Friday 5 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 5th June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 5th June 2020.

The UK added 1,650 cases today and now has reported a total of 283,311 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 207,231 tests yesterday.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 357 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We are now the second country worldwide to have lost over 40,000 people. We now very sadly have a total of 40,261 losses of life, among those who have tested positive in all settings.

England 154,258 / 35,948
Northern Ireland 4,776 / 535
Scotland 15,582 / 2,395
Wales 14,314 / 1,383

Rep. Of Ireland 25,142 cases and 1,664 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 6,767,303 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 395,189. Already 3,297,237 people have recovered.

Masks how to wear them safely WHO advice

"Like so many, I am appalled at the death of George Floyd, and I understand why people are deeply upset - but we are still facing a health crisis, and coronavirus remains a real threat. And the reason that it's vital people stick to the rules this weekend, is to protect themselves and their family from this horrific disease. Please, for the safety of your loved ones, do not attend gatherings, including demonstrations, of more than 6 people."
Matt Hancock, UK Health Secretary. 

Today's England briefing was with Matt Hancock on his own. He asked for people who have had confirmed coronavirus to come forward, to donate blood plasma for people who are currently sick with COVID-19. 
Masks are to be worn far more in hospital settings:
Everyone visiting hospital, including outpatients, now has to wear a face covering. 
All hospital staff will have to wear a mask at all times and in all areas, except COVID-secure areas. 
Public asked about zoos. Matt had no idea, but is from Chester, so fingers crossed it causes some chatter, and they at least consider helping them out. 
He says they're using regionally focussed data already, and the flare up in Weston Super Mare seems to have been brought under control. 
Press asked about the Public Health England report (see below) which says the R number may be around 1 in certain areas. He admits the R is high, but says it remains below 1, between 0.7 and 0.9. Local measures will be considered if necessary. 

Public Health England have published estimated R numbers for UK regions. This data was modelled by a team from PHE and statistical modellers at the MRC Biostatistics Unit (BSU), University of Cambridge, and it is what SAGE use to make their own decisions about government advice. We aren't being good enough guys:
East of England 0.94 (range 0.73 - 1.14)
London 0.95 (0.72 - 1.20)
Midlands 0.90 (0.73 - 1.07)
North East and Yorkshire 0.89 (0.75 - 1.04)
North West 1.01 (0.83 - 1.18)
South East 0.97 (0.78 - 1.17)
South West 1.00 (0.77 - 1.29)

The Office for National Statistics have published results of the random UK household monitoring, which is trying to ascertain how many of us have had COVID-19. They estimate that:
- At any given time between 17 May and 30 May 2020, an average of 0.10% of the community population had COVID-19 (this equates to an average of 53,000 people in England).
- There were an estimated 39,000 new COVID-19 infections per week in England between 26 April and 30 May 2020 (0.07 new cases per 100 people).
- Individuals working outside the home show higher rates of positive tests than those who work from home.
- Patient-facing healthcare workers and resident-facing social care workers show higher rates of positive tests than people not working in these roles.
- Those who have symptoms are more likely to test positive. Out of those within our study who have ever tested positive for COVID-19, 29% reported symptoms at the time of the visit or at either the preceding or following visit.

050620 number of people in hospitals UK

NHS England's "world beating track and trace" won't be fully operational until September or October - not exactly "world beating" or helpful, and frankly another example of the ridiculous bureaucracy and pointless faffing which means we are mostly world beating at taking forever to do anything. 
Google and Apple came together back in April to jointly announce an anonymous track and trace, which was available to any country which didn't already have one, and uses technology already built into your phone. Many countries already run successful tracks and trace apps. England seem determined to pay someone to create their own, and save the data collected for up for 20 years. 
There is literally no need for this, and it appears to be entirely financial. The Guardian report an email from SERCO boss says he wants to "cement the position of the private sector" in the NHS,  and once data is 'anonymised' it can be sold on. Now is not the time to squeeze as much profit as possible out of something so important. 

In an interview today, Nicola Sturgeon said:
“I think at moments like this, whether it’s America or any other country, you need a leader – difficult though it is and none of us are perfect in any of these situations – that tries to bring people together and heal divides and address underlying issues and not one that seems to want to further polarise and provoke and force people into on two different sides.
“I don’t know, I say this with with no malice or relish. I don’t know whether Donald Trump is capable of that kind of leadership, but if there’s ever a moment for him to prove that he is then surely that moment is now.”

050620 number of people died from covid UK

The front page of Brazilian newspaper Folha De S.Paulo today bears the red text:
“While you were reading this text one more Brazilian has died because of coronavirus,” 
1 person per minute is currently dying from COVID-19 in Brazil.
The study which found 'use of Hydroxychloroquine with COVID-19 patients increased mortality' has been retracted by the authors. Peer reviewers were unable to access all necessary data to check the findings, so it fails. The World Health Organisation initially paused their trials of Hydroxychloroquine after it was published, but have now resumed them.

A not yet peer reviewed study, by the Centre for the Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases COVID-19 working group, has looked at how effective non-medical interventions in the UK have been at reducing transmission, and how that will translate in coming months. It's a particularly hard thing to estimate, as no country brings in 1 restriction at a time. They modelled 200 different scenarios. Their findings include:
- Without any intervention and allowing COVID-19 to run through the population would result in an average 23m cases with symptoms by December 2021 "this would result in a projected 350 000 deaths (170 000–480 000) directly attributable to COVID-19, without accounting for any potential increase in the CFR caused by exceeding hospital capacity." 
- No one restrictive measure is sufficient to keep the R level below 1 on it's own.
- "the most stringent lockdown scenario resulted in a projected 120 000 cases (46 000–700 000) and 50 000 deaths (9300–160 000). Intensive interventions with lockdown periods would need to be in place for a large proportion of the coming year to prevent health-care demand exceeding availability."

Remember Brexit? Well, it turns out Boris hasn't been very busy there either and they're really miffed. Michel Barnier publicly and live on TV has called him out for reneging on the agreement and refusing to even discuss some elements including fishing, foreign policy and defence. 

Gruffalo and The Gruffalos child Julia Donaldson

Police in Wales have turned away over 1,000 day trippers in the last 2 days. You have freedom to spread COVID-19 all over England, but the Welsh and Scottish governments don't allow pleasure trips of more than 5 miles. 

Fiji has declared itself COVID-free. They have reported 18 cases and all have recovered. 

Fiji join other nations where all cases have recovered and no losses of life have occurred. Well done to everyone in The Falkland Islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Timor-Leste, Eritrea, Macao, French Polynesia, Faeroe Islands, Greenland, The Seychelles, Papua New Guinea, Caribbean Netherlands, St. Barth, Anguilla and Saint Pierre Miquelon. 

There are still a few places on the globe which have escaped COVID-19 entirely (although at least one of these may be pretending) -  Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, North Korea, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu and Vanuatu have not reported any cases. 

Some countries. Just for today I've ordered them by number of people they have lost to COVID. Every number represents a unique human being:

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

USA 1,933,527 (+9,476) 110,522 (+349)
UK 283,311 (+1,650) 40,261 (+357) 
Brazil 621,877 (+6,007) 34,212 (+173)
Italy 234,531 (+518) 33,774 (+85) 
France 152,444 not yet reported today 29,065
Spain 288,058 (+318) 27,134 (+1)
Mexico 105,680 (+4,442) 12,545 (+816) 
Belgium 58,907 (+140) 9,566 (+18) 
Germany 185,354 (+431) 8,758 (+22) 
Iran 167,156 (+2,886) 8,134 (+63)
Canada 94,070 (+344) 7,652 (+15) 
India 235,769 (+9,056) 6,641 (+278) 
Netherlands 47,152 (+210) 6,005 (+15) 
Russia 449,834 (+8,726) 5,528 (+144) 


Where to donate plasma when you've had COVID-19 -

Gruffalo sheets - current R number
Public Health England R Numbers -

Reimposed quarantines:
Japan, China, South Korea, Lebanon, Germany, Iran, Saudi Arabia, El Salvador, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Pakistan

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