Blog - 11th June 2020

 

Covid-19 week 12 - In the 12th week of lock down

 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         290.143

yesterday                    4.406             1,003

Deaths -                     29,427          41,280

yesterday                       693                245

 

We now have additional figures for deaths, namely

Deaths where Covid-19 is mentioned on death certificate   50,107

Deaths in excess of 5 year average for the time of year        63,708

These figures still appear to be the highest in Europe – it is not easy to compare these figures properly with other European figures as the method of counting infected and deaths it’s not yet comparable number in case

Peak – we have passed the peak, but the figures are still significant and only a small proportion of the of the population has yet been infected with a virus.  

Lifting Lockdown – the virus is still prevalent, and has been suppressed rather than eliminated - so extreme caution is needed in gently lifting the lockdown to avoid a surge and a second peak

Testing – The test- track and isolate process - seems now to be working reasonably effectively.  There still remains the problem pf identifying those, in the first few days of infection, who may be capable of infecting others, but who may not be showing symptoms and therefore may not come forward for checking. A start is being made here on the regular checking of everyone in the NHS and the care system, regardless of symptoms.

Exit Strategy – the government’s policy has switched the order of priorities to:

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

This is obviously a difficult and delicate stage and the government does is keeping a close watch on the numbers to check for a surge in infections – there are and two major sources of contention

Social Distancing - should this be reduced from 3 m to 1 ?  The ‘get the economy going at all costs’ view is are use this immediately at 1 m so the pubs and cafes can open – most of the healthcare people say it should remain at 2m. 

Air travel – various arguments taking place about the new rule for incoming travellers to isolate themselves for 14 days, regardless of symptoms – there are only very few countries of origin not included – the airline industry says it’s disastrous and quite unnecessary - other voices think it may well be helpful

Easing Lock down - the loosening of restrictions has led to crowds gathering on beaches and beauty spots, with little regard for ‘social distancing’. This has been compounded by large crowds gathering, protesting against the behaviour of the police in the US against Black minorities. Furious anger has been. In the UK, and huge crowds have gathered in various towns, including outside the new American Embassy in London. 

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.

New developments - the virus has dominated the news for the past 12 weeks - now two areas are starting to loom large as the virus news begins to decline - these are

Racial Discrimination - The events in the US hane provoked a great deal of anger, demonstration, discussion, argument, contemplation and ideas in the UK – this will be something we need to watch in the future.

Global Warming - this hasn’t gone away ! –  it is interesting to see the increase in and the use of cars, triggered by the difficulty of using buses and trains – this increased use of cars is contrary to what is needed from a purely global warming point of view.

 

We live in interesting Times !