Tuesday, 9 June 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 9th June 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 9th June 2020.

The UK added 1,387 cases today and now has reported a total of 289,140 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 102,930 tests yesterday. 6,348 people are in hospital, down 17% from this time last week, when it was 7,622. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 286 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 40,883 losses of life in all settings.

England 155,651 / 36,521
Northern Ireland 4,805 / 537
Scotland 15,653 / 2,415
Wales 14,480 / 1,410

Rep. Of Ireland 25,207 cases and 1,683 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 7,250,105 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 410,137. Already 3,567,503 people have recovered.

stay apart 3 fridges UK government advice

The Office for National Statistics have released latest figures for England and Wales for the year up until 29th May:
"Between Weeks 1 and 12, 138,916 deaths were registered, which was 4,822 fewer than the five-year average for these weeks. However, between Weeks 13 and 22, 157,687 deaths were registered, which was 57,961 more than the five-year average. Week 22 showed a continuation of the decreasing trend in excess deaths (both involving COVID-19 and involving other causes)."
"In England, including deaths that occurred up to 29 May but were registered up to 6 June, of those we have processed so far, the number involving COVID-19 was 44,110; the comparative number of death notifications reported by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on GOV.UK was 34,636."

Alok Sharma (glad he's better now) said at today's UK briefing that the ONS have reported 50,107 for the WHOLE UK, DHSC reported 38,593.

Non-essential retail outlets in England will be able to open their doors from 15th June. Physical distancing must be adhered to. Naturally, all businesses have to display a notice saying they've read the guidance, because the UK think we have to have signs for everything and then it's fine. 
Guidance for all businesses such as nail bars and hairdressers will be published by 4th July at the latest, but we can't yet say exactly when they'll open. It is all currently looking pretty positive though. 
The English Government have dropped plans for reopening schools to all pupils before Summer. They've finally realised what we all already know - they haven't met the tests, kids can't socially distance inside English schools, and parents and teachers don't want to be part of their game. 
As the independent SAGE group said, we need to start thinking outside the box and come up with a cleverer plan! 

cumulative deaths England up til 29 may 2020

Talking of the Independent SAGE group - they had a press conference today about Test, Track and Trace. They believe the current system isn't very workable, as we need to capture every single case if possible. In England we've wasted 2 1/2 months and then rushed out a very disorganised system people don't understand or trust. 
They suggest a strategy based on "Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support."
Find - locate every single known case
Test - ensure everyone has access to tests immediately, results need to be available within 24 hours.
Trace - we need a system people trust and understand. We want to catch 80% of contacts. 
Isolate - all contacts of the infected people. This is a vital step and people have to understand why they must isolate, even when they are feeling fine. 
Support - people need to be supported to isolate. Accommodation, financial support and wellbeing checks have to be in place. 

"There is an economic question about the whole 'find, test, trace, isolate, support' process. Not investing in it, I would argue, probably will have very significant financial consequences. Because if you look at countries where the virus has been eliminated, using that mechanism, they are able to resume economic activity, remove their lockdown restrictions and get on with their lives, much earlier." 
"Unless that system is efficient and effective. We will bump along with a continuing infection, with hotspots, with flare ups, maybe even a second wave. That will create much more damage than investing in a system."
Professor Gabriel Scally, President of Epidemiology & Public Health section, Royal Society of Medicine.
He went on to explain environmental health, school and community nurses already use contact tracing and are experts, and we aren't using them. We need to make good use of what we already have, it's far more efficient and cost-effective. 

cumulative deaths  Wales up til 29 may 2020

Welsh schools plan to open up to all pupils from 29th June for a mix of 'in school' with home learning. 
Scottish schools plan to reopen at the start of the autumn term on 11 August, again with some home-learning.
Northern Irish schools plan to open to pupils preparing for exams or moving to secondary schools in late August, with a phased return for other pupils in September.

A study by Imperial College, published in 'Nature' online journal, has estimated the effects of 'non-pharmaceutical interventions' (lockdowns, social distancing, school closures etc.) in 11 European countries, and found restrictions had already saved around 3 million lives by 4th May. 
"Between 12 and 15 million individuals have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 up to 4th May, representing between 3.2% and 4.0% of the population. Our results show that major non-pharmaceutical interventions and lockdown in particular have had a large effect on reducing transmission. Continued intervention should be considered to keep transmission of SARS-CoV-2 under control."

Researchers from Harvard have stared at satellite images and literally counted cars parked nearby Wuhan hospitals, as well as looking at Chinese internet searches, in an effort to find the earliest signs of COVID-19. They've found it could have started far earlier than was previously thought - or it could just be coincidence... 
"In August, we identify a unique increase in searches for diarrhea which was neither seen in previous flu seasons or mirrored in the cough search data. While surprising, this finding lines up with the recent recognition that gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are a unique feature of COVID19 disease and may be the chief complaint of a significant proportion of presenting patients.
This symptom search increase is then followed by a rise in hospital parking lot traffic in October and November, as well as a rise in searches for cough."
They point out that we could really be missing a trick here - a large amount of COVID patients report bad tummies - maybe for a lot of people that's their only symptom? 
"The initial rise in GI symptoms may also hint at the missed early signals of COVID-19 in current surveillance systems for respiratory pathogens. The standard definition for influenza-like illness is a combination of fever along with cough and/or sore throat. This narrow definition, which has focused on detection of influenza transmission, would have missed milder cases with a different symptom mix that also could include loss of taste and smell."
 
English schools promised laptops for disadvantaged pupils - did they get them? And why didn't they just immediately lend out currently unused tablets from schools? 

A study in the Indian Journal of Medical Research has found at least 28% of 40,184 people who tested positive for Covid-19 between January 22 and April 30 in India were asymptomatic. They suspect the true number of asymptomatic people is considerably higher.

WHO have published a summary of transmission of COVID19, including symptomatic, pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission.
"Comprehensive studies on transmission from asymptomatic individuals are difficult to conduct, but the available evidence from contact tracing reported by Member States suggests that asymptomatically-infected individuals are much less likely to transmit the virus than those who develop symptoms."
"Among the available published studies, some have described occurrences of transmission from people who did not have symptoms. For example, among 63 asymptomatically-infected individuals studied in China, there was evidence that 9 (14%) infected another person. Furthermore, among two studies which carefully investigated secondary transmission from cases to contacts, one found no secondary transmission among 91 contacts of 9 asymptomatic cases, while the other reported that 6.4% of cases were attributable to pre-symptomatic transmission."

Thank you to all unpaid carers

Brazil have continued to release some data on COVID cases and losses of life, but it's still unclear what exactly will happen in future, and they have 'corrected some mistakes', prompting the World Health Organisation to remind all countries that hiding data doesn't help anyone. 

There's a hoax in the UK where people are being called by a person who says they are a contact tracer. They tell you that you have to isolate and take a test, then ask for bank card details to pay for the test. 
For UK nationals NHS care is paid for by your taxes, no-one needs to pay for anything ad hoc. 
Never give your bank or card details to some random Bob who rings you and could be anyone. Just because they are on the phone or the Internet, they don't have any more credibility than a person at your door wearing a paper crown and calling themselves a king. 

Hopefully the last word from Jacinda Ardern and New Zealand, who can find no positive cases anywhere in the country. 
‘We have tested almost 40,000 people for COVID-19 in the past 17 days and none have tested positive.’
"We are confident we have eliminated transmission of the virus in New Zealand for now, but elimination is not a point in time, it is a sustained effort."
"We will almost certainly see cases here again, and that is not a sign that we have failed. It's a reality of this virus." 

The Dutch are determined their fun won't end. A nightclub in The Netherlands has reopened, with social distancing in place. 30 patrons can enjoy the DJ at once and the club hoped to let people dance, but the spoilsport (and probably wise) local authorities said they have to sit down for now. I'm raving. I'm raving. Although finally wheelchair users get to enjoy 100% of the club night experience and have plenty of space on the dance floor....

Some people, all of them born on the same planet as you:

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

USA 2,032,545 (+6,052) 113,379 (+324)
Brazil 711,696 (+809) 37,359 (+47) 
Russia 485,253 (+8,595) 6,142 (+171) 
UK 289,140 (+1,387) 40,883 (+286)
Spain 288,797 not yet reported today 27,136
India 273,443 (+7,515) 7,558 (+85)
Peru 199,696 not yet reported today 5,571
Iran 175,927 (+2,095) 8,425 (+74)
Chile 142,759 (+3,913) 2,283 (+19)
Mexico 120,102 (+2,999) 14,053 (+354) 
Saudi Arabia 108,571 (+3,288) 783 (+37) 
Pakistan 108,317 (+4,646) 2,172 (+105) 
Canada 96,474 (+230) 7,849 (+14)
China 83,043 (+3) 4,634
Qatar 71,879 (+1,721) 62 (+5)
Bangladesh 71,675 (+3,171) 975 (+45) 
Belgium 59,437 (+89) 9,619 (+13) 
.
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Sources: 

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/
https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending29may2020
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_4v3wODk04
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-brazil/brazil-driving-in-the-dark-on-covid-19-as-data-scandal-deepens-idUSKBN23F1NK
https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/28-of-covid-19-cases-in-india-till-april-30-are-asymptomatic-study/story-BAf00nsJmmHXouoRwTypfJ.html
https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/42669767/Satellite_Images_Baidu_COVID19_manuscript_preprint.pdf
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2405-7

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