COVID-19 current figures
Today's COVID-19 headlines
WHO: UK singled out for tempering positive signs that Europe is past its peak
Dr Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, said that while there have been “optimistic signs” in countries worst affected by coronavirus, others, such as the UK, demonstrated “sustained or increased levels of incidents”.
He said that Europe is in eye of the storm of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the number of cases nearing a million, and should move with extreme caution when considering easing lockdowns.
In an online briefing, he said: “Case numbers across the region continue to climb. In the past 10 days, the number of cases reported in Europe has nearly doubled to close to 1 million."
Cochrane review of personal protection equipment
The Cochrane Review, "Personal protective equipment (PPE) for preventing highly infectious diseases due to exposure to contaminated body fluids in healthcare staff," has been updated as a rapid review in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The review is the 2020 update of a review first published in 2016 and previously updated in 2019. It looks at what type of PPE or combination of PPE gives healthcare workers the best protection; whether modifying PPE for easier removal is effective; whether following guidance on removing PPE reduced contamination and whether training reduced contamination.
It found 24 relevant studies with 2278 participants that evaluated types of PPE, modified PPE, procedures for putting on and removing PPE, and types of training.
Urgent need to tackle mental health monitoring during pandemic
A new paper in The Lancet Psychiatry highlights an urgent need to tackle the harmful impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health and potentially the brain and calls for research on these areas to be central to the global response to the pandemic.
The authors warn that the Covid-19 pandemic could have a 'profound' and 'pervasive impact' on global mental health now and in the future, yet a separate recent analysis shows that so far, only a tiny proportion of new scientific publications on Covid-19 have been on mental health impacts.
The paper calls for more widespread mental health monitoring and better ways to protect against, and treat, mental ill health - both of which will require new funding and better coordination.
Heart disease most common pre-existing condition in Covid-19 deaths
Chronic ischaemic heart disease was the most common main pre-existing condition found among deaths involving Covid-19, according to new analysis by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
Covid-19 was the third most frequent underlying cause of death occurring in March and males had a significantly higher rate of death due to Covid-19 - double that of females.
The latest analysis found that there were 3,912 deaths involving Covid-19 that occurred in March 2020 in England and Wales; of these, 3,372 (86%) had Covid-19 assigned as the underlying cause of death.
Ageism and health inequality magnified by coronavirus crisis
Many people aged 65 and over are facing significant challenges during the current coronavirus pandemic hindered by false assumptions that older people are financially secure and living care free lives.
A new report by Independent Age says that stereotyping people in later life and treating all over-65s as a single group could be damaging their physical and mental health and and major inequalities exist.
The report - In Focus: Experiences of older age in England – uses a combination of quantitative analysis in partnership with City University of London, and qualitative research of older people’s experiences, to highlight the voices that are seldom heard among those who are 65 and over.
Other news roundup
- Germany will begin a partial reopening of shops and schools from May 4
- Northern Ireland will keep coronavirus restrictions in place for another three weeks
- The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - the second-largest funder of the WHO - has pledged a further $150m (£120m) to fight Covid-19
- War veteran Captain Tom Moore raises £13 million for NHS with his sponsored walk
- The Duke of Cambridge opens Birmingham’s Nightingale hospital