Thursday 27 August 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 26/27 August 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 26/27 August 2020.

The UK added 1,522 cases today (highest figure since June 9th) and now has reported a total of 330,368 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 186,500 tests yesterday. 767 people were in hospital on Tuesday 25th, with 64 using a ventilator yesterday. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 12 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 41,477 officially reported losses of life in all settings, within 28 days of a positive test..

Rep. Of Ireland 28,363 cases and 1,777 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 24,477,849 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 832,462. Already 16,976,141 people have recovered.

Gruffalo and The Gruffalos child staying home by Julia Donaldson

Scotland did indeed on Tuesday make face coverings compulsory for senior school pupils aged 11+, for transport,  corridors and communal areas where social distancing isn't possible, as did Northern Ireland. 

A couple of hours after I posted on Tuesday,  Boris announced that England are also following the new World Health Organisation advice, and English school pupils and staff IN AREAS WITH EXTRA RESTRICTIONS will have to wear masks, and they will be optional (as opposed to not allowed) anywhere else. This only applies to higher/secondary pupils age 11+, and doesn't apply during most classes, but whenever distancing isn't possible  - when moving through corridors, on the school bus etc. the same as Scotland. 
Personally, my son insisted on a mask to look around his new high school, so he's much happier with this ruling. We live in North Manchester, we are already under extra restrictions and cases have still gone up in our area for the last 3 weeks - the science definitely supports it. I worry for the future mental health of anyone who feels they could have passed on COVID to someone who later dies or suffers long term. It isn't their fault, and putting a child in that position is especially cruel.  

Local Authorities and individual schools will make decisions on whether students in Wales will wear masks. 

Your school will know as much as we do at this point. Further advice is being tapped out by someone as we speak. The ruling is keeping in line with WHO advice. It seems likely the govt/schools will have to supply masks though, and they shouldn't really be taken on and off without replacing or washing, so I'm not sure how it's going to work in practice. It could mean less breaktimes and less movement? It certainly means another headache for staff. 

The European Commission has secured contracts for 225 million doses of potential COVID vaccines on behalf of EU member states and partners. They are hoping "to secure high-quality, safe, effective and affordable vaccines for all European citizens within 12 to 18 months".

At least 5 members of the remote Greater Andamanese tribe, who live on Strait Island in India, have tested positive for COVID. There are only 53 of these endangered tribespeople left, and measures have been taken immediately to protect other endangered groups living on nearby Islands. The Jarawas tribe have been isolated, and members of other tribes are being tested. It's likely COVID arrived via welfare workers or poachers. 

every mind matters look after your mental healt

The BBC are reporting that 50 of the UK's biggest employers have said they have no intentions of getting everyone back into the office any time soon. Why would you? I live with an IT guy who has managed to run a 120 person contact centre almost entirely working from home. Moving people actually is a lot of work and a pain in the rear, moving them again even more so. If you fill a room and 1 person catches COVID, your entire workforce could be sent home to isolate for 2 weeks. Any sensible employer is in no rush to risk that if their business performs remotely. It doesn't suit everyone, some people really need to get out of the house and back in a 'workplace' for all kinds of reasons, but have no doubt that a huge amount of people will NEVER return to a traditional shared office. Bad news for city centre traders, long overdue for work-life balance. 

The UK Government haven't made any announcements about extending the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, but many restaurants, cafes etc. have chosen to extend it themselves. Obviously it's impossible for me to list them, you'll have to look locally to you. As a reminder it gives you half price reduction on a meal and soft drinks, up to £10 per person, Monday to Wednesday. 

Cases of COVID-19 among children in the USA are increasing, and subsequently so are the numbers in hospital. 1 in every 3 hospitalised COVID19 patients in the USA ends up in Intensive Care, adult or child. Between August 6th and 20th, over 70,000 American children tested positive, an increase of 21% on previous reporting periods. 

Boris held a live address to UK school students on Wednesday lunchtime. Longest 7 minutes of my week. I made our 3 students present watch it, as punishment for no crime whatsoever. He's no orator. Main points as remembered by my kids (age 10-22) "he knew that girl's name", "is Harry Potter sexist? It's JK Rowling he needs to talk about", "what did he announce,  I didn't catch that bit" and "people can learn nuclear physics in school?" He did also wish everyone a good term. Seconded - best of luck. 

Bonus points for the rogue librarian - the list of books carefully displayed there is below... 

BOJO address to school children 26th august

Row 1: The Subtle Knife, Fahrenheit 451, Betrayed, The Resistance, Exodus, The Toll, Crisis Point, Glass Houses, and The Twits.
Row 2: Lord of the Rings and Guards, Guards! 

Famous People With COVID:
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt

The situation in Jamaica is rapidly evolving. They reported another 120 cases on Tuesday, for a total 1,732.It does look like a potential explosion of cases. Fingers crossed guys. 

India has the largest ever single daily rise in cases. They reported that another 75,760 people tested positive today. In more positive news, 2,523,771 Indian patients have recovered - 76.24% of the total.

UK mayors have been among those campaigning for payments for people self-isolating. It appears that evidence from the North West of England has backed up that need - some people simply cannot afford to miss any wages and will try to cheat the system. 
From September 1st, ONLY in areas with high numbers of new cases, and trialling first in Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle and Oldham - people on Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit, who have to self-isolate and can't work from home, will be entitled to £13 per day. (Don't spend it all at once. Still, better than nowt).

The US CDC has amended it's advice regarding testing. Previously they said: "Testing is recommended for all close contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Because of the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, it is important that contacts of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection be quickly identified and tested."
Now they say: "If you have been in close contact (within 6 feet) of a person with a COVID-19 infection for at least 15 minutes but do not have symptoms: You do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual or your health care provider or State or local public health officials recommend you take one."
As we all know, Donald said repeatedly that America only has so many cases because they do so much testing.... honest. Solved that problem. 

A wedding in Maine 2 1/2 weeks ago has turned into a disaster. 22 attendees have since tested positive. They spread it to at least 14 more people, who spread it to at least 24 more, including a nursing home resident and a prisoner. 1 person has so far died. It's not yet known which of the first 22 was the initial case, or if it was even any of them. If you go to a wedding, please take care with your loved ones. 

350 workers and their families are isolating at home after an outbreak at a chicken processors in Attleborough, Norfolk, England. 75 members of staff have so far tested positive, and part of the plant has been temporarily closed.  

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a public meeting of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on October 22, 2020. There are a few people a little jumpy that this is a week or so before their election, and we are already aware that *somebody* is hoping to announce a vaccine before then.... NO COVID vaccine candidate can be properly tested and ready for public use at that point. 

How long to I need to isolate for in the UK

Dutch researchers have been following a group of 10 people for 35 years, to assess how often they catch the coronaviruses that cause common colds. The findings aren't yet peer-reviewed (checked over). By measuring antibodies, they found most of the subjects were infected multiple times by each of the 4 main viruses. The shortest gap between infections was 6 months, but the median (middle average) was 30 months. "We saw frequent reinfections at 12 months post‐infection and substantial reduction in antibody levels as soon as 6 months post‐infection.”
Most interestingly though:
"We noticed three subjects to carry antibodies recognizing SARS‐CoV‐2 N protein (the COVID-19 virus) at certain time points. It is unlikely that they had been infected with a SARS‐CoV‐2‐like virus in 1985 (subject 10), 1992  (subject 2), or 2006 (subject 9), and we therefore suggest that broadly acting antibodies may have been induced by coinciding infections of an Alpha‐ and a Betacoronavirus (in our subject(s) HCoV‐HKU1 and HCoV‐NL63)."
Basically, when people had caught 2 cold viruses at once, their bodies created antibodies that would also fight COVID-19. This has been found when studying current COVID patients, and might help explain why some people just don't get ill...

Remember kids, it wasn't Boris' fault you were given harsh marks for your exams and put through a week or more of hell, or possibly even lost your place unfairly on the course of your dreams. The problem was, according to Boris, "A mutant algorithm"...

Some people, all of whom would probably say A Mutant Algorithm is a great name for a debut album, but a poor excuse for a mess up:

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

USA 6,015,369 (+15,004) 183,961 (+308) 

Brazil 3,731,022 (+9,018) 117,996 (+240)

India 3,381,052 (+73,303) 61,664 (+1,035)

Russia 975,576 (+4,711) 16,804 (+121)

South Africa 615,701 not yet reported today 13,502

Peru 613,378 not yet reported today 28,124

Mexico 573,888 (+5,267) 62,076 (+626)

Colombia 572,270 not yet reported today 18,184

Spain 426,818 not yet reported today 28,971

Chile 404,102 (+1,737) 11,072 (+82) 

Argentina 370,188 not yet reported today 7,944

Iran 367,796 (+2,190) 21,137 (+117)

UK 330,368 (+1,522) 41,477 (+12)

Saudi Arabia 311,855 (+1,019) 3,785 (+30)

Bangladesh 304,583 (+2,436) 4,127 (+45) 


The Gruffalo: reimagined for COVID

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