Thursday 15 October 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 14 /15 October 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 14 /15 October 2020.

The UK added 18,980 cases today and now has reported a total of 673,622 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 295,690 tests yesterday. 

4,941 people were in hospital on Tuesday 13th, with 563 using a ventilator yesterday, 14th October. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 138 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 43,293 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 45,243 cases and 1,835 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 38,947,653 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,099,641. Already 29,239,129 people have recovered.

be kind to people with covid drawing from WHO

"It is wrong to place some of the poorest parts of England in a punishing lockdown without proper support."
Andy Burnham, on behalf of the Greater Manchester local leaders. 

On Tuesday teatime, after the publication of the official SAGE meeting recommendations from 24th September, the leader of the UK political opposition, Kier Starmer MP, publicly called for more strident action against the virus immediately.
"We are at a decisive moment in the fight against the coronavirus. That’s why I'm calling for a circuit break in England - to protect the NHS, fix testing and get control of the virus."
He'd like a 3 week lockdown break around half term, and to be honest I'm still stunned that Boris didn't announce one at the press conference on Monday. Kier believes the government have lost control of the pandemic. I don't think that's entirely true, I think this is their plan, and wanted to allow younger, less vulnerable, people to be exposed purposefully in order to achieve a level of herd immunity by transmission. At some point they WILL lose control, because freewheeling down a hill with no brakes rarely ends well. It's a game with stakes that are too high for me to be comfortable. I'd like to stop playing. 

Northern Ireland are going to have a 4 week 'circuit breaker' lockdown from Friday:
- Current restrictions on households and children gathering will continue
- Bubbles limited to 10 people from 2 households
- Work from home whenever possible
- Universities/colleges teach remotely whenever possible
- Hospitality will be deliveries and take aways for food, with 11pm closing.
- Closure of close contact services
- No indoor sport, no outdoor contact sport between households except for elite athletes.
- No gatherings of more than 15 people except specific listed outdoor sports events
- Gyms may open for individual training only
- Face coverings mandatory in places of worship
- Funerals and committals limited to 25 people with no pre or post service gathering.
- Weddings and civil partnerships this weekend may go ahead, from Monday limits of 25 people with no reception.
- No alcohol sales after 8pm
- No unnecessary travel
- Schools half term holiday extended from 19th October, return 2nd November.
These restrictions should apply for 4 weeks. 

Wash your hands Doc McStuffins characters

"Trips to Blackpool are now associated with a large, and growing number of COVID cases in Scotland. We indeed now have an Incident Management Team in Scotland that has been set up to look specifically at cases associated with Blackpool."
Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish First Minister, warning of the dangers over the border and asking people to reconsider trips down South. In the last month 180 Scottish people who have tested positive have recently been to Blackpool, including 94 in the past week. 

It looks like Midnight Friday will be the big date for English areas moving up the Tiers - there will be lots of announcements over the coming days, so keep up to date with your local council pages.
The following will move to Tier 2 "High" restrictions from midnight on Friday:
Barrow and Furness, York, North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield, Erewash, Essex, Elmbridge, London.
The following are quite likely to move to Tier 3 "Very High" over the next few days: Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

Italy, San Marino and Vatican City State will be removed from the England travel corridors list at 4am, Sunday 18 October 2020. Crete will be added to the list at 4am, Sunday 18 October 2020.

Chris Green MP for Bolton West has resigned. He isn't happy at the idea of another lockdown.
I honestly have a huge amount of sympathy for him, and the businesses and the sensible people of Bolton. At best, they've had 2 weeks where they weren't under extra restrictions, and then hospitality was closed on 6th September. It was never actually enough, and cases continued to rise exponentially. All it did was place them under prolonged agony, and still with no end in sight. Wishy washy restrictions with cases still rising are just torture. 

How to wash your hands WHO advice sheet

There's a huge row between UK Government and Greater Manchester. All of the local leaders wrote to the Government, refusing to accept Tier 3 proposals without doing more to support business and individuals financially. They asked for other options to be considered, and Test and Trace to be managed locally.
Last night Andy Burnham, Mayor for Manchester, posted an update saying he had another meeting in the morning, within the hour the press were reporting Greater Manchester and Lancashire were going to move to Tier 3 restrictions, and he was tweeting angry.
This morning we were promised more information, but they were still at a stalemate at lunchtime, and at 4pm Andy Burnham gave a statement saying they were still in opposition.
We've already lived under these 'lockdown restrictions' for almost 3 months now. It's tedious, and as far as I can see has very little effect on the spread of COVID, if anything - we've got more cases than most of the rest of you. The restrictions prevent you seeing your mates and family, but you can still go out shopping and working, and spending money.
Which naive idiot didn't see straightaway that a huge number of people will cheat? A lot of people only have friends and family to keep them sane. 

The Director of the US CDC, Dr. Robert Redfield, has seconded UK advice and expressed concern over small household gatherings as being the source of a huge number of infections:
“What we're seeing as the increasing threat right now is actually acquisition of infection through small household gatherings.... And particularly with Thanksgiving coming up, we think it's really important to stress the vigilance of these continued mitigation steps in the household setting."
More than half of US states are currently reporting increased cases and hospitalisations.

A State Of Emergency has been called in France, and PM Emmanuel Macron has announced that from Saturday there will be a 9pm-6am curfew in Paris and 8 major areas. Gatherings will be limited to 6 people. Yesterday they reported 22,591 new cases. 

How to handrub WHO advice sheet

Trump of the Day:
"It was two weeks ago when I received the diagnosis that so many Americans across our country and the world had already received—I tested positive for COVID-19. To make matters worse, my husband, and our nation’s Commander-in-Chief, received the same news."
Melania Trump, with a drama-laden account of her ordeal. She thanks the medical team who looked after her and says:
"I chose to go a more natural route in terms of medicine, opting more for vitamins and healthy food." The opposite of her husband then... 

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) have reviewed the evidence around long term symptoms - Long COVID - and believe the reason many people have good and bad periods of time, and find symptoms alter, is because it isn't a single condition, it's more like a group of different syndromes, each with their own symptoms.
"The fluctuating and multisystem symptoms need to be acknowledged. A common theme is that symptoms arise in one physiological system then abate only for symptoms to arise in a different system."
They also estimate that huge numbers of COVID patients are already suffering. Small surveys have repeatedly found that more than half of hospitalised patients need some help or rehabilitation after they go home. An early Italian study had some of the most striking results. They found:
"87% of people discharged from a Rome hospital were still experiencing at least one symptom 60 days after the onset on Covid19 and 55% had three or more symptoms including fatigue (53%), difficulty in breathing (43%), joint pain (27%), and chest pain (22%) with 40% saying it had reduced the quality of their life."

151020 changing alert levels derbyshire etc

Sky News say they've seen documents that show some of the executives behind the Test and Trace system are being paid rates of £6,700 a day.
Seems to be true, because a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care has responded:
"Every pound spent is contributing towards our efforts to keep people safe as we ramp up testing capacity to 500,000 tests a day by the end of October.”
Would you like to start the laughter, or should I? 

Germany reported 6,063 cases yesterday, the highest since mid-April and Chancellor Angela Merkel (who is a Quantum Chemist) is very clear on when they put their restrictions into place.
Wherever the infection rate is over 35 per 100k population, masks are mandatory in crowded public places. Bars and restaurants have to close early.
Wherever the infection rate is over 50 per 100k popn., gatherings are limited to 10, bars and restaurants close at 11pm. Avoid non-essential travel to and from these areas.

The Netherlands imposed 4 weeks of restrictions yesterday. All bars, restaurants and coffee shops take away only.
All shops, apart from supermarkets, must close by 8pm. No-one can sell alcohol after 8pm.
Stay at home and work from home whenever possible.
Up to 3 people can visit your home per day (excludes children under 13)
Up to 4 people can meet outside (excludes children under 13)
The Netherlands reported 7,287 cases yesterday. 

The UK Government's plan to mass test populations regularly - as per Boris' 'Moonshot' dream of instant daily "are you okay?" saliva testing - has been 'scaled back'. To be honest it's more like just cancelled. Instead of attempting to test entire populations, they will mass test in areas with a high density of housing, or affected workplaces. Really you only have the extra capacity to play or do projects like this if you are somewhat in control of the virus. We aren't in a position like that, and the accuracy of the swab tests isn't really as good as we'd like in order to 'prove safety'... 

Scientists from Oxford University’s Department of Physics have developed a 5 minute COVID test. The extremely rapid diagnostic test detects and identifies viruses, and can differentiate with high accuracy SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. It can also recognise, and distinguish between, other common respiratory virus including other coronavirus and flu. And all it needs is a throat swab.
The test is currently under scrutiny by peers, but unless any obvious errors are spotted, it's likely to be in production by next Spring. Professor Achilles Kapanidis, Oxford's Department of Physics: "simple, extremely rapid, and cost-effective".

Children's hero and footballer Marcus Rashford has asked the government to continue the schoolchildren's free meals scheme into half term and the Christmas holidays. He did a great job getting 1.3m children a meal each weekday through Summer, but this time the government have said "no". Booooo... 

151020 UK cases by specimen date 9 days doubling from @RP131 on Twitter

Singapore and Hong Kong are reported to have come to an agreement over a travel bubble. People will need a negative COVID test and will travel on designated flights between the 2 countries, but won't have to quarantine when they arrive. 

The Queen went on a day trip today for the first time since March. She went to Porton Down with her Grandson William (the bald one), and none of the royal party were wearing masks (which reminded me instantly of Donald Trump). No way I'd be going anywhere near her, and certainly not into the same marquee. Can you imagine being the person who might have given her maj the virus? No thanks! I wouldn't go anywhere near my own Grandma either, not without full PPE... 

I've saved the best news until last. This isn't yet peer-reviewed, so it may be enthusiastic, but the HSJ have an exclusive article looking at mortality for hospitalised patients, and they say that:
"During the late March to mid-April spring peak of the pandemic just under 30 per cent of patients who tested positive for covid died during their hospital stay.
However, that proportion fell to under 15 per cent during the first 30 days of the second covid wave which began in the first week of September.
Analysis of the two regions which have seen the majority of covid-related hospital admissions and deaths during the second wave show a consistent picture."
This isn't looking at how many people get COVID, or how many of them are young and fit, it's talking about just the people who end up in hospital in the North West and North East. We've learnt about ventilation, we've improved and created drug therapies, and we understand the virus far better, and we're saving 85% of the patients instead of 70%.
Halving the number of people who succumb, in just 10 months of research and work, is a real testament to all of the different scientists and medics who have spent long hours working flat out. Thank you to all of you. 

The whole of the Northern hemisphere of the Earth are now heading into Winter together, and we're pretty much all now seeing the rise in cases which has been predicted since Spring. Sadly we didn't avoid it. Don't let it take you down, you are far better placed to keep yourself safe now - you've learnt huge amounts about your enemy since Spring. It's long, it's frustrating and it's a little bit scary, but IT WILL END. 

Today is Global Handwashing Day - if COVID has taught us anything, we've all learnt how to wash our hands! 

Some people. All floating on the same rock as you: 

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

USA 8,168,998 (+18,955) 222,162 (+319)

India 7,349,290 (+44,220) 111,726 (+415)

Brazil 5,148,345 (+6,847) 151,971 (+192)

Russia 1,354,163 (+13,754) 23,491 (+286)

Spain 937,311 not yet reported today 33,413

Argentina 931,967 not yet reported 24,921

Colombia 930,159 not yet reported today 28,306

Peru 856,951 not yet reported today 33,512

Mexico 829,396 (+4,056) 84,898 (+478) 

France 779,063 not yet reported today 33,037

South Africa 696,414 not yet reported today 18,151

UK 673,622 (+18,980) 43,293 (+138) 

Iran 517,835 (+4,616) 29,605 (+256)

Chile 486,496 (+1,124) 13,434 (+19) 






The 3 Bellends - The James Atherton pub in New Brighton (the Wirral) is being renamed the Three Bellends

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