Wednesday 17 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 17th June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 17th June 2020.

The UK added 1,115 cases today and now has reported a total of 299,251 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 140,359 tests yesterday. 5,308 people are in hospital, down from 6,123 this time last week. 379 people are using a mechanical ventilator, down from 494 on 9th June. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 184 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 42,153 official losses of life in all settings.

England 157,797 / 37,692
Northern Ireland 4,862 / 542
Scotland 15,712 / 2,453
Wales 14,922 / 1,466

Rep. Of Ireland 25,341 cases and 1,710 losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 8,323,028 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 447,960. Already 4,355,359 people have recovered.

Physical distancing when shopping Pacific region WHO

"The world has now recorded more than 8 million cases of #COVID19.
In the first two months, 85,000 cases were reported. 
In the past two months 6 million cases have been reported."
Dr Tedros, Head of the WHO. 

Today's England briefing was with Tintin, or Oliver Dowden as he prefers to be called. He's the minister for digital, culture, media and sport, so that was today's focus. 
Premier League football is back today after 100 days pause, and negotiations mean 1/3 of matches will be on free-to-view TV.
Artists, performers and scientists are meeting over the next week to discuss ways we can bring back performing arts - theatres, live music, choirs etc. 
He is hoping that community sport will be able to resume in July. 

The English government will set up a COVID Summer School Food Fund to pay for lunch provision over the Summer holidays. Welsh and Scottish children's eligible parents will also receive vouchers, meals or bank transfers until children return to school. Northern Ireland haven't yet made a firm announcement.

A new study has found flushing a toilet can cause the contents to aerosol, and plumes of COVID-19 can float up to 3 feet into the air. This is not actually surprising news, it's why toilets have lids. In their advice published back in April the World Health Organisation said:
"When possible, the toilet should be flushed with the lid down to prevent droplet splatter and aerosol clouds. If it is not possible to provide separate toilets for COVID-19 patients, then the toilets they share with other non-COVID-19 patients should be cleaned and disinfected at least twice daily by a trained cleaner wearing PPE." 

Shopping face coverings UK Government say it makes it safer

There's more in the media today about long term effects of COVID-19,  even among people who never ended up in hospital. People who were first ill in March are in vast numbers still reporting symptoms. If this includes you, Facebook support groups have sprung up. Persistent symptoms for some patients include:
 - Shortness of breath
 - Exhaustion
 - Cough
 - Stomach problems
 - Pins and needles
 - Buzzing sensations
 - Headaches
 - Vision problems
 - Pain
 - Nausea
Boris had a car crash today when a protester ran into the road and his security car drove into his Range Rover from behind. No injuries except the pride of the security bloke, which is shattered. 

Mike Ryan of the World Health Organisation was asked today about Brazil. They are reopening, despite runaway COVID-19 infections. Yesterday in total they reported a record 37,278 new positive cases and 1,338 losses of life, and this is known to not be a true figure. He replied: "I have no doubt that if the full skill, commitment, ingenuity of the Brazilian state, of the provinces, of the people, is leveraged in a united, sustained and combined way, that Brazil will bring this disease under control."
Brazilian President Bolsonaro refuses to take action against COVID-19, so state leaders have had to act independently, but anti-lockdown and pro-Government supporters have made any efforts very hard to put into place. 

Almost 1 million journeys to work in Greater Manchester were made by pushbike last week.

The EU have created a website and app. which you can use to get latest information for travellers. The UK could have been included, but seem to have chosen not to send back the data 'as we are no longer part of the EU'. Yawn. That is yet another example of us cutting off our nose to spite our face.

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have managed to extract over 200 antibodies from recovered patients and genetically 'humanised mice' (eeuw), and examined which are most effective against COVID-19 in the lab. They've identified pairs which work particularly well together - one neutralises the virus, while the other keeps watch for cunning mutant escapees. 

Single use Covid-19 items are already turning up in the garbage being collected from the sea - masks, hand sanitiser bottles and gloves have been washed up on beaches worldwide. 
For us everyday folks single use doesn't need to be the answer. Wear regular gloves and reusable masks, and wash them after use. 
COVID-19 is a virus made of blocks held together by fats. Soap destroys the structure and kills it, so simply using regular hand washing and not touching your face are genuinely most useful. Covid-19 is not a bacteria, so anti-bacterial hand sanitiser really only works because it contains a small amount of soap. 

Drowning Prevention Week don't go into the water, call 999

Donald Trump's behaviour is worrying neurologists. Not only does he occasionally offer some rather unusual views and comments, he can't walk down a slope, or drink from a glass using 1 hand. He also said there was an AIDS vaccine yesterday, before later mentioning AIDS therapies. 

T cells are an important part of your immune system, they help your body recognise enemies. Scientists have hypothesised from the start that it's possible people who have already had other coronavirus' might find their T cells respond to COVID-19 and recognise it as a threat. 
A new (not yet peer reviewed) study out this week from Duke-Nus Medical School in Singapore, has found people who had SARS still have memory T cells 17 years later, and in a lab setting these also reacted to the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARSCoV2). 
This is really promising and hopeful for COVID-19 immunity, as SARS and SARSCov2 are closely related, and it also means some people may have already acquired at least a certain level of immunity from catching other coronavirus - possibly even strains of the common cold. 

More antibody news, as a study by a team from St George's, University of London and St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in collaboration with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Mologic Ltd. and Institut Pasteur de Dakar, Sénégal, have found that the majority of people have COVID-19 antibodies in their blood 2 months after a diagnosis. 
"The results demonstrate that in those patients with an antibody response, the levels remained stable for the duration of the study (almost two months). The study also shows that those patients with the most severe infections having the largest inflammatory response were more likely to develop antibodies."
So the more poorly you are when you get it, the more antibodies you make. That's actually not entirely unusual. Obviously only time will tell us how long those antibodies will last, and we'll just have to wait, but this is really encouraging. 

The same St George's study discovered that between 2 and 8.5% of patients did not develop COVID-19 antibodies at all - that could be because they had a very mild case and bodily secretions beat it (snot, mucus etc.), or it could the reasons in the previous study today- their bodies fought and beat COVID-19 because of immunity they already had to a different virus.

Florida, Texas, Arizona, Oregon, Oklahoma and Nevada have all reported record numbers of daily COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, California reported a record high 5 days ago. New York and New Jersey are among several states well into recovery. 

China really really do take a hard line with COVID-19.They do not want a repeat of Wuhan and they are doing their best to prevent it. It's actually a bit unnerving how scared they are. The new outbreak in the Beijing wholesale food market has so far turned up at least 137 cases. 
They have locked down or barred from travel around 90,000 people, closed schools and cancelled 1,255 flights. 356,000 tests have been carried out in the last 4 days. 

If you went on a plane now,  you'll find it very different and not just because you'll be expected to wear a mask. On many shorter flights your pre-packaged meal or snacks may be on your seat when you get on the plane, and some airlines have suspended service of hot drinks and/or alcohol, to minimise interaction between staff and passengers.

It's Drowning Prevention Week. This time of year the weather can be warm and the water enticing - don't risk it, and teach your children not to either. There are less people about, less people to spot you, save you or call for help. 

Some numbers, all representing human beings like you: 

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

USA 2,217,974 (+9,574) 119,359 (+227) 
Brazil 934,769 (+5,935) 45,585 (+129) 
Russia 553,301 (+7,843) 7,478 (+194) 
India 360,483 (+6,322) 12,058 (+137)
UK 299,251 (+1,115) 42,153 (+184)
Mexico 154,863 (+4,599) 18,310 (+730) 
Pakistan 154,760 (+5,839) 2,975 (+136) 
Saudi Arabia 141,234 (+4,919) 1,091 (+39)
Canada 99,774 (+307) 8,254 (+41)
Bangladesh 98,489 (+4,008) 1,305 (+43) 
Ukraine 33,234 (+758) 943 (+31) 
Switzerland 31,183 (+29) 1,956 (+2)
Poland 30,701 (+506) 1,286 (+14)
S. Korea 12,198 (+43) 279 (+1)
Algeria 11,268 (+121) 799 (+11) 
Guatemala 10,706 (+434) 418 (+19)


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