NEWS - Covid-19 - week 11

 5th June 2020 - In the 11th week of lock down

 A lot has happened since we last reported

Statistics - the figures for the UK were - in black 7th week in red yesterday

The figures for deaths below are for NHS hospitals and Care Homes  – the figures for cases reflect the new increased testing capacity

 

Confirmed Cases - 194,990         281,661

yesterday                    4.406            1,805

Deaths -                     29,427         39,904

yesterday                       693              176

 

We now have additional figures for deaths, namely

Deaths where Covid -19 is mentioned on death certificate           48,106

Deaths in excess of 5 year average for the time of year               61,899

 These figures are the highest in Europe –  there is going to be a lot of explaining to do, by the government, once we are over this crisis

Peak – we have clearly passed the peak and the daily rates are dropping regularly - at the moment we seem to have reached a levelling off at the current rate of infection and death.

Lifting Lockdown – We are still at a rather delicate stage when it is necessary to carefully watch whether this easing leads to a surge in infections and deaths

Testing - After a slow start, the-  test- track and isolate system - seems to be working – the difficulty with it is that it seems that, having caught the infection, in the first few days before there are any symptoms, the infected one is able to spread the virus to others. Immediately it is detected the system can work, but there is this problematic few days before there any symptoms

Exit Strategy – the government’s policy appears to have switched the order of the previous priorities and they now seem to be:

  • Get the economy going - even if it means more lives lost
  • Save lives - as far as possible within the above 

Travel - is the present area of contention – the government has brought in the rule that face masks must be worn on all public transport – and have introduced a 14 day quarantine period for all people arriving by air and train - with exception only of Intercontinental truck drivers and a few special cases.

This is thought, by some, to be unnecessarily strict - and too late anyway.

 The view of the government is that the virus has now been reduced to a stage where in-coming infected people could have a significant effect.  so once again there are two schools of thought:

  • Keep these restrictions in place.
  • Remove the restrictions so that the tourism industry can get back on its feet.

Easing Lock down - the loosening of restrictions has led to crowds gathering on beaches and beauty spots, with little regard for ‘social distancing’.

 It will be interesting to see, in the next two weeks, whether this leads to a surge in the virus or reserve the virus is indeed under control.

Long-term out look – it still looks as if the only long-term way of controlling the virus is

  • the creation of a suitable vaccine or
  • the development of herd immunity.

Despite encouraging news, the former still seems quite a long way off – and the latter seems unlikely in that only relatively small proportion of the populous has been infected to date.