Friday 8 May 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 8th May 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 8th May 2020.

The UK added 4,649 cases today and now has reported a total of 211,364 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 97,029 tests yesterday. We have 11,788 people in hospital, down from 12,688 yesterday, and going down slowly, but mostly steadily (18% in the last week).

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 626 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 31,241 losses of life in all settings.

England 133,626 / 27,967
Northern Ireland 4,022 / 422
Scotland 13,149 / 1,762
Wales 11,003 / 1,090

Rep. Of Ireland 22,541 cases and 1,429 losses of life. 

There have now been 3,975,593 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is now 273,893. Already 1,371,641 people have recovered.

"On this day 40 years ago, smallpox was made history. It's the only human disease to be eradicated so far.
A lesson we must take is: when the Earth unites behind science and public health measures we can defeat diseases and protect lives and livelihoods." (The World Health Organisation.) 
Smallpox was able to be beaten partly due to the invention by Edward Jenner of the first ever vaccine in 1796. It took 184 years before it was announced officially eradicated worldwide.
"The decisive factor in the victory over smallpox was global solidarity. At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the United States of America joined forces to conquer a common enemy.
They recognized that viruses do not respect nations or ideologies"-
(Dr Tedros, Head of The World Health Organisation.)

we're making huge progress UK Gov

The Queen has another message for everyone tonight at 9pm, after which there'll be a national croonalong from the windows. War isn't exactly my thing, and nor is Vera Lynn, but I imagine I'll have a tear or two. We are all encouraged to sing "We'll Meet Again". Particularly poignant for all of us. 

Today's UK briefing was with George Eustice, Environment Secretary. He talked mostly about emergency food parcels and food delivery slots for vulnerable, shielded and isolated people, and announced a £16m fund to support frontline food charities.

As someone messaged to tell me, I have to mention the 'errrms' at today's UK briefing. It would make an excellent drinking game - if you wanted to get utterly slaughtered within half an hour. Press questions were quite involved and didn't get exact answers, or just asked about things already covered... errrr. Erm. Yep. 

Garden centres are opening in Wales. They are hoping to soon reopen libraries and recycling centres.

“These venues have all the dangerous conditions that we were the most concerned about,” South Korean CDC director Jeong Eun-kyeong. Not something we'd have forseen this time last year, but he's referring to night clubs and bars. 
South Korea has so far managed to keep Coronavirus under control, and they've now got 15 new cases linked to a single nightclub. An order has been issued asking such businesses to temporarily suspend or adhere closely to prevention and infection guidelines. 
It may be a while before UK pubs are open.... 

Kuwait is imposing a 'total curfew' from 10th to 30th May. Public sector work is suspended until May 31st, and schools and universities closed until

standing 2 metres apart is standing up to the virus

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have published the largest analysis of patient records to date. It's not yet peer-reviewed, so it needs double-checking, but results seem to show: 
"People from Asian and black groups are at markedly increased risk of in-hospital death from COVID-19, and contrary to some prior speculation this is only partially attributable to pre-existing clinical risk factors or deprivation; further research into the drivers of this association is therefore urgently required. Deprivation is also a major risk factor with, again, little of the excess risk explained by co-morbidity or other risk factors." 
This backs up the UK ONS figures from yesterday, and the risks add up. They looked at an extensive list of potential co-morbidities, some are below (fully adjusted so that other factors don't count): 
Age 50-60 are 3 times as likely to succumb as people 40-50
Age 60-70 are twice as likely to succumb as people 50-60
Men are just under twice as likely to succumb than women
BMI 35-39 1 1/2 times as likely to succumb as people with BMI under 30
Mixed race, Asian, British Asian, Black over 1 1/2 times as likely to succumb as white.
Severe asthma (oral corticosteroids) or chronic heart disease around 1 1/4 times as likely to succumb.
Controlled diabetes and Cancer (non-haematological) diagnosed less than 1 year ago, around 1 1/4 times as likely to succumb. 
(As always links to sources are in the blog post). 
Please always remember when you see lists like this, that overall it's looking likely that the mortality rate will be under 1% or less than 1 out of 100.  

The European Commission will start dispatching 10 million masks to healthcare workers in the EU and the UK, with the first batch of 1.5m being delivered in the next few days. 

One of President Trump's personal valets has tested positive for COVID-19. That might be a bit disturbing for any one who thinks they are untouchable. Fingers crossed he didn't cough into the President's juice. Trump will now be tested every day for COVID-19. 

Luxury Cruise Crews News:
Remember there are still tens of thousands of crew finally travelling home. Most have been repatriated on chartered government flights, or are waiting to be repatriated, but some cruise liners are now "the last bus home". 
The Ruby Princess has arrived in the Philippines, and has joined a queue of 15 other cruise ships anchored there. Before they can disembark, everyone has to be tested for COVID-19 - and it's going to take a while. Depending on the result they're either isolated in government facilities or allowed to finally go home. 

South Africa are releasing 19,000 low-risk prisoners on parole.

Mosques are re-opening in the Lebanon - social distancing must be adhered to, and visitors need to bring their own prayer mat. 

The British Ambassador to Nepal, Nicola Politt, last month published maps showing some of her workings out, pointy arrows and notes, involved in extracting 109 British nationals and people from 11 other countries from around Nepal. Over 700 people have been repatriated since 8th April. Gurkhas travelled over 4,000 miles, sometimes on foot to remote areas. You can't get much more James Bond than that. "Hello, I'm from the British Embassy and I've come to take you home..."
Ms Politt herself came back to the UK with her young children, on the last charter flight out. 

WHO Keep Physical

Last Friday the US CDC were due to publish a framework guidance for reopening. Trump's administration have shelved it and word is it's being 'edited' before release. Apparently they did not agree with all of the contents. 

The UK government promised to be transparent and publish the scientific advice on which they base decisions. They've published some from the beginning of the month. It has more black lines covering things you shouldn't see than reader's wives. 

It's VE Day - a day to celebrate the end of war. We have a fight, but our fight is only with a virus. Around the world people are not all so lucky. There are 13 million people who have fled the civil war in Syria, North and South Korea have been exchanging fire, there are civil wars or insurgency in North Africa, Iraq, Somalia, Turkey, Syria, Kenya, Balochistan, the Kashmir, South Sudan, Nigeria, Cameroon, the Persian Gulf, Mozambique and elsewhere. 
Peace to everyone. 

Some numbers. Every one of them a person, wherever they made their bed: 

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

USA 1,303,544 (+10,921) 77,629 (+701)
Spain 260,117 (+3,262) 26,299 (+229) 
Italy 217,185 (+1,327) 30,201 (+243) 
UK 211,364 (+4,649) 31,241 (+626)
Russia 187,859 (+10,699) 1,723 (+98) 
France 174,791 not yet reported today 25,987
Germany 169,430 no new cases reported today 7,392
Brazil 140,023 (+4,330) 9,600 (+412) 
Turkey 135,569 (+1,848) 3,689 (+48) 
Iran 104,691 (+1,556) 6,541 (+55) 
China 82,886 (+1) 4,633
Canada 65,400 (+478) 4,473 (+65)
India 59,205 (+2,854) 1,980 (+91)
Peru 58,526 not yet reported today 1,627
Belgium 52,011 (+591) 8,521 (+106) 
Netherlands 42,093 (+319) 5,359 (+71) 
Saudi Arabia 35,432 (+1,701) 229 (+10) 

Timeline of failure


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