COVID-19 current figures
Today's COVID-19 headlines
People aged between 60-69 should be stringent with social distancing
The 7.3 million people in the UK aged between 60 and 69 are at increased risk of severe illness and death from Covid-19. Although the government's age threshold for isolation is 70 years and over, data from countries such as China and Italy show that people aged 60-69 years are also at high risk of complications and death from Covid-19.
Writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Professor Azeem Majeed, Head of the Department of Primary Care & Public Health at Imperial College London, said that while this group is at a lower risk of severe illness when compared to those aged 70 years or older, their risk is still considerable.
Case fatality rates for those aged 60-69 are 3.5% in Italy and 3.6% in China. Other countries, including Switzerland and France, encourage those aged 65 and older to enforce strict public health measures due to their increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.
Prof Majeed, who co-authored the paper with colleagues from Imperial College London and the University of Exeter, said: "The UK's policy is at variance with the World Health Organisation, which states that those above the age of 60 years are at the highest risk, requiring additional preventative measures."
CMI calculates deaths attributable to Covid-19
During the coronavirus pandemic, the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) is publishing weekly UK mortality analysis through its mortality monitor. This week’s update shows the position as at week 15 of 2020 (4 April to 10 April) based on provisional England & Wales deaths data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 21 April 2020.
The key points of this update are there were 77% more deaths registered in week 15 of 2020 than if death rates had been the same as week 15 of 2019. The difference was 59% in week 14. These ‘excess’ deaths in week 15 were 30% higher than the number of deaths registered and mentioning Covid-19 on the death certificate. There may have been around 30,000 more deaths in the UK for the year to 20 April 2020 than if mortality rates were similar to those experienced in 2019.
Cobus Daneel, Chair of the CMI Mortality Projections Committee said: “Our analysis looks at the increase in deaths from 2019 to 2020 as a way to measure the effect of the coronavirus pandemic. The increase in deaths is much higher than what is shown by the commonly-quoted figures for deaths in hospitals. This shows not just the terrible impact of the pandemic in overall terms, but also the large number of deaths occurring outside hospitals – for instance, in care homes.”
ESC guidance for the management of heart disease during Covid-19
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) has published guidance on managing cardiovascular disease during the pandemic.
The novel coronavirus not only causes viral pneumonia but also has major implications for the cardiovascular system. Heart and stroke patients are more likely to have severe cases of Covid-19, as are people with risk other factors, including advanced age, diabetes, hypertension and obesity. In addition, Covid-19 patients may develop heart damage, which raises their chance of dying.
This detailed document provides healthcare professionals the best available knowledge, based on practical experience, on how to diagnose and manage cardiovascular conditions in Covid-19 patients, treat the coronavirus infection, and organise and prioritise care. It will be updated as more evidence is gathered.
Other news roundup
- Keir Starmer holds his first Prime Minister Questions as Leader of the Opposition
- An analysis from the Financial Times sees UK coronavirus death toll at 41,000
- US coronavirus deaths hit 45,000 on Tuesday according to Reuters