Tuesday 14 July 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 13/14 July 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 13/14 July 2020.

The UK officially added 398 cases today and now has reported a total of 291,373 positive cases of COVID-19. 2,172 people were in hospital last Thursday, 9th - which is a long time ago, and the figure they've used since Sunday. They've also not updated people using ventilators, which was 191 on Friday 10th. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we reported the loss of another 138 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 44,968 losses of life in all settings.

England 250,379 /40,379
Northern Ireland 5,790 / 556
Scotland 18,368 / 2,490
Wales 16,836 / 1,543

Rep. Of Ireland 25,638 cases and 1,746 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 13,337,515 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 577,885. Already 7,782,643 people have recovered.

Avoid the 3 C's WHO advice Close contact enclosed spaces crowds

"There will be no return to the “old normal” for the foreseeable future. But there is a roadmap to a situation where we can control COVID19 and get on with our lives. No matter where a country is in its epidemic curve, it is never too late to take decisive action."
Dr Tedros, Head of the World Health Organisation. 

Well, waddayaknow. You WILL have to wear face coverings in shops and supermarkets in England from a week on Friday. It will be genuinely mandatory, with a £100 fine for non-compliance, reduced to £50 if you pay within 14 days.
"From 24 July, it will be mandatory to wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets, as well as on public transport. Your face covering must cover your nose and mouth at all times."
"You don't need to wear face coverings if: 
- physical or mental illness, impairment or disability means you cannot wear one
- wearing one causes you severe distress 
- you or someone you’re travelling with or providing assistance to relies on lip reading"
Previous UK Guidance on face coverings says they should NOT be used by children under 3, and children under 11 don't have to wear them on public transport, so I'm guessing shops will be the same (but wait until they say for sure). That said, you can get some cute little visors which clip onto sun hats and caps as an alternative - in all sizes. 

Already the English face coverings backlash and anti-backlash has started on social media, with some people referring to face coverings as muzzles. If you can't speak when you're wearing it, you have it on wrong. If it's preventing you biting other people, bonus. 
It's a tiny bit of cloth, and it'll get us out of restrictions more quickly - plus that sideline bonus of saving people's actual lives... 

There has been a spike in cases in South Liverpool, and it's particularly among young people aged 15-24. YOU ARE NOT IMMUNE just because you have youth on your side. Imagine discovering you couldn't ever go diving, or you'll never be able to run 5k, can't play a 90 minute match, or you passed it on to your Nan. Look at the people dying after the USA's COVID parties if you want to know the worst. Sure, you'll probably be fine. Probably.

WHO transmission person to person but also on surfaces image showing two people

Bad news from Kings College, London, on Sunday night. The results are in from an antibody study of people who have previously had confirmed COVID. 
They have found that after 3 months there is a strong antibody response from very, very few people. This is pretty catastrophic as regards any useful long term immunity via transmission (catching it) or vaccine. Don't let this take you down.  This is a pre-print unchecked paper, and straightforward vaccine was never our only option. 
Level of antibody response peaked around 3 weeks after symptoms started, and began to decline rapidly. In common with lots of other virus (chicken pox for example), level of antibodies measured has a relationship to how severe your Covid-19 was. People with severe illness create higher levels of antibodies, which are effective for longer. 

On Sunday Priti Patel wore a mask to arrive at a meeting, and then took it off once inside sat in a room with lots of other people.
UK Justice Minister Robert Buckland explained that "people are still learning how to use masks". Errrrr okaaaay.  

The US CDC are among many people interested in a Chinese study looking st asymptomatic transmission. A single woman returning from the US to China quarantined in her home, and had 2 negative COVID19 tests, but 3 weeks later her downstairs neighbour became ill. The downstairs neighbour infected her mother, friend and people at a party. One of the people from the party later had a stroke, and infected 28 people at his initial hospital, and another 20 when he was transferred. 
Human contact tracers traced all of this back to the lady who had returned from the US. She was tested again and this time found positive with an antibody test. 
She never had any symptoms and never tested positive for having COVID, yet this cluster comprised at least 71 positive. It is suspected she may have initially introduced the virus when she used the lift to get home to her apartment. 

The Indian Health Ministry has said today that 50% of all of India's cases are in 2 states - Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, and eight other states have 36% cases between them. In total India has 28 states and 8 territories.

It's been suspected for some time that it's possible for COVID to cross the placenta and infect a baby in the womb, and doctors in France have definite proof with a recently born French baby boy. He was delivered to a quite poorly Mum by caesarian section, developed inflammation on the brain a few days after birth, and both have since made a full recovery. 
The medical director responsible for overseeing his care, Dr De Luca, is quoted by the Guardian as saying “The reason this has not been demonstrated before is that you need a lot of samples. You need the maternal blood, the newborn blood, the cord blood, the placenta, the amniotic fluid, and it’s extremely difficult to get all these samples in a pandemic with emergencies all around."
Remember - knowing this doesn't put your baby at greater risk. It changes nothing - except that we know more and can be ready for it. 

Face coverings UK Government

Gilead, the company who make Remdesivir, have announced that when they look at available data, it seems their drug could cut mortality by 62%. This is in addition to reducing length of time a person is hospitalised by an average 4 days. 
This isn't yet checked or even actually studied in it's own trial, but if it proves so, it's amazing news and incredibly positive for the whole world. 
If you remember, the USA bought the entire developed world's stock of Remdesivir for July, and 90% of stock for August and September. Expect fights. 
The 127 poor and middle income countries will receive Remdesivir via licensing deals with 2 companies (at around $600 per patient). 
This is a pandemic - normal rules don't apply, and I forsee governments imposing 'compulsory licence' (which removes the intellectual property rights of the company) and just producing their own Remdesivir.  Watch this space.

England's Eat Out To Help Out scheme is open from 3rd August until 31st August - all day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Businesses have to register to take part and the customer pays half the price of their meal. It covers up to £10 per person per meal, doesn't include alcohol and can be used by anyone as many times as they like. Meals must be EAT IN (including a beer garden or terrace), not take away - although if you are taken ill or can't manage it all, you are allowed to doggy bag. 

The Academy of Medical Sciences,  at the request of the UK Government Office for Science, established an Expert Advisory Group chaired by Professor Stephen Holgate and have written a huge report modelling what is likely to happen over the next 12 months in the UK - in a WORST CASE SCENARIO. 
It shows just how much we don't yet know, and how much we've learned. Estimates for numbers of people who would succumb to Covid-19 over Winter 20/21 (without reimposing nationwide shut downs and lock downs) range from 24,500 - 251,000 in hospitals alone. They believe Winter will have an adverse effect and the worst of any second wave would be during January and February. They can't predict how bad flu will be this year, but we need to do our best to minimise both flu and covid, as either can fill our hospitals on their own. 
This is a worst case scenario report - bear that in mind. Best case scenario, we'll have got rid of it by then.  

One disaster at a time is probably enough, but China has been suffering from horrific flooding for the past month, and the Yangtze River has broken it's banks in many, many places. Even parts of the epicentre of the original COVID outbreak, Wuhan, are flooded and roads are closed.  A senior water ministry official has said that 33 rivers have risen to their highest levels in history over the last 6 weeks. When they say 'river', remember their scale is often bigger than ours. The Yangtze is 6,300km long (3,914 miles). 

WHO New normal COVID is waiting for complacency

"Yes, there is an issue around how much and to what extent children participate in transmission. There are real issues around how schools can be reopened safely, but the best and safest way to reopen schools is in the context of low community transmission, that has been effectively suppressed by a broad-based comprehensive strategy. 
We can't move from 'let's deal with the schools' and all work on that for a week or two, and then 'let's deal with the workplace' or then 'lets deal with the infection in hospitals' or long-term care facilities. This is playing whack-a-mole. We have got to focus on a comprehensive, long-term strategy that focuses on everything at one time."
Dr Mike Ryan, World Health Organisation. 
Ahhhhh, memories. Remember on June 10th when Boris referred to contact tracing as "whack-a-mole with new cases"? Who would have thought it would have 2 mentions in the same pandemic? Coincidence..? I'll let you decide. 

On Sunday Hong Kong reported 52 new cases of COVID. 11 imported, 21 linked to previous cases and 20 of unknown origin. Those last 20 are concerning a lot of people. They also reported another 50 cases on Monday. Outbreaks like this are likely to be a feature for a long time yet. The good news is that none of these outbreaks have actually spread far and wide yet. They are catchable (if that's a word).

We have masses more understanding than 100 years ago, and the entire world is working on this. When was the last time someone you knew had Spanish Flu? If our ancestors could get rid of that, we can certainly beat COVID - and much more cleverly. 
You think we can't vaccinate everyone in the UK within a month? Or every 3 months? Sure we can! Can we replicate that around the world? Will we even need to? Will the vaccine give strong immunity which lasts for a long time? Will Donald or Bolsonaro ever understand it? Will we end up with world COVID-free zones and suppress it until it's snuffed out? Will we develop and discover more treatments and medicines to add to Remdesivir,  Dexamethasone, and BIPAP? We have already reduced the fatality rate massively. We WILL get there. Think like Jacinda Ardern. 

Banksy has just released his latest artwork, and I can't show it to you because he's video'ed himself redecorating a running London tube train. I'm guessing this mask-promoting masterpiece won't be around for long, but he covered the carriage in sneezing rats and masks, and a message based on the single mainstream hit from 90's alternative popsters and sometime political activists Chumbawamba (I actually had a vegetarian rescue dog named Chumba - true story). 

"I get lockdown - but I get up again". 

And we will.... 

Some people. All floating on the same tiny piece of rock: 

Countries / Cases / Losses of life (some states /provinces yet to report in larger countries such as the US, India and Brazil):

USA 3,505,463 (+25,980) 138,661 (+414)
Brazil 1,895,555 (+7,596) 73,161 (+240) 
India 936,368 (+28,723) 24,314 (+587)
Russia 739,947 (+6,248) 11,614 (+175)
Peru 330,123 not yet reported today 12,054
Chile 319,493 (+1,836) 7,069 (+45)
Mexico 304,435 (+4,685) 35,491 (+485)
Spain 303,699 (+666) 28,409 (+3) 
UK 291,373 (+1,240) 44,968 (+138) 
South Africa 287,796 not yet reported today 4,172
Iran 262,173 (+2,521) 13,211 (+179)
Pakistan 253,604 (+1,979) 5,320 (+54)
Italy 243,344 (+114) 34,984 (+17)
Saudi Arabia 237,803 (+2,692) 2,283 (+40)
Turkey 214,001 not yet reported today 5,382
Germany 200,451 (+15) 9,139
Bangladesh 190,057 (+3,163) 2,424 (+33) 


Images mainly from WHO

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