COVID-19 current figures


Current UK cases: 129,044 are confirmed as positive

Numbers tested: 397,670 people have been tested in the UK

17,337 (828) patients in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus (Covid-19) have died

(Source: DHSC: As of 9am on 21 April 2020/death figures of 5pm on 20 April 2020)


Global situation report: 2,314,621 confirmed (72,846) 157,847 deaths (5,296)

European Region: 1,149,071 confirmed (26,882) 103,586 deaths (2,648)

Regions of the Americas: 858,631 confirmed (36,771) 40,615 deaths (2,357)

Western Pacific Region: 132,438 confirmed (1,326) 5,648 deaths (27)

Eastern Mediterranean Region: 129,433 confirmed (4,742) 6,048 deaths (140)

South-East Asia: 29,576 confirmed (2,257) 1,275 deaths (90)

African Region: 14,760 confirmed (868) 662 deaths (34)


(Source: World Health Organization situation report 91)



Today's COVID-19 headlines


Canopy protects health workers from Covid-19 infection during ventilation

Researchers have designed a cost-effective, constant flow plastic canopy system that can help to protect healthcare workers who are at risk of airborne coronavirus infection while delivering non-invasive ventilation or oxygen via high flow nasal canula (HFNC), according to a research letter published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Professor Yochai Adir, from the Lady Davis Carmel Medical Center Pulmonary Division, Israel, led the research team. He explained: "The current crisis has resulted in a shortage of access to negative pressure facilities and invasive mechanical ventilators. This means we must adapt, so that we can continue to treat patients as best we can while protecting the health and safety of healthcare workers.

"Non-invasive ventilation is one solution for this, but it may increase the risk of infection for healthcare workers, as virus particles can become airborne due to mask leakage, the speed and direction of the air flow, or from patient coughing. The constant flow canopy system that we designed and built addresses this risk, by eliminating healthcare workers' exposure to this potentially dangerous situation."


Nurse training for the pandemic has been inadequate

Training for some nursing staff redeployed to front line care of Covid-19 patients has been inadequate or non-existent, according to new survey results.

The ICON study is a longitudinal survey to evaluate the impact of Covid-19 on the UK nursing and midwifery workforce. The survey is being undertaken at three time-points: prior to Covid-19 peak, during the Covid-19 peak, and in the recovery period following Covid-19.

Early results of the first survey (prior to Covid-19 peak) found that of those being redeployed within the NHS, 62% either reported that their training was either non-existent, or inadequate. Also 74% felt their personal health was at risk during Covid-19 due to their clinical role and 92% were worried about risks to family members.

The ICON study, led by the Royal College of Nursing Research Society steering group, is a collaboration between King’s College London, University of Warwick, Cardiff University, University of Plymouth, University of Nottingham, University of Surrey and St Bartholomew’s Hospital. 


RCN seeks urgent reassurance from government about death in service benefits

Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Chief Executive & General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair has written to the prime minister demanding immediate clarity on death in service benefits and financial support for families of nursing staff who have died due to Covid-19.

She said: "Our members deserve immediate reassurance from the UK government that it is committed to supporting families whose loved ones have died protecting us. I am deeply concerned that there is yet to be an announcement on this issue, particularly as some of these families will be facing financial difficulty as well as the loss of their loved one.

"It is our position that these benefits need to be retrospective, in effect, from the start of the pandemic and must apply to all health and care staff, regardless of their length of service or the setting in which they were working. This must include those who have bravely returned to service, and all students who join the fight against the pandemic."


UK's Covid-19 death toll is far higher than daily figure, data suggests

The true extent of Britain’s Covid-19 death toll was more than 40% higher than the government’s daily figures indicated as of April 10, according to data that put the country on track to become among the worst-hit in Europe.

The Office for National Statistics said it recorded 13,121 deaths by April 10 in England and Wales, which account for the vast majority of Britain’s population, compared with 9,288 in the government’s daily toll for those who died in hospital.

The ONS figures include deaths in care homes and hospices as well as in hospitals. (Reuters)


Other news roundup

  • UK Parliament returns today from its Easter recess
  • Spain cancels Spain's the annual San Fermin bull-running festival in July 
  • Germany cancels its beer drinking festival Oktoberfest
  • WHO says that all available evidence suggests that the novel coronavirus originated in bats in China late last year
  • Trump announces plan to suspend immigration to US
  • Mexico announces it has entered “phase three” of its outbreak, with the spread of the virus intensifying