COVID-19 current figures

 

Current UK cases: 8,077 are confirmed as positive

Numbers tested: 90,436 people have been tested in the UK

422 patients in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) have died.

(Source: DHSC)

 

Global situation report: 332,930 confirmed (40,788), 14,510 deaths (1,727)

Western Pacific Region: 95,637 confirmed (850), 3,473 deaths (35)

European Region: 171,424 confirmed (20,131), 8,743 deaths (1318)

South-East Asia: 1,776 confirmed (519), 58 deaths (13)

Eastern Mediterranean Region: 25,375 confirmed (1706), 1741 deaths (145)

Regions of the Americas: 37,016 confirmed (17,331) 465 deaths (213)

African Region:  990 confirmed (251) 23 deaths (3)

(Source: World Health Organization)

 

 

Latest COVID-19 clinical news updates

 

Lancet study estimates impact of physical distancing

A new modelling study conducted in a simulated Singapore setting has estimated that a combined approach of physical distancing interventions, comprising quarantine (for infected individuals and their families), school closure, and workplace distancing, is most effective at reducing the number of SARS-CoV-2 cases compared with other intervention scenarios included in the study.

While less effective than the combined approach, quarantine plus workplace measures presented the next best option for reducing SARS-CoV-2 cases, followed by quarantine plus school closure, and then quarantine only. All intervention scenarios were more effective at reducing cases than no intervention.

The study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, is the first of its kind to investigate using these options for early intervention in Singapore using simulation. Despite heightened surveillance and isolation of individuals suspected to have COVID-19 and confirmed cases, the risk is ongoing, with the number of cases continuing to increase in Singapore. 

 

Experts demand rejection of COVID-19 policy based on age

Experts are urging the Government to reject the formulation and implementation of policy to fight the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic based solely on the age of the population.

The British Society of Gerontology has objected to any policy which differentiates the population by application of an arbitrary chronological age in restricting people’s rights and freedoms.

They point out that while people at all ages can be vulnerable to COVID-19, and all can spread the disease, not all people over the age of 70 are vulnerable, nor are all those under 70 resilient.

Given older adults’ multiple social roles, quarantining the more than 8.5 million people over 70 years of age will deprive society of many people who are productive and active and who can be a key part of the solution by supporting the economy, families and communities.

 

NICE clarifies use of frailty score in new rapid guidance

NICE will be updating its rapid guideline on critical care of people with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 after criticism from Mencap and other patient groups.

The guidance says that all patients on admission to hospital, irrespective of COVID-19 status, should continue to be assessed for frailty using a recognised frailty score such as the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS).

This prompted Mencap to say that they were 'deeply troubled' that this guidance could result in patients with a learning disability not getting equal access to critical care.

The decision to update came after the Specialised Clinical Frailty Network said that the CFS has not been widely validated in younger populations (below 65 years of age), or in those with learning disability.

 

GPs warned to limit risk of preventable death during outbreak

GP practices have been warned to maintain vaccination campaigns and other essential work during the COVID-19 outbreak to limit the risk of preventable deaths from other causes as NHS staff focus on tackling the pandemic.

The story in GP magazine says that guidance set out by the RCGP and the BMA highlights key work that practices must maintain throughout the outbreak - and spells out what practices can drop or consider suspending.

Key services such as routine vaccination for flu, shingles, childhood vaccination and pneumococcal jabs must continue to avoid a surge in preventable disease following the pandemic, the advice for practices warns.

RCGP guidance warns practices: 'Past experience has shown that patients will die from non-COVID-19 related illnesses in addition to COVID-19 itself as we divert all of our health care resources towards it."

 

New funding for vaccines from government

Six coronavirus research projects, including two focused on vaccination trials, will be the first to benefit from a share of £20 million in government investment.

Two government-backed projects will receive new funding, enabling pre-clinical and clinical vaccine trials, as well as supporting researchers to develop manufacturing processes to produce a vaccine at a million-dose scale.

Other projects receiving funding examine how existing treatments could be repurposed to treat coronavirus, developing antibodies to help target the virus, and examining how people at greatest risk of catching it could be identified.

 

Other news round up

  • The July Olympics and August Paralympics are moved to next year
  • Death toll in Spain is highest yet at 514
  • First death reported in Saudi Arabia
  • China set to lift travel curbs on Hubei province
  • Ineos is building a hand sanitiser plant to produce one million bottles a month
  • YouGov poll shows 93% of Britons support the new measures announced by Boris Johnson