Sunday 28 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 27/28 June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 27/28 June 2020.

The UK added 901 cases today and now has reported a total of 311,151 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 127,709 tests yesterday. 

Latest official figures show 4,657 people are in hospital (this was actually reported on Monday, 22 June). 276 people are using a mechanical ventilator (this was reported on Thursday 25th June). 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 36 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 43,550 losses of life in all settings.

England 160,292 / 39,015
Northern Ireland 4,878 / 549 (Northern Ireland government's official count this teatime is 5,751 / 550.)
Scotland 15,815 / 2,482
Wales 15,602 / 1,504

Rep. Of Ireland 25,437 cases and 1,734 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

In the last five months, over ten million cases of Covid-19 have been officially reported, and over half a million people have died. 
There have now been a total of 10,169,378 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 502,797. Already 5,508,346 people have recovered.

market shopping physical distancing UK government

Leicester may be about to face additional restrictions, as cases are rising rapidly, risking hospital capacity. Over 600 of their cases were reported in the 2 week period up to June 16th. 

Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday that the priority had to be driving the virus "as far as we can towards total elimination". Over the last 3 days Scotland has reported no losses of life to Covid. On the BBC Prof Devi Sridhar, of Edinburgh University said they could actually be free of Covid by the end of Summer if they continue on the same trajectory, and according to reports, are advising that visitors from England should have to quarantine on arrival. 
(In case you are reading Nicola, do it!! Protect yourselves. A bloke called Hadrian had an awesome idea to protect England from threats from Scotland...)

People are pointing out that US states which have made face coverings mandatory are doing far, far better than states which didn't. While face coverings physically definitely make a difference, the whole viewpoint and stance from those in power is probably more important. 
The states mandating masks also have leaders who are taking risk from Covid-19 very seriously. The states which aren't encouraging masks are those with a more wishy washy approach. You only have to look at the UK right now to see how much difference it can make. We haven't actually removed restrictions yet - our public government figures just got wishy washy about it, and the public have responded by thinking it's all over. 

The Explainer magazine has called COVID "the world’s first truly globalised pandemic". Scientists studying how it has spread around the globe look at those teeny tiny mutations. They've found a tiger at Bronx Zoo, a woman in Melbourne and a man in Taiwan all gave blood samples which tested positive for the same strain within a few days of each other. 

When we talk about mutations, almost all of them are entirely insignificant on their own. A human equivalent would be having one boob bigger than the other or being an inch taller than your parent. It takes quite a bit more than that before you are unrecognisable as a human. Covid-19 acquires mutations all the time, and obviously occasionally a bigger mutation can occur. 
The '2, 3 or 4 major strains' theories (which have a lot of evidence behind them) surmised that the 'European strain' which is also the one mainly affecting the USA, is a mutation from an earlier, slower and less aggressive Wuhan strain. (Wuhan did also suffer the European strain, it's just been informally given that name for clarity, as it is the one which ran riot through Europe, including the UK.)  

Meet outdoors 6 people 2 metres

Excitingly, people who live 3,000 or more metres above sea level fare much better than those who don't. The head of the public health commission at Peru’s Medical College, Augusto Tarazona, in an interview with AFP said:
“In those cities in elevated areas there are minimal cases and almost zero mortality. That has caught our attention.”
Places over 3,000 metres include areas of Tibet, Peru, China, India, Nepal, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, Bhutan and Kyrgyzstan. 
Scientists don't yet know why this is. Theories include more UV light which kills off more airborne and surface virus, and the more complicated theory that because people who live at high altitude exist on less oxygen, there are less receptors in their lungs to accept the virus, so less chance it'll actually take hold. 
Personally - we know Covid-19 affects the blood, so the fact high altitude people's blood has a different constitution to ours (more haemoglobin in red blood cells to carry more oxygen) can't be dismissed either.

Some European countries have for some unknown reason said they'll allow people from the UK to visit without quarantine, and we will reciprocate, forming a 'travel corridor'. (It's no fun taking Covid-19 abroad if you can't also have people back to your place to make sure they catch it.) The list will not include Portugal, and will be published next week. 

Trump of the day:
According to the people who were responsible for setting up the arena for his disastrous Tulsa rally (ticket sales showed many thousands of supporters would be there, but it turned out the majority of the free tickets were ordered by people who never intended to go), before the event thousands of "Do not sit here" social distancing stickers were removed from chairs. Because cramming them in is more important than keeping them well? 

Singapore is really not impressed with people who break lockdown. Between 1 May and 25 June, 140 people had their permission to work in Singapore revoked for breaking Covid-19 restrictions, including 4 British men photographed illegally drinking together and not wearing masks. 

Bloomberg has a good thread on Twitter looking at why the USA had a comparable number of cases to Europe, and Europe is mainly in recovery while the US has a rapidly increasing upward trajectory:
"Many states were happy to reopen after simply "bending the curve" — that is, slowing upward growth and ensuring spare hospital capacity. These states went on to expand economic activity at an elevated plateau with lots of ongoing transmissions. In contrast, European countries mostly waited to reopen until they crushed the curve or reached its far slope, with substantially lower incidence or dramatic reductions in the viral spread."

Don't litter it spreads disease

The United States has spent the weekend breaking it's own records. On Saturday (their time) they reported a total of 45,942 new cases, 9,585 of which were in Florida alone. 

The UK's Oxford vaccine is now undergoing clinical human trials in the UK, South Africa, and world Covid-19 hotspot, Brazil. Let's hope it works perfectly well. 

Bonus Trump of the weekend:
"THE VAST SILENT MAJORITY IS ALIVE AND WELL!!! We will win this Election big. Nobody wants a Low IQ person in charge of our Country, and Sleepy Joe is definitely a Low IQ person!" 
I can't believe it, but I agree with Donald - well, the middle bit at least. Politicians should definitely be employed based on actual intelligence - maybe give them a 24 piece jigsaw test for the first round of interviews, weed out those who can't be trusted with anything more complex than a clothes peg.  

Taiwan is free of domestic COVID and usually celebrates Pride in October, but this weekend they hosted the world's only in-person Pride parade, in the pouring rain, to show solidarity with people around the world. 
Organisers even handed out rainbow masks to all participants. 

Some people, all of them with parents, some with children:

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

USA 2,617,847 (+21,310) 128,243 (+91)
Brazil 1,319,274 (+3,333) 57,149 (+46) 
Russia 634,437 (+6,791) 9,073 (+104)
India 548,817 (+19,240) 16,485 (+382)
UK 311,151 (+901) 43,550 (+36) 
Spain 295,549 not yet reported today 28,341
Peru 275,989 not yet reported today 9,135
Chile 271,982 (+4,216) 5,509 (+162) 
Italy 240,310 (+174) 34,738 (+22) 
Iran 222,669 (+2,489) 10,508 (+144)
Mexico 212,802 (+4,410) 26,381 (+602)
Pakistan 202,955 (+4,072) 4,118 (+83)
Indonesia 54,010 (+1,198) 2,754 (+34)
Netherlands 50,147 (+73) 6,105
UAE 47,797 (+437) 313 (+2)
Iraq 45,402 (+2,140) 1,756 (+96) 
Kuwait 44,942 (+551) 348 (+4) 
Singapore 43,459 (+213) 26
Ukraine 42,982 (+917) 1,129 (+19)
Portugal 41,646 (+457) 1,564 (+3)
Oman 38,150 (+1,197) 163 (+4) .


"America's scary Covid-19 curve has a simple explanation"

1 comment:

  1. Here's hope we all turn a corner this week and can enjoy the new normal. Hope you've had a good weekend x


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