Tuesday 23 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 23rd June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 23rd June 2020.

The UK added 874 cases today and now has reported a total of 306,210 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 237,142 tests yesterday. We have 340 people who are on a mechanical ventilator. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 171 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 42,927 losses of life in all settings.

England 159,328 / 38,427
Northern Ireland 4,871 / 545
Scotland 15,794 / 2,472
Wales 15,295 / 1,483

Rep. Of Ireland 25,391 (+10) cases and 1,720 (+3) losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 9,268,399 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 476,372. Already 4,992,150 people have recovered.

wash hands new

"We have to live alongside this virus for the forseeable future, and find a way... No decision is going to be risk-free. It's about finding a balance of risks that allows us to operate in a reasonably normal way for a prolonged period."
Chris 'he never blinks' Whitty, CMO England.

In parliament this afternoon Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a big change to ENGLAND FROM 4th JULY which is mostly due to pressure from business and has absolutely nothing to do with science. 
Wherever the 2m physical distancing rule is not possible, 1m should be observed WITH other measures. This is the 1m+ plus rule apparently and it ONLY APPLIES TO ENGLAND. Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland have already said they're sticking with 2m. (The government's advisory SAGE group study found 2m was 2 - 10 times safer than 1m.) 
In addition, in England FROM 4th July people from 2 different households can meet in any location, including indoors and even overnight, but should observe 1m physical distancing. This does mean parents can have childcare from friends and family. (It doesn't include shielded people, who will receive personalised advice from their doctor, and should observe the rules given yesterday.) 
FROM 4th JULY in ENGLAND the following can reopen, as long as social distancing and hygiene policies are observed:
1. Pubs, cafes, restaurants and bars. (You will have to give your name to the staff in case contact tracing is later necessary.)
2. Cinemas, museums and galleries.
3. Hair salons and barbers (Eh? What? How is a hairdresser going to manage 1m distance? Erm well - they have to use PPE instead - a visor for example)
4. Libraries and community centres, and places of worship (which are already open for private prayer).
5. Hotels, B&B's, holiday homes and campsites
6. Outdoor playgrounds and gyms. 
7. Funfairs, theme parks and amusement arcades. 
8. Weddings with fewer than 30 guests. 

4th July England reopening list

Today's England briefing was with New York-born journalist, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and some scientists -  Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England and Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK Science Chief. 
Bojo started out by mentioning the 5 tests and how fabulously we've done. He talked about how sensible everyone has been (we didn't want to die, you div) and thanked us for abiding by restrictions. The next stage will be mainly guidance and not legislation (we only have about 12 coppers for the whole UK, they can't police this). Then he detailed everything he'd already announced earlier. 
We are reminded wash your hands, stay away physically from people who aren't your household or bubble, and restrictions will come back at local or national level as required. 
The latest R value is 0-7-0.9 in all areas of the UK.
The outbreak is shrinking by around 2 to 4% a day. 
An estimated 0.06% or 33,000 of the community (not hospitals, hostels, care homes) had covid at any time during the period 31st May to 13th June.
An estimated 5.4% of individuals tested positive for antibodies. (94.6% have not yet been exposed to COVID.) 
We are reminded we have to get out of the general population asap if we have symptoms, and order a test. 
The 1m+ rule has to have a 'PLUS'. By using screens, masks, visors etc. you can create a similar risk to 2m.
There is a risk we may have an increase in cases in the Winter and lockdown measures may return. 
Chris Whitty talked about everything he could think of - face coverings, wash hands, shielding, get tested immediately if you have symptoms etc. You can tell he knows his voice is about to be taken away. 
He warns that if people don't take mitigation seriously, if they think it's okay to go back to normal, then absolutely cases will go up and we will go back to the start. 
When press asked Chris and Patrick if they agreed with the measures taken by the government, they both said no option is risk-free, and talked about 'the long haul', but didn't commit to a Yes or No. 
Chris Whitty believes we will most likely have to live with COVID for another year.  
And that was the final UK Govt (England) daily COVID briefing. 

Much as I hate to point it out, yesterday's UK loss of life total was 42,647. If we add today's 171 new reported losses to that, we get 42,818. 109 extra lost souls were added to the total in the last 24 hours:
"Due to improvements in how the COVID-19 death data is processed in England, a further 109 deaths that occurred in April, May and June 2020 have been confirmed in addition to 166 new deaths reported to PHE today. This means that the cumulative deaths total is 109 higher than the change between yesterday's deaths total and today's."
Adding 280 new losses of life on such a big news day wouldn't have sat well, but it's how they've ALWAYS done it in the past, despite that explanation.

Caravan sites and holiday parks in Northern Ireland can open from June 26th. 

All children will be back in Scottish schools when they return from Summer break in August, as long as cases continue to decrease as they have been. 

Loneliness UK Govt NHS

Pakistan is struggling. They imposed restrictions in March, but weren't able to sustain them economically, so they were lifted, and now everything except gyms, schools, restaurants and wedding halls has reopened. The WHO suggested countries struggling financially alternate 2 weeks lockdown with 2 weeks opened up, but Pakistani government ministers rejected the plan, and the WHO have subsequently been accused of trying to control the country. Misinformation is rife, many people believe Covid-19 is not real, and it's all a plot between doctors and government to cover up people dying because of a failing health service. 

Luxury Cruise News:
Carnival Cruise Lines have cancelled all cruises until September 30th. 

Liberia has extended it's state of emergency for another 30 days. It was declared on April 8 and restrictions imposed including quarantines, 3pm curfews, mask wearing and movement bans, but cases continue to increase and they are trying to come down really hard. Fingers crossed. They have reported a total 652 (+2) cases and have lost 34 people. 

The UK study on Dexamethasone was published today (not yet peer-reviewed, but pretty clear and already in widespread use). Dexamethasone reduced deaths by one-third in patients receiving invasive mechanical ventilation (29.0% vs. 40.7%), by one-fifth in patients receiving oxygen without invasive mechanical ventilation (21.5% vs. 25.0%), but did not reduce mortality in patients not receiving respiratory support at randomization (17.0% vs. 13.2%). 
I'm happy to remind you that Dexamethasone is ridiculously cheap (around £5 per patient for a whole course, and only pennies in India), widely available everywhere worldwide, and it's been used for 60 years for skin conditions, asthma, arthritis etc.  

intu shopping centres are in trouble. They are attempting to calm investors and looking for a longer term pause in loan repayments. Shares have fallen dramatically what with no-one going shopping. Yesterday a shareholder was arrested after going into Manchester Intu and damaging things after asking to speak to a manager. 

Initial patients will be vaccinated in South Africa's first clinical human trial of a covid vaccine this week. The Ox1Cov-19 Vaccine VIDA-Trial might sound slightly familiar. That's because it is in collaboration with University of Oxford... ahhhh. Fingers crossed all round - South Africa are just entering Winter. 

Germany's meat packing plant outbreak in G├╝tersloh hasn't just pushed their R up to 2.88, it's closed schools and nurseries in the area, quarantined around 7,000 people. More restrictions, including whole area lockdowns or curfews are having to be considered. Over 1,500 workers have been infected and the owner has publicly apologised. 

Unsurprisingly, world no.1 tennis player Novac Djokovic has now tested positive for COVID. His Adria Tour tennis tournament ended early when a player was taken ill, and now they are falling like flies. Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric, Viktor Troicki, Djokovic's wife Jelena, a coach and a trainer have all tested positive so far. 

Shielding people 6th July outdoors

Cinemas in France have found a novel way to make sure patrons don't sit too close together - big soft toy Minions are sitting in some of the seats, and household groups can sit together in the spaces in between.  

Today would have been Alan Turing's 108th birthday. He is largely responsible for the fact you can read this now, as he invented his automatic computing machine back in 1936. He is widely regarded as the father of modern computing, and he also helped solve the enigma code and bring an end to the war. 
He died from cyanide poisoning in 1954, 2 years after being chemically castrated as an alternative to prison, for being gay. Homosexuality was legalised in the UK in 1967, and Mr Turing was pardoned by the Queen in 2013. A mere 59 years too late to save his life. 

Today is also Public Service Day. A huge thank you from me to everyone who keeps everything going, and has done all along. You are the public face of help, transportation and communication, and the behind the scenes peiple who hold it all together. Special thanks to the people who have kept our bins empty, drains clear and our sewage treated - we'd be lost without you. 

Some numbers. Every one represents a real person somewhere on our shared Earth:

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

USA 2,401,613 (+13,460) 122,877 (+267)
Brazil 1,117,430 (+6,082) 51,502 (+95) 
Russia 599,705 (+7,425) 8,359 (+153)
India 455,805 (+15,355) 14,483 (+468) 
UK 306,210 (+921) 42,927 (+280) 
Spain 293,584 not yet reported today 28,324
Peru 257,447 not yet reported today 8,223
Chile 250,767 (+3,804) 4,505 (+3)
Italy 238,833 (+113) 34,675 (+18)
Iran 209,970 (+2,445) 9,863 (+121)
Germany 192,532 (+413) 8,979 (+10)
Turkey 190,165 (+1,268) 5,001 (+27) 
Mexico 185,122 (+4,577) 22,584 (+759)
Pakistan 185,034 (+3,946) 3,695 (+105)
Saudi Arabia 164,144 (+3,139) 1,346 (+39) 



1 comment:

  1. Goodness so much news and conflicting information in different parts of the world. I am not sure what to think anymore. Schools out and I'm away for a lie down lol. Before I go, you have done an incredible job and your posts are the best thing to come out of the pandemic xx


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I read every one and try my best to reply!