On this day in 2020....16th April
On this day in 2020…
An extract from,
‘Coronavirus – 2020 vision,
A complete diary and events of Covid-19.’
By Keith Wright.
© Keith Wright 2021
THURSDAY 16TH APRIL 2020
Facts and figures
861 deaths in the UK in 24 hours.
80 in Scotland.
18 Northern Ireland.
740 in England.
13,729 total deaths in the UK (in hospital).
New cases are 3,869 (hospital) + 749 (NHS testing) Total of new cases – 4,618. It is still between the 4-5000 per day, but it is consistent and not rising. (nor falling).
US death toll exceeds 26,000.
The total number of global cases has surpassed 2 million, including more than 130,000 fatalities. 515,000 patients have recovered.
Today the ONS – Office of National Statistics has shockingly reported that on top of the government reported deaths, from hospitals, a further amount, which is around an additional 75% of this figure, were deaths other than in hospital. This being in England and Wales for one month. 3,912 as yet unaccounted deaths were ‘involving’ coronavirus. Over half of these were in Care Homes, the others being in Hospices and people’s own homes.
Of the 3,912, the vast majority had ‘coronavirus’ mentioned as the cause in the death certificate as 1a, 1b, or 2a, 2b.
Extrapolating the premise of 75% non-hospital deaths across all 4 home nations, so far, it would make an astonishing additional 9,426 over the full period to date.
The true total number of UK coronavirus deaths is a horrifyingly large figure of 21,952. This number far surpasses Spain and Italy; it is unclear whether they include non-hospital deaths in their data.
The BAME game.
Mr. Raab and Chris Whitty said that there would be a review to understand why there seemed to be a disproportionately higher percentage of hospital admissions of BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) patients and indeed deaths versus the general UK population.
Sky News ‘analysis’ has found that of the 54 front line health workers in England and Wales who have died because of COVID-19, 70% of them were black or Asian. Their analysis also found that four of the five health trusts who have recorded the most deaths, cover areas with some of the highest Asian and Black populations. Many in London and the West Midlands. Sky News state that despite only 13% of the general population is from a BAME background, 44% of all doctors and 24% of nurses are from a BAME background.
It will be interesting to see what the review shows.
Today we get news about whether the lockdown is being extended, and if so, for how long? It is generally expected that it will be, as we may or may not be at the peak, but we most certainly have not come down the other side yet. There is also the consideration of avoiding a second wave.
Has lockdown worked so far? Absolutely. The UK went into lockdown on 23rd March 2020, which was four days after our 100th death from the virus. At that point, the death rate doubled every three days. If it had continued, we would have had 40,000 (hospital only) deaths today, instead of just shy of 14,000.
The week after the lockdown, it slowed to doubling every four days. If that had continued, we would have had 20,000 deaths today.
In the last week, it has been doubling every week.
These figures show how the lockdown and social distancing rules have saved thousands of lives so far. I predict another three-week lockdown, but we will see at the 5 pm press briefing. If only we had started lockdown earlier!
Health Secretary Matt Hancock says when interviewed this morning that people aren’t taking up the tests. They could do 25,000 a day but only did 14,000.
They are testing at Boots site in Nottingham, and other places, but you have to travel to them. I wonder why the tests are not being taken up, maybe because the NHS personnel are low-paid, and many won’t have cars. Tests need to go to them. I cannot see them doing 100,000 by the end of this month, as promised, unless they change tack. I hope I’m wrong.
Loving the D.
I saw some interesting medical advice on the telly, from Dr Chris Steele ME, on building up your immune system. Most of your immune system is situated in your gut, and pro-biotic elements will feed it. 3 things are recommended to boost your immune system:
Beans (any type) / Bananas
Vitamin D (preferably Vitamin D3).
5 pm Press Briefing. The First Secretary, Dominic Raab.
Mr Raab is joined by the ‘A-Team,’ Professors Chris Whitty and Patrick Valance. Jackie and I hum the A-Team theme tune as they walk to their podiums. Maybe we are getting a little ‘stir crazy.’
The First Secretary says the continued aim is to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed all at once while enhancing their capacity for more patients if required.
Mr Raab deputised for Boris Johnson at a video conference call with the G 7 leaders worldwide earlier in the day.
Cobra, Sage and r.
Today, the COBRA meeting at Number 10 Downing Street received a briefing from SAGE on the current data. The infection rate ‘r’ is not down as much as we need it to be. It is somewhere between 0.5 and 1, but in some places such as Hospitals and care homes, it is higher than 1.
Author’s note. ‘r’ is the number of persons infected by someone with the disease. If the rate is lower than 1 it cannot increase.
Any change to the social distancing and stay at home rules at the moment would risk a substantial increase and risk a second wave. Then we would have an even longer further lockdown and economic malaise.
In light of this, the government confirmed that there would be at least a further 3 weeks of lockdown. The lockdown provisions will be reviewed again on 7th May 2020.
Author’s note. I was right. In truth, I am pleased about this decision. It makes sense. The economy is a huge issue, and a weak economy can cause more ill-health and premature death than the disease. I sense not in this case. If the virus remains unchecked and gets out of hand, then we would lose hundreds of thousands rather than the tens of thousands at the moment. Plus, it is not over yet, not by a long way. Arguably the most challenging bit is still ahead of us; how to get back to normality while keeping a lid on it, without a vaccine.
Mr Raab revealed a list of 5 pillars which need to be confirmed before the government can reduce the lockdown measures:
1) Be able to protect the NHS and their ability to cope.
2) See a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rate to ensure we have moved beyond the peak.
3) Data from SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) shows that the infection rate is manageable.
4) They are confident that operational challenges such as hospital capacity and PPE and testing can meet future demand.
5) They are confident that it will not risk a second peak.
Author’s note. I found it odd that none of the journalists asked the question. What question? Well, suddenly, on the slides that are displayed showing the number of deaths, a new line has been drawn on the graph. The usual line for the UK now has (hospitals) at the side of it. The new line, which only goes up to the beginning of April 2020, is the one relating to non-hospital deaths published by the ONS.
Why has no-one at the briefing asked why this figure is not combined and noticed that if it were, our line of death would be second highest between the USA and well above Spain? Maybe they were distracted by the lockdown news?
Lottie delivered some shopping for us as she went to Morrison’s. I do wonder if there were a higher capacity for on-line food orders, then lives could be saved. You cannot get a slot in the order queue online; this forces people out of their homes to the stores, mixing with others. Anyway, Lottie’s gesture was thoughtful and appreciated.
It’s a little weird that I toggle on my volunteer's app and I am available to run errands for vulnerable people. Yet, the family probably sees Jackie and me as the most vulnerable out of everyone. I guess they are probably right.
We shouted to her from the garden and had a brief conversation with another human being, albeit from twenty feet away. It was all terribly exciting!
Some news on volunteering has emerged in The Times. There seems little wonder I have yet to be tasked. There are 750,000 of us, and the Royal Voluntary Service has only assisted 3,500 people a day with under 20,000 completed. The odds of getting a call seem remote. The Royal Voluntary Service said the operation was ‘still getting going.’
With it being a Thursday, we did our ‘clap for the NHS’, which seemed a little quieter than usual in our street. We will keep at it.
Quote of the day:
‘You can’t really know what you are made of until you are tested.’ – O.R.Melling.
© Keith Wright 2021