The infection rate has increased to 1.3 to 1.5. Last week it was 1.2 to 1.5.
In the period 25th September to 8th October 2020, between 312,200 and 362,000 people were infected with Covid-19 - as estimated by the ONS.
The most likely estimate is that there are currently (as of 13th October 2020) between 43,000 and 74,000 being infected daily. It is likely to be the higher figure.
In the Press Briefing, Sir Patrick Valance took us through some slides:
Heat maps in the most infected areas show how it starts in the younger age groups but then spreads to older people. This is a consistent trend.
Hospital admission naturally follow age groups with the highest being the oldest and decreasing downwards. Interestingly, despite this, 40% of hospital admissions are under 60.
Hospital admissions are increasing to a greater or lesser extent in every region, but it is a growing and worrying trend.
Sir Patrick finished by saying that things were concerning but it was not as bad as April when the r rate was at its unchecked rate of 3. He considers that we have kept it half that figure because we have utilised local lockdown measures and the key to reducing the rate is by the measures taken and people complying with them. If we had not it would have been much worse.
As we get into Friday, Lancashire, including Manchester has not been put into Tier 3 due to opposition from the Greater Manchester mayor, Andy Burnham. He says,
‘we are being set up as canaries in the coal mine for an experimental regional lockdown strategy.’
He mentioned the cash,
‘we are fighting back for fairness and the health of our people; they have to back that fully financially.’
There is no getting away from the fact that this being the second time for hospitality businesses closing could peel the death knell for them, so there is some understandable disquiet. For example, if Greater Manchester went into Tier 3 it would mean the following would close:
375 betting shops.
An indicator of the resistance has already been shown by one gym owner in Liverpool who was fined £1,000 for refusing to close his gym. He crowd-funded to help pay the fine and up to Thursday morning had £31,000 donated online.
Presumably, this will grow and be shared around other independent gym owners to pay their fines.
An unnamed ICU doctor in Manchester is quoted on Sky News as criticising the resistance to lockdown, saying,
‘Why don’t these politicians get it? 24 hours on and we’re still in the same position. Hospitals are filling up. Can’t they just accept the deal and sort the money out later? People are dying. These local leaders need to shut up and shut down, now.’
My tendency is to go with the doctor.
For balance - the better counterpoint I heard was that Prime Minister Johnson says it would be a ‘disaster’ to put the country into a lockdown, but he is prepared to impose that disaster on regions. The number grows with 27 million people in the UK now under Tier 3 lockdown come tomorrow.
There is no easy answer, but I expect Greater Manchester will have to go into Tier 3, maybe later on Friday? What else can they do? Any infections between now and an acquiescence may be subject to legal proceedings against Mr Burnham.
Today the WHO warned European countries that
‘we don’t have the luxury of time.’
Dr Hans Kluge the head of the WHO European office warned that even more drastic steps might be needed in these ‘unprecedented times.’ He said that leaders needed to be ‘uncompromising,’ in controlling the virus and that most of the spread is happening in homes, indoor spaces and in communities with non-compliance.
Dr Tedros of the WHO gave a conference followed up by tweeting their view on herd immunity initiatives.
‘Herd Immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it. Herd immunity without protection (vaccines) is immoral.’
4 pm Press Briefing – Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The Prime Minister held a press briefing alongside Professor Sir Patrick Vallance and one Susan Hopkins from Track and Trace.
The Prime Minister said that the decision to take other regions into Tier 3 is necessary because of the rise in infections and hospitalisations.
‘Taking action is right and the responsible thing to do.’
The main thrust was around the current state of play after Boris Johnson had said that he was disappointed with Greater Manchester mayor, Andy Burnham, not agreeing with a local lockdown. The P.M. said that the situation was ‘grave,’ and he would prefer to take the local authority with them to elevate it to Tier 3.
If necessary, however, he will take the decision, but he would prefer a spirit of co-operation.
‘If an agreement cannot be reached, I will have to intervene.’
A case in point.
In Greater Manchester cases have doubled in the last 9 days. Their cases are a huge 690 per 100,000 of the population. In the over 60’s it is a very high 224 per 100k. ICU is at 40% and in two weeks will have more than when the virus was at its peak in April. The Prime Minister urged the mayor to reconsider his position.
One of the key elements pressed was that people must self-isolate if testing positive, having symptoms or being in contact with an infected person. This along with the stricter measures will begin to reduce the r number and the infection rate.
Sir Patrick said that SAGE did advise a ‘circuit breaker’ - two to three-week national lockdown in September but things had changed since then. Nothing is ruled out.
The Welsh government has said that it is considering such a move and will decide by Monday.
We have finally managed to secure an appointment to get a flu vaccination. Boots and my medical centre cannot book any appointments as there are insufficient supplies.
Thankfully, Lloyds Chemist had a better system, and you could register on the waiting list, and they contacted you when they had a slot. We were contacted on Weds evening and quickly booked two places as soon as possible. When is it? Not until 26th November 2020. In the height of winter. Oh, well, at least it is better than sometime never. What else can you do?
The word is that this year, over 50’s are being given free flu vaccines, but there is no sign of this anywhere yet. Supposedly they are doing the over 65’s first. I guess I will just pay, or winter will be over before I get one.
Quote of the day.
‘A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.’ – Jonathan Swift.
A complete diary and events of the COVID-19 pandemic.’
- Keith Wright.
This day-by-day factual and complete account of events throughout the coronavirus pandemic, written as it happened, gives incredible insight into what life was like during this tragic and historic pandemic in the United Kingdom and worldwide.
It includes facts and figures, government initiatives, news events, moving individual accounts, and the horrific consequences, as they happened each day.
There is also a daily, personal slant on what life was like for the author and his family during what threatened to be an apocalyptic event.
It reveals all humanity in its idiocy, compassion and brilliance; the key elements, significant dates, statistics, human stories, tragedies, government strategies, the twists and turns, the humour and the obtuse.
The coronavirus will define this generation and identify these times, like other rare global historical events such as the bubonic plague and the World Wars.
This book is something to show your children and grandchildren when they ask you what it was like during such a frightening time. It can also be used as a point of reference for historians, commentators, and educators. It is also merely for posterity.
Were you alive? Do you recall it? Do you remember our Prime Minister almost died with Covid-19? Remember, the Queen saying ‘we’ll meet again’ during lockdown? Surely you recollect the EU conducting ‘an act of hostility’ towards the UK to get their hands on our vaccines? The thirty police officers fined for having a haircut, or the first man in the world to be vaccinated being called William Shakespeare from Stratford Upon Avon!
The whole world was plunged into chaos, with death, suffering and economic disaster. How did we cope? How did all of this happen? According to Keith’s wife, Jackie, it was ‘all because a man ate a bat.’
Keith Wright previously worked leading Corporate Investigations for a global pharmacy retailer. He has worked on major Crisis Management Incidents alongside senior executives impacting across the world of pharmaceutical product management.
Critically acclaimed crime novelist, and former CID detective, Wright moves from fiction to a factual account of arguably the most historic natural event to blight humanity in modern times.
He has four children and lives in Nottingham, England, with his wife, Jackie.