COVID-19 current figures
Today's COVID-19 headlines
UK coronavirus death toll could be 15% higher than previously shown
Britain’s death toll from the coronavirus could run some 15% higher than official figures have indicated so far, according to broader data published today that include deaths in the community such as in nursing homes.
The Office for National Statistics said 6,235 people in England and Wales had died by April 3 with mentions of Covid-19 on their death certificates.
“When looking at data for England, this is 15% higher than the NHS numbers as they include all mentions of Covid-19 on the death certificate, including suspected COVID-19, as well as deaths in the community,” ONS statistician Nick Stripe said.
Unlike the daily data published by the government that show only deaths in hospitals, today’s figures include deaths in the community, such as at nursing homes. (Reuters)
WHO calls for restrictions to alcohol during pandemic
WHO Europe is encouraging governments to enforce measures which limit alcohol consumption as it is associated with a range of communicable and noncommunicable diseases and mental health disorders, which can make a person more vulnerable to Covid-19
It said that at times of lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, alcohol consumption can exacerbate health vulnerability, risk-taking behaviours, mental health issues and violence.
As part of its public health response to Covid-19, WHO has worked with partners to develop a factsheet which addresses myths and provides guidance during the pandemic: 'Alcohol and COVID-19: what you need to know'.
More than third of Covid-19 medical staff in China suffered from insomnia
A first-of-its-kind study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry found that more than a third of medical staff responding to the outbreak during its peak in China suffered from insomnia.
The healthcare workers who experienced sleeplessness were also more likely to feel depressed, anxious and have stress-based trauma, according to the paper.
"Typically, stress-related insomnia is transient and persists for only a few days," said Dr. Bin Zhang, a professor at Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, and co-author of the paper. "But if the Covid-19 outbreak continues, the insomnia may gradually become chronic insomnia in the clinical setting."
The results are based on a series of self-administered questionnaires conducted online between January 29 and February 3 at the peak of the Covid-19 epidemic in China. Researchers used the WeChat social media platform to gather answers from 1,563 participants in the medical field.
Urgent action needed as care system is devastated by coronavirus
Leading charities have demanded the Government urgently supports social care through the pandemic as they have 'been appalled by the devastation which coronavirus is causing in the care system.'
In a letter to Matt Hancock, they say they are writing together as charity and care sector leaders on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable people reliant on social care and the hundreds dying in care homes, supported by an army of incredible, often low paid and undervalued care workers who are not trained to deal with death on this scale.
The letter has been signed by Kate Lee, CEO, Alzheimer’s Society, Matthew Reed, Chief Executive, Marie Curie, Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director, Age UK, Professor Martin Green, CEO, Care England and Deborah Alsina, Chief Executive, Independent Age.
They said they have all been inundated with desperate calls from the people they support and the Government must step in and make it clear that no-one will be abandoned to this virus simply because of their age, condition or where they live.
Sensory impairment should be included as standard screening measure
Loss of smell and taste has been anecdotally linked to Covid-19 infections. In a study published in International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology, researchers at UC San Diego Health report the first empirical findings that strongly associate sensory loss with Covid-19.
Carol Yan and colleagues at UC San Diego Health surveyed 1,480 patients with flu-like symptoms and concerns regarding potential Covid-19 infection who underwent testing at UC San Diego Health from March 3 through March 29, 2020. Within that total, 102 patients tested positive for the virus and 1,378 tested negative. The study included responses from 59 COVID-19-positive patients and 203 COVID-19-negative patients.
Yan said the study demonstrated the high prevalence and unique presentation of certain sensory impairments in patients positive with COVID-19. Of those who reported loss of smell and taste, the loss was typically profound, not mild. But encouragingly, the rate of recovery of smell and taste was high and occurred usually within two to four weeks of infection.
Other news roundup
- Spain has allowed construction and manufacturing activities to restart
- Austria and Italy are from Tuesday letting certain categories of shops reopen
- Tom Moore, a 99-year-old World War Two army veteran who has raised more than £1.4m to help the NHS with a sponsored walk
- Office for Budget Responsibility says GDP could fall by 35% in the second quarter of the year.