Monday 22 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 22nd June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 22nd June 2020.

The UK added 958 cases today and now has reported a total of 305,289 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 139,659 tests yesterday. 4,869 people are in hospital, down from 5,512 this time last week. 330 people are using a mechanical ventilator, down from 395 on 12th June (12th June? Random. MV use = 19th June 354 / 18th June 360 / 17th June 379 16th June 385. It is going down.)

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 15 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 42,647 losses of life in all settings.

England 159,118 / 38,152
Northern Ireland 4,871 / 545
Scotland 15,784 / 2,472
Wales 15,197 / 1,478

Rep. Of Ireland 25,379 (+5) cases and 1,715 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 9,110,119 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 471,762. Already over 4,879,564 people have recovered. (Several countries, including The UK, Spain, The Netherlands and Sweden, do not report a 'recovered' figure.)

Pope Francis thank you doctors and nurses

Today's UK briefing was with Matt (I'm your Prime Minister now) Hancock and Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, who was wearing a perfect green frock for a Christmas tree dress up.
Today's reported numbers are very low. We have under 1,000 reported cases for the first time since the peak. We have the lowest loss of life since 15th March. This is partly artificial because weekend reporting is hit and miss, but nonetheless shows really encouraging signs that our measures are working to reduce cases. 
Around 1 in every 1,700 people in the UK has COVID. Therefore they feel that the time has come and tomorrow Boris will announce the next steps in reopening. (He was actually always going to do that. I don't know why they bother to pretend.)
The following only applies to SHIELDED PEOPLE in ENGLAND. 
From July 6th the 2.2m shielded people in England can meet up to 5 others outdoors, including from outside their household, observing social distancing. If you live alone or are a lone parent, you can also form a support bubble with another household, including staying overnight.
Shielding will pause from August 1st. You will be able to go to the shops or places of worship. You can return to work if you are unable to work from home, provided it is 'COVID-safe'. (SSP for employees staying home shielding will end.)
PLEASE still follow all guidelines - wash hands, observe distancing etc. Your risk of catching COVID is lower, but it still exists. 
We have learnt a lot about COVID, so if shielding is put back into place, your doctor and yourself can better understand your risk and put in place personalised advice. 
Children are not immune, but are very rarely severely affected. Admission to hospital is incredibly low, and only 36 children have been admitted to intensive care in the UK in total. Very few children will need to continue to shield. Your doctor will be in touch over the next few weeks. Most children will be able to return to school in September (as long as the plan carries on working). 
Food boxes or medicine deliveries will continue until the end of July. Support from NHS volunteer responders and mental health services will continue beyond that, and most major supermarkets will also give you priority deliveries ongoing. 

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford is reportedly considering a lockdown of Anglesey, after 158 workers at the Two Sisters chicken factory in Llangefni tested positive for coronavirus.

the curve is flattening lets keep going
The Robert Koch Institute measures Germany's R, or reproduction rate, on a 4 day average, and on Sunday it rose from 1.79 to 2.88 - partly because over 1,300 employees at a meat packing plant tested positive. This is a bit of a wake up call for the entire world.  

When you reduce or remove restrictions, there will always be a bit of a blip or rise in cases. More people are out there in the world to catch and share the virus. What you hope is that those people who are less strict with social distancing (through work, choice, necessity or entirely by accident) catch it and isolate, contact tracing catches everyone else, and your 'blip' ends. If it escapes further into the community then case numbers can rapidly rise. 

An R rate of 2.88 means that for every person infected, 2.88 more are infected on average. Each step for COVID takes around 3-5 days. Here is how an R of 3.0 grows exponentially:
1 person infected
1 plus they infect 3 more = 4
4 plus they each infect 3 more = 16
16 plus each infects 3 more = 64
64 plus each infects 3 more = 256
256 plus each infects 3 more = 1024
1024 plus each infects 3 more = 4,096
4096 plus each infects 3 more = 16,384
This could take as little as around 4 weeks. Numbers of cases are incredibly important. Germany reported 3,904 new cases in the last week. Within a month, at an R of 3, that could theoretically become 63,963,136 infected people. That's 3/4 of the entire population of Germany. 

Theoretical potential numbers are just that, and that's why scientists and mathematicians spend years studying. Specific location and who you are, are also incredibly important. In the case above it wouldn't become that high in reality, because very soon, a lot of those people would mix with the same people, e.g. In a workplace, hostel, transport or household. You'd run out of people to infect. It shows the massive importance of staying isolated if you have been in contact with a confirmed case - even if you have no symptoms - and for staying local (Mr Cummings).  

Tennis player Novak Djokovic went ahead with a 2nd weekend Adria Tour tennis tournament, despite heavy criticism beforehand. 
Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov was taken ill on Saturday, after losing to Croatia’s Borna Coric, and subsequently both players, a coach and a trainer at least have tested positive for COVID-19. The final match was called off. 
That went well. 

Sweden's attempt at a slow controlled herd immunity by transmission (catching COVID rather than having a vaccine) really hasn't gone entirely to plan. They have lost more people than anticipated, and a random population study has found that by the end of May only around 6.1% of the population so far have antibodies. They were hoping it would be around 40% in built up areas like Stockholm. 

you can meet a friend in the park UK Government

Depending on the age, health and other risk factors of the local population,  it's possible as many as 7-14% of COVID patients will need some hospital care. Around 2% will need intensive care. Mortality is now under 1% with full healthcare. 
Many people, even those with a 'mild case' are ill for weeks. We don't yet know what long term or permanent damage Covid-19 causes, or how many people will be affected, but it's likely to be very significant. 
Even if you were able to stop anyone dying entirely, herd immunity by transmission, under these conditions, is overall incredibly expensive (in many ways) and not a realistic option. 

Two Indian firms, Hetero and Cipla, have been given a license to produce generic versions of antiviral drug Remdesivir. Prices will be ₹5000-6000 (£50-£63ish), vials will be on the market within a week.  
In trials Remdesivir improves recovery time by several days. 

Pope Francis was on the BBC this morning, and I don't even believe there is a God, but he's the kind of religious leader I really respect. He warns us against simply trying to get back to how we were before Covid-19: 
"This coronavirus crisis is affecting us all, rich and poor alike, and putting a spotlight on hypocrisy. I am worried by the hypocrisy of certain political personalities who speak of facing up to the crisis, of the problem of hunger in the world, but who in the meantime manufacture weapons."
"I see early signs of an economy that is more human. But let us not lose our memory once all this is past, let us not file it away and go back to where we were. This is the time to take the decisive step, to move from using and misusing nature to contemplating it."

South America is having a disaster and cases are growing rapidly. Peru and Chile are both almost matching each other for new cases and losses of life, and Columbia reported 111 losses of life yesterday. It looks like Mexico are having a massive outbreak and are really limited by the amount of testing they are capable of. Today they reported 5,343 new cases and 1,044 more people have succumbed. 

For the first time since March 9, the Netherlands daily report yesterday had no loss of life from COVID-19. They have lost one person today. May they be the last. 

Some numbers. Every one of them a person who will never be forgotten: 

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

USA 2,366,075 (+9,418) 122,319 (+72) 
Brazil 1,086,990 not yet reported today 50,659
Russia 592,280 (+7,600) 8,206 (+95) 
India 435,109 (+8,199) 13,866 (+163) 
UK 305,289 (+958) 42,647 (+15)
Spain 293,352 not yet reported today 28,323
Peru 254,936 not yet reported today 8,045
Chile 246,963 (+4,608) 4,502 (+23) 
Italy 238,720 (+221) 34,657 (+23)
Iran 207,525 (+2,573) 9,742 (+119) 
Germany 191,718 (+143) 8,964 (+2)
Turkey 187,685 not yet reported today 4,950
Pakistan 181,088 (+4,471) 3,590 (+89) 
Mexico 180,545 (+5,343) 21,825 (+1,044)
Saudi Arabia 161,005 (+3,393) 1,307 (+40)
Colombia 68,652 (+3,019) 2,237 (+111) 
Ecuador 50,640 (+909) 4,223 (+67)
The Netherlands 49,593 (+91) 6,090 (+1) 
Argentina 42,785 (+1,581) 1,011 (+19)
Bolivia 23,512 (+1,036) 740 (+25)  


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