Friday, 16 October 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 16th October 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 16th October 2020.

The UK added 15,650 cases today and now has reported a total of 689,257 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 304,315 tests yesterday. 

5,311 people were in hospital on Wednesday 14th (up from 3,660 a week earlier), with 580 using a ventilator yesterday, 15th October (up from 436 a week earlier). 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 136 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 43,429 officially reported losses of life in all settings. (57,690 people have had COVID written on their death certificate.) 

England 584,843 / 38,524
Northern Ireland 25,177 / 608
Scotland 45,232 / 2,594
Wales 34,005 / 1,703

Rep. Of Ireland 47,427 (+998) cases and 1,841 (+3) losses of life.  

There have now been a total of 39,416,753 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,106,120. Already 29,510,661 people have recovered.

160420 Banksy painted his bathroom with rats

"The new restrictions we have seen brought in this week have made little practical difference to restrictions faced by most people. Cases will continue to rise in the majority of areas.
Waiting to discover the impact of the new 2 Tier system, is allowing time for the virus to spread further."
independent SAGE advisory group. 

From 4am Sunday 18 October, people arriving in England from Italy, San Marino and Vatican City State will need to self-isolate, as they will be removed from the travel corridor list this week .
The Greek island of Crete will be added to list for England.

The University & College Union have done a tally, and this morning said that over 20,000 university students have now tested positive in the UK.
That is an awful lot of worried parents, and food parcels...

At midnight tonight Wales close the border to anyone from Northern Ireland, England's Tier 2 and 3 areas, and the central belt of Scotland. You are not welcome, you disease ridden Angles. Fod wedi mynd.
Obviously this is bad news for anyone who was hoping to take a break in Wales, and I do sympathise with you, but at the same time you can hardly blame them. Movement restrictions are one of the very best ways to contain and suppress any virus.
Welsh Ministers are also reported to be considering a circuit-break lockdown. 

northern mayors letter to government 16th October 2020.

Tier 3 Very High restrictions will come into effect across Lancashire from midnight on Saturday. They will apply in Burnley, Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Lancaster, Pendle, Preston, Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire and Wyre, and will be reviewed after 14 days.

Boris did a surprise UK Briefing today, with Sir Patrick Vallance Curtains, the UK Science Chief, and new victim, Dr Susan Hopkins, Medical Advisor to Covid-19 response (although Boris said she was from Test & Trace and Public Health England).
Boris started by listing all of the regional leaders who haven't argued with him, and then warned us that we have to take action, because hospitals will otherwise become overwhelmed. Income Support top up will mean that those on the lowest wages will receive around 80% of their usual pay.
Then he mentioned Greater Manchester.... oooh, he's clearly miffed at Andy Burnham.
Cases in Greater Manchester have doubled in the last 9 days, and are now at a pretty scary 224 per 100k for the over 60's. Boris called it 'grave'. The number of COVID in-patients is already over 40% of the highest rate in the first wave, so it's likely in 2 weeks it will be higher.
He warns that if agreement cannot be reached, he's going to intervene.
He won't rule anything out, but wants to avoid a national lockdown.
He talked about the new tests which are faster, simpler and cheaper. He believes they will save lives and keep people at work/university/hospital over Winter. I would love that, but sadly I don't think the UK Government are as fast as the tests! I'm thinking aside from in hospitals, it'll be January at best. Trials are underway.
He added 'improve ventilation' to his 'Hands, Face, Space' spiel. Good to see they are taking that more seriously. Aerosol or airborne transmission has barely had a mention until now.
Pat with the slides. The estimate is that 362,00 people in England have COVID right now. The estimates for how many people are catching COVID each day in England are between 22,700-74,000, and that information does have a lag, so it is likely to be well over 50k. The R does seem to have gone down very slightly, but it's still around 1.4ish just now. The rate of growth of cases is fastest in the North West. Our rate of growth is slower than in Spring because of measures like social distancing and mask-wearing.
About 40% of hospitalised people in England are under 60. 

Public asked whether they'd be able to see their child, who lives in a different area, and Boris implied he would not, but obviously has no clue, and referred the person to the gov dot UK website. I can tell you that it says:
"We are advising people not to travel into or out of an area if it has been categorised as a very high alert level area. This is part of wider measures to help manage the risk of transmission. You can continue to travel into or out of very high alert level areas if you need to for work, education, to access youth services or because of caring responsibilities."
I'm pretty sure visiting with your parent/child counts as a caring responsibility - for both parties. Keep travel at a minimum and don't breathe all around your exes new house, just in case. 

The battle has raged on between Greater Manchester and the Government, and it's been quite vicious at times:
Dominic Raab: “We can’t have a situation where Andy Burnham is effectively saying unless you give us what we want, we’re not going to do the right thing in terms of following the new rules which will protect the very people of Manchester he’s elected to represent.”
Andy Burnham is main spokesman for the North West community leaders, and he's asking for more money for people and business before he will move Greater Manchester to Tier 3 - Very High Alert. This is because, for 11 weeks, this area has already endured the equivalent of Tier 2 - High Alert, and it hasn't worked. It hasn't kept infection down, it hasn't brought infection down. It's maybe slowed it slightly at best. He doesn't feel that soft measures for months on end do anything other than cripple business and individuals financially, mentally and socially. I agree. Either lock down properly, or don't.
The alternative which is being called for, is to pay 80% furlough pay, as opposed to the 2/3 pay offered - which on minimum wage only works out at £4.30 (age 18-20), £5.46 (age 21-24) or £5.80 (age 25+) an hour.

161020 Indie Sage European figures for cases

The World Health Organization have disappointing results from their massive SOLIDARITY trials of drugs which were originally developed for something else, but seemed hopeful for COVID: 
"In just six months, the world’s largest randomized control trial on COVID-19 therapeutics has generated conclusive evidence on the effectiveness of repurposed drugs for the treatment of COVID-19.
Interim results from the Solidarity Therapeutics Trial, coordinated by the World Health Organization, indicate that remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon regimens appeared to have little or no effect on 28-day mortality or the in-hospital course of COVID-19 among hospitalized patients.
The study, which spans more than 30 countries, looked at the effects of these treatments on overall mortality, initiation of ventilation, and duration of hospital stay in hospitalized patients."
Disappointment for Donald Trump there, who believed remdesivir was his 'magic cure'. 

More disappointment for Donald. The CEO of Pfizer has said that they won't be applying for emergency authorisation of their vaccine before the third week of November. Donald had pretty much demanded it would be available before Election Day on November 2nd.
Moderna, the other early US-based vaccine candidate manufacturer, have said the same. 

The Independent SAGE briefing today was only really brightened by presenter Dr Alice Roberts. The rest was about as grim as you'd expect.
National Test and Trace are reaching about 77% of cases, and just under 60% of their contacts. This is under 45% of potential contacts, from not every case, and some of these people reached  won't isolate. Local test and trace teams (who have always done this for things like TB and flu) are reaching around 97% of contacts of cases referred to them.
Today's ONS report suggests that there's been a rise over the previous week from around 17,200 cases per day, to 27,900 in this reporting period in England. (Sadly we had to expect this with a rate doubling around every 9 days).
The rise in cases in Northern Ireland is massive - you can see why they are having a 4 week lockdown.
Cases are rising everywhere in England, especially in the North West, North East and Yorkshire, and it seems the Midlands is a couple of weeks behind, with London behind that.
Cases again are mainly among age 10-29, with most age groups rising, but ONS figures do suggest that maybe cases are levelling off slightly in the age 80+ group.
Hospital admissions in England are doubling roughly every 2 weeks, so not as fast as the first wave. They are big numbers in the NW, Yorkshire and NE regions, but following with a lag of around 3 weeks elsewhere.
"Admissions per head of population are almost at the levels seen in London on 23rd March."

You'll notice from the image below that the UK Government just let the North West run off the top of the graph. This makes me feel unloved Boris! 

161020 Cases per 100k England with the NW just running off the top

indie SAGE  believe we are not in a position which is going to help at all. They propose URGENT actions and have prepared an 'Emergency 6 Week Plan For England' which is based around the official SAGE group's proposed strategy 3 weeks ago:
Part 1: Circuit breaker for 2 or 3 weeks, preferably 2 weeks around half term.
Closing schools and non-essential retail and business, places of worship, leisure and hospitality (take away allowed).
No indoor household mixing (bubbles allowed), up to 6 people can meet outdoors in public spaces.
Reinstate 2m physical distancing
University teaching online
Work from home if you can
No overnight stays outside the home.
This should lower the R to 0.6 or 0.7. You won't see a result for around 3 weeks, because of the time it takes to become ill, show symptoms, and sadly for some to become critically ill, but it'll knock back the number of newly infected people

Part 2: Some of those restrictions remain for another 2 or 3 weeks (takes us to Christmas).
Non-essential business and retail open
Schools open, secondary school pupils wear masks in class

Part 3: Build a public health scaffolding to support exit from restrictions.
Financial support, including return of furlough scheme
Immediate, major reform of test and trace, including wrap-around support for isolation.
The Government need to start talking to the public clearly, informing them and treating them as an ally. Avoid blame, work together.
Use the 6 weeks to ensure buildings, business and schools are COVID-safe - ventilation, social distancing etc. 

They believe that this framework will, in 6 weeks, bring the virus back to a much lower level and give us the ability to keep it there, and get Test & Trace working properly. Then with lower numbers they stand a chance of catching all contacts.

Wear a face covering or £200 fine UK

Thailand are having a nightmare right now. Public protestors against the government and police are fighting, and it's nasty.  It makes measures against COVID impossible. . 

Fans as they are of failing projects, it has been revealed today that the UK Government have awarded SERCO, winners of the World's Most Ineffective Test & Trace, with a new contract. It would probably save the government a lot of effort if they just unlocked the treasury and handed out pound notes to their mates. Cut out all of that boring stuff in the middle. 

India reopened nearly 10,000 cinemas yesterday. They've been shut since mid-March. Apparently not many people went on the first day - it'll take us all a while to trust everything again. But we will... 

6 months ago I was reporting that Captain Lord Sir Knight Tom Moore had completed 100 laps of his garden to a guard of honour, and Banksy had painted his bathroom. I was also reporting on trials beginning on a range of drugs. They haven't all helped, but, as I reported yesterday, we have halved the number of patients in hospital who die. 

We'll get there. 

Some numbers. All of them refer to people, who all used to think monsters hid in the dark... 

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

USA 8,235,136 (+18,821) 223,045 (+328) 

India 7,421,141 (+55,632) 112,920 (+774)

Brazil 5,176,524 (+5,528) 152,641 (+128)

Russia 1,369,313 (+15,150) 23,723 (+232) 

Spain 972,958 not yet reported today 33,553

Mexico 834,910 (+5,514) 85,285 (+387)

France 834,770 (+25,086) 33,247 (+122)

UK 689,257 (+15,650) 43,429 (+136) 

Iran 522,387 (+4,552) 29,870 (+265)

Chile 488,190 (+1,694) 13,529 (+95) 

Iraq 420,303 (+3,501) 10,142 (+56) 

Italy 391,611 (+10,010) 36,427 (+55)

Bangladesh 386,086 (+1,527) 5,623 (+15)

Germany 355,010 (+6,194) 9,832 (+22) 

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Sources: 

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

indie SAGE: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5XjUcwBoKk

https://fundthefuture.org.uk/protect-staff-and-students/

https://twitter.com/ucu/status/1317035650525335554

https://twitter.com/danbloom1/status/1316996843868459010

https://twitter.com/MayorofGM/status/1317046246989795328

https://twitter.com/SkyNews/status/1317038497736294400?s=19

https://m.facebook.com/TheDailyPolitik/photos/a.982535205202005/3242011949254308/?type=3&source=57

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-54562881

https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-covid-alert-level-very-high

https://www.who.int/news/item/15-10-2020-solidarity-therapeutics-trial-produces-conclusive-evidence-on-the-effectiveness-of-repurposed-drugs-for-covid-19-in-record-time

https://twitter.com/Korseries/status/1317135661548228612

https://twitter.com/i/events/1317099817466613767

https://twitter.com/megtirrell/status/1317102519848476673

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/italy-removed-from-travel-corridor-list-and-crete-added-to-list-for-england

https://twitter.com/i/events/1316668436655730688

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