COVID-19 current figures
Today's COVID-19 headlines
WHO: warning against easing coronavirus measures too early
The World Health Organization has no blanket recommendation for countries and regions for easing measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, but urged them not to lift them too early, according to Reuters.
“One of the most important parts is not to let go of the measures too early in order not to have a fall back again,” said WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier in a virtual briefing.
“It’s similar to being sick yourself if you get out of bed too early and get running too early you risk falling back and having complications,” he added.
Research suggests UK is early in its epidemic and faces a fast-mounting death toll
New Covid-19 estimates find that, among European nations, the peak daily death rate from the pandemic will occur during the third week of April, with the pandemic spreading from Southern Europe.
The new forecasts, released today by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, find that approximately 151,680 people will die during what researchers are calling the “first wave” of the pandemic. By comparison, the US is expected to face 81,766 deaths, according to forecasts released on Sunday by IHME.
The death toll in many countries is compounded by demand for hospital resources well in excess of what is available. For example, peak demand in the UK is expected to total 102,794 hospital beds needed compared to 17,765 available, 24,544 ICU beds compared to 744 ICU beds available, and 20,862 ventilators needed (with data currently unavailable on ventilators available).
BMA survey shows large number of doctors still don't have adequate PPE
Despite repeated assurances by the Government for over a week that millions of units of protective equipment have been delivered to the front line, a BMA snapshot survey with almost 2,000 responses, revealed that large numbers of doctors are still expected to care for COVID-19 patients with little or no PPE.
This comes amid increasing numbers of deaths among healthcare workers in the UK and in Italy where doctors’ representatives are linking over 100 deaths to lack of PPE.
According to the survey, more than half of doctors working in high-risk environments said there were either shortages or no supply at all of adequate face masks, while 65% said they did not have access to eye protection. Alarmingly, 55% said they felt pressurised to work in a high-risk area despite not having adequate PPE.
Almost 90% of GPs in contact with Covid-19 patients reported either shortages or no access at all to eye protection, and 62% reported problems with supply of face masks. More than half of GPs who responded said they had had to buy their own face masks or eye protection, with only 2% saying they felt fully protected against the virus at work.
WHO: Covid-19 shows how fundamental the nursing profession is to society
Governments should invest to accelerate nursing education and training, create nursing jobs, and empower nurse leadership, according to the World Health Organization.
A new report, The state of the world’s nursing 2020, provides an in-depth look at the largest component of the health workforce. It says that without nurses, midwives and other health workers, countries cannot win the battle against outbreaks, or achieve universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, said: “Our fight against COVID-19 has once again brought home how fundamental the nursing profession is to society and to all of us. Faced with the most exceptional circumstances and toughest working conditions, nurses across the European Region and the world have met the challenge with bravery, compassion and professionalism. They, together with all frontline health workers, deserve our deepest thanks and respect."
Covid 19: prediction models have a high risk of bias
The modelling and approach to tackle the hard medical decisions associated with the spread of the Covid-19 virus may be based on weak and overly-optimistic evidence from studies that are biased and unreliable.
The research published in the BMJ examined multiple studies on the virus and found some were poorly reported, had a high risk of being biased and included recommendations that were questionable should they be put into practice.
The current viral nucleic acid testing and chest computed tomography (CT) are standard methods for diagnosing Covid-19, but are time-consuming. So a team of international experts from Maastricht University, KU Leuven, University Medical Center Utrecht, Oxford University, Medical University of Vienna, Keele University, and Leiden University, in collaboration with the Cochrane Prognosis Methods group, set out to review and appraise prediction models for diagnosis and prognosis of Covid-19 infection from published and pre-print reports.
NHS coronavirus volunteers start work
Hundreds of thousands of NHS Volunteer Responders will be able to report for duty today and start helping the NHS in its fight against coronavirus.
Over 750,000 people signed up to the NHS’ call for volunteers in just four days when the scheme launched, three times the original target.
Royal Voluntary Service, the charity delivering the volunteer effort, will have completed checks for the three quarters of a million applications by the end of Tuesday.
Other news roundup
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson is admitted to intensive care for oxygen treatment
- China reports no new deaths
- Paris bans daytime jogging after a surge of coronavirus cases
- Air traffic in the UK is down 92% on the same day in 2019
- Mars has donated 1m Easter eggs to NHS workers, food banks and community groups.