Wednesday 3 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 3rd June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 3rd June 2020.

The UK added 1,871 cases today and now has reported a total of 279,856 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 171,829 tests yesterday. 7,485 people are in hospital, down 16% from this time last week. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 359 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 39,728 losses of life in all settings.

England 153,376 / 35,456
Northern Ireland 4,740 / 526
Scotland 15,504 / 2,375
Wales 14,203 / 1,371

Rep. Of Ireland 25,111 (+45) cases and 1,659 (+1) losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 6,513,890 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 384,642. Already 3,100,971 people have recovered.

Face masks In shops and crowded places

I forgot to mention yesterday that on 31st May the UK had reported 38,489 losses, and on 1st June we reported another 111 for a total 39,045. This was due to an additional 445 losses being added on separately as they'd been missed earlier. 

Today's UK briefing was with that man who, since February, has had a divorce, a baby and a nasty case of COVID-19 - Boris Johnson. 
He explained that we are seeing cases drop, it is improving, we are moving from a national lockdown to local lockdowns and isolation. If you have symptoms, it's important you order a test immediately and isolate. If a contact tracer tells you to isolate, stay home for 14 days. 

Public said Spain don't seem to have had a second wave, why would we think we might? Because we didn't do everything like Spain is the answer. 
Public also asked "What help is there for parents with no childcare options?" Boris fumbled for a long time, and then pulled this rabbit out of the hat: 
"Obviously employers have to be reasonable, and If someone can't get childcare, then that is clearly a reason for them not to be able to go back to work." 
Remember those words....  
Chris Witty mentioned face coverings - he called them 'face cloths' and then got really embarrassed. He said this virus will be with us for months to come, and we will have to accept some measures throughout that time - mainly social distancing, face coverings when we are in enclosed spaces with other people (such as shops / public transport) and other minor annoyances. 
Boris said he thinks that every young person should have access to an apprenticeship, to help replace some of the jobs lost by the crisis.

The UK is introducing a 14 day quarantine from Monday, for arrivals at the border. This is a mere 4 months later than a lot of people would have liked. We will create international travel corridors with willing victims, when the evidence shows it is safe to do so (for them mainly).
Sir Patrick Vallance said that the scientific advice given to the government is to apply quarantine to any arrivals coming from countries with a worse incidence of COVID-19 than us. This is really important - recently the UK science people are being accused of giving advice based on political decision, not science. By telling us the advice before the government has a chance to decide exact policy, we will know if it really is "based on science". He did it on purpose, and he regains some scientific credibility - go Patrick. 

Chris Whitty answered questions about schools opening to more pupils. He said it's very unlikely that children become very ill, and most primary school parents are low risk.There's an obvious implication there - they aren't going to be surprised if schoolchildren and their parents catch COVID-19. 

030620 estimated covid deaths

Tomorrow Boris and the UK will host the meeting of GAVI - the Global Vaccine Alliance - who work to ensure the world's poorest countries have access to vaccines or treatments, and to ensure they maintain current vaccine programmes despite COVID-19. If we want to ever eradicate COVID-19, or keep it suppressed to manageable levels,  it will have to be worldwide. You've seen how fast it can spread.

Schools in Wales will re-open to all pupils on June 29, in a staged return, which will see all pupils in school around 1/3 of the time. The Summer term will end a week late on July 27,  but October half term will be 2 weeks instead of 1. 

WHO have resumed the Hydroxychloroquine leg of the SOLIDARITY treatment trials. They've reviewed all available data and believe the risk is not as great as was feared last week:
"The Data Safety and Monitoring Committee will continue to closely monitor the safety of all therapeutics being tested in the Solidarity Trial.
So far, more than 3500 patients have been recruited in 35 countries"

030620 estimated UK admissions covid

Brazil's nightmare just gets worse. President Bolsonaro is still calling for everything to reopen and return to business as usual, despite a massive surge in cases. They have only tested 0.93m people, yet have almost 560k cases, and have lost over 31k people. 

By comparison to Brazil:
The USA have tested 18.6m people, have 1.88m cases, and have lost 108k people. 
The UK have tested 4.6m people, have almost 278k cases, and have lost 39k people.
Spain have tested 4m people, have 287k cases, and have lost 27k people.
Germany have tested 3.9m people, have 184k cases, and have lost 8.6k people.
Russia have tested 11.4m people, have 432k cases, and have lost 5.2k people.
India have tested 4.1m people, have 209k cases, and have lost 5.8k people.
Sweden have tested 275k people, have almost 41k cases, and have lost 4.5k people.

Although number of tests is a useful guide to how many cases a country really has, you have to consider where you are in the outbreak (going up or down the curve) and at which points they are able to test every suspected case. Some countries start early and catch all cases they can from the start (Germany), some haven't ever really tested people who aren't admitted to hospital (Brazil / Sweden).
Russia and India's outbreaks are newer, and sadly more patients will succumb over time. India's testing capability is actually very limited, and unconfirmed reports about how Russia's health system is coping are not encouraging. Spain is into recovery now, with only around 250 new cases a day reported. The UK is in recovery, albeit very slowly, and the USA as a whole has been at a plateau now, with around 22-26k new cases a day, for the last 7 or 8 weeks. 

A team from King's College, London and Guy's & St Thomas are conducting a trial to see if Lipid Ibuprofen reduces need for critical care and ventilation, or speeds up recovery time. The headlines aren't making it clear - this is NOT the Ibuprofen you would usually have in your cupboard. It's a special formulation which some people use for inflammatory conditions like Arthritis, and it's hoped that it'll reduce inflammation in the lungs. 
Back in February initial reports from Italy suggested Ibuprofen might make symptoms worse, but in trials no evidence could be found. It's likely that the patients concerned weren't more poorly because they were taking Ibuprofen, they were just taking more ibuprofen because they were poorly. 

Chester Zoo is desperate and has made a public appeal for donations. It needs £1.6m a month just to survive, but we have no way of knowing when it'll be safe for zoos to open, and partly because we can pass COVID-19 on to many of the animals. It has to be safe for them as well as for us. I'd imagine all zoos and animal sanctuaries are facing the same problem, and not just in the UK. 

Don't forget to talk to your children. Those who have gone back to school may hear things from other children which create new questions, and those who aren't at school might be feeling it a bit more. Most of their worries will be the same as yours, so you can take responsibility for those, and a lot of their other worries can be solved by a grown up's lifetime of experience. 

I take back what I said yesterday, Italy have included the UK as one of the countries allowed freedom to travel from today - as well as the EU countries and the Schengen zone. They have also lifted restrictions on movement within the country. They're worried the tourists won't come because Italy was so badly hit by COVID-19. I'd be worried they will come and bring it back! 

The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs has lifted a travel warning for non-essential trips to 21 European countries, including the UK. 

Enjoy the park 2m apart

Russia is approving the use of a version of drug favipiravir for COVID-19 trials. This is an anti-flu drug which is already at stage 3 trials in India. 

Marvel comics illustrator Will Sliney has designed the print on face masks for children who travel on easyJet flights. You can be a lion or a pilot - which I honestly thought was Iron Man at first glance... 

Thousands of people (including John Boyega) converged on Hyde Park in London for peaceful protest today, to show support for the Black Lives Matter campaign, after the deaths of George Floyd in the US and railway worker Belly Mujinga in the UK (she was purposefully spat at by a man who said he had COVID-19. He was not charged with any crime). Among the crowds were people with placards reminding everyone to isolate for 2 weeks after the protest, even though by all accounts so far social distancing has been mostly respected. 

Fabulous children's book author and Illustrator Rob Biddulph has set a new world record and raised over £50,000 for charity, by hosting the largest ever online art session. He helped 45,611 people draw a blue whale. He has loads of excellent cartoon #DrawWithRob 10 minute videos online.

21 countries or territories have now declared themselves free of COVID-19 as all known cases have had an outcome. 

Some people. Some of them never went to school, but they all had something to teach us...

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

USA 1,890,239 (+9,034) 108,567 (+508) 
Brazil 560,737 (+4,069) 31,417 (+139) 
Russia 432,277 (+8,536) 5,215 (+178) 
Spain 287,012 not yet reported today 27,127
UK 279,856 (+1,871) 39,728 (+359)
Italy 233,836 (+321) 33,601 (+71)
India 216,429 (+9,238) 6,087 (+258) 
Germany 184,214 (+123) 8,680 (+6)
Peru 174,884 not yet reported today 4,767
Turkey 166,422 (+867) 4,609 (+24) 
Iran 160,696 (+3,134) 8,012 (+70) 
France 151,325 not yet reported today 28,940
Chile 113,628 (+4,942) 1,275 (+87) 
Mexico 97,326 (+3,891) 10,637 (+470) 
Canada 93,040 (+630) 7,495 (+100) 


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