COVID-19 current figures

 

Current UK cases: 14,579 are confirmed as positive

Numbers tested: 113,777 people have been tested in the UK

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

(Source: DHSC: As of 9am on 27 March 2020/death figures of 5pm on 26 March 2020)

 

Global situation report: 462,684 confirmed (49,219) 20,834 deaths (2401)

Western Pacific Region: 99,058 confirmed (1292) 3,540 deaths (22)

European Region: 250,287 confirmed (29,771) 13,950 deaths (1,964)

South-East Asia: 2,536 confirmed (192) 79 deaths (7)

Eastern Mediterranean Region: 32,442 confirmed (2,811) 2,162 deaths (154)

Regions of the Americas: 75,712 confirmed (14,878) 1,065 deaths (252)

African Region: 1,937 confirmed (275) 31 deaths (2)

(Source: World Health Organization)

 

 

Latest COVID-19 clinical news updates

 

WHO: global leaders told to 'fight, unite, ignite'

The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, addressed Heads of State at a G20 Leaders’ Summit yesterday and said they are at war with a virus that threatens to tear us apart if we let it.

He welcomed the G20‘s initiative to find joint solutions and work together: “This is a global crisis that requires a global response. Fight, unite, ignite.“

He urged leaders to fight without excuses, without regrets – thanking countries who have already taken steps and urgently asking that they do more. He also encouraged them to unite, stressing that no country can fight this alone, and calling on all countries to build on the solidarity already sparked by the crisis.

Third, he exhorted them to ignite a global movement to ensure this never happens again. 

 

Lancet editor calls UK handling of pandemic 'a national scandal'

In a commentary in the Lancet, editor-in-chief Richard Horton, said that the NHS has been wholly unprepared for this pandemic and it is impossible to understand why.

He referred to an article published in the Lancet on Jan 31, 2020 that said: “On the present trajectory, 2019-nCoV could be about to become a global epidemic...for health protection within China and internationally... preparedness plans should be readied for deployment at short notice, including securing supply chains of pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment, hospital supplies, and the necessary human resources to deal with the consequences of a global outbreak of this magnitude.”

Horton said this warning wasn’t made lightly and it should have been read by the Chief Medical Officer, the Chief Executive Officer of the NHS in England, and the Chief Scientific Adviser. They had a duty to immediately put the NHS and British public on high alert. February should have been used to expand coronavirus testing capacity, ensure the distribution of WHO-approved PPE, and establish training programmes and guidelines to protect NHS staff.

He added: "They didn’t take any of those actions. The result has been chaos and panic across the NHS. Patients will die unnecessarily. NHS staff will die unnecessarily. It is, indeed, as one health worker wrote last week, “a national scandal”. The gravity of that scandal has yet to be understood."

 

Study reviews clinical characteristics of patients with COVID-19 who died

A study in the BMJ analysed a cohort of 799 patients, 113 who died and 161 who recovered with a diagnosis of COVID-19 from Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, China.

Clinical characteristics and laboratory findings were obtained from electronic medical records with data collection forms. The median age of deceased patients (68 years) was significantly older than recovered patients (51 years). Male sex was more predominant in deceased patients (83; 73%) than in recovered patients (88; 55%).

It concluded that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection can cause both pulmonary and systemic inflammation, leading to multi-organ dysfunction in patients at high risk. Acute respiratory distress syndrome and respiratory failure, sepsis, acute cardiac injury, and heart failure were the most common critical complications during exacerbation of COVID-19.

 

Some patients still have coronavirus after symptoms disappear

In a new study, researchers found that half of the patients they treated for mild COVID-19 infection still had coronavirus for up to eight days after symptoms disappeared. The research letter was published online in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Researchers collected samples from throat swabs taken from all patients on alternate days and analysed. Patients were discharged after their recovery and confirmation of negative viral status by at least two consecutive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.

"The most significant finding from our study is that half of the patients kept shedding the virus even after resolution of their symptoms," said co-lead author Dr. Sharma, instructor of medicine, Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine. "More severe infections may have even longer shedding times."

 

Other news round up

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson and health secretary Matt Hancock test positive for COVID-19
  • US overtakes China with more than 85,000 cases 
  • Workers can carry over statutory annual leave entitlement into the next two leave years
  • Deaths in Spain rise by 769 taking the total toll to 4,858
  • The London Ambulance Service and the Metropolitan Police have appealed for former staff to return
  • Coronavirus infections in Italy have not reached their peak, according to the head of the country's national health institute