Tuesday 13 October 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 12 /13 October 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 12 /13 October 2020.

The UK added 17,234 cases today and now has reported a total of 634,920 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 219.074 tests yesterday. 

4,367 people were in hospital on Sunday 11th (up from 2,833 the same time last week), with 507 using a ventilator yesterday, 12th October (up from 393 the same time last week). 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 143 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 43,018 officially reported losses of life in all settings. 

Up until Friday 2nd October, 57,690 people in the UK have had COVID given as a cause on their death certificate. 

Rep. Of Ireland 43,351 cases and 1,827 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 38,243,553 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,088,221. Already 28,739,127 people have recovered.

UK Alert Levels MEDIUM October 2020

Remember the English Government's announcements yesterday only apply from midnight tonight, so if you are in the North West or North East, no garden visits until afterwards. 

The Nightingale Hospitals in Manchester, Harrogate and Sunderland have been put on standby, as local hospitals are starting to feel the weight of COVID cases. 

UK student exams next Summer will be delayed by 2-3 weeks to allow for extra 'catch up' tuition time. They will start on 7th June rather than mid-May. 

I was a grumpy yesterday because we've had garden visits banned since July, and now they're allowed, when my area has over 40 times as much COVID as it did in July. I agree with Chris Whitty, the measures announced yesterday by Boris do nothing to actually decrease transmission of COVID, they can only slow the rise slightly. I've always been annoyed that the English government have decided to attempt 'controlled herd immunity by transmission' among the less vulnerable population. They are playing with fire at our risk, and potentially our expense, and some areas are about to get burnt. Well done to the Mayor of Liverpool for daring to stand alone and impose Very High Tier restrictions. 

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford was left as open-mouthed and agog after yesterday's UK briefing as I was I think. He is appalled that movement restrictions were not implemented:
"I have once again written to Boris Johnson outlining our position and calling on him to follow our lead and introduce travel restrictions in coronavirus hotspots."
"We believe people from high-covid areas shouldn’t travel to low-covid areas anywhere in the UK. This is not about stopping people from England coming to Wales. It’s about stopping the virus travelling."

UK Alert Levels HIGH October 2020

The minutes from the 21st September official UK Government SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group) meeting 3 WEEKS AGO have been published, and it's pretty damning. Cunningly they shared it as an image of a document, so it was much harder to copy, but I've taken the time to type up point 2. I warn you now, the UK IS NO LONGER FOLLOWING THE SCIENCE. Students 18+ should probably sit down:
"A package of interventions will need to be adopted to reverse this exponential rise in cases. Single interventions by themselves are unlikely to be able to bring the R below 1 (high confidence). The shortlist of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) that should be considered for immediate introduction includes:
a. A circuit-breaker (short period of lockdown) to return incidence to low levels.
b. Advice to work from home for all those who can.
c. Banning all contact within the home with members of other household (except members of a support bubble)
d. Closure of all bars, restaurants, cafes, indoor gyms, and personal services (e.g. hairdressers)
e. All university and college teaching to be online unless face-to-face teaching is absolutely essential."
Obviously the only recommendation that was passed on to the UK public was to work from home. As Devil's Advocate, this is the purely scientific view, and has to be balanced against economy, so it was unlikely to be just accepted and implemented wholesale (unless we were New Zealand). However... They knew what was likely to happen with universities, and they let it happen. They knew we'd still be seeing cases rise now, and they let it happen. They decided to blatantly ignore the science and give us no opportunity to complain. I'm truly disappointed. 

The US Johnson& Johnson vaccine trial has hit a snag:
"We have temporarily paused further dosing in all our COVID-19 vaccine candidate clinical trials, including the Phase 3 Ensemble trial, due to an unexplained illness in a study participant."
This is the second known issue with a vaccine trial (the first was the Oxford/AstraZeneca pause), which is actually really good considering there are over 100 trials in progress, and hundreds of thousands of participants (if not millions) have been given vaccines already. It's not yet known what has occurred with this patient, and it is current, so best wishes for a quick recovery, no further illnesses, and a swift resumption of the trials. 

Today England were promised more information for people who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable - the Shielded group. It's a bit of a damp squib I'm afraid. Guidance has been updated, but on the whole it's mainly:
"While previous shielding guidance helped protect those most at risk from COVID-19, many people reported that they found the advice very restrictive.
Since the introduction of shielding, many new measures have been introduced in our communities, including the rule of 6, COVID-secure workplaces, and the widespread use of face coverings, all of which have reduced the need for such restrictive shielding advice...."
"The government will write to you separately to inform you if you are advised to shield. You are not advised to follow formal shielding advice again unless you receive a new shielding notification advising you to do so. From now, refer to the new local COVID alert levels for your area."
If my loved one was shielding, I'd also be using my own brain and everything I've learned to decide what I felt was too great a risk. My suggestion is that you do the same.  

UK Alert Levels VERY HIGH October 2020

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan:
"Today, London is at the ‘medium’ local alert level under the Government’s new framework, but Londoners should understand that our situation could change very quickly - potentially even this week.
Please continue to follow the rules - lives depend on it."
He has expressed a strong desire to keep the whole of London on the same level of restrictions, and earlier said London was at around 90 cases per 100k population, but would move to Tier Two - High Alert when the threshold of 100 cases per 100k population was crossed. 

Essex County Council has asked the Government to move it into the High tier. 

The UK Government have published a "full list of local covid alert levels by area" and if you copy/paste that into Google, it'll be top 'not an advert' answer. 

The World Health Organisation rarely miss anything. Yesterday afternoon's media briefing:
"There has been some discussion about the concept of reaching so-called “herd immunity” by letting the virus spread. Herd immunity is a concept used for vaccination, in which a population can be protected from a certain virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached.
For example, herd immunity against measles requires about 95% of a population to be vaccinated. The remaining 5% will be protected by the fact that measles will not spread among those who are vaccinated. For polio, the threshold is about 80%.
In other words, herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it.
Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to an outbreak, let alone a pandemic. It is scientifically and ethically problematic."
Dr Tedros, Head of the WHO.
He continued to explain why it is not suitable:
1. We don't know enough about the virus - length of immunity, chance of reinfection
2. Seroprevalence (antibody) surveys suggest that in most countries, less than 10% of the population have been infected, leaving 90% at risk of "unnecessary infection, suffering and death".
3. We’re only just beginning to understand the long-term health impacts among people with COVID19. - Long COVID is already affecting a lot of people, and it's expensive personally and financially.
- We have no idea where we'll be in 10 years time, or 30 years. Will damage which occurs now in lungs, brains, kidneys and other organs, or even blood, cause problems like organ failure or dementia later?
- Will COVID be able to come back as something else? The Varicella virus which causes Chicken Pox can live in your body for decades, and then seemingly at random gain strength and cause Shingles, or even Meningitis.
We simply don't know enough about what we are dealing with.  

Trump of the Yesterday:
Dr Anthony Fauci is not happy.  He's been constantly ignored and talked over, despite being the Face Of The US COVID Response. He's had to bite his tongue and retract suggestions about things like 'injecting light' and 'injecting cleansers'. His profession has been laughed at and his knowledge treated as myth. Now he's had the worst insult ever. Despite almost 50 years of public service without ever making his voting intentions public, he's been added to the latest Trump campaign video - and he was taken out of context.
The video features him commenting back in March, saying "I can't imagine that anybody could be doing more."
Fauci came back immediately with a statement to CNN:
"The comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials."
As the hours have passed, he only seems to have become more annoyed:
 "By doing this against my will, they are in effect harassing me.”
Joe Biden, the Presidential opponent, has responded with a cut and paste video of Trump talking, saying he used Fauci to make him look good, and it was fake, and he's sorry.
If only...
Dr Fauci is not going to let it affect his professionalism. On CNBC not long ago he said:
“I've devoted my entire professional life to fighting infectious diseases. This is an outbreak of historic proportions, the likes of which we have not seen in 102 yrs. There's no chance that I'm going to give up on this & walk away from it, no matter what happens.”

111020 WHO SITREP number of cases by World regions

China have recorded their first locally transmitted cases in almost 2 months, and they aren't having it. They intend to test all 9.5 million residents of Qingdao over 5 days, and they started on Sunday. No messing. They literally led the way and hardly anyone followed. In total they have reported 85,591 (+13) cases, and lost 4,634 people. 

Researchers from the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness have found that at 20°C (68°F), a comfortable room temperature, the COVID virus can survive for up to 4 weeks on everyday household surfaces.
"At 20 °C, infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus was still detectable after 28 days post inoculation, for all non-porous surfaces tested (glass, polymer bank note, stainless steel, vinyl and paper bank notes).
The recovery of SARS-CoV-2 on porous material (cotton cloth) was reduced compared with most non-porous surfaces, with no infectious virus recovered past day 14 post inoculation. The majority of virus reduction on cotton occurred very soon after application of virus, suggesting an immediate adsorption effect."
It's really bad news for households, as no-one wipes or cleans everything, so you begin to see just why 'other people's homes' are a high risk area. It's also a great reminder that simply washing your hands can save your life. 

The UK Government have proven they don't have a clue about how to support mental health, with an advertising campaign that'll break many hearts. The campaign is to encourage people to rethink, reskill, reboot, and take a free course so that you can then work online remotely. It's a great idea, but an example advert shows an artist, a ballerina, and says she can have a faceless, boring job at a computer "she just doesn't know it yet." Talk about urinating on your fireworks. While it's true that some job roles have had to pause, it doesn't mean your dreams are over or your life plan won't be able to resume in 6, 12 or 18 months. Think slightly longer. 

As an aside, the campaign is advertising "Cyber Security" courses, and there are comments from previous students. One says: "This course is 10/10. I learnt the fundamentals to get started with encrypting and hacking".
Probably wasn't their intention... 

The recipients of the first round of payments from the Culture Recovery Fund have been announced, and someone kindly put a spreadsheet out. Among the hundreds of recipients are:
Royal Philharmonic £996k
Ministry Of Sound £975k (just in case, this is music/venues/club nights, not a 'ministry')
Poole Arts Trust £987k
Beamish Museum £970k
National Football Museum £515k
Columbo Jazz £250k
Barbican Theatre £167k
Z-Arts (a local favourite) £132k
The Quilters' Guild of the British Isles £78k
Nozstock Festival £70k
Peterborough Sings! £50k
If you're under any illusion that it's frivolous to spend money to keep these people in work, and these buildings alive during the crisis, just take a moment to consider how you, right now, choose to unwind. You watch TV or movies, you read a book, you crochet, you make something, you listen to music. Without the arts, our mental health very quickly suffers.  

Thailand closed it's borders in March, and now is reopening to tourists - if you are wealthy enough. They're hoping to attract visitors who want a lengthier, more luxuriant stay, and have lined up some great places to spend your quarantine, including the hotel made famous for it's rooftop bar in the movie The Hangover... Apparently around 800 Chinese tourists are interested, so they can go first and it'll give me some time to save up... 

Some people, all of them with a favourite tune to dance to: 

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

USA 8,052,784 (+14,995) 220,308 (+297) 

India 7,233,670 (+60,105) 110,588 (+694)

Brazil 5,105,033 (+1,625) 150,772 (+63)

Russia 1,326,178 (+13,868) 22,966 (+244)

Spain 925,341 (+7,118) 33,204 (+80) 

Colombia 919,083 not yet reported today 27,985

Argentina 903,730 not yet reported today 24,186

Peru 851,171 not yet reported today 33,357

Mexico 821,045 (+3,542) 83,945 (+164)

France 743,479 not yet reported today 32,779

South Africa 693,359 not yet reported today 17,863

UK 634,920 (+17,234) 43,018 (+143)

Iran 508,389 (+4,108) 29,070 (+254)

Chile 484,280 (+1,392) 13,396 (+17)

Iraq 409,358 (+3,921) 9,970 (+58) 




new guidance








Temperature and survival on surfaces:








Culture Grant Awards

























  1. Thanks for the update. Looks like my three are now going to be part of your stats. Hugs xx


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