Wednesday 29 April 2020

Coronavirus Log Part 2 - (from 29 April)

This post is a continuation of the Coronavirus Log.  See Coronavirus Log Part 1 - (December 2019 to 28 April 2020).

29 April - Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 21,678 (not including care homes and in the community)

ONS information up to 17 April -  Up to 17 April, there were 19,112 deaths registered in England and Wales involving COVID-19 (11,405 men and 7,707 women). The majority of deaths involving COVID-19 have been among people aged 65 years and over (16,690 out of 19,112), with 41% (6,899) of these occurring in the over-85 age group.

High Consequence Infectious Diseases:

On 22 October 2018 the UK government published
information about High Consequence Infectious Diseases (HCID). This was amended on 19 March 2020 to state - "

"As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK.

The 4 nations public health HCID group made an interim recommendation in January 2020 to classify COVID-19 as an HCID. This was based on consideration of the UK HCID criteria about the virus and the disease with information available during the early stages of the outbreak. Now that more is known about COVID-19, the public health bodies in the UK have reviewed the most up to date information about COVID-19 against the UK HCID criteria. They have determined that several features have now changed; in particular, more information is available about mortality rates (low overall), and there is now greater clinical awareness and a specific and sensitive laboratory test, the availability of which continues to increase.

The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) is also of the opinion that COVID-19 should no longer be classified as an HCID.

The need to have a national, coordinated response remains, but this is being met by the government’s COVID-19 response."

*** The Lockdown Continues ***

29 April 2020 - BBC News - Testing opens for millions more people in England

29 April - BBC News - UK failed to stockpile crucial PPE - investigation by BBC Panorama found that vital items were left out of the stockpile when it was set up in 2009 and that the government subsequently ignored a warning from its own advisers to buy missing equipment.

29 April - The Guardian - Ministers split over coronavirus advice on wearing face masks
29 April - The Telegraph - Key rule in Government's five tests for lifting coronavirus lockdown is softened

30 April - Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 26,097.  (The figures now appear to combine hospital and care home deaths). The Times explained the change in the way statistics are presented. Previously, the total did not include deaths that had taken place in locations such as care homes – although the total did include some deaths outside hospitals in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.   From 29 April, the total includes the number of deaths that have been reported in all settings – both inside and outside hospitals – in all parts of the UK where there has been a positive Covid-19 test. The total announced was therefore 26,097 – 3,811 higher than what the total would have been under the old method.

30 April - Public Health England - Daily death reporting now includes all positive Covid-19 deaths

30 April - The Guardian - Hospital chiefs 'increasingly frustrated' with UK testing failures

30 April - The Guardian - UK turned down offer of 10,000 tests a day four weeks ago

30 April - The Guardian - Starmer criticises government over 'truly dreadful' coronavirus death rate

30 April - No 10 Downing Street - Prime Minister's Statement ("We are past the peak and we are on the downward slope") and Slides and Datasets

30 April - Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 26,771. It may be that the peak is past but daily figures continue to be high.

R number - rate of infection is explained at ITV News 28 April - if R < 1 then the numbers of those infected will fall.

1 May - BBC News - Government 'likely' to get close to or hit 100,000 tests targets

1 May - USA (Office of the Director of National Intelligence) - Statement on the origins of Covid-19

1 May -The Guardian - Johnson promises plan next week for return to schools and work
 but the Institute for Government commented that the "government must be straight with the public that there can be no single grand exit plan to release the coronavirus lockdown. Any easing of restrictions will need to evolve in response to new evidence from the UK and abroad."

1 May - The Guardian - UK carers who lost jobs after raising safety fears consider legal action

1 May - The Guardian - We scientists said lock down. But UK politicians refused to listen -  Professor Helen Ward (Imperial College) looked at the UK government's decisions in March 2020.

1 May - Fact check - What we know, and what we don't, about the true coronavirus death toll

2 May -  Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 27,510.

2 May - Public Health England Data

2 May - BBC News -  Why biggest challenge is yet to come on testing

2 May - The Guardian - Hancock says UK hit 100,000 test amid claims tally is artificially boosted 

2 May - BBC News - How the government plans to get the UK back to work

2 May - Downing Street data issued on 1 May.

2 May - The Guardian - Report on letter before action issued for judicial review of the "lockdown" Regulations.

3 May - Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 28,131

Monday - 4 May - Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 28,446

4 May - EU hosting an International Pledging Conference - The world quickly needs to develop and deploy effective diagnostics, treatments and a vaccine. Without them, every country in the world remains vulnerable. Countries and organisations around the world are joining forces to ensure that not only do we develop these life-saving tools but that we ensure they are universally available and affordable. No person, country or region should be left behind. The European Union and its partners are hosting an international pledging conference starting on Monday 4 May 2020 where we aim to raise €7.5 billion in initial funding to kick-start the global cooperation.

4 May - Matrix Chambers - Legal advice on smartphone contact tracing

4 May - Hansard - Regulations approved - the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 (S.I., 2020, No. 350), dated 26 March 2020 were approved and also The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (S.I., 2020, No. 447), dated 21 April 2020.

5 May - Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 28,734

5 May - BBC News - Key workers to trial NHS tracing app - "An NHS app that aims to track the spread of coronavirus is being rolled out for the first time, as part of a trial on the Isle of Wight.
Council and healthcare workers will be the first to try the contact-tracing app, with the rest of the island able to download it from Thursday. If the trial is successful, it could be available nationwide within weeks."  The Guardian - Covid-19 tracking app must satisfy human rights and data laws

5 May - The Guardian Live News reported that the Australian PM said that the virus 'most likely' came from Wuhan market

5 May - The Guardian - Just 273 people who arrived in UK in run-up to lockdown were quarantined
 -Fewer than 300 people out of the 18.1 million who entered the UK in the three months prior to the coronavirus lockdown were formally quarantined, figures reveal.  Passengers on three flights from Wuhan, in China, the source of the Covid-19 outbreak, and one flight from Tokyo, Japan, that was carrying passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, were taken to government-supported isolation facilities between 1 January to 22 March. The figures, provided by the government to the Labour MP and member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Stephen Doughty, show this totalled 273 people.

5 May - The Guardian - Five Eyes network contradicts theory Covid-19 leaked from lab

5 May - Fox News - Leaked 'Five Eyes' dossier on alleged Chinese coronavirus coverup consistent with US findings, officials say . A research dossier compiled by the so-called “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance, that reportedly concludes China intentionally hid or destroyed evidence of the coronavirus pandemic, is consistent with U.S. findings about the origins of the outbreak so far, senior U.S. officials told Fox News on Saturday. The 15-page document from the intelligence agencies of the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, was obtained by Australia's Saturday Telegraph newspaper and finds that China's secrecy amounted to an “assault on international transparency."

5 May - BBC News - UK death toll passes Italy to be highest in Europe 

5 May - BBC News - Scientists publish advice to government

5 May - Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 29,427 - (rise of 693 in 24 hours).

6 May - Office for National Statistics (ONS) - Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional: week ending 24 April. That week is referred to as Week 17.  The ONS also published 
this explanatory article

6 May - New York Post - China lied about origin of coronavirus, leaked intelligence report says

6 May - The Guardian - The UK government's changing coronavirus strategy

7 May -  Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 30,076

7 May - BBC News - Is it time to free the healthy from restrictions?

7 May - BBC News - PM to review lockdown restrictions with cabinet

7 May - BBC News - Gowns ordered from Turkey fail to meet safety standards

7 May - The Guardian - Why now is exactly the right time to set up a coronavirus inquiry

7 May - The Guardian - Pressure on Johnson as UK's daily Covid testing target missed again

7 May - The Guardian - Strain emerges between UK government and Scotland over easing lockdown
 - Significant strains have emerged between the UK government and devolved administrations over Boris Johnson’s plans to start lifting the lockdown without first reaching an agreement with Scotland and Wales.

7 May - The Guardian - 'Complacent' UK draws global criticism

7 May - The Telegraph - Britain criticised around the world for 'complacent' and 'calamitous' coronavirus response

8 May -  Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 30,615

8 May - The Guardian - No 10 battles to regain control of lockdown messaging amid fierce criticism

8 May - The Guardian - Black people four times more likely to die from Covid-19, ONS finds

8 May - The Spectator - We know everything - and nothing - about Covid

9 May -  Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 31,241 (a rise of 626 in 24 hours).

9 May - BBC News - UK to bring in 14-day quarantine for air passengers

9 May - The Guardian - Health watchdog may investigate coronavirus deaths

9 May - The Independent - What happens for furloughed workers when the government scheme ends?

10 May -Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 31,587 (a rise of 346 in 24 hours)

10 May - The Times - Matthew Parris - Boris Johnson needs to take control of the cockpit

10 May - The Times - Coronavirus: 100,000 dead if UK eases lockdown too fast, scientists warn

10 May - the limited amount of testing for coronavirus continues to be a concern - as reported by The Independent and The Guardian.  On 4 April the Department of Health and Social care issued this document stating how it was planned to "scale up" testing.

11 May - Department of Health and Social Care - New Chair of Coronavirus test and trace programme

11 May - UK government - Coronavirus testing

11 May - UK government - Millions more items of PPE for frontline staff from new business partnerships

11 May - Hansard - Prime Minister's Statement on Coronavirus strategy - signalling some easing of the lockdown. (Whether this risk a rise in the rate of infection remains to be seen).

12 May - Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 32,065

12 May - UK Government - Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the UK - this also stated 32,065. Yet there is this report - The Guardian 5 May - stating 32,313 for the whole UK.

12 May - The Independent - Airlines and airports baffled bu quarantine guidelines

12 May - The Independent - Seven charts that show the true scale of the UK coronavirus outbreak

12 May - Office for National Statistics - Report up to 1 May 2020

12 May - BBC News - Care home deaths starting to decline

12 May - Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 32,692

13 May - Revised Coronavirus Restrictions legislation came into force  - amended version is also available  via the UK legislation website.

13 May - The Guardian - Message to Britain in bilateral trade talks: it's us or China

13 May - The Telegraph - Treasury blueprint to raise taxes and freeze wages to pay for £300bn coronavirus bill

13 May - Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 33,186

13 May - Parliament - Prime Minister's Questions - regarding deaths in care homes (an "unexplained 10,000" excess deaths), No.10 briefings no longer showing international comparisons, publication of SAGE advice (according to the PM it is published "in due course"). Note - Guidance issued on 25 February (and withdrawn on 13 March) stated - "It remains very unlikely that people receiving care in a care home or the community will become infected." The 25 February guidance was replaced with new guidance but that new guidance was itself withdrawn on 13 May 2020 with the statement that "Further guidance for this sector is under development."

No 10 slides published on Saturday 9 May showed international comparison but they did not appear subsequently.The slide showed the caveat that - " ... UK figures on deaths relate to those who have tests positive for COVID-19, whichever setting they died in. International reporting procedures and lags are unclear, so may not be comparing like-for-like."

13 May - The Guardian - Ministers were warned two years ago of care homes' exposure to pandemics 

13 May - Real care home death toll double official figure, study says

13 May - The Guardian - Government unveils task forces for reopening five economic sectors - Each taskforce will be led by the relevant minister: Alok Sharma, the business secretary, leading on the first two areas covering pubs, restaurants and shops; Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, on recreation; Robert Jenrick, the communities secretary, on places of worship; and Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, in charge of aviation. 

14 May - The Telegraph - First coronavirus antibody test given approval by Public Health England

14 May - The Independent - Coronavirus: How many test are being carried out across the UK

14 May - The Guardian - Covid-19 antibody test unlikely to be widely available any time soon

14 May - The Guardian - Drivers tell of chaos at UK's privately run PPE stockpile

14 May - BBC News - A government under great strain -the government is still scrambling, two months in, to fix problems that were there from the start: grappling with care homes, providing enough testing, and enough protective gear.

14 May - Slides shown at No 10 Downing Street briefing - reports 33614 deaths where there was A POSITIVE TEST for coronavirus. Explained that weekly registered deaths from the Office for National Statistics include cases where COVID-19 is mentioned on the death certificate but was not confirmed with a test. On 1st May, ONS reported 36,591 cumulative registered deaths from COVID-19. This was 9,082 more than the DHSC figure for the same date.

15 May - Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 33,614

15 May - Public Health England - Coronavirus in the UK

15 May - Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 33,998

15 May - No 10 Downing Street briefing

16 May - The Guardian - The week of 'staying alert' that left the government in a daze

16 May - The Independent - It's too early for schools to reopen on 1 June. Teachers' concerns are justified

16 May - The Guardian - Teachers can legally refuse to return to work over risk to health

16 May - BBC News - 14000 lockdown-breach fines imposed

 and differences in English regions are reported - The Guardian.

16 May - The Telegraph - Care homes and hospitals driving rise in Britain's coronavirus infection rate, Government admits

16 May - The Telegraph - London has just 24 new coronavirus cases a day - analysis by Public Health England (PHE) and Cambridge University calculates that the 'R' reproduction rate has fallen to 0.4 in London, with the number of new cases halving every 3.5 days.

16 May - BBC News - Italy to lift travel restrictions as lockdown eases - (from 3 June).

16 May - BBC New - Public urged to avoid England's beauty spots

17 May - Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 34,466

17 May - Politico - Europe's coronavirus lockdown measures compared

17 May - The Guardian - BMA backs teaching unions' opposition to schools reopening

17 May - The Guardian - Rushed coronavirus laws led to wrongful convictions say Police

17 May - BBC News - Labour's Sir Keir Starmer calls for 'four-nation' approach - Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said different approaches across the four UK nations to tackling coronavirus are not going to "help us out of this crisis".

17 May - Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 34,636

17 May - No 10 Downing Street briefing

Monday - 18 May - Telegraph - Coding that led to lockdown was totally unreliable - The Covid-19 modelling that sent Britain into lockdown, shutting the economy and leaving millions unemployed, has been slammed by a series of experts.

18 May - The Guardian - PM faces calls for independent inquiry into BAME Covid-19 deaths - PM is facing mounting pressure to launch an independent public inquiry into the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on black, Asian and minority ethnic communities (BAME) across Britain. 

18 May - BBC News - Jeremy Corbyn's brother arrested at anti-lockdown protest in London

18 May - Police shutdown '70-person rave with DJ' in Shropshire park during lockdown

18 May - UK Government: Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) - SAGE membership for coronavirus, advice given to government.  This page will be updated on a regular basis with the latest available evidence provided to SAGE.

19 May - Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 34,796

19 May - The Telegraph - Coronavirus vaccine in first human trial shows signs of creating immunity

19 May - The Guardian - Agency staff were spreading Covid-19 between care homes

19 May - The Independent - Tube drivers sent home after raising safety concerns over lockdown easing

20 May - Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 35,341 (rise of 545 from 19 May report)

20 May - House of Commons Science and Technology Committee - letter to Prime Minister

20 May - Urgent Question on Care Homes

20 May - The Telegraph - British taxpayers should not be wasting their money on the WHO

20 May - The Guardian - Chancellor plays down hopes of quick economic recovery

20 May - The Guardian - UK bulk buys hydroxychloroquine as potential Covic-19 treatment

20 May - World Economic Forum (15 November 2019) - These are the top 10 countries for pandemic preparedness

20 May - The Telegraph - BMA drops opposition to schools reopening

20 May - Office for National Statistics (ONS) - Covid-19 - Up to 8 May 2020, there were 37,375 deaths registered in England and Wales involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) (21,145 men and 16,230 women). The majority of deaths involving COVID-19 have been among people aged 65 years and over (33,098 out of 37,375), with 46% (15,079) of these occurring in the over-85 age group.
Our data are based on deaths registered in the stated period and include all deaths where “COVID-19” was mentioned on death certificates.

21 May - Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 35,704

21 May - BBC News - World sees largest daily increase in virus cases - WHO

21 May - BBC News - Time running out on track and trace, NHS leaders warn

21 May - The Independent - Crowds hit beaches despite lockdown

21 May - The Independent - Care homes threatened with losing insurance cover for accepting Covid-19 patients

21 May - The Guardian - England's Covid-19 infection rate too high for further easing, experts say

21 May - The Telegraph - Prime Minister promises contact tracing by June to support opening of schools

22 May -Worldometers - Coronanvirus - UK - reported that UK deaths had reached 36,042

22 May - BBC News - Immune clue starts treatment hope

22 May - BBC News - UK arrivals could face £1000 fine if they break quarantine

22 May - The Guardian - NHS groups 'nervous' about lockdown easing without contact tracing


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