Sunday 16 August 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 15/16th August 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 15/16th August 2020.

The UK added 1,040 cases today and now has reported a total of 318,414 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 182,987 tests yesterday. 930 people were in hospital on Thursday 13th, with 73 using a ventilator on Friday 14th. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 5 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 41,366 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 27,257 (+66) cases and 1,774 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 21,722,688 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 770,948. Already 14,463,224 people have recovered.

Avoid the 3 C's WHO advice Close contact enclosed spaces crowds

The Sunday Torygraph are exclusively reporting that Public Health England will be scrapped and replaced, as soon as next month. Matt Hancock is planning to merge all things COVID-related from PHE with NHS Test and Trace, to create the National Institute for Health Protection. Obviously until the government officially announce it to us, rather than drip feed information to their preferred press, probably best to mark it 'likely'.

Barely hours after announcing the criteria for A Level appeals based on your mock exams, Ofqual suspended appeals. They've said further information will be released in due course. That is little help to anyone who has been downgraded and is attempting to plan the rest of their life. Our young people have already had a hell of a year, this is just cruelty. Don't you guys give up, this is far from over. Legal challenges and protests are already underway.  

(Ofqual incidentally are headed by Roger Taylor, who also chairs the Centre for Data Ethics & Innovation (CDEI). Meanwhile Dominic Cummings' favourite AI consultants, Faculty, have some juicy contracts with CDEI. And Faculty's COO Richard Sargeant is on the CDEI board.)

GCSE results are released this week, and it gets even more ridiculous because they're also going to be almost entirely (97%) based on an algorithm. Teacher rankings count, but teacher assessed grades do NOT. It absolutely stinks. To think that the majority of our brightest and hardest working pupils will be downgraded and demoralised, based on the size of their school and performance of their peers, makes me want to cry. You deserve so much more. It's a great way to breed a bitter and very angry generation, and throws out all of your best academic talent. Expect more legal challenges and protests. 

Exercise at Home Advice from World Health Organisation

Lots of countries are struggling to keep COVID down. The sneaky virus can easily go through 2 or 3 rounds of infection before you spot anything is wrong. That can take as little as a week and you can have an average of around 22 people infected - far more if you are unlucky. Countries which had peaked, but are now seeing outbreaks and a rise in cases include (and definitely aren't limited to) Iran, Italy, Germany and France (France reported 3,310 new cases yesterday).

The UK's National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) has been awarded £5 million in funding "to support people to stay connected and maintain their health and wellbeing following the COVID-19 pandemic". This is for community projects supporting mental health, physical activity and "singing to improve the effects of COVID-19". That's actually a really clever idea and so I'm stunned the UK government have thought of it. A lot of people will need to build up their lung fitness, and singing is ideal. 

Scottish Govt: "We've developed a rehabilitation framework to ensure that people who have been affected by #coronavirus, including those whose health has been impacted by lockdown or who had treatment paused, are supported through their recovery." 

The Malaysian Institute for Medical Research has sequenced some of their cases and detected a D614G-type mutation in three patients. The D614G strain is the one which streaked through Europe and the Americas. Various studies have found that compared to the initial Wuhan strain, it causes a heavier viral load in the patient. There aren't any definite answers from studies so far, but some suggest it infects cells more effectively and has potential to be more infectious from person to person. 

Cloth masks How to wear a non medical fabric mask safely WHO list of dos and don'ts.

Holden Thorpe, Editor of Science Magazine is warning of the dangers of rushing to create a vaccine:
“short cuts in testing for vaccine safety and efficacy endanger millions of lives in the short term and will damage public confidence in vaccines and in science for a long time to come”. 

Your everyday Americans may have sussed that reducing testing only means less cases in the official reports, and not in real life, and they aren't comforted by it. Any falling numbers are at the expense of the positive/negative ratio, with over 1 in 5 COVID tests coming back positive in Mississippi last week. USA Today report that according to the COVID Tracking Project: "The average number of coronavirus tests reached 793,000 per day in the last two weeks of July. But testing dropped to fewer than 650,000 per day during the first 12 days of August."On their worst day so far, July 24th, the USA reported 78,446 new cases in a single day nationwide. 

After their uptick in new cases, Italy are taking extra measures. From Monday 17 August all discos have to close. Regional exceptions to the Prime Ministerial Decree are not allowed. From 6 pm to 6 am it will be mandatory across Italy, even outdoors, to wear a mask.  

The Smell Unit of the Otorhinolaryngology Service at San Carlos Clinical Hospital in Madrid has launched a program to help recovering COVID patients get back their senses of smell and taste. They use "repeated stimulation of the olfactory pathway to recover the functionality lost after the disease". Luckily for anyone affected, the anosmia from COVID is expected to be temporary, and for most it'll come back all by itself.    

Some people. Every one of them very much like you: 

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

USA 5,541,740 (+11,951) 172,838 (+232)

Brazil 3,319,845 (+2,013) 107,341 (+44)

India 2,645,091 (+55,883) 51,021 (+937)

Russia 922,853 (+4,969) 15,685 (+68)

South Africa 583,653 not yet reported today 11,677

Peru 525,803 not yet reported today 26,075

Mexico 517,714 (+6,345) 56,543 (+635) 

Colombia 456,689 not yet reported today 14,810

Chile 383,902 not yet reported today 10,395

Spain 358,843 now reporting in the evenings 28,617

Iran 343,203 (+2,133) 19,639 (+147) 

UK 318,484 (+1,040) 41,366 (+5) 

Saudi Arabia 298,542 (+1,227) 3,408 (+39)

Argentina 289,100 not yet reported today 5,657

Pakistan 288,717 (+670) 6,168 (+6)

Bangladesh 276,549 (+2,024) 3,657 (+32) 

Italy 253,915 (+479) 35,396 (+4) 

Turkey 248,117 not yet reported today 5,955




1 comment:

  1. The rehabilitation framework sounds good. Here's hoping that helps a lot of people. I am still holding my breath in the hope everything doesn't blow up with back to school here. This week is the first full week. Keep your fingers crossed xxx


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