On this day in 2020
Extract from 'Coronavirus - 2020 Vision - a complete diary and events of the Covid-19 pandemic.' by Keith Wright.
© Keith Wright 2021
'WEDNESDAY 15TH APRIL 2020
Facts and figures.
761 deaths in the UK over 24 hours reporting period.
84 in Scotland.
60 in Wales.
6 in Northern Ireland.
651 in England.
Authors’ note – the figure for the UK, in reality, is 801 but the different reporting times of each home country again impacts on the release figures by Public Health England.
The total UK deaths so far is 12,868.
313,769 people have been tested.
98,476 tested positive.
19,529 are in hospital with COVID-19.
New UK cases are 3,971 + 634 key workers. The total is 4,605 new cases. This figure of 4-5,000 new cases each day has remained the same for around two weeks now, but it has yet to take a downturn. This should happen soon. We hope.
It’s all fine.
Police have issued 3,203 fines to people breaching social distancing, and stay-at-home laws. This is 0.01% of the population. It was reported 8 out of 10 of these people were men, and two-thirds of them were aged 18-34, with 60% of them being white. That means 40% of offenders are ethnic, (BAME), yet the population of BAME people in the UK is 15%. The reason for this disparity is unclear.
Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) said that most crime had fallen, with rape down 37%, serious assault down 27%, burglaries down 37%, and vehicle crime down 34%. Anti-social behaviour was up 59%, primarily linked with people ignoring coronavirus restrictions.
A pharmacist has been arrested in Croydon by The National Crime Agency for the illegal sale of coronavirus testing kits. He was claiming the kits worked when they are untested and not fit for sale. Two properties were searched, and officers seized £20,000 in cash.
In a similar case, a surveyor was arrested in West London. His car was stopped, and 250 such kits were found inside the vehicle. He said he was planning to sell them to construction workers.
A spokesperson for the NCA said,
‘Criminals capitalise on fear and anxiety, and they will exploit any opportunity, no matter how awful, to line their pockets.’
Chain of infection.
The Ministry of Justice reports that 218 prison inmates across the UK have tested positive for coronavirus in 57 jails. 82 prison staff have tested positive in 35 prisons and 6 prisoner escorts and custody services staff.
The Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock has announced that care home workers will be tested, and patients leaving hospital to care homes will be tested ‘as it is ramped up’ and capacity to do so increases. That is good news, but, of course, it is not now that the crisis is happening. They plan to do it when they can. This seems a bit shabby, and late and lacking common sense.
A cynic number cruncher might suggest it was better to divest hospitals of dying patients where they are recorded as an ‘official Covid death,’ and send them to die in a care home where they are not. However, harsh decisions have had to be made in health care, and maybe this was one of them if they do not have enough tests in hospitals. I guess we make our own minds up at this juncture.
Author’s note. It seems common sense, that patients with the virus, or recovering from it, not yet testing negative, being discharged from a COVID-19 hospital ward, straight to a care home where the most vulnerable sit waiting helpless and unprotected, is reckless at best.
Usually, there is an average of 2 killings a week due to domestic violence. Dame Vera Baird, the Victim’s Commissioner for England and Wales, informed MPs today that at the moment, we are experiencing 5 killings a week from domestic violence. Is it a coincidence that people are in lockdown together and we have this huge spike?
Lynne Owens, Director General of the National Crime Agency said that county lines drug dealers were frustrated at the travel ban. She said:
‘They are dealing drugs in supermarket car parks and passing themselves off as key workers to avoid police.’
She also said a Polish lorry driver stopped by Border Force officers at Dover this week had 14kg of cocaine hidden in a consignment of face masks!
We are getting some insight into how other countries are approaching lockdown.
The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced plans to ease restrictions slowly. Social distancing rules will stay in place until May 3rd, with a strong recommendation for people to wear face masks in public. As of next week, some shops under a certain size (800 square metres/ 8,600 sq ft) could open their doors, car dealers, bicycle shops and bookstores can all re-open regardless of size. Hairdressers will be allowed to open their doors from May 4th 2020. Schools can start to re-open from May 4th 2020, with new safety measures for breaktimes and school buses. Large public gatherings will remain banned until 31st August 2020; bars, cafes, restaurants, cinemas and music venues will all remain closed. Chancellor Merkel said, ‘It will be a great logistical effort, and it needs very careful preparation.’
To date, Germany has 127,584 confirmed cases and has reported 3,254 deaths.
Spain has brought back construction and manufacturing work.
Italy has re-opened bookshops and children's clothing stores.
Austria re-opened smaller shops last Tuesday and will allow outdoor sport such as tennis, golf and athletics from May 1st 2020.
Denmark has re-opened school and nurseries for children up to the age of 11.
The conspiracy theory around 5G masts carrying the bug on airwaves to the country continues. A further 20 suspected arson attacks on masts have been reported. The ignorance of these people is beyond belief at a time when emergency workers, and indeed the population as a whole, need to be able to communicate via mobile phone.
The fashion stores Oasis and Warehouse have gone into administration pending a buyer. Debenhams and Laura Ashley, among others, have collapsed in recent weeks.
Yesterday I mentioned a terrific elderly gentleman, former army Captain Tom Moore, aged 99 years, who was doing a sponsored walk with his Zimmer frame in his garden.
He wanted to raise £1,000 for the NHS by walking 100 times around his garden before he reached 100 years old on 30th April 2020. His sponsored walk took off on social media, television, and around the world.
The incredible news is that he has currently raised over £12,000,000 (£12 million). What an amazing story, of determination, hope, and generosity. Truly inspirational and heart-warming.
President Trump was asked at his briefing later in the day about rumours that the pandemic was started by an intern at Wuhan's biological laboratory because of lax procedures, who gave it her boyfriend, who then went to a ‘wet’ market - the disease spread from there. Mr Trump would not elaborate on the story other than they are ‘looking at it.’
He would not divulge the content of a conversation he had with Mr. Xi Jinping the Chinese president earlier in the day.
It would be horrible if there was any credence to such a story. There are bound to be conspiracy theories kicking around; I guess this is one of them, albeit one that made it to the US President's podium.
5 pm Press Briefing. Matt Hancock. Secretary of State for Health.
The Health Minister announces new social care provisions to support 1.5 million care workers and cost £1.6 billion. They will use the money to address the shortcomings with care workers so far:
1) Control the spread of infection. All care home residents will be tested before leaving the hospital. PPE is to go out to care homes. They will be included in the roll-out of the online process to order PPE. The royal Mail will be involved in this process.
2) Support for care workers. The government is introducing a single brand for all care workers and establishments. The brand is encapsulated in a badge that has the word CARE in white on a green background.
3) The government announces they are recruiting tens of thousands of more care workers and will pay for the training.
4) They are giving people the right to say goodbye. Each month 10,000 people die in care homes in normal times. The government is introducing new protocols to help those closest to be able to say goodbye even during the coronavirus pandemic with infection being avoided.
According to the briefing, people in hospital beds with COVID-19 fell 1% and appears to be flattening overall.
Author’s note. Hopefully not because they have been tipped out of a hospital into a care home bed.
Today was a normal day of lockdown, writing, and I did some exercise. My exercise regime is improvised just to get the heart pumping a bit. Like the virus, the extent of my exercising will come and go in waves.
Quote of the day:
‘Goodbyes make you think. They make you realise what you’ve had, what you’ve lost, and what you’ve taken for granted.’ – Ritu Ghatourey.
© Keith Wright 2021