COVID-19 current figures
Current UK cases: 60,773 are confirmed as positive
Numbers tested: 232,708 people have been tested in the UK
7,097 (938) patients in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) have died
(Source: DHSC: As of 9am on 8 April 2020/death figures of 5pm on 7 April 2020)
Global situation report: 1,353,361 confirmed (73,639) 79235 deaths (6,695)
European Region: 720,219 confirmed (33,881) 57 639 deaths (4,904)
Regions of the Americas: 417,416 confirmed (33,174) 12,597 deaths (1,500)
Western Pacific Region: 114,667 confirmed (1,026) 3,922 deaths (30)
Eastern Mediterranean Region: 81,993 confirmed (3,428) 4,314 deaths (165)
South-East Asia: 10 707 confirmed (1575) 426 deaths (64)
African Region: 7,647 confirmed (555) 326 deaths (32)
(Source: World Health Organization)
Today's COVID-19 headlines
WHO: new tools to help hospitals manage surge in Covid-19 patients
Two new WHO tools will assist health planners across the WHO European Region to prepare for the surge in Covid-19 patients needing acute and intensive care in hospitals as cases continue to climb.
The planning tools will help countries to visualise and estimate the health workforce necessary for acute and intensive care over the course of the pandemic, and to project the timing and severity of the peak of the outbreak.
The Health Workforce Estimator will assist countries in estimating the numbers of health workers needed based on projected numbers of moderate, severe and critical patients per day. This understanding of the potential workload from Covid-19 will also allow countries to anticipate and better address the mental health-care needs of health workers. Additionally, it will help health service managers calculate the amounts of personal protective equipment and other resources required to safeguard the physical health of staff.
The Adaptt Surge Planning Support Tool, intended for policy-makers and senior planners, focuses on surge planning. It will help users to estimate the number of beds required for moderate, severe and critical care, the dates of predicted bed shortages and the detailed human resources needed.
Royal Medical Colleges urge patients to keep seeking medical help
The Academy of Royal Medical Colleges has published a statement encouraging the public to continue seeking medical help during the coronavirus outbreak, even if it isn’t Covid-19-related.
The statement says that it is vitally important that patients and the public recognise that they must continue to seek medical assistance if they have symptoms which cause concern, or they already are being treated for a serious health condition. The risk of developing other serious or life-threatening conditions remains unchanged and people must be fully confident that they can and should, seek medical assistance if they are worried about themselves or a relative.
It added that the NHS not only remains open to see people with urgent and serious problems, it is actively asking that such people seek help. Urgent and acute illnesses or conditions will continue to be treated and the public must not hold back from seeking NHS help regarding serious illness in themselves or their family.
Alzheimer's Society calls for immediate action to protect care home residents
The Alzheimer's Society has called for the Government to take immediate steps to support care home residents and their families through the pandemic after thirteen deaths were recorded in a week in the Burlington Court care home in Glasgow.
The charity says that yet again, social care and those who desperately need it have fallen to the bottom of the pile. At present, care home residents are being cut off from their families, denied access to hospital treatment, and routinely encouraged to sign Do Not Resuscitate orders. We are calling on Government to implement measures that will put an end to the lack of consideration to those who need social care.
There are more than 400,000 people living in care homes in the UK, more than 70% of which are living with some form of dementia. Many of these people also have other underlying health conditions.
Modelling study estimates impact of relaxing control measures on possible second wave of Covid-19 in China
New modelling research, published in The Lancet journal, suggests that China’s aggressive control measures appear to have halted the first wave of Covid-19 in areas outside Hubei province, the epicentre of the epidemic. However, given the substantial risk of the virus being reintroduced from abroad, and with economic activity increasing, real-time monitoring of Covid-19 transmissibility and severity is needed to protect against a possible second wave of infection, researchers say.
The study estimates that in regions outside Hubei, the instantaneous reproductive number of Covid-19—the average number of cases generated by a single infected individual during the outbreak —fell substantially after lock down measures were introduced on January 23, 2020, and has remained below 1 since then—suggesting that the epidemic has shifted from one that is expanding rapidly to one that is slowly shrinking.
However, mathematical modelling to simulate the impact of relaxing current control measures, suggests that premature lifting of these interventions will likely lead to transmissibility exceeding 1 again, resulting in a second wave of infection.
Cochrane rapid review on quarantine measures
A new rapid review looking at quarantine during the Covid-19 pandemic has been published by Cochrane.
The review summarises evidence available from modelling studies that show how quarantining affects the spread of Covid-19. The studies included in the review consistently conclude that quarantine can play a role in controlling the spread of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. While early implementation of quarantine and its combination with other public health measures may reduce spread of the disease, key uncertainties remain as to how these measures can best be adopted and when they can be relaxed.
Currently, there are no effective medicines or vaccines available to treat or prevent Covid-19. For this reason, restrictive public health measures such as isolation, physical distancing, and quarantine have been used in a number of countries to reduce transmission of the virus.
New wellbeing area for staff at Nightingale Hospital
The John Lewis Partnership is designing and installing a wellbeing area for medical staff and volunteers at the Nightingale NHS Hospital, London.
The space is the only area within the main part of the hospital that is specifically designed for all staff to have a place of sanctuary, when they need help or time out to relax from their extremely challenging environment.
Matthew Trainer, Deputy CEO, NHS Nightingale London said: “We are so grateful to the John Lewis Partnership for their continued commitment to taking care of NHS staff. The care packages, designed in collaboration with the BMA, will be a welcome gesture of support for busy staff on the go, and the wellbeing space will allow our staff much-needed time out during their shifts.
“This is a fantastic example of people and companies coming together to help NHS staff as they respond to the greatest public health challenge in over a century – but every member of the public can play their part too, in particular by staying home to slow the spread of the virus and save lives.”
Other news roundup
- A 107-year old Dutch woman has reportedly recovered from the coronavirus
- The number of recorded cases in Spain dropped today
- New figures show emergency visits to hospitals in England have fallen to their lowest levels since records began a decade ago
- More than one million claims for Universal Credit have been made between March 16 and April 3
- Nightingale Hospital in Birmingham will open for patients on Friday
- English Premier League footballers launch NHS support fund.