Friday 7 August 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 7th August 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 7th August 2020.

The UK added 871 cases today and now has reported a total of 309,005 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 185,980 tests yesterday. 1,101 people were in hospital on Wednesday 5th, with 69 using a ventilator.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we announced the loss of another 98 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. Please bear in mind that they often add historical data on a Friday, so 50 of these people at least succumbed earlier this year. We now very sadly have a total of 46,511 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

England 266,645 / 41,886

Northern Ireland 6,064 / 556

Scotland 18,890 / 2,491

Wales 17,406 / 1,578

Rep. Of Ireland 26,372 cases and 1,768 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 19,395,730 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 720,242. Already 12,453,855 people have recovered.

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

World Mask Week starts today. I've no idea who thought that one up, but it does mean there will be lots of promotions and possibly discounts etc. It's a rare one this - most of the world is actually required to wear masks or face coverings by law, so it's a genuine world event - even if most people won't realise it's happening. 

As part of #WorldMaskWeek, the World Health Organisation have launched the #WearAMask challenge - which seems to basically involve posting a photo of yourself in a mask. Obviously the cooler the better. So for today, if you make or sell face coverings, or if you bought an especially awesome one - feel free to drop a photo (and a link to your etsy or other online shop) in the comments below the post on my Facebook page

The UK Government have made it clear they aren't happy with people wearing face visors, or masks with valves (including N95 type), and you shouldn't wear surgical grade masks as that causes shortages for medical and care staff. 

The City of Preston area is the latest in the UK to face the extra restrictions. From midnight tonight Preston residents:
•Cannot have others in your homes and garden
•Cannot visit other people's homes or gardens, even if they are in an unaffected area
•Are not allowed to mix with other households in indoor venues
Excludes support bubbles

Welcome to the (mainly) North West club... 

Loneliness How to deal UK Government

India recorded the highest single day total increase in cases on August 6th - 62,170 - to take them over 2 million cases. They have now lost an official total of over 41,000 people. 

1. This is an utter tragedy because they really are trying to the best of their financial ability.
2. They're still a damn sight better at testing than the UK were at the height of our epidemic. India have a lot of people still in hospital, but we have reported 5,000 more people succumbed, yet have reported less than 1/6th cases that they have. That is because for 4 months, the UK only tested people who were ill enough to end up in hospital.  

Local councils in England have had a massive win - they'll finally be allowed almost real-time data on cases in their area. The fact they weren't able to access that before is horrific, counter-productive, and partly it seems because someone somewhere thought it was too much faff to get them to sign GDPR and data protection documents to make it legal. This will enable local Test and Trace operations to happen effectively - and frankly if it involves your Nan sitting on a deckchair at the bus station chatting to passers-by, it'll probably reach more contacts than our "world-beating"(ly rubbish) national Track and Trace. How any local authority or decision-maker was meant to actually look out for our health, without a clue who was infected, is a mystery to literally everyone. 

There's a great article in Wired about hydroxychloroquine. The initial papers which gave the impression it might be helpful were based on lab studies using cells from green monkey's kidneys. When labs and doctors tried to get the same results on human lung cells, and actual live humans, it didn't happen. They are urging scientists to choose their research cells more carefully. 

Andorra, Belgium and The Bahamas will be added to the UK quarantine list from tomorrow. If you enter the UK from any country, principality or territory on the list then you have to self-isolate at a given address for 14 days before you are allowed out. 

The Office for National Statistics have released some figures relating to the social impacts of COVID in England, Scotland and Wales:
- 96% of adults who had left their homes said they had worn a face covering to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) – an increase from 84% last week and 71% the week before.
- Almost 4 in 10 adults (37%) said they would feel comfortable or very comfortable eating indoors at a restaurant this week, an increase from last week (34%).
- Over 4 in 10 adults (41%) reported that the coronavirus was affecting their well-being this week; of these adults, 14% reported that they were worried about a possible job loss.
- Of those adults who had left their homes this week, more than 1 in 5 (21%) said they had visited a café, pub or restaurant, an increase from 10% three weeks ago.

Over 200,000 residents downloaded Northern Ireland's contact tracing app. within the first week. Yes, it's true. Northern Ireland managed a contact tracing app. well before the English "World Beating" (at being illegal and non-existent) Track and Trace app. We are told it is on the way..... Any week now... 

The US imposed a Global Travel Advisory back in March, and they lifted it yesterday. They do still have advisories on most countries, and plenty of 'Do Not Travel'. Don't forget that if you go somewhere which your country has an advisory against, you may be unable to ask for government help if you get into trouble, and your travel and health insurance better be awesome. 

Scottish students today protested the inequality of exam 'moderation', which reduced the results of more than twice as many students from poor areas as it did affluent areas. The placards said it all:
"Justice for scheme wains."
"Judge me, not my postcode."
Your level of poverty has less to do with your ability and talent than who your Grandmother married. In my humble opinion. As a teacher. And a human.
The NUS are calling for: "extra support for students to appeal, allow them to appeal their grades and make sure that no student is charged for the inconvenience of taking exams in the Autumn.” 

The Guardian are reporting that they believe 39% of English  A level results will be downgraded from teacher assessment, and there will be a similar percentage of GCSE results downgraded. They're suggesting it'll be capped according to the last 3 year's results for the student and the school. (Which is telling students and school staff that "you may have worked fantastically last year, but we aren't bothered". I'm bothered, I care. Well flipping done if that's you.) Let's hope it's at least fairly distributed eh? Or we'll all start wondering about previous year's pass rates... 

Hong Kong is working hard to defeat their outbreak. They've built an amazing inflatable town test facility inside a sports centre in Sai Wan Ho, to offer voluntary population-wide testing. They will also build a temporary 1,000 bed "negative air pressure facility" at Asia World Expo. 

'Negative Air Pressure' environments have heavily filtered and very regularly ventilated air, and are used often for critical care. They don't allow the air to escape without passing through the filters, keeping virus contained.  

How to lower your chances of catching Coronavirus

The telly people are beginning to think outside the box! Finally, it could get interesting. I'm A Celebrity will be back for 2020, but it'll be filmed in a ruined UK Castle. Maybe the challenges will involve eating Turducken? Or archery? Or wearing the same clothes and not washing for years on end? 

UK beaches are open, and it's super hot. Remember that social distancing must be observed, and local councils will turn you away or ask you to leave if it becomes impossible to fit anyone else in (the same is true for any attraction or public place). If you are planning a day trip - take hand sanitiser and masks, and a Plan B in case you have to have do something different instead. 

Have an excellent weekend, back Sunday. Use Sunscreen, Drink Water,  Save The NHS. 

Some people, all of whom know the joy of dipping their toes in the cool water on a hot day: 

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

USA 5,050,976 (+18,797) 163,149 (+345)

Brazil 2,927,807 (+10,245) 98,844 (+200)

India 2,086,506 (+61,097) 42,564 (+926) 

Russia 877,135 (+5,241) 14,725 (+119)

South Africa 538,184 not yet reported today 9,604

Mexico 462,690 (+6,590) 50,517 (+819) 

Peru 455,409 not yet reported today 20,424

Chile 368,825 (+2,154) 9,958 (+69) 

Colombia 357,710 not yet reported today 11,939

Spain 354,530 not yet reported today 28,500

Iran 322,567 (+2,450) 18,132 (+156) 

UK 309,005 (+871) 46,511 (+98)

Saudi Arabia 285,793 (+1,567) 3,093 (+38)

Pakistan 282,645 (+782) 6,052 (+17) 

Bangladesh 252,502 (+2,851) 3,333 (+27) 




Blogger seems to have had some kind of crazy update which has double spaced everything - I didn't enjoy that. Hopefully it'll be gone by the next post... 


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