caring for and delivering babies to Mums who will no doubt be extra scared. I've had 5 babies myself, so a personal thank you to you all, for all that you did for me, and all that you are doing now.

Although Germany had a few extra cases initially, it was to be expected and (fingers crossed) the lifting of lockdown restrictions seems to be going well so far.
Taiwan are on day 26 of no new domestic cases.
Cases in the US have plateaued, because as numbers in New York go down, they are rising in around half US states.
Countries with high numbers of cases compared to losses of life test a lot and try to track contacts, so catch a lot of low or no symptom cases - Germany 2.5m tests, Russia 4.6m tests, UAE 1.2m tests.
Countries with a high number of losses of life compared to cases mostly (at least initially) test people who are in hospital - the UK 1.2m tests, Belgium 456k tests, Sweden 148k tests, Mexico 100k tests.

Some numbers. They're only numbers here because their names would take too long to type:

Countries / Cases / Losses of Life (some states yet to report):
USA 1,218,968 (+6,133) 70,759 (+838)
Spain 250,561 (+2,260) 25,613 (+185)
Italy 213,013 (+1,075) 29,315 (+236)
UK 194,990 (+4,406) 29,427 (+693)
France 169,462 not yet reported today 25,201
Germany 166,424 (+272) 6,993
Russia 155,370 (+10,102) 1,451 (+95)
Turkey 129,491 (+1,832) 3,520 (+59)
Brazil 108,620 (+354) 7,367 (+24)
Iran 99,970 (+1,323) 6,340 (+63)
China 82,881 (+1) 4,633
Canada 61,165 (+393) 3,918 (+64)
Belgium 50,509 (+242) 8,016 (+92)
Mexico 24,905 (+1,434) 2,271 (+117)
Sweden 23,216 (+495) 2,854 (+85)
U.A.E. 15,192 (+462) 146 (+9)
Taiwan 438 / 6




French high school cluster Crépy-en-Valois - inc smokers / ages


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