Thursday 11 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 11th June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 11th June 2020.

The UK added 1,266 cases today and now has reported a total of 291,409 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 197,007 tests yesterday. 440 people are in hospital on a ventilator, down from 604 at the same time last week. (That's a more reassuring set of figures than yesterday's!). 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 151 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 41,279 losses of life in all settings.

England 156,018 / 36,883
Northern Ireland 4,822 / 537
Scotland 15,682 / 2,434
Wales 14,581 / 1,425

Rep. Of Ireland 25,238 (+7) cases and 1,703 (+8) losses of life. Those are harsh figures today. 

There have now been a total of 7,536,419 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 421,244. Already 3,819,891 people have recovered.

Beat the virus by staying apart UK Government advice

Today's UK briefing was with Matt Hancock, who reminded us not to hold protests with more than 5 other people, and maintain social distancing. 
He also told us about Test and Trace:
"Participation with the NHS Test and Trace is your civic duty." 
....along with Baroness Dido Harding - who is in charge of the whole Test and Trace shebang, and not a singer who once worked with Eminem.
From 28th May to 3rd June:
8,117 people who tested positive were referred to Test and Trace. (People in care homes, who work in hospital, or are relatives who catch it together etc. obviously don't always need to be referred). 
5,407 (67%) were able to be contacted and asked to provide contacts. 
31,794 recent contacts were identified. 
26,985 of those contacts were able to be contacted and agreed to self-isolate. 85%. Nice one. 
The only way this works is if we all work together. 4,807 didn't confirm they'd self-isolate. Some were not able to be contacted, some just didn't make it clear, but a minority don't want to self-isolate. We need to address the reasons why, and how we can make it possible for people. If they keep going out, we'll never get rid of this thing. 

Public asked if 1 person in a company tests positive, does everyone who has had close contact at work need to isolate. The answer is YES. Follow the 'COVID-secure guidelines', and you shouldn't have to isolate everyone, because they won't all have close contact. Guidelines include things like the 2m rule,  'fixed teams' - so all of the staff don't mingle, regular handwashing, guidance on cleaning of equipment etc. 
Public also asked about parents of children with additional needs, who rely on a support network. Matt said he was aware of this situation and it will be addressed. 

Press asked why 'contacts' aren't given a COVID-19 test - we know this one. Matt Hancock did too. Even if you got a test, you could develop symptoms the next day, or test positive the next day, or both, or neither. Unfortunately your body has to grow enough virus that it starts to spread around the body, and that can take anything from 2 days up to 2 weeks (or rarely even longer).  
60-70% of people who test positive with the ONS random study don't report any symptoms. 
Press asked when the UK will start using antibody tests - the answer was genuine, and basically that there's no point just now. All it tells you is that you have antibodies, we don't yet know if that guarantees immunity, or how long that lasts. Matt Hancock asked people who've had COVID to volunteer for the antibody testing studies, because our scientists are looking at this right now. If immunity turns out to be strong and last for 2 years, we'll all have reason to smile. 

11 06 20 weekly surveillance

UK Tory backbenchers are calling for the 2m physical distancing rule to be reduced to 1m, in order to open more venues and businesses. Because Tory backbenchers are the people who should make decisions about how far a virus can transmit, what with their years of scientific study. Head complainant seems to be Iain Duncan Smith, the man who created Universal Credit. 

The NUS are asking universities to make it clear to students what they should expect next year, and add:
"However, clarity without choice is relatively meaningless for students returning to and starting courses. All students must be given the opportunity to defer their placements, take a year out or retake this year at no additional cost if they choose to do so. This is vital to ensure equal opportunities for all students, especially those who may need to pause education due to health concerns.
“Universities should not carry on with ‘business as usual’ plans and attempt to bring students and staff members back onto campuses too early."
Several universities have already said all lectures to large groups will be streamed, and some courses may be completely online.

Sweden are dropping daily Coronavirus briefings, as the population have cottoned on to the fact it's all going pear-shaped and just verbally attack state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell. He admitted last week that his approach was flawed, and as we well know in the UK, if you didn't jump early, there are no re-runs. They have already lost more people than he thought would die using their herd immunity strategy.
 “If we were to encounter the same illness with the same knowledge that we have today, I think our response would land somewhere in between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world has done.”

A team of researchers from the National Institutes of Health, USA, have identified features of the COVID-19 virus genes, and other high-fatality coronaviruses, which distinguish them from other members of the coronavirus family (such as those which cause the common cold). 
This isn't very useful just now, but if we have another coronavirus in the future, they can look at it and hopefully predict, by genome analysis alone, how severe it will be, and possibly they can also tell which animal coronaviruses that have the potential to infect humans.

The UK Treasury has confirmed an extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention (furlough) scheme for people on parental (maternity / paternity) leave, who return to work after 10th June. This only applies if you work for an employer who has previously furloughed employees. 

Kutupalong or Cox's Bazaar in Bangladesh is the world's largest refugee camp, and home to almost 1 million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. On Tuesday they reported a second death due to COVID-19 and there have been more than 35 cases reported. The local laboratory also caters for the host community and has a capacity of 200 tests a day. 
So far refugees appear not to have been terribly affected by COVID, although there's been little news for the last week or so - hopefully no news is good news. 

There are more studies coming out regarding possible long term and permanent damage. The New York Times has a particularly disturbing case of a young healthy woman in her 20's, who has eventually been given the USA's first lung transplant because of COVID. Her removed lungs look like chewing gum someone spat out. 
China gave several patients lung transplants in early Spring, as they were not improving after several weeks on a ventilator, and it was their only chance of survival. 

110620 who africa region

British Gas owner Centrica is cutting 5,000 jobs 'due to effects of Coronavirus crisis.'
Is anyone out there actually using way less gas than usual? Business will be back in work in about 20 minutes. They do say most job losses will be management. If they only have 20k employees in the UK and 5k are management, I think they might have to start by letting the HR department go. 

Disneyland is reopening on July 17, which is it's 65th Anniversary. All visitors will have to pre-book, and sales of annual tickets and passes have been put on hold. No meet and greets, although I'm thinking a lot of those characters are practically wearing PPE. 

San Diego ComicCon at Home will be held on the same dates as the previously canceled in-person Comic-Con, July 22-26 and it will be FREE. It looks likely to be the best attended comic convention ever.... 

Some people. Every one of them snored sometimes: 

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

USA 2,076,148 (+9,747) 115,470 (+340) 
Brazil 787,489 (+12,305) 40,276 (+479) 
Russia 502,436 (+8,779) 6,532 (+174) 
India 297,205 (+10,050) 8,477 (+370)
UK 291,409 (+1,266) 41,279 (+151)
Spain 289,787 (+427) 27,136
Italy 236,142 (+379) 34,167 (+53) 
Peru 208,823 not yet reported today 5,903
Germany 186,600 (+90) 8,845 (+1)
Iran 180,156 (+2,218) 8,584 (+78) 
Turkey 173,036 not yet reported today 4,746
France 155,136 not yet reported today 29,319
Chile 154,092 (+5,596) 2,648 (+173) 
Mexico 129,184 (+4,883) 15,357 (+708) 
Pakistan 119,536 (+5,834) 2,356 (+101) 


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