Thursday 30 July 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 29 / 30 July 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 29 / 30 July 2020.

The UK added 846 cases today and now has reported a total of 302,301 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 154,746 tests yesterday. 1,273 people were in hospital on Tuesday, with 87 patients using a ventilator yesterday. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 38 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 45,999 losses of life in all settings.

England 260,534 / 41,398
Northern Ireland 5,938 / 556
Scotland 18,597 / 2,491
Wales 17,232 / 1,554

Rep. Of Ireland 25,942 (+13) cases and 1,762 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 17,334,919 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 673,026. Already 10,827,388 people have recovered.

COVID is a world problem WHO

The advice on self-isolating in the WHOLE UK has changed. From now on anyone who has symptoms of COVID, or a positive test result, has to self-isolate for minimum 10 days - and immediately book a test if you haven't had one.
The vast majority of people seem to stop shedding virus within 10 days of catching COVID, so most countries go for 14 days self-isolation to be sure. 7 days was always too short and not in line with the science.

The people of Leicester were expecting an announcement regarding their local lockdown today, but it's been delayed until tonight. Rumour is that "there is an issue unrelated to Leicester that the Government's had its eye on which has held things up.....". 

For the first time ever, the ONS (Office for National Statistics) have published comparison data on all-cause mortality across Europe, from January to June 12th. They looked at how many people died (from any cause) over that time period, and compared it with 5 year averages. The extra people who died in 2020 are the 'Excess Mortality' - those people who we assume died because COVID exists. It's grim reading:
- Every local authority area in the UK experienced excess mortality during the peak weeks of w/ending 3 April to w/ending 8 May, while other Western European countries experienced more geographically localised excess mortality
- The highest rates of excess mortality were in Central Spain and Northern Italy; Bergamo (Northern Italy) had the highest peak excess mortality of 847.7% (week ending 20 March) compared with the highest in the UK, Brent at 357.5% (week ending 17 April).
- Looking at major cities, the highest peak excess mortality was in Madrid at 432.7% (week ending 27 March) while in the UK, Birmingham had the highest peak excess mortality of any major British city at 249.7% (week ending 17 April).
- "While England did not have the highest peak mortality, it did have the longest continuous period of excess mortality of any country compared, resulting in England having the highest levels of excess mortality in Europe for the period as a whole."
Sadly, we are world-beating at something... (and it's not Track and Trace). 

300720 Relative age standardised mortality per 100 k pop Europe until 12th June 2020

Nicola Sturgeon has today confirmed Scotland remain in Phase 3 of lockdown:
- Shielding will be paused from August 1
- Pupils will be able to return to school from August 11, with extra measures in place to keep everyone safe. 
- Gyms will remain closed until at least September 14.
Scotland have lost no-one to COVID for 14 days. Well done guys. Keep it up. 

In case you don't remember, 10 days isolating is what any of us should do if we have symptoms of COVID - and book a test! They're super easy now, my son did a postal test at the weekend (as part of the random population sampling by ONS) and the only effort was getting him to stop bouncing long enough to put the swab up his nostrils. 
If a member of your household has a positive test, the rest of you isolate for 14 days, because it is pretty likely you will have been exposed to the virus in the home, but it can take a few days before it grows to big enough numbers to affect you, cause symptoms and/or give you a positive test result. 

"The season does not seem to be affecting the transmission of this virus currently."
Dr Margaret Harris of the World Health Organisation, with a warning that Summer will not kill off covid in the same way that it suppresses flu. She also warned that we are still in the first wave, and it's a big wave which will go up and down a bit. "The best thing is to just flatten it and turn it into just something lapping at your feet."

Boris Johnson has defended his decision to impose quarantine restrictions on travellers from Spain, saying "I’m afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic." 
Lapping ripples in parts of Europe haven't ever really stopped, and sometimes those ripples get a bit bigger than you are comfortable with. Fingers crossed Spain get it back under control swiftly. 

300720 Relative age standardised mortality COVID major European cities until 12th June 2020

It being reported that at least 10 English schools are expecting pupils to wear washable face masks when they return in September. I'm presuming they are all secondary schools, and I can't imagine it'll go down well with all of the parents, but it's commonplace in Asia and Africa, and makes more sense to me than a tie - which has no use whatsoever.  

Facebook has removed a Breitbart COVID news video for misinformation, but only after it had already received 20m views. They say they are going to have an inquiry as to why it took longer than it should, but representative Andy Stone has stressed the text from their press release:
"...between April and June, we removed 7 million pieces of content on Instagram and Facebook for violating our policy against sharing dangerous COVID-19 misinformation."

The chief official at Heathrow Airport has asked why we aren't testing new arrivals? He hopes to use testing instead of 14 day quarantines. It isn't as effective at catching all cases, but is used in several countries, including Iceland. 

The Philippines is beginning to really suffer, and lockdowns and restrictions have left thousands of people without work and needing to go home. They announced a government transportation scheme and thousands of unexpected stranded Filipinos turned up at a stadium to be tested for travel - cramming into a baseball stadium and completely ruining any hope of social distancing. 

After failing to immediately suppress the recent covid19 outbreak, the state of Victoria in Australia has had to introduce further measures. Last night they announced 723 new cases, 13 losses of life, and mandatory face coverings when outside the home from midnight on Sunday. This is a massive blow for a country which for so long seemed to have avoided the worst - fingers crossed they still can. 

Brazil closed entry to foreign air travellers in March, and has now reopened entry to all comers. The only rule is that you have to have health insurance. Yesterday Brazil reported single day totals of +70,869 cases and +1,554 people lost. 
Tempting as it is, I think I'll pass on that one just for now... 

ECDC Physical distancing not social distancing

Trump of the Day: 
He's been ranting about this coming November's election being rigged again, and here he is with what we were all expecting: 
“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” 
I honestly think science and pandemics are not your strongest fit Donald, I'm stunned you are so adamant you don't want to pass it over to ANYONE else. The election is due to take place on November 3rd, and if he loses, Donald should leave in January.

While some people just chuck them into landfill or throw them in the sea, clever folk worldwide are trying to solve the issue of disposing of bio-hazardous disposable masks. UV light bins may provide an answer to at least the bio-hazard part. Obviously if you aren't part of a medical or care team, reusable cloth face coverings solve that whole issue almost entirely. 

If you are looking for a new job then I have just the position. Boris Johnson is advertising for a TV-friendly Press Secretary. You'd have to “represent the Government and the Prime Minister to an audience of millions on a daily basis, across the main broadcast channels and social media”. Apparently major journalists wouldn't be interested because the fee is around half their wage, at a mere £100,000 a year. I'm clearly in the wrong job here... 

Some people, all of them with favourite foods, music, animals, and people:

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

USA 4,601,406 (+33,369) 154,562 (+722)
Brazil 2,566,765 (+11,247) 90,383 (+195) 
India 1,639,184 (+54,800) 35,786 (+783) 
Russia 834,499 (+5,509) 13,802 (+129) 
South Africa 471,123 not yet reported today 7,497
Mexico 408,449 (+5,752) 45,361 (+485) 
Peru 400,683 not yet reported today 18,816
Chile 351,575 not yet reported today 9,377
Spain 332,510 (+2,789) 28,443 (+2) 
UK 302,301 (+846) 45,961
Iran 301,530 (+2,621) 16,569 (+226) 
Pakistan 277,402 (+1,114) 5,924 (+32) 
Indonesia 106,336 (+1,904) 5,058 (+83)
Philippines 89,374 (+3,954) 1,983 (+23) 
Sweden 80,100 (+34) 5,739 (+9) 
Oman 79,159 (+590) 421 (+9) 
Bolivia 73,534 (+1,207) 2,808 (+88)
Israel 69,603 (+1,304) 499 (+8)


"WHO official warns that COVID-19 is 'one big wave'"
"England's self-isolation period may increase to 10 days"


  1. Fingers crossed all goes to plan and the local lockdowns help. It does seem like we are all titering on the edge of a cliff.

    1. Seems like the Northwest just slipped off the edge of that cliff...


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