Friday 19 June 2020

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

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

The UK added 1,346 cases today and now has reported a total of 301,815 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed or posted 169,600 tests yesterday. 5,030 people are in hospital, down 10% from this time last week (5,608). 354 people are in hospital using a mechanical ventilator. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 173 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 42,461 losses of life in all settings.

England 158,401 / 37,979
Northern Ireland 4,866 / 543
Scotland 15,742 / 2,464
Wales 15,001 / 1,475

Rep. Of Ireland 25,368 (+13) cases and 1,714 (+0) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 8,676,012 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 458,709. Already 4,574,409 people have recovered.

Lockdown restrictions reductions UK 5 phases

"If this virus has taught us one thing, it's the absolute importance of being flexible and adaptable when we have to be. The education system has shown that it can do this, and do so much more."
Gavin Williamson, Education Minister, UK. 

The UK's Joint Biosecurity Centre "has recommended that the COVID-19 alert level should move from Level 4 (A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially) to Level 3 (A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation)."
The Chief Medical Officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have reviewed the recommendations and decided we are at the right point and they agree. 
"However, the virus is still in general circulation, and localised outbreaks are likely to occur. You must continue to wash your hands and keep 2m distance." 
190620 UK covid alert level moved to 3

Today's UK briefing was with Gavin Williamson, Education Secretary. On his Bob, no scientists or anybody with him. 
SAGE say the UK R rate has stayed the same at 0.7-0.9.
The East of England definitely has a little uptick in people being admitted to hospital over the last couple of days. 
This week they've announced more flexibility for Primary Schools to open to even more pupils if they wish. (Ours isn't even open to year 6 until Monday. Of the people I've spoken to, most schools seemed to have around 1/3 of eligible pupils return during the last 2 weeks). 
All children in all year groups will return to school in September. He reassures us that the wellbeing of our children is top priority, and eligible children should return when possible. "We must get them back to where they should be." 
"We are launching a £1b 'COVID Catch Up Plan', that will lift outcomes for all pupils. With targetted support for those from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are most at risk of falling behind because of this disruption. As part of this package, we'll provide a universal catch up premium worth £650m for all state school children in England, to help them make up for the lost teaching time in the next academic year." 
Schools can choose how to spend this money, including interventions, Summer schools, technology etc. 
"The plan also includes a new £350m National Tutoring Programme, to increase access to high quality tuition for disadvantaged children and young people."
He didn't say they'd alter the 2m rule in September, but he said classes might return to full size, rather than 15 max, but it was a bit 'maybe' and 'possibly' and clearly depends on where we are in September - remember it's 3 months away and 3 months back we knew so much less than we do now. 

The Welsh Government have released details of their easing of lockdown restrictions. From 22nd June (Monday) the following re-open: 
Non-essential shops
Outdoor sports courts
Some of the housing market
Training for elite athletes
Private prayer
Social distancing must be observed, stay local unless necessary. Provision has been made for mental heath reasons - you can visit on compassionate grounds (see the Welsh Govt website for more information on that). 

190620 Welsh lifting restrictions

The Food and Drug Administration in the USA has warned people against buying or stockpiling Dexamethasone, reminding them that it is only helpful for very ill patients requiring oxygen, by which point you'll be in hospital anyway (although, it is America...). 

An Italian National Health Institute study of wastewater has found COVID-19 in samples collected from Milan and Turin at the end of last year, and Bologna in January. This is brand new news and the study is not yet published (even without a peer-review), but it seems likely to be true and really does bring up more questions than answers. 

At today's World Health Organisation briefing, the worldwide picture is one of rapidly rising epidemics outside Europe and East Asia: 
"The pandemic is accelerating. More than 150K new cases of #COVID19 were reported to WHO yesterday – the most in a single day so far.
Almost half of those cases were reported from the Americas, with large numbers also being reported from South Asia & the Middle East.
The world is in a new & dangerous phase. Many people are understandably fed up with being at home. Countries are understandably eager to open up their societies & economies. But the virus is still spreading fast, it’s still deadly & most people are still susceptible." Dr Tedros

California have made face coverings mandatory in public places, after a big spike in cases. 

The Chinese CDC has sequenced the genes from the Chinese outbreak and discovered it seems to be a descendent of cases in Europe from 2 months ago. How it travelled to China and which people it spread through during those 2 months is unknown. It's a little disturbing, and yet again shows how dangerous asymptomatic COVID cases are. 

256 people connected to an Oregon church, which continued with services despite restrictions on gatherings, have tested positive for Coronavirus. 
(It's all that singing and belting out a sermon. COVID loves churches.)

The NHS 111 number is showing a week on week decrease in people being triaged. Image below...

The British Medical Journal has published a study on misinformation in videos about Coronavirus on You Tube. They found: 
"Over one-quarter of the most viewed YouTube videos on COVID-19 contained misleading information, reaching millions of viewers worldwide. As the current COVID-19 pandemic worsens, public health agencies must better use YouTube to deliver timely and accurate information and to minimise the spread of misinformation. This may play a significant role in successfully managing the COVID-19 pandemic."

Tomorrow is #WorldRefugeeDay. As a child I watched the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics, and 8 years later saw the city destroyed. 2.7m people were displaced.  It deeply affected me. I realised it can happen to anyone. 
"Over 80% of the Earth’s refugees & nearly all the world’s internally displaced people are hosted in low & middle income countries. 
WHO is deeply concerned about the very real & present danger of widespread transmission of COVID 19 in refugee camps." Dr Tedros. 

Katie Hopkins has been banned from Twitter permanently. They say it is for "violations of our hateful conduct policy".... don't let the door hit you in the face on the way out.  

Saturday tomorrow, so I'm taking the day off. We're meant to be gardening, but it'll be water safety if it doesn't stop raining... Have a good weekend, see you Sunday... stay well. 

Some people. All of them were once their parent's greatest and most precious gift: 

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

USA 2,278,770 (+15,119) 121,021 (+333)
Brazil 1,009,699 (+26,340) 48,427 (+558)
Russia 569,063 (+7,972) 7,841 (+181) 
India 388,640 (+7,549) 12,763 (+159)
UK 301,815 (+1,346) 42,461 (+173) 
Indonesia 43,803 (+1,041) 2,373 (+34)
Singapore 41,615 (+142) 26
Kuwait 38,678 (+604) 313 (+5) 
Portugal 38,464 (+375) 1,527 (+3) 
Dominican Republic 25,068 (+423) 647 (+12) 
Romania 23,400 (+320) 1,484 (+11)
Bolivia 21,499 (+814) 697 (+18) 
Israel 20,339 (+303) 304 (+1) 
Armenia 19,157 (+459) 319 (+10) 
Bosnia and Herzegovina 3,273 (+99) 169 (+1)
Greece 3,237 (+10) 189 (+1) 
Thailand 3,146 (+5) 58
Kyrgyzstan 2,789 (+132) 32 (+1) 


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