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: 1,279 722 confirmed (68,766) 72,614 deaths (5,020)

Western Pacific Region: 113,641 confirmed (1,119) 3,892 deaths (31)

European Region: 686,338 confirmed (30,999) 52,809 deaths (3,330)

South-East Asia: 9,132 confirmed (304) 362 deaths (18)

Eastern Mediterranean Region: 78,565 confirmed (4,218) 4149 deaths (173)

Regions of the Americas: 384,242 confirmed (31,650) 11,097 deaths (1417)

African Region: 7,092 confirmed (476) 294 deaths (51)

(Source: World Health Organization)

 

 

Today's COVID-19 headlines

 

The case for releasing the young from lockdown

Releasing people aged 20-30 years-old who no longer live with their parents could provide the first step out of lockdown in the UK, researchers suggest.

The strategy could help policymakers to balance the health risks associated with Covid-19 and the need to avoid an “extraordinary recession”.

A new briefing paper – The case for releasing the young from lockdown – by experts at the University of Warwick and Warwick Business School makes the case for releasing those aged 20-30 that do not live with older citizens, who appear to be more susceptible to severe cases of the virus, as the best approach to eventually lifting the lockdown.

Data from the Office of National Statistics and the Annual Population Survey suggest this could allow 4.2 million young adults to resume their daily lives.

 

Cancer patients could 'die sooner' because of coronavirus pandemic

Cancer patients will die sooner than they usually would have due to the coronavirus pandemic, community nurses have warned.

They claimed that people newly diagnosed with cancer were being turned away for treatment because of the emergence of Covid-19, reports Nursing Times.

The NHS has had to make drastic changes in order to find capacity for the expected influx of patients with the novel virus.

All non-urgent surgeries will be postponed from 15 April, and cancer therapies have also been delayed for some patients.

 

Testing capacity boosted by new AstraZeneca, GSK lab

Britain will have a new coronavirus testing facility capable of carrying out 30,000 tests per day by early May, said the chief executive of pharma company AstraZeneca, helping the government meet an ambitious goal to scale up testing.

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot also told BBC Radio on Wednesday that an antibody test would be ready in May.

The Reuters report said that the government last week promised a tenfold increase in the number of daily tests to 100,000 by the end of April after facing criticism for failing to roll out mass checks to help curb the spread of coronavirus.

AstraZeneca is working with rival UK pharma giant GSK and the University of Cambridge on a joint project to develop a new lab in Cambridge, eastern England, to boost Britain’s testing capacity.

 

Covid-19 and risks to older people in long-term care

A new report calls for measures to protect elderly people in long-term care facilities and their caregivers who are particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elderly people in long-term care facilities are at high risk of dying from COVID-19 and the risk of transmission of the virus is also especially high at these residences.

Writing in the Journal of Aging & Social Policy, the authors emphasize that being vigilant about the health of the elderly in long-term care is essential not only for their health, but also to protect the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed by severe COVID-19 cases.

Lead author William Gardner, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa, Canada said: "If COVID-19 sweeps through a single long-term care facility, this surge in caseload could overwhelm local hospital capacity. Local hospitals may already be under severe strain due to an influx of coronavirus patients during the current pandemic."

 

New mental health helpline for NHS staff

The NHS has launched a mental health hotline as part of a package of measures to support 1.4 million staff as they help people deal with the coronavirus.

NHS staff will be able to call or text a free number staffed by thousands of specially trained volunteers, to receive support and advice for the pressures they face every day during the global health emergency.

The phone line will be open between 7am and 11pm every day, while the text service will be 24/7. Telephone: 0300 131 7000. For the 24/7 text helpline simply text FRONTLINE to 8525

   

Other news roundup

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson spends third day in intensive care 
  • Spain’s daily death toll has risen for the second day in a row by 757
  • The lockdown ends in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the new coronavirus began
  • Welsh Government confirms lockdown will not end next week
  • WHO denies claims by President Trump that the agency is "very China-centric"
  • Covid-19 cases in Africa hit over 10,000