Current daily stats at a glance

 

Current UK cases: 2,626 are confirmed as positive

Numbers tested: 53,595 people have been tested in the UK

(Source: DHSC)

 

Global situation report: 179,111 confirmed (11,525), 7,426 deaths (475)

Western Pacific Region: 91,779 confirmed (289), 3,357 deaths (23)

European Region: 64,188 confirmed (8,506), 3,108 deaths (428)

South-East Asia: 508 confirmed (124), 9 deaths (2)

Eastern Mediterranean Region: 16,786 confirmed (330), 873 deaths (3)

Regions of the Americas: 4,910 confirmed (2,234), 68 deaths (18)

African Region: 228 confirmed (42), 4 deaths (1)

(Source: World Health Organization)

 

 

Latest clinical news updates

 

New bill to ease the burden on frontline NHS staff

New laws will be introduced to protect public health, increase NHS capacity, strengthen social care and support the public to take the right action at the right time.

Emergency measures to give ministers powers to take the right action at the right time to respond effectively to the progress of the coronavirus outbreak will be introduced to Parliament this week, the Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has set out.

The measures in the coronavirus bill are temporary, proportionate to the threat, will only be used when strictly necessary and will be in place for as long as required to respond to the situation.

They are intended to protect life and the nation’s public health and ensure NHS and social care staff are supported to deal with significant extra pressure on the health system.

 

WHO: every country needs to take boldest actions to stop COVID-19

In a statement, Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, said that Europe is the epicenter of the first pandemic of COVID-19 and every country, with no exceptions, needs to take their boldest actions to stop or slow down the spread of this virus. 

These “boldest actions” should include community action. Thinking that “this does not concern me” is not an option.

He said: "The good news is that the Region is alert and on guard. Preparedness, readiness and response measures on multiple levels have been launched in all our Member States. We monitor those measures on an ongoing basis and hold regular consultations with counterparts in health ministries to gather and share helpful information.

"The outbreak is progressing at different speeds in different countries, depending on demographics and other factors and basic actions in each scenario are the same, but the emphasis changes depending on which transmission scenario a country is in.

"Every single country must assess their own situation and context, including virus spread, measures in place and social acceptability, and adopt the most appropriate interventions."

 

Oxford scientists develop rapid testing technology

Scientists from the University of Oxford’s Engineering Science Department and the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR) have developed a rapid testing technology for the novel corona virus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

The new test is much faster and does not need a complicated instrument. Previous viral RNA tests took 1.5 to 2 hours to give a result. The research team has developed a new test, based on a technique which is capable of giving results in just half an hour – over three times faster than the current method. 

Additionally, the technology is very sensitive. This means that patients in early stages of infection may be identified sooner, potentially helping to reduce the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). The technology only requires a simple heat-block which maintains a constant temperature for RNA reverse transcription and DNA amplification, and the results can be read by the naked eye. This makes it potentially useful in rural area or community healthcare centres. 

 

Lancet: prisons and COVID-19

According to a comment piece in the Lancet, prisons and other custodial settings are an integral part of the public health response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

It said that prisons are epicentres for infectious diseases because of the higher background prevalence of infection, the higher levels of risk factors for infection, the unavoidable close contact in often overcrowded, poorly ventilated, and unsanitary facilities, and the poor access to healthcare services relative to that in community settings.

The authors added: "COVID-19 has an increased mortality in older people and in those with chronic diseases or immunosuppression. Notably, multimorbidity is normative among people in prison, often with earlier onset and greater severity than in the general population, and prison populations are ageing in many countries.

"Furthermore, inadequate investment in prison health, substantial overcrowding in some prison settings, and rigid security processes have the potential to delay diagnosis and treatment."

 

Other news round up

  • Glastonbury festival and Eurovison Song Contest cancelled
  • All UK tourists advised to leave Spain
  • Catholic church to suspend public acts of worship in UK