Major milestones and announcements:
- World Health Organisation Director-General says “control measures must be lifted slowly, and with control. It cannot happen all at once. Control measures can only be lifted if the right public health measures are in place, including significant capacity for contact tracing”
- “The foreign secretary said a formal decision on how to ease the lockdown would be taken later this week after ministers received evidence from the scientific advisory group for emergencies (Sage). He said: “We don’t expect to make any changes to the measures currently in place at that point and we won’t until we’re confident, as confident as we realistically can be, that any such changes can be safely made… We’ve still got a long way to go … we’ve still not passed the peak of this virus.”” (The Guardian)
Updates from the Stroud Coronavirus Community Response team and the local community
- Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are still “looking for people to join our facilities teams. Our facilities staff provide a variety of services to keep your local hospitals and services running smoothly. This includes cleaning, portering and catering. Full training provided. Call Graham Povey on 0300 421 8555”
- Dr Jenner’s House, Museum and Garden are appealing for funds to ensure they can stay open. The site is “the place where the British scientist Jenner carried out his pioneering research into vaccination, we celebrate his achievements and show how curiosity can change the world. Now, a new disease is affecting humanity and we have had to close to protect our visitors, workforce and community from COVID-19. It costs us £206 per day to preserve Jenner’s home and as an independent charity we rely on our visitors for 70% of our annual income. In these uncertain times we need your help to survive.”
- The Emma Willis Sewing Studio has delivered “350 laundry bags for NHS staff at GRH the sewers all volunteers who sewed non stop for a 48 hour turnaround making that an average of 35 bags per person all neatly finished with french seams, or overlocked for a strong durable finish”
- Anna Casserley made “22 ear mask protector things” for Stroud Midwifery Unit. Just one example of the work being done by local people in the For The Love of Scrubs – Gloucestershire group. If you would like to join their sewing team, please register. If you are having difficulties then please email them instead: email@example.com. There are more details in “For the Love of Scrubs – Gloucestershire” Facebook group.
- Fiona from Stroud Library has been sharing videos of her ‘how to draw’ and Storytime sessions so children don’t miss out. Here’s Fiona’s storytime from the 8th April.
- Stroud Rotary Club have started a COVID-19 fundraising page to help groups and charities who are helping during this time. They are on Facebook at: Stroud Rotary Covid-19 volunteers.
- There have been further changes to local bus timetables since April 5th – see Stagecoach West website. Stagecoach are encouraging social distancing on buses where possible.
- Stroud District Council has “COVID 19 – FAQs for taxi and private hire licence holders”
- We shared links to the Covid 19 Mutual Aid UK website providing resources and support for different groups of people during the coronavirus outbreak:
- We shared the London Renters Union’s updated Q&A about your rights as a renter during the Coronavirus pandemic. They also have a template letter you can use to start a conversation with your landlord about the rent crisis.
- We once again shared our list of local and neighbourhood groups – which is kept updated on our website https://neighbournetworks.uk/neighbourhoods/. Please let us know if you are aware of groups we have not listed, particularly in the areas where we do not currently have a link.
Local news from the papers:
- “At least nine more people have died with Covid-19 in Gloucestershire in a 24 hour period as the county’s death toll continues to rise. Yesterday, Easter Sunday, it was reported that 84 people who have tested positive for Covid-19 had passed away in the care of the county’s NHS. But on Easter Monday the latest figures show a total of 93 people have died with the virus in the county, an increase of nine… The 93 deaths do not include those who have died in private care homes, hospices or at home.” (Gloucestershire Live).
- “The latest data shows there have been a total of 644 positive tests for Covid-19 in the county up to Monday, April 13.” This is more than double the number of April 6 (306) – doubling in a week.
- We understand that yesterday, twice as many people had died in Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust hospitals (80) as in any other NHS Trust’s hospitals in the South West (41 people had died at North Bristol NHS Trust and at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust). It is hard to believe that this isn’t related to the Cheltenham Races. The Daily Telegraph recently reported that “The Government is facing fresh criticism for ignoring warnings over the Cheltenham Festival after a number of high-profile figures reported coronavirus symptoms, including one who has since died.”
- “Nailsworth Chamber of Trade has sprung into action to help its local community with a tip-top meal delivery service. The meals cost £25 for seven; and all profits will be used to provide the same range for free to key workers, as well as to vulnerable residents who would not otherwise be able to afford them.” (Stroud News and Journal)
- “Staff at hospitals, care homes and more in Stroud, Gloucester and Dursley have been visited by some of the [Whitminster] Highfield [Garden World] team after the garden centre decided to donate all of its Easter treats to local good causes” (Stroud News and Journal)
- “A Gloucester takeaway is offering NHS workers a free takeaway as a thank you for working during the coronavirus pandemic.” (Gloucestershire Live)
- As of 9am 13 April, 367,667 tests have concluded, with 14,506 tests on 12 April. 290,720 people have been tested of which 88,621 tested positive. As of 5pm on 12 April, of those hospitalised in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus, 11,329 have sadly died. (Department of Health and Social Care tweet). The John Hopkins University Tracker lists the UK as having 89,564 confirmed cases. We are unclear why there is a discrepancy with the DHSC figure.
- This means that yesterday 717 people died, and there were 4,342 new positive tests. These numbers are both lower than in previous days – with the number of people dying falling for two days in a row, though this may be a Bank Holiday effect in reporting rather than the indication of a new trend.
- The NHS introduced a new “confidential staff support line, operated by the Samaritans and free to access from 7.00 am – 11.00 pm, seven days a week”: 0300 171 7000. Staff can also text FRONTLINE to 85258 for support 24/7 via text. The Support our NHS People webpage says “In the current climate of increasing pressures on our healthcare system, our NHS people potentially face significant stresses”, and also contains links to emotional and mental health apps.
- “Only 52% of clinicians carrying out aerosol-generating procedures – those with the greatest risk of transferring the virus – said they had access to the kind of full-sleeve gowns that are mandatory for jobs such as intubating patients so that they can be treated with a ventilator, according to a survey by the Doctors’ Association UK… The doctors’ union, the BMA, added that it had also received reports from members at hospitals in Yorkshire, Bedfordshire, Kingston-upon-Thames and Liverpool about gown shortages. The intensive care unit at one Liverpool hospital ran out of gowns and has started borrowing PPE from a paediatric hospital, it said. A hospital in Kingston ran out of gowns on Sunday, while a Yorkshire hospital also reported a severe shortage.” (Guardian)
- Furlough Go is “building a network of Furloughed charity staff, who want to support other organisations at this challenging time. We are working with the voluntary and community sector, as well as adult social care, public health and the NHS to support and mobilise volunteers to where there is the greatest need.”
- Worldwide confirmed cases exceed 1.8 million (1,897,373)
- Over 110,000 people have died (118,304)
- 444,492 people have recovered.
- There are 22 countries with over 10,000 confirmed cases, 14 of these have over 20,000 confirmed cases (above all from Johns Hopkins University tracker)
- Spain: “begins to ease lockdown… People in manufacturing, construction and some services are being allowed to return to work, but must stick to strict safety guidelines.” (BBC News)
- France: “creches and schools will begin to reopen on 11 May. That date will mark the start of a new phase, he said, but the lockdown will continue until then”
- USA: “New York coronavirus death toll surpasses 10,000”
- Italy: More than 20,000 people have now died after testing positive for Covid-19
- Germany: “the Robert Koch public health institute… recommended reopening schools as soon as possible, starting with primary and middle schools, although it said most childcare facilities should remain closed. It recommended reopening shops and restaurants, as long as social distancing measures are rigorously respected, and for government offices to get back to work.” “With 2,799 deaths so far from Covid-19, the toll in Germany is far behind that of other big European nations.” (above national updates from The Guardian liveblog)
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General gave another media briefing. His comments included the following: “while COVID-19 accelerates very fast, it decelerates much more slowly. In other words, the way down is much slower than the way up. That means control measures must be lifted slowly, and with control. It cannot happen all at once. Control measures can only be lifted if the right public health measures are in place, including significant capacity for contact tracing. WHO will tomorrow be publishing its updated strategic advice. The new strategy summarizes what we’ve learned and charts the way forward… six criteria for countries as they consider lifting restrictions:
- First, that transmission is controlled;
- Second, that health system capacities are in place to detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact;
- Third, that outbreak risks are minimized in special settings like health facilities and nursing homes;
- Fourth, that preventive measures are in place in workplaces, schools and other places where it’s essential for people to go;
- Fifth, that importation risks can be managed;
- And sixth, that communities are fully educated, engaged and empowered to adjust to the “new norm”.”
Please remember that we have a (growing) list of resources to support your emotional and mental health during this time on our website.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this update via our Facebook group.