Friday 3 July 2020

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

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

The UK added 544 cases today and now has reported a total of 284,276 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 205,673 tests yesterday.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 137 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 44,131 losses of life in all settings.

England 244,412 / 39,567
Northern Ireland 5,747 / 552
Scotland 18,276 / 2,487
Wales 15,841 / 1,525

Rep. Of Ireland 25,489 cases and 1,738 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 11,080,565 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 526,250. Already 6,206,650 people have recovered.

1 metre plus rule UK 4th July England

Boris Johnson's spokesman: "The reopening of pubs and bars specifically comes into force at 6am. That would just be in the event anybody would attempt to try to open at midnight."

Lots of English stuff reopens tomorrow - including some pubs from 6am for breakfast. Then you'll be able to go and get your hair done, browse round the shops, pick a book from the library, grab some tea and finish off with a pint in a pub, before retiring to your hotel or campsite tent. Last year that would have sounded almost normal. PLEASE be cautious. COVID is still out there, and recklessness could make you poorly. If enough people aren't careful enough, we will have a second wave in August.... and we've only just opened the beaches... 

Seems the English government have realised it wasn't sensible to impose a quarantine on everyone arriving in England, especially from countries with COVID well under control. Grant Shapps has announced a traffic light system for overseas arrivals. Currently 59 countries will be exempt from quarantine from 10th July. 
"You do not have to self-isolate on arrival in England if these are the only places you have been to or stopped in during the previous 14 days." (Full list at the bottom of the post).
Obviously just because we don't have a quarantine doesn't mean they won't. Many arrangements will be one-way until both countries concerned have a very low level of Covid-19, and of course are subject to change at short notice. 

There was a special England Covid briefing with the blonde one today, so I knew it was going to be a biggie. The press leaked everything before breakfast anyway... 
The COVID triumvirate was completed with regular sidekicks Chris 'blink dammit' Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance Bedsheet. 
Boris will lay out the next stages of reduction in restrictions next week. 
He talked about local lockdowns in future - this WILL be a thing. It may be whole community area wide, or more local in workplaces, hospitals, schools etc. 
Boris talked about contract tasting, which isn't something he meant to discuss *snigger* Contact tracing however is GOING TO BE VITAL. Quick action is needed or we will end up with local restrictions - it's in our best interests to act quickly if we have symptoms. 
Chris reminded us we are seeing the potential beginnings of a second wave in several countries and it's going to be a possibility here for a long time. The seriousness and probability depend on us, but even if we all behave, it's still possible Winter could work against us. 
Chris explained that either side of the path are risks. On one side more illness and loss of life from COVID, on the other deprivation, unemployment and mental health problems. We are walking a thin path, and this isn't risk-free. And we will have to learn to live with it for a very long time. 

Samuel Pepys Pubs reopening
(Not actually a genuine quote from Pepys.)

On the eve of English restrictions easing, the latest SAGE figures on R rate aren't great. Although in most areas case numbers are low, so remember the lower it is, the less useful. If you have 10 cases and then 15 more, the R rate would be 1.5, but it wouldn't actually be reason to panic. If you had 1,000 cases and then 1,500 more, it's far more serious:
Region / R / Growth rate % per day
England 0.8-0.9 / -5 to -2
East of England 0.7-0.9 / -5 to 0
London 0.8-1.1 / -4 to +2
Midlands 0.8-1.0 / -4 to 0
North East and Yorkshire 0.8-1.0 / -5 to 0
North West 0.7-0.9 / -4 to 0
South East 0.7-1.0 / -5 to 0
South West 0.7-1.0 / -7 to +2

Restrictions are relaxing in Northern Ireland: 
Museums and galleries permitted to reopen from today, 3 July.
Reopening of bookmakers from today, 3 July.
Bars and restaurants in Private Members’ Clubs and social clubs will also be permitted to open from today, 3 July, to serve food and refreshment.
Resumption of further close contact service, including massage, some spa facilities, tattooing and piercing from Monday, 6 July.

From Monday Wales is lifting the 'stay local' restrictions. 

Welsh and Scottish government don't think the UK's quarantine plan is sensible or well thought out. Nicola called it a "shambles". 

The Independent unofficial UK SAGE held their weekly press briefing today. All of their workings out and their figures come from the Government's official data (which I give above), Public Health England, the Office for National Statistics and the UK Test and Trace. 
- For the last 3 weeks losses of life has been pretty steady for the last 3 weeks. 
- Hospital admissions are dropping slowly. 
- The UK have updated case numbers to exclude some duplicates, so it'll be interesting to see what difference that makes. 
- The R is between 0.7 and 0.9 depending on where you are in the UK. 
- Best estimates are that we have around 20,000 - 25,000 new cases a week, about 3,000 - 3,500 people each day. 
- For the second week running, the ONS report that numbers of new cases in the community are not falling. 
- Isolating of contacts is what makes contact tracing work. People may need help to self-isolate.
- The national websites have to be clearer. If you have symptoms, isolate, book a test, talk to contact tracers. SAGE are worried we aren't getting that message. 
- Only around 1/3 of new cases give contacts - this needs to improve. 
- Local contact tracers reach around 99% of contacts. The central system only reaches 53%. That needs to improve. We need to ensure people isolate. 
- We need Test and Trace to reach more newly symptomatic people, time is really important. 
- There still isn't any good quality evidence to prove the usefulness of vitamin D, but the guidance is that many people should take it, and if you are low then it'll only benefit you anyway. 
Whether we have a second wave is critically dependent on behaviour. Everyone has to feel involved, and not alienated by Government decisions. We need information. We need to know that it's not a 'done deal', we will affect what happens. We need to know what the symptoms are, and a lot of people don't. We need support so that people can do the right things. There's no point telling people to do something that is impractical or impossible. 

you are not invincible

An estimated 1,700 foreign travellers arrived in Japan during May, the fewest for any month on record, and a 99.9% drop from a year earlier.

Bloomberg has a great article looking at how COVID first hit the most affluent, and was considered a 'leveller', but very soon has entrenched itself into the more deprived communities, and massively highlighted the differences between rich and poor. They highlight recent European outbreaks, (including Leicester) which "have occurred in communities with high immigrant populations who often live in deprived and crowded conditions."

Japan reported 107 new cases in Tokyo yesterday. They have reported around 50 or more cases a day for the past couple of weeks. 

During a discussion on COVID education. the Partnership for Evidence-Based Response to Covid-19 (PERC) Consortium (a group comprising health authorities and the African CDC) said that less than half the African people surveyed in March and April believed they were at risk of catching COVID. Over 60% believed that COVID-19 could be prevented by drinking lemon or taking vitamin C, and just over 40% believed that Africans can't get COVID-19.

If you are deaf and want to get a test for COVID-19 in the UK, you can use the BSLHealthAccess app on your smartphone to help with communicating with staff at testing sites.

Covid killed twice as many people from New York in 3 months as Ebola killed in all of West Africa in the entire 2014-2016 epidemic.

Ireland has had a rise in cases over the past couple of days, and 1 family is partly to blame. A man, woman and their child returned to Sligo from Iraq. They were driven by the Uncle and ate tea at Grandma and Grandad's house, before isolating at home. The Dad tested positive a couple of days later, and now up to 14 members of the same family have COVID. 

Public transport face covering

The UK has a huge backlog of patients requiring screening for Cancer. From Monday Nightingale, Exeter will start screening several hundred people a day. Nightingale, Harrogate has already been converted and used for screening patients for the last 4 weeks. 

US state governors are going to need a change of underpants tomorrow. Several have tweeted or sent out alerts begging their citizens to be sensible over July 4th weekend. Have a good weekend if you are celebrating - and keep yourself well. 

"60% of all COVID19 cases so far have been reported just in the past month. We'll never get tired of saying that the best way out of this pandemic is a comprehensive approach.
Not testing alone.
Not physical distancing alone.
Not contact tracing alone.
Not masks alone.
Do it all."
Dr Tedros, the World Health Organisation. 

There is a big old clap for the NHS on Sunday 5th at 5pm. It's having a birthday - which is always an excellent excuse for cake... There is also a moment of silence, to remember all of the people who have lost their lives to COVID. 

Some people. They look like numbers, but they're all really people: 

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

USA 2,858,887 (+23,203) 131,709 (+224) 
Brazil 1,508,991 (+7,638) 62,304 (+314)
Russia 667,883 (+6,718) 9,859 (+176)
India 646,924 (+19,756) 18,656 (+431) 
Spain 297,625 (+442) 28,385 (+17) 
Peru 292,004 not yet reported today 10,045
Chile 288,089 (+3,548) 6,051 (+131)
UK 284,276 (+519) 44,131 (+136)
Italy 241,184 (+223) 34,833 (+15)
Mexico 238,511 (+6,741) 29,189 (+679) 
Iran 235,429 (+2,566) 11,260 (+154)
Pakistan 221,896 (+4,087) 4,551 (+78) 
Honduras 21,120 (+858) 591 (+49)
Guatemala 20,072 (+1,061) 843 (+26)
Azerbaijan 19,267 (+583) 235 (+7)
DRC 7,311 (+122) 179 (+3)
El Salvador 7,267 (+267) 202 (+11) 
Finland 7,242 (+1) 329 (+1)
Kenya 7,188 (+247) 154 (+2) 
Senegal 7,164 (+110) 125 (+4) 
North Macedonia 6,787 (+162) 328 (+7) 
Kyrgyzstan 6,767 (+506) 76 (+10) .

Countries on the England 'no quarantine' list: 
Andorra Germany New Zealand Antigua and Barbuda Greece Norway Aruba Greenland Poland Australia Grenada Réunion Austria Guadeloupe San Marino Bahamas Hong Kong Serbia Barbados Hungary Seychelles Belgium Iceland South Korea Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Italy Spain Croatia Jamaica St Barthélemy Curaçao Japan St Kitts and Nevis Cyprus Liechtenstein St Lucia Czech Republic Lithuania St Pierre and Miquelon Denmark Luxembourg Switzerland Dominica Macau Taiwan Faroe Islands Malta Trinidad and Tobago Fiji Mauritius Turkey Finland Monaco Vatican City France Netherlands Vietnam French Polynesia New Caledonia
Ireland is already exempt as part of the common travel area, as are the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
In addition, the 14 British Overseas Territories are exempt.
Independent SAGE group

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