Tuesday 8 September 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 7th/8th September 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 7th/8th September 2020.

The UK added 2,948 cases today and that was later amended to 2,460. It now has reported a total of 352,520 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 175,687 tests yesterday. 756 people were in hospital on Thursday 3rd, 757 on Sunday 6th, and we had 77 people using a ventilator yesterday (7th). 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 30 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. That was later amended to 32. We now very sadly have a total of 41,586 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 30,080 (+306) cases and 1,778 (+1) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 27,602,144 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 898,652. Already 19,694,577 people have recovered.

NHS Information for parents

"The epidemic is taking off again. I don't think we've hit this sweet spot where we've been able to control the epidemic and allow a degree of normality.... I don't think we've managed that. I'm quite worried the schools have just returned, cases are increasing, exponentially. They ARE increasing exponentially."
Professor John Edmunds, member of the UK government's official Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) - speaking reluctantly in an ITV telly interview. Jonathan Van Tam has also stated that cases are "creeping" throughout England. 

The UK ONS figures for week ending 28 August 2020 (Week 35) show that:
- The number of deaths in England and Wales was above the five-year average for the third consecutive week, with 791 deaths higher (9.6%)
- The number of death registrations in England and Wales involving COVID-19 (101 in Week 35) is the lowest since the first week COVID-19 deaths were registered (5 in Week 11, ending 13 March).
- Looking at the year-to-date (using the most up-to-date data we have available), the number of deaths up to 28 August 2020 was 417,063, which is 54,309 more than the five-year average. Of the deaths registered by 28 August, 52,282 mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, 12.5% of all deaths in England and Wales.
The number of death registrations was incredibly high while we went over our peak, with a huge amount being COVID, then it came down, and now it is going up again, but not because people are directly dying from COVID - they may be dying because it exists.
Patients who had treatments postponed or cancelled, people who have been too scared to go to hospital, people who haven't been diagnosed, people who have ignored symptoms 'because they aren't COVID'. I can't say this enough - the NHS is there for everyone. If you are ill, get medical attention. If your child needs help, get help. If you need an ambulance, ring 999. 

080920 ONS number of deaths covid other causes

English testing is a complete mess. World-beating it ain't. We are seeing a large increase in demand, some reports suggest requests for tests have doubled, but laboratory capacity hasn't. People were met with a brick wall when attempting to book tests from almost as soon as it opened at 8am this morning. Sarah-Jane Marsh, director of testing has apologised, and she really does seem sincere, very tired and a bit broken. Further testing labs are due to open this month.
Kids returning to school always creates a glut of coughs and colds, separating those from COVID-19 is impossible without testing. Couple that with an increase in numbers of positive cases pretty much throughout the UK, and you have chaos. 

Caerphilly is the first Welsh area to have a 'local lockdown', after reporting 133 cases last week:
- People over 11 must wear face coverings in shops
- People will only be able to meet outdoors
- People will not be allowed to enter or leave the county area without 'reasonable excuse'
I'm a big fan of temporarily restricting inter-area movement myself. You only have to look at Greater Manchester to understand why. The areas with largest numbers are being caught up 2 weeks later by their geographical neighbours. Salford - Trafford, Bolton - Bury. You can almost watch it travelling around the M60. If you stop that movement for a short period, you begin to have a chance of containing it and suppressing numbers right down. 

Birmingham, UK, or at least part of it, is likely to have been placed under restrictions by the time you read this. Health officials were meeting with local leaders this afternoon. 

Areas of the North West (not Bolton) reopened more business today, to match the rest of the UK. Sadly you can't get a test while you have your eyebrows threaded or blow a tenner at the Casino. 

Castle Rock High School in Coalville, Leicestershire (not the same Castle Rock High in every Stephen King book/movie), where Boris did his 7 minute mumble to English schoolchildren, has had to ask pupils to stay home following a confirmed case of COVID-19. Oops. Absolutely masses of schools have had to close to some or all pupils already. According to the Manchester Evening News, 15 schools in Greater Manchester had to send children home to isolate by the end of yesterday. 

Anyone else feeling the hamster wheel speeding up? We have been here before. History and science told us we'd be here again now, but it doesn't make it any easier. With the Spanish Flu, the second wave was bigger, let's hope history doesn't repeat that one. Batten down, the ride is about to get bumpy... (And I totally don't mind being wrong on that.) 

080920 ONS number of deaths at home hospital care home or hostel

Bolton, North West UK, is being placed under further restrictions because the ski slope rise in cases has continued and they are now at 120 per 100,000 population (6 x the UK quarantine threshold). Pubs have been identified as being a big part of the problem:
- All hospitality is restricted to takeaway only. This includes pubs and restaurants. 
- All venues will be required to close from 10pm to 5am.
“We’ll introduce urgently further measures that put the current guidance that people cannot socialise outside their household into law.”
That last quote is the type of emergency law you do need to keep an eye on. While I agree during this pandemic, it has to be something which is solely for reducing Covid-19 cases. 

'Long COVID' is really hitting the headlines now.
The Zoe Symptom Tracker app., run by Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, is warning that up to 300,000 people in the UK have reported symptoms for more than a month, and 60,000 have suffered for over 3 months. An earlier UK study found 74% of surviving hospitalised patients still reported symptoms at 8-12 weeks after admission.
These can be as mild as headaches or a slight shortness of breath after exercise, through to overwhelming fatigue, breathlessness, confusion, easy bruising, memory problems, heart or digestive problems etc.
With any virus some people will take a while to recover (most of my own family took around 4 months to recover from Flu 18 months ago), but the sheer scale of people in recovery from COVID, and those requiring some medical care, is going to be immense. General Practitioners worldwide are going to struggle, and are already calling for extra support.
(If you want to take part in the Zoe app. information-sharing, Link below - as far as I'm aware, it is in use in the UK, Sweden and the USA.)

UK Travel Corridor Update: "People arriving in England from Crete, Lesvos, Mykonos, Santorini, Serifos, Tinos or Zakynthos from 4am Wednesday 9 September will need to self-isolate for 2 weeks."

Trump of the Day:
Donald told a masked reporter "you're going to have to take that off please. How many feet are you away?" The reporter refused and said they'd speak more loudly. Trump sighed. Later a different reporter removed their mask and Trump said “you sound so clear as opposed to everyone else where they refuse".
This makes it sound as if Donald thinks he has a right to command people to go against their own safety concerns on his whim. He doesn't. Taking your mask off is your personal choice. Trying to embarrass or shame someone else into doing so is just bullying.  

The UK Government have ordered 250,000 clear face masks - for NHS and social care workers to wear when working with patients who are deaf, have dementia or otherwise use lip-reading and facial expressions to communicate. 

Older adults advice for care providers from WHO

Africa is still doing far better than the other continents regarding numbers of COVID cases and losses of life. While every person lost is a human being who leaves loved ones behind, the scale of the outbreak there has so far not matched the grim predictions. Scientists are unsure exactly why this is and would very much like to know. The populations are younger and often more spread out, except in city areas where they are so densely packed that everyone catches everything that anyone gets. There are some suggesting maybe these populations are protected because they all have recent exposure to other coronaviruses, and those antibody combinations are helping fight the COVID. Whatever the reason, it's good news so far - lets hope it stays that way. 

Remember I told you to start thinking of genius ways you can make Christmas awesome, and create some memories you can look back at with rosy tinted glasses and a warm heart? Get on it...

The Tokyo Olympics WILL go ahead next year goldarnit. They aren't giving up that easily. Time to start thinking cleverly instead. Heaven knows what will happen, but it'll be the best they can manage. The IOC Vice President John Coates is the sort of person we all need to hear more from:
"Very much these will be the Games that conquered Covid, the light at the end of the tunnel."  

There's a UK Press Conference tomorrow I believe - and we do need one. I've totally forgotten who Boris Johnson even is. Fingers crossed he has scientists and they're allowed to say what they really want to say. I haven't reported on Wednesdays for ages, so unless it's super special and full of information we don't know, I'll save my sarcastic commentary for Thursday... 

Some numbers. They all refer to real human people:

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

USA 6,495,264 (+9,689) 193,686 (+152)

India 4,338,267 (+60,683) 73,502 (+686)

Brazil 4,150,311 (+2,517) 127,084 (+83)

Russia 1,035,789 (+5,099) 17,993 (+122)

Peru 691,575 not yet reported today 29,976

Colombia 671,848 not yet reported today 21,615

South Africa 639,362 not yet reported today 15,004

Mexico 637,509 (+3,486) 67,781 (+223)

Spain 525,549 not yet reported today 29,516

Argentina 488,007 not yet reported today 10,179

Chile 425,541 (+1,267) 11,682 (+30) 

Iran 391,112 (+2,302) 22,542 (+132)

UK 352,520 (+2,420) 41,584 (+30)

Bangladesh 329,251 (+1,892) 4,552 (+36)

France 328,980 not yet reported today 30,726



















Bojo address to school kids 06/08/20 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5BHMh7hvDY 







Free Zoe Covid Symptom Monitoring App - https://covid.joinzoe.com/




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