Friday 4 September 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 4th September 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 4th September 2020.

The UK added 1,940 cases today and now has reported a total of 342,351 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 175,687 tests on Wednesday. 743 people were in hospital on Weds 2nd, with 76 using a ventilator yesterday (Thurs 3rd). . 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 10 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 41,537 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 29,303 (+97) cases and 1,777 losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 26,650,314 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 876,070. Already 18,779,898 people have recovered.

Support people during coronavirus WHO advice

UK nations don't agree over Portugal, and do you know what? That's okay. Why should they stoop to our level?  Arrivals to Wales have to quarantine,  arrivals to Scotland will have to quarantine from tomorrow, arrivals to England or Northern Ireland do not currently face a quarantine (at time of typing). If you go to any different country, it's up to you to make sure you check your own local government restrictions - which can change at any time. Make allowances in case you need to quarantine, be happy if you don't. 

UK testing is in a big fat mess, and Dido has apologised. (She's feeling so guilty she can't sleep, she can't eat...). She's sorry. The big numbers claimed just aren't true. Capacity they're now saying is 250k, but tests are actually less than 180k per day. They seem to have moved capability and mobile units up to the North West, and people down on the South Coast are being asked to drive themselves to the moon, sorry, Blackburn and Oldham for tests. The BBC have interviewed several people, including a woman who was sent to Inverness from Plymouth - a 1300 mile round trip!

I'm not exactly sure what the English government are playing at, but it looks like a massive leap backwards to me. Testing is now over capacity and Test & Trace is utterly dire, and this morning they amended guidance for schools, in what must be a direct response. They say:
"It is vital that we learn from the recent Scottish experience, where the return of schools saw a huge increase in demand for tests from people without coronavirus symptoms.
We want to avoid a similar surge in test demand as England’s schools and colleges return to ensure that we continue to prioritise our testing capacity for those with symptoms and to avoid children, students and their families self-isolating unnecessarily."
"To ensure we identify those with coronavirus while avoiding a huge increase in demand for tests from people without coronavirus symptoms, we ask that you recommend to your pupils, students and staff who feel unwell, that they get tested if they develop one or more of the main coronavirus symptoms:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- the loss or change of their sense of taste or smell
- Or they are recommended to get tested by a healthcare provider (e.g. GP or nurse)
If a pupil, student or staff member develops one or more of the main coronavirus symptoms described above, only they should be tested. There is no need for their households to have a test, unless they are also symptomatic."
We are back to not bothering to find out who is asymptomatic... Go Home, Give It To Your Family, Don't Get Added To The Numbers. 

Parents need to take a Break WHO COVID advice

At least 15% of 'Big Ten athletes' (American footballers) who tested positive for COVID-19 were found to have myocarditis - inflammation of the heart muscle. This story was originally quoted at 35%, but the Penn State director of athletic medicine, Wayne Sebastianelli, later amended his comments to 15%. Frankly that's still quite alarming, and although probably temporary shows yet again that we simply don't understand what we are dealing with. These are incredibly healthy young people. 

Medics at the Children's National Hospital in Washington DC have discovered children have special COVID skills. Burak Bahar, M.D., lead author of the study and director of Laboratory Informatics told Medical Xpress:
"With most viruses, when you start to detect antibodies, you won't detect the virus anymore. But with COVID-19, we're seeing both. This means children still have the potential to transmit the virus even if antibodies are detected."
Awesome. Kids are great.

Bolton, in the North West of England, now has the highest rate of COVID-19 in the country at 84.1 new cases per 100,000 popn. (and as local areas go, that really is pretty much world-beating). National Track & Trace is so rubbish that less than half of the contacts of people who have tested positive have been asked to isolate.
There are suggestions that the spike has been fuelled by a holidaymaker returning from Spain and going on a pub crawl instead of self-isolating. I can confirm local opinion of that night out is not positive... 

The Canadian Medical Association have published a statement, stressing just how important it is to protect those on the frontline. They've found that health care workers make up 8% of their workforce, but account for 19% of COVID-19 cases. 

At some point in the next 6 or so weeks, it's likely the English government will start to get jittery about hospital numbers over Winter, and actually start taking COVID-19 seriously. We may see more serious penalties, new rules and stricter, more targetted local lockdowns. We do still have all of the temporary hospitals to call on - the chance of our health system becoming overwhelmed is incredibly, incredibly slim. We are in a much better position than many countries.  

A report released this week in the Journal of Paediatrics looks at 2 studies of previously unreported Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in children. All together it covers 66 children in New Hyde Park (Queens) and New York City. All became ill in the 4 week period following the peak of their local outbreak:
"In the 2 studies, median ages were 8.6 and 10 years, males 61%, underlying conditions 21% and 44%, and symptom duration prior to hospitalization 4 and 4.5 days."
All of the children had fever and stomach problems, but not the usual "respiratory tract signs, symptoms, or outcomes of patients with COVID-19". Author Sarah S Long MD says we should stop calling it COVID-related. It is caused by the same virus, but an entirely separate disease. 

If the paragraph above didn't make sense, use Chicken Pox as an example. Chicken Pox is caused by the Varicella virus. Shingles is related to Chicken Pox, because it is also caused by the Varicella virus, but it's a different disease. My partner had Meningitis 7 years ago. It was caused by the Varicella virus getting into the wrong place. All cased by the same virus, but they are all separate. Varicella is a pain because it can just live there in your body and creep out for round 2 any time. You can give someone Chicken Pox, but you can't give them Shingles, or Varicella Viral Meningitis. Fortunately it seems hopeful Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome doesn't behave in the same way. We've not seen any visible evidence of round 2 from the COVID-19 causing virus, SARS-Cov-2, weeks down the line.  

Got symptoms Get tested

Chinese students are the largest group of international students in the USA. They're having a re-think in huge numbers. Anti-Chinese racism and the USA's failure to control COVID-19 are clearly having a negative effect. 

While a lot of companies are struggling,  and too many are closing for me to list, the Co-Op have announced 1,000 new jobs and new store openings before the end of the year. I have to now legally tell you I've worked with the Co-Op in the past, many times - including on cheap and easy student meals (all my recipes are on the blog - my online recipe book which my own big kids use). Students get an extra 10% discount with a TOTUM card - never miss out on a bargain.  

Why did women do so much better in their initial responses to COVID? Only 19 countries were led by women, and scientists have tried to work out whether they appeared to have a better response, or actually did. The results were conclusive, when compared to similarly sized populations and financial status, they definitely did. They were incredibly risk-averse when it came to lives, and closed down their countries at an earlier stage, despite financial concerns. As it turns out, despite any original debate, we can all clearly see that financial health is dependent on physical health, so their action has been less costly in all ways. (Get in....) 

Right now France is having a nightmare. Something has gone very wrong. India is reporting absolutely insane numbers of new cases - 553.500 in the last week alone. Across Europe we are seeing an increase in cases, and cases in South East Asia are increasing even more rapidly. The good news is that cases in the Americas (North and South) are finally showing steady reduction, as are Eastern Mediterranean, Western Pacific, and Africa. Fingers crossed everyone. 

#SeatOutToHelpOut is trending on Twitter. This is asking the UK government to match with £10 every ticket sold for theatre, music and other arts performances. Venues are really struggling with paying overheads for premises they have barely been able to use since March, and I don't see riches any time soon. It's a proven fact that without varied entertainment, human mental health rapidly declines. Frivolous as it seems, we do need the arts. 

Russia have just published the results of their 2 vaccine studies, both Phase 1 & Phase 2 simultaneously. Both vaccine candidates show themselves to be safe and effective:
"Both vaccine formulations were safe and well tolerated. The most common adverse events were pain at injection site (44 [58%]), hyperthermia (fever - 38 [50%]), headache (32 [42%]), asthenia (lack of energy - 21 [28%]), and muscle and joint pain (18 [24%]). Most adverse events were mild and no serious adverse events were detected. All participants produced antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 glycoprotein."
Bloody good job seeing as Putin is suggesting he'll be launching a mass vaccination programme in October... Just the Phase 3 trials missing... 

EVERY COVID-19 vaccine trial I've read so far implies it makes you feel a bit rough for about 24 hours... 

covid charity World villages for children doing Temperature checks on a line of girls in school uniform in  in Tanzania

The charity World Villages for Children have kept all of their 13 schools open, continuing to educate 20,000 of the world's poorest children in the Philippines, South Korea, Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil and Honduras throughout the crisis. Not a single child or staff member during this time has taken ill, with schools doing a fabulous job of creating COVID-safe learning both remotely and in school. Well done to you all. I think a few government departments might learn a lot if they just paid attention to some of the everyday people doing an exceptional job... 

There are 37 vaccine candidates now in human trials, with 9 in large scale Phase 3 trials, and 3 which have even been "approved for limited use" by their government bodies. Much as we'd all love a vaccine tomorrow, you have to keep a clear distinction between trials on willing participants, and immunisation programmes. We are well on the way though. We will definitely get there. 

It's National Fish & Chip Day. Remember your mask if you're going the chippy. Have an excellent weekend. Back Sunday. 2 Fridges. Protect The NHS.

Some people. They would all enjoy music, careful lighting, and dancing with someone who can make them smile...

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

USA 6,352,068 (+16,824) 191,406 (+348)

Brazil 4,054,474 (+8,324) 124,922 (+193)

India 4,014,744 (+81,620) 69,614 (+1,045)

Russia 1,015,105 (+5,110) 17,649 (+121)

Peru 670,145 not yet reported today 29,405

Colombia 641,574 not yet reported today 20,618

South Africa 633,015 not yet reported today 14,563

Mexico 616,894 (+5,937) 66,329 (+513) 

Spain 498,989 (+10,476) 29,418 (+184)

Argentina 451,198 not yet reported today 9,468

Chile 418,469 (+1,968) 11,494 (+72)

Iran 382,772 (+2,026) 22,044 (+118) 

UK 342,351 (+1,940) 41,537 (+10)

Bangladesh 321,615 (+1,929) 4,412 (+29)

Saudi Arabia 319,141 (+822) 4,015 (+33)

France 309,156 (+8,975) 30,706 (no losses reported)



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