Thursday 23 July 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 22 / 23 July 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 22 / 23 July 2020.

The UK added 769 cases today and now has reported a total of 297,146 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 147,595 tests yesterday. 1,504 people were in hospital on Tuesday. 110 patients were using a ventilator yesterday (22nd July).

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 53 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 45,554 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

England 255,740 / 40,959
Northern Ireland 5,876 / 556 (no losses of life for 10 days)
Scotland 18,500 / 2,491
Wales 17,030 / 1,548

Rep. Of Ireland 25,826 (+7) cases and 1,763 (+9) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 15,503,657 officially reported cases worldwide - among other things, testing limitations, government policy and reluctance to get tested mean the true number is far, far greater.
The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 632,708. Already 9,434,866 people have recovered.

230720 test and trace figures

From tomorrow face coverings are compulsory in English shops, supermarkets, shopping centres, transport hubs, banks, building societies, post offices, and when buying food and drink to take away. Face coverings are also already mandatory on public transport. 
DON'T wear N95 masks, DON'T leave any rubbish behind, and it doesn't have to be a mask. A scarf for a shopping trip will prevent us spraying COVID around the shop and all over the produce too - remember it has to cover your nose as well as your mouth. Washable reusable masks are a fashion statement - and there are loads of small businesses selling them online if you don't want to make your own.

The UK government remind us that it is not your job to challenge people without face coverings  - unless it's actually your job. 
"...remember that it's not possible for people with certain conditions to wear a face covering. Please be mindful that not all disabilities are visible."
Face coverings for shop staff are NOT compulsory. (They really aren't paid enough to have to also wear a face covering for 8 hours a day - our behaviour protects them.) 
Children under age 11 are not required to wear face coverings, and Public Health England advise that children under 3 shouldn't wear face coverings or masks, as there can be a risk of strangulation or smothering. 

Shielding is being relaxed in Scotland from tomorrow. 
"Our advice is to keep shielding until 31 July 2020. From Friday 24 July, you can choose to:
- meet indoors with up to 8 people from 2 other households with physical distancing
- meet outdoors with up to 15 people from 4 other households outdoors with physical distancing
- use public transport wearing a face covering
- go to pubs and restaurants with outdoor spaces
- use formal childcare providers – this does not apply to children who are shielding
- You can also choose to go into shops and leisure venues, wearing a face covering. This includes: shops, pharmacies and indoor markets, hairdressers, barbers and other personal retail services, museums, galleries, libraries, cinemas and other visitor attractions.

The US government has come to an agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech to pay $1.95 billion for 100 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine - as long as it passes clinical trials and proves safe and effective. The deal allows for up to 600m doses, and the best news - American people will get the vaccine for free. 

Enough tests for everyone UK

Visitors are to be allowed back into English nursing homes. It will be at the discretion of the local authority, who won't allow it if they aren't confident. Your local risk and the risk level at the home have to be tiny. Rest assured they really do have your relatives' safety first and foremost. 

Hold the press! By jove, I think he's got it. I feel quite sad for you too Donald, we all know how hard that moment was, when we realised that this was really happening:
"It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better. Something I don't like saying about things but that's the way it is. That's what we have."
There was also this:
"If you can, use the mask... If you're in a group, I would put it on...I have no problem with the masks."
President Trump produced a mask from his very own pocket:
"I have the mask right here. I carry it, and I will use it gladly...I view it this way - anything that potentially can help and that certainly potentially can help is a good thing. I'm getting used to the mask."
Considering the dire position most of the US is currently in, it's very late coming, but very welcome. Although the return of the White House coronavirus briefings was lacking any scientific experts... but it's a great re-start. 

The World Health Organisation advise that if you test and find over 5% (1in20) get a positive result, there are most likely more cases in the community that you aren't catching. 
Reuters report that, as of today, 31 US states have over 5% of test results come back positive. Nationally 8.5% of tests are positive. The most notable states are Arizona (24%), Florida and Nevada (19%), Idaho and Alabama (18%). 

From Friday in Scotland shielding people

The Israeli people are not happy about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's handling of COVID. There have been protests for a while, and on Monday around 2,000 people gathered outside his house to demand his resignation.

East Kent Hospitals Trust had a real problem and has lost more people to COVID-19 over the last few weeks than anywhere else. In fact 10% of people who succumbed were in that area. Infection control may be to blame, so they have spent the last few days testing all 9,000 members of staff. Fingers crossed they stamp it out. 

According to recent mortality figures from the US CDC,  for the whole USA from 1/2–15/7, the number of people lost to COVID in comparison to Flu was: 
Age 1–4 Flu (40) 5x worse than Covid (8)
Age 5–14 Flu (47) 3x worse than Covid (14)
Age 15–24 Covid (157) 3x worse than Flu (51)
Age 25–34 Covid (844) 6x worse than Flu (149)
Age 35 - 44 Covid (2,169) 10x worse than Flu (239)
Age 45 - 54 Covid (6,021) 11x worse than Flu (567)
Age 55 - 64 Covid (14,693) 12x worse than Flu (1,211)
Age 65 - 74 Covid (25,268) 18x worse than Flu (1,414)
Age 75 - 84 Covid (32,066) 22x worse than Flu (1,440)
Age 85+ Covid (40,125) 30x worse.than Flu (1,347)
All ages Covid (121,374) 19x worse than Flu (6,519)
Since this data was put together 8 days ago, the USA have reported another 25,000 official losses of life to COVID. 

Most vaccine candidate studies worldwide seem to be giving some almost identical results in phase 2 trials (on limited numbers of humans). Patients regularly have some soreness at the injection site and feel a bit rubbish for a day or two - but then they are fine. It seems likely we won't be able to avoid that.
The highest antibody readings are around 14 days after injection, and then your body starts to calm down. 

No face masks for little children PHE

The UK's national Test And Trace is doing better (wasn't hard!). Figures released today show a marked improvement. For 9th -15th July:
- 92% of drive through and walk-in results were returned the next day
- 3,887 positive cases transferred to service
- 80% reached to provide contacts
- 16,742 contacts identified
- 78% of identified contacts were reached and advised to self-isolate.
There is still a lot of room for improvement. By those figures 777 people who tested positive didn't supply contacts, and of the positive cases who did, contact tracers weren't able to get in touch with 3,683 known contacts who should now be isolating.  

Israel and India are going to work together to try and develop a 30 second COVID test. They've got several different options which are being looked at, including breathalysers, saliva tests and a computer voice check to listen for sounds of a chest infection. 

Dave Grohl, Nirvana drummer, Foo Fighter, King Of The Stone Age, garage drum kit advocate and all round nice guy, has shared a monologue "In Defence Of Our Teachers". He points out that teachers don't want to die, they want to teach, and while many are low-risk, many more are not. School staff, caretakers and cleaners are often higher risk. Reopening schools in heavily affected areas doesn't only affect the students, and their own families at home. It's 8 minutes which is not wasted. You can find it on the Foo Fighters You Tube channel. 

Joe Wicks (and his wife) have held weekday morning PE lessons since the UK first went into lockdown, and he leapt his final online morning star jumps on Wednesday. Well done guys - you were a welcome breath of fresh air and exercise for a lot of people. You earned your break... 

Last night Reuters Press Agency held a 1 hour online Twitter chat about COVID treatments and vaccines. Among the spam are some important points to remember:
Convalescent plasma (blood from recovered patients) seems to reduce mortality by around half. 
Remdesivir speeds recovery by around 4 days and may also reduce mortality (more studies needed).
Dexamethasone reduces mortality by around 1/4 in severely ill patients requiring oxygen. 
Lying patients on their front, which has been used for years in countries affected by SARS, improves patient mortality because it reduces the need for ventilation. 
More than 100 vaccine candidates are in phase 2 trials, with a handful in phase 3 (large scale human trials). 
We have the ability to prevent spread through social measures - distancing, limiting contacts, wearing masks, staying home if you are ill. Every time you don't catch it, or don't pass it on, you are still doing your bit. 

When you look around at the people in your community, visit the local shop, take your kids to school, say hello to your neighbours. You're a hero - you've already saved lives. Never forget it. 

Some people, all of them with people to miss them:

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

USA 4,126,806 (+25,931) 146,620 (+437)
Brazil 2,242,394 (+10,523) 83,036 (+146)
India 1,285,236 (+45,552) 30,607 (+717) 
Russia 795,038 (+5,848) 12,892 (+147) 
South Africa 394,948 not yet reported today 5,940
Peru 366,550 not yet reported today 17,455
Mexico 362,274 (+6,019) 41,190 (+790)
Chile 338,759 (+2,357) 8,838 (+116 )
Spain 317,246 (+2,615) 28,429 (+3)
UK 297,146 (+769) 45,554 (+53) 
Iran 284,034 (+2,621) 15,074 (+221) 
Pakistan 269,191 (+1,763) 5,709 (+32) 
Saudi Arabia 260,394 (+2,238) 2,635 (+34)
Italy 245,338 (+306) 35,092 (+10) 
Turkey 222,402 not yet reported today 5,545
Colombia 218,428 not yet reported today 7,373
Bangladesh 216,110 (+2,856) 2,801 (+50) 
Germany 204,598 (+128) 9,183 (+1)


"Trump says COVID-19 in the US will 'get worse before it gets better'"
"Experts discuss the most promising COVID-19 treatments and vaccines"
From Friday, face coverings will be mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting read as always. We are in the highest hit county in Scotland due to the call centre issues. Wondering how that will play out xx


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