Friday 28 August 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 28 August 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 28 August 2020.

The UK added 1,276 cases today and now has reported a total of 331,644 positive cases of COVID-19. 754 people were in hospital on Wednesday 26th (down 87 from the same time last week), with 71 using a ventilator yesterday (down 5 from the same time time last week). 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 9 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 41,486 officially reported losses of life in all settings, within 28 days of a positive COVID test. 

Rep. Of Ireland 28,578 (+127) cases and 1,777 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 24,782,024 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 838,468. Already 17,201,592 people have recovered.

Banksy NHS Superheroes

Hope you aren't on a break in the Czech Republic, Jamaica or Switzerland. They'll be removed from the exempt list for arrivals from 4am tomorrow (Saturday 29 August), meaning you will have to quarantine on return to the UK.

Changes to local English restrictions announced today - these come into force on Wednesday 2nd September:
- Positive progress means 2 households can mix again in areas including Bolton, Stockport, Trafford, Hyndburn and Burnley, also parts of Bradford excluding Bradford city and Keighley town, parts of Calderdale excluding Halifax,  and parts of Kirklees excluding Dewsbury and Batley.
- Some improvements in Leicester, with current restrictions remaining in place for a further 2 weeks as cases remain high

In Ireland, extra restrictions remain in place in Kildare. 

UK Schools will have to report to Government every day to inform them of school and pupil status. This includes whether they are open, how many pupils have COVID, and if they have any students self-isolating, or living in lockdown areas with restrictions on school attendance. 

France reported 6,111 cases yesterday. That is their 2nd highest daily total ever and a bit of a disaster. I think it's probably acceptable to say they are in a second wave. Fingers crossed they get a grip on it swiftly. 

Jet2 have cancelled all Spanish holidays and flights through the end of the season - 12th September. 

Plymouth, South England, isn't having fun this week. They have a small medical factory outbreak, and some teenagers who may have been a little naive. At least 11 young people from a group of 30 who went on holiday to Zante together have tested positive. Some of them went for a night out in Plymouth when they got back. I don't think we'll have seen the last of that.. 

Bank holiday dentist arrangements UK

China has offered to test every single resident of Hong Kong. Understandably it's being met with more than a little distrust. Recently China imposed 'security laws' which mean people accused of political crimes can be taken to Beijing rather than dealt with in Hong Kong. There was a lot of resistance and public protest against the laws. China has said it will test all-comers and has sent a team to Hong Kong, where they'll also build a temporary hospital. The timing is off. Hong Kong has seen a rapid decline in cases over the last 3 weeks, and is now only reporting around 20 new cases each day. 

Bad news from the USA. A 25 year old from Nevada has tested positive for a second time, with a minutely different strain of COVID. That isn't the bad news, I think we know now that infection only protects you for a limited time. The bad part is that he took around a month to recover fully the first time, and the second time, testing positive a mere 48 days after his first positive test, he was hospitalised and required oxygen. I can't sugar coat that, and it is not good for any ideas of large periods of herd immunity. COVID seems about at risky as repeatedly crossing that busy road...
Remember this is an isolated case, and whatever virus you choose, there will always be some people who never develop immunity, and likewise, a few who will never become ill. 

Grant Shapps, UK Transport Minister has stressed that it's safe for office workers to return to their offices. What he's actually trying to say is that city centre businesses are in danger of folding, because you aren't buying frothy coffees and business lunches, and you aren't going shopping on the way home. He isn't getting a lot of support on Twitter, where people are still weighing it up and the most vocal seem to be enjoying their lack of a 2 hour commute each day. Apparently an advertising campaign will begin next week, once the kids are back at school. 

250 m vaccine doses shows science person in PPE leaning over a table full of science

Is it just me thinks that after spending 6 months working from home while the kids bicker, shout at Fortnite and eat everything, we all deserve a few weeks of peaceful home working?  

A paper (not yet peer-reviewed) out today shows that rabbits can catch COVID, and they secrete the virus through their mouths and nose in the same way that humans do, which gives potential for animal-to-human transmission , including aerosol. We already know that cats, dogs, mink, tigers, lions, ferrets, hamsters, monkeys, grivets, civets, bats and marmosets can be infected, so it's not a huge surprise. Good news is that the animals, like humans, are mostly mildly affected, and often asymptomatic.
Scientists haven't yet managed to infect, or find COVID in, ducks, chickens, mice and surprisingly, pigs. 

Fantastic news from the World Health Organisation this week, in that wild Polio strain 3 (there were only 3, this leaves 1) has been eradicated, and wild polio wiped out across the WHO Africa region. It is brilliant, but therein lies a cautionary tale. Polio has no treatment and in around 1 in 200 people caused muscle weakness, wastage and paralysis, which could be permanent, and in rare cases was fatal. In the 1950's 75,000 children a year were paralysed by Polio, so a vaccine was a brilliant development.
2 vaccines used in the USA at first had 'incidents', and delivered live Polio virus into the population. They were discontinued, and the remaining vaccine chosen for use for most populations was unusual, but cheap and easy to administer. It was given by mouth, and live but weakened, so the body could fight and beat it. The problem was that in very rare cases, it reverted over time and became strong again, and passed through the body. If it got into a water source, it could actually infect people who drank it - but only if they hadn't yet been immunised themselves.
Polio was eradicated quickly in the Northern Hemisphere, and in 1986 a massive immunisation programme began to eradicate it worldwide. They would have succeeded, but unfortunately in 2017 they realised they were seeing more cases of vaccine-related polio than they were wild polio. It is worth it though, and Bill & Melinda Gates don't deserve the criticism they get for co-funding the entire project. Cases of Polio decreased by over 99% between 1988 and 2017, saving many thousands of people from a lifetime of disability and pain, or worse. Today Polio is only present in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
We've learnt from those experiences, and the Polio vaccine has been changed. But it shows why the guy in the movies, who whips up something and then announces "we have the vaccine", is not reality. We were at that point in March. We need to take immunisations seriously, and under NO circumstances is it safe to give people a vaccine which has not been properly and thoroughly tested. 

My kids have had all of their immunisations. We tried Meningitis 7 years ago and we didn't enjoy it - we still aren't enjoying it now. If you have a student off to university, they'll be offered a Meningitis jab if they didn't have it during their last 2 years at school. Young people aged 18-25 are incredibly susceptible, year 1 Uni students are more at risk from Meningitis than any other group. 

Word is that Russia are in talks with Venezuelan and Indian drug companies to produce their Sputnik V COVID vaccine (best name ever, even better than India's COVAXIN). They have already agreed a supply deal with Kazakhstan, whose government intend to supply the vaccine to at-risk individuals free of charge. This vaccine is in very early stages, and needs adequate testing with 40,000 people before it can be deemed safe. So far it has been tested on just 76 people - apparently including Vladimir Putin's scientist daughter. 

Words only Viruses thrive on Mass gatherings

Remember the UK Government were going to help disadvantaged young people access the internet for their education? Between 15th May and 26th August they have delivered or dispatched 220,494 x laptops / tablets, and 50,984 x 4G wireless routers. Wow. I hope that they went to the people who needed them most. 

6 months ago today I was reporting that the UK had 2 new cases imported from Tunisia and Italy, for a total of 15 cases. Countries were closing their borders to arrivals from China, and 49 countries had reported at least 1 case of COVID. Iran was in trouble, and South Korea was in the midst of their Dengu Church outbreak. The US had reported 60 cases, more than half from the Diamond Princess, however they'd only tested 426 people. The World Health Organisation believed many countries had contained COVID, and that asymptomatic cases did not spread the virus...  We've come a long way, and it may seem this is going on forever, but we will get to the end. 

Have a good weekend, I'm back Sunday. Journalist Marina Hyde has supplied the triplet of the day...  Leave home. Forget the NHS. Save Pret.

Just for today the numbers below refer to the complete total of new cases and losses of life reported YESTERDAY (as documented by worldometer). It shows exactly who is having the biggest current nightmare, as these are the 15 countries which reported the highest number of new daily cases. Best of luck to all of you. 

They all look like numbers, but they are all people, and very much like you: 

Countries / Cases / Losses of life yesterday: 

India 3,384,575 (+76,826) 61,694 (+1,065)

USA 6,046,634 (+46,286) 184,796 (+1,143)

Brazil 3,764,493 (+42,489) 118,726 (+970)

Argentina 380,292 (+10,104) 8,050 (+211)

Colombia 582,022 (+9,752) 18,468 (+284)

Peru 621,997 (+8,619) 28,277 (+153)

France 259,698 (+6,111) 30,576 (+32) 

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

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

Spain 451,792 (+3,781) 28,996 (+25)

Iraq 219,435 (+3,651) 6,740 (+72)

Philippines 205,545 (+3,213) 3,234 (+97)

Indonesia 162,884 (+2,719) 7,064 (+120)

South Africa 618,286 (+2,585) 13,628 (+126) 

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






  1. I just love your updates. They should put you on the tv. That is crazy about all the animals. I loved that insane last line about people & their posh sandwiches that comes with working in the city. When you see all the outbreaks happening in factories you’d think they’d want to keep people out of the office, but I get it. City food stuff isn’t being bought. I see wee Nippy as she’s known here is putting her foot down on that up here. It is a worry for Fance, I really hope they get it under control. And I hope those students listen to you about the menengitis jag. Definitely one I’ll be making sure mine get if and when the time comes to be students. Sending hugs your way to you all. Thank you for all your amazing updates. You have helped so many with these. Have a good weekend & air hugs xxx

    1. I'm copy pasting that comment for my CV :) Thank you x


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I read every one and try my best to reply!