Friday, 14 August 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 14th August 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 14th August 2020.

The UK added 1,441 cases today (this is high, and partly due to Northampton, see below) and now has reported a total of 316,367 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 169,857 tests yesterday. 925 people were in hospital on Wednesday 12th, with 75 using a ventilator yesterday (this is thankfully going back down after a little rise). 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we reported the loss of another 11 people within 28 days of a positive COVID test. We now very sadly have an official confirmed total of 41,358 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 26,995 (+66) cases and 1,774 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 21,183,445 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 759,524. Already 13,990,158 people have recovered.

working from home, stand up and walk round every 30 minutes WHO advice

Big sorry to anyone currently in France and hoping to go back to on-site work next week. France has been added to the UK's 14 day quarantine list. The same applies to anyone in The Netherlands, Malta, Turks and Caicos, or Aruba. (Actually I'm so not sorry if you are in Aruba. Come on, it's well worth it.) This is going to cause absolute havoc over the next few hours, but you had to be aware it was always your own risk. You have to return by 4am Saturday morning to escape the restriction. I can't imagine it'll be much fun at French airports or ports tonight... 

Lots of changes from tomorrow for England, which will vary in areas where local measures apply. The Govt. say this is possible because: "Two weeks ago the ONS had expressed concerns about a slight increase in the number of people in England testing positive. The situation now appears to have levelled off."
1.Indoor theatres, music and performance venues will be able to reopen with socially distanced audiences
2.Wedding receptions in the form of a sit-down meal in a COVID-secure location for up to 30 guests will now be permitted
3. The piloting of a small number of sporting events to test the safe return of spectators will resume
4. Bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos, indoor play and soft play centres which comply with new Covid-19 Secure guidelines can reopen
5. Beauty salons, tattoo studios, spas and barbers can offer all close contact services and treatments, including front of the face treatments
Please NOTE this change of policy: All staff offering close contact services, including hairdressers, should now wear a face mask (type 2 surgical), in addition to a clear visor that covers the face. This will help protect the customer and staff from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing, or speaking. The guidance also applies to businesses that operate remotely (such as in your own home). 

To balance out the easing of restrictions, they are getting harder on people who put this delicate balance at risk.
- Fines will double to a maximum of £3,200 for those who repeatedly flout face covering rules
- New fines to be introduced for people hosting raves or other unlawful gatherings of more than 30 people

Current rules on gatherings in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, East Lancashire and Leicester will remain in place. The latest evidence does not show a decrease in the number of cases per 100,000 people in the area.

The latest data also shows a continued rise in cases in Oldham and Pendle while numbers remain high in Blackburn with Darwen. Local leaders are now setting up an enhanced incident team to try and bring infection rates under control, with support offered from the government. Progress will be assessed throughout the weekend and early next week.

Children mental health drawing showing an adult and child together

New rules come into force in Scotland regarding hospitality and leisure, after the cases in Aberdeen focussed on a pub. From today all pubs and restaurants have to take your details for the purposes of contact tracing. These must be destroyed after 21 days. Loud noise or TV is barred, to stop people shouting or leaning towards each other to chat, and you aren't allowed to queue to get into a venue. Tables must be pre-booked whenever possible, and people from no more than 3 households can mix together. 

Turns out A level exam result moderation was nicely weighted towards those lucky enough to attend private school. Moderators algorithms made them more likely to mark down papers from schools with more pupils, such as 6 form colleges and comprehensive schools, and they marked down around 40% of results in total. Who thinks this crap up? At what point did money = academic intelligence, because I really am NOT seeing it in practise. Money is more likely to mean you don't mind stomping on other people to get what you want. Anyway, I digress. It could obviously also imply teachers in more deprived areas are all liars. Expect justified protests. 

New Zealand are using everything to try and trace where their outbreak came from. They've genetically sequenced their strain, which is found in the UK and Australia, as well as some other places. The first person who tested positive works at Americold frozen foods storage warehouse and they're testing throughout, to try and rule out transmission through frozen goods. They reported 13 new cases yesterday, including 3 employees at Americold.  

There has been an outbreak of COVID surrounding a chilled foods factory in Northampton, England. A whopping 299 members of staff at Greencore had tested positive by this time yesterday, with around 300-400 results yet to come back. The factory employs 1,300 people in total, and production is going on as usual, as there has been deemed no risk to the consumer. (Remember the WHO still have no confirmed report of any member of the public worldwide actually being infected by food or food packaging.) COVID really does seem to love chilled warehouses more than just about anywhere else. 

WHO advice regarding preparing food drawing showing 2 people in a kitchen.

An American study has looked at all children under age 18 in 14 US states from March 1–July 25 to try and discover their 'risk' from COVID. They found that: "although the cumulative rate of COVID-19–associated hospitalization among children (8.0 per 100,000 population) is low compared with that in adults (164.5 per 100,000), one in three hospitalized children was admitted to an intensive care unit."
Around 1 in 3 hospitalised adult patients in America are admitted to ICU, so that's around the same, but as we know, children are far less likely to be hospitalised in the first place than adults, with around 1/20th the chance.
What's really striking is the difference between White, Hispanic/Latino and Black children. Hispanic or Latino children were hospitalised at a rate of 16.4 per 100,000. Black children 10.5 per 100,000, and white children 2.1 per 100,000. So if you are Hispanic, in those US states at least, your child's 8 times as likely to be hospitalised by COVID than their white friends. If your child is black, they are 5 times as likely to be hospitalised as a white child.
We have seen some similar results in UK figures, but our Hispanic population is very small and much harder to measure. It won't be entirely due to genetics, again social factors, employment, housing and deprivation will have a massive effect. The children suffer too.
576 positive testing children were included in the population studied. Only 12 of those children needed ventilation, and 1 child died. 

The UK have removed some numbers from the 'Tests Made Available' figures, and discontinued giving out that data. Apparently they accidentally double-counted by the small sum of around 1.3m. They really aren't doing well with the whole counting thing. 

Questions are being asked about US states' dropping testing numbers, especially ahead of school reopening. In Texas for example, new cases dropped by 10% over 2 weeks, but testing over the same period dropped by 53%, and the percentage of people getting positive results doubled to 24%. Remember the World Health Organisation advice (which obviously America don't follow because they've left the World Health Organisation) is that if you have more than 5% positive results, you are probably missing cases. Remember also that their president has recently, and repeatedly, said they have too many cases because they are testing too many people. Sadly, even if you test no-one, your hospitals will still fill up with patients. 

100,000 people took part in the UK's random antibody sampling. It found around 6% of the UK population have antibodies to COVID. Key findings of the report on the national home testing study include:
-In London, 13% of people had antibodies while in the South West of England it was less than 3%.
- The study showed high rates in those with people-facing jobs in care homes (16%) and health care (12%), compared to 5% of people who were not key workers.
- There were far higher rates in people from Black (17%), Asian (12%) and other (12%) than white (5%) ethnicity. Work is underway between the - Department of Health, local Directors of Public Health and local authorities to understand and mitigate risks of transmission for BAME communities at a local level.
- Almost everyone with a confirmed case of COVID was found to have antibodies (96%).
- Those aged 18 to 34 were most likely to have antibodies (8%) with the lowest prevalence in those over 65 (3%).
- People living in the most deprived areas had higher antibody levels than those in the wealthiest areas (7% compared with 5%).
- People living in households of more than 6 or 7 people (12%, 13%) were more likely to have had the virus compared to those living alone or with one other (5%)
- People who smoked were less likely to have antibodies than non-smokers (3% compared to 5%).
- 32% of people reported no symptoms, and this was more common in people over 65 (49%).
This surveillance study will be repeated in Autumn and will test a further 200,000 people for antibodies. 

Heading in the right direction lets keep going over Union Jack flag

Americans are fleeing over the border by boat in such numbers that Canada have had to send in patrols. They all claim they're going on holiday to Alaska... yeah, pull the other one... 

Don't forget that there are online and downloadable books to help your child understand COVID, and their emotions around it.
The World Health Organisation teamed up with other UN agencies, the Red Cross, Save The Children, and national and international health organisations to produce "My Hero Is You", and Julia Donaldson teamed up with Axel Sheffler to reimagine some of the scenes from their famous books, including The Gruffalo. I'll drop the links below. 

India's first home-developed vaccine candidate has passed first round trials, none of the patients had an adverse reaction to the injection of COVAXIN, so it has proven to be safe so far. Fingers crossed guys. 

All of you folk who volunteered as NHS volunteers are being asked to trial our Test and Trace app. I hope it works well because it's getting embarrassing now. Some countries have massive value in their apps, which are full of useful information. Some are a bit pants. I'd love to think ours is going to be the former. 

Florida has less than 6,000 patients in hospital for the first time since June. They've had an horrific time, let's hope they never see their numbers rise again. 

Have a good weekend, Stay Apart, Protect Your Neighbours, Save the NHS. 

Some people, every one of them was once a twinkle in their father's eye... 

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

USA 5,435,526 (+19,860) 170,859 (+444)

Brazil 3,229,621 not yet reported today 105,564

India 2,506,247 (+46,634) 48,888 (+744)

Russia 912,823 (+5,065) 15,498 (+114)

South Africa 572,865 not yet reported today 11,270

Peru 507,996 not yet reported today 25,648

Mexico 505,751 (+7,371) 55,293 (+627)

Colombia 433,805 not yet reported today 14,145

Chile 380,034 not yet reported today 10,299

Spain 358,843 (+2,987) 28,617 (+12)

Iran 338,825 (+2,501) 19,331 (+169)

UK 313,798 (+1,441) 41,358 (+11)

Saudi Arabia 295,902 (+1,383) 3,338 (+35)

Pakistan 287,300 (+626) 6,153 (+14)

Argentina 276,072 not yet reported today 5,428

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Sources:

Information and printable stuff for children:
https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/09-04-2020-children-s-story-book-released-to-help-children-and-young-people-cope-with-covid-19

https://www.gruffalo.com/activities/activities/posters-of-julia-donaldson-and-axel-scheffler-reim

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/aug/14/uk-coronavirus-live-new-quarantine-france-covid-19-latest-updates

https://twitter.com/i/events/1293831132279005189

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-53762233

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-announces-stronger-enforcement-measures-as-easements-resume

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/canadians-prevent-caravans-of-americans-from-crossing-border-1038463/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/14/government-quietly-drops-13m-covid-tests-from-england-tally

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-data-methodology/covid-19-testing-data-methodology-note

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/08/covid-19-transmission-from-cool-store-goods-unlikely-dr-bloomfield.html

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/08/it-s-b-1-1-1-kiwi-scientists-identify-virus-family-of-mystery-covid-19-outbreak.html

https://www.texastribune.org/2020/08/10/coronavirus-testing-texas/

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/12/accuracy-of-us-coronavirus-data-thrown-into-question-as-decline-in-testing-skews-drop-in-new-cases.html

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932e3.htm?s

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/restrictions-on-household-gatherings-to-continue-in-parts-of-north-west-west-yorkshire-east-lancashire-and-leicester

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/new-coronavirus-laws-come-force-22521042

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-tourism-and-hospitality-sector-guidance/

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/largest-home-antibody-testing-programme-for-covid-19-publishes-findings

https://twitter.com/whatisacmio/status/1294293809086566401

https://covid19.nhs.uk/

https://twitter.com/NewsBytesApp/status/1294279944088907777

https://www.newsbytesapp.com/timeline/india/64637/304422/bharat-biotech-s-covid-19-vaccine-is-safe


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