Thursday 13 August 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 12 / 13 August 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 12 / 13 August 2020.

"The data for deaths in England have been updated to include deaths within 28 days of the first laboratory-confirmed test. The 60–day measure will be added to the dashboard in due course." UK Gov.
(As a result of website faffing, information today is late and incomplete.)

The UK officially added 1,009 cases today and now has reported a total of 313,798 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 116,311 tests yesterday. 952 people were in hospital on Tuesday 11th, with 80 patients using a ventilator yesterday. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we reported the loss of 18 people with 28 days of a positive COVID test result. We now very sadly have a total of 41,347 losses of life in all settings within 28 days of their test.

Rep. Of Ireland 26,929 (+91) cases and 1,774 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 20,949,851 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 750,014. Already 13,806,485 people have recovered.

Scotland wear a face covering under a visor

Welsh, Northern Irish and English A Level students have their results - I hope yours were as you hoped. After the disaster in Scotland earned an apology and the right to take teacher assessed grades or moderated grades, in a late night move on Tuesday, Gavin Williamson announced a "triple lock" for English students. Students can accept moderated teacher assessed grades, mock exam results or retake in Autumn. You also have the right to appeal.... 

Remember school grades only measure a tiny part of who you are. When academic results seem a disaster, it can very often send you heading off in a different direction that suits you better anyway. This year has been an especially hard one, even if you didn't pass your exams, you definitely aren't a failure. 

Public Health England have finally sorted out their numbers (probably). They have now split the mortality figures into those who succumbed within 28 days of a positive COVID test, and those who were lost after that period. I think it's probably a much more realistic measure of who genuinely died due to the COVID, and it has removed around 5,000 people from the 'official' reported stats. Sadly the Office for National Statistics has still already logged over 49,183 people who had COVID written as a cause of death on their certificate, and that should be a much more accurate figure. Going forward though, it genuinely is going to make a huge difference and it's going to be far, far more realistic. Richard RP131 on Twitter has broken it down and a staggering 1,318 losses over 28 days, were only added during the last 28 days, taking the last 4 week's total people succumbed to COVID down by 78% from 1679 to just 361! This is really positive news indeed. Can you imagine in 3 years time, the number of people who died with a positive test 'at any point' would be almost everyone, and most people wouldn't be dying from COVID, but would still have been added to our total. Thank heavens they've addressed that. 

Wales shielding paused 130820

Wales has protected their most vulnerable people for longest in the UK, so if you have been shielding in Wales, that will pause on Sunday. It's been a long time but don't worry, we weren't partying without you. While shielding is paused, shielded people can return to work and education - but you should still maintain physical distancing and hygiene measures. COVID hasn't gone away, your chances of encountering it just got smaller. 

Money is bad. Yes it is, and we don't have as much of it as we used to. Pretty much every country in the world has failed to produce whatever it usually sells to some extent, and we've all lost some money. The UK are apparently world (or at least G7 group) beating at something else. Our economy shrank by more than most, proving another of the World Health Organisations key messages correct, for us at least.
"The best way for countries to end restrictions and ease their economic effects is to attack the virus, with the aggressive and comprehensive package of measures that we have spoken about many times before: find, test, isolate and treat every case, and trace every contact.
If countries rush to lift restrictions too quickly, the virus could resurge and the economic impact could be even more severe and prolonged.Financing the health response is therefore an essential investment not just in saving lives, but in the longer-term social and economic recovery."
Dr Tedros, 3rd April 2020.
The longer you live with coronavirus, the more it costs. You CANNOT separate health vs the economy. They are hand-in-hand. 

The UK NHS have a new website "Supporting Your Recovery". Longer term recovery doesn't seem to get as much airtime as it should, we should really be talking about it more, so this is a great and unexpected resource. It covers lots of aspects of recovery and home management of symptoms and after effects, and it doesn't forget your mental health. Find it at yourcovidrecovery dot nhs dot uk

Manchester and Liverpool's Mayors have come together with the TUC and others, to ask for workers to be paid when self-isolating. The ‘Time Out to Help Out’ campaign points out that SSP is really not an amount a real live human can exist on, and people shouldn't have to “choose between putting food on the table or keeping their communities safe”. 

The UK Test and Trace UK is improving. It's still not at the 80% minimum we really need, but working towards. By my reckoning they actually managed to speak to only 76% (3/4) of people who tested positive for COVID. Many local councils and health authorities are still outperforming them - reaching as many as 99% of positive cases. Quite honestly, when you go for a COVID test, it should be conditional that you allow follow up when you are positive, even if you feel a need for that to be anonymous. 

New Zealand are not happy at all about their outbreak, and are concerned that the first person in the infected family to test positive works in a frozen food warehouse. They are testing tens of thousands of people and are determined to find the source.  I actually hope they find it has come from the frozen imported foods, because it's something we can address, and fix. To never find the source means this virus is worse than we thought. 

Facebook are working with the University of Maryland to try and assess COVID hotspots worldwide - you are likely to have been asked if you want to take part. Let's hope they find some interesting results. 

If you have symptoms, you must get a test

Remember that freezing coronavirus preserves it. Wash your hands often when preparing foods, wash fresh foods before you use them. Cooking kills coronavirus, as does sunlight. Most fresh pre-pack foods are packaged in a protective atmosphere. The World Health Organisation still have no reported case of anyone definitely catching covid from food or food packaging. If New Zealand find their first case caught COVID at work, he'll be the first. 

China are reporting 2 people who have tested positive several months after recovery. Neither of them appear to have infected their relatives, but they have been quarantined, as is usual in China. A man has tested positive around 4 months after recovery, and is asymptomatic. A woman has tested positive 6 months after recovery and has symptoms. Many other people worldwide have tested positive twice over an extended period of time. An Israeli doctor also tested positive 3 months after recovery, despite testing negative monthly in between. It's not yet possible to say 100% that they were definitely reinfected or it was the virus resurging (lying dormant, gaining strength and overpowering your body again), but the simplest answer is that they were reinfected, and immunity may only last a few months. Don't let this make you despondent - we always knew that a vaccine might not even work. Repeating it every 3-6 months is less fun than every 12, but still doable, and that's if we don't simply get rid of COVID completely in that time. 

Bad news for anyone who thought wearing a Morphsuit or Power Ranger outfit would be ideal protection from COVID. Seems 'breathable' materials like Spandex (lycra) not only allow breath through, it actually works like throwing jelly through a sieve (if you try that at home I want pictures). Everything breaks up, forming more tiny aerosol droplets which float in the air for hours rather than minutes. This is also bad news for people using neck gaiters or 1970's disco pants as face coverings. It's a no. 

Just a little reminder that the Joint Biosecurity Centre advised the UK Government that infections should be below 1,000 a day if we want to avoid flare-ups. 

Physical distancing when shopping Pacific region WHO

Luxury Cruise Crews News:

The Wall Street Journal has taken up their genuinely sorry tale and finally the 125,000 or so crew who were (and some still ARE) drifting for months, well out of employment contract, and often confined to their cabins for most of each day, may get the attention they deserve in the media. They report that:
"Crew members on 100 of the 106 cruise ships for which the CDC had data suffered Covid-19 infections or “Covid-like illness” between March 1 and June 23."
Greece and Turkey have been scrapping over Turkey's continued prospecting for energy in the Western Mediterranean.  France joined in and Turkey have now said they're willing to discuss. It isn't really what you need right now guys - fingers crossed they can sort it amicably. 

Researchers in Thailand are testing their bat population to see what coronaviruses they are harbouring. They also want to know if there is SARSCoV2 out there, because it's highly plausible it's been spreading around the bat population for decades, we were just lucky until now. 

When lockdown started back in March, library staff in Melbourne, Australia, realised this meant a well-used community hub was now unavailable. They pulled out the records of every library member aged over 70 and started making wellbeing calls. There are over 8,000 people on the list, and library staff checked whether they need help, referring to other services, or just wanted someone to chat to. Bless em. Even nicer, replies to this story include tons from local people saying they've had books and other items posted out during the lockdown by the library team. You guys are stars.  

Latin America are really suffering, and still the current epicentre. Areas of Ecuador ran out of hospital capacity several weeks ago. Columbia are in real trouble, at limit of capacity and still seeing increasing cases after 5 months of (apparently ineffective) lockdown restrictions.  Peru, Mexico and Chile are all stretched. Brazil is a real mess. 

Some people, all of them made from the same stars as you and me:

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

USA 5,377,822 (+17,520) 169,456 (+325)

Brazil 3,180,758 (+10,284) 104,528 (+265)

India 2,456,785 (+61,314) 48,117 (+979)

Russia 907,758 (+5,057) 15,384 (+124)

South Africa 568,919 not yet reported today 11,010

Peru 498,555 not yet reported today 21,713

Mexico 498,380 (+5,858) 54,666 (+737)

Colombia 422,519 not yet reported today 13,837

Chile 380,034 (+1,866) 10,299 (+94) 

Bolivia 95,071 (+1,743) 3,827 (+66)

Israel 88,733 (+582) 643 (+4)

Ukraine 86,140 (+1,592) 1,992 (+22)

Nepal 24,957 (+525) 95 (+4)

Austria 22,594 (+155) 725 (+1)

Australia 22,358 (+231) 361 (+9)

El Salvador 21,993 (+349) 584 (+7)

Sudan 12,115 (+82) 792 (+6)

Senegal 11,740 (+153) 244 (+2)

Norway 9,817 (+34) 257 (+1)

DRC 9,589 (+51) 234 (+9) 




Efficiency of different fabrics for masks:


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