Monday 13th April 2020

Today’s update includes
Major Milestones and announcements
Updates, Requests and Offers from the Stroud Coronavirus Community Response team and local community
Items from local news outlets
Key national and global points

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

Local news from the papers:

National:

  • 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.”

Global Summary:

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:

  1. First, that transmission is controlled;
  2. Second, that health system capacities are in place to detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact; 
  3. Third, that outbreak risks are minimized in special settings like health facilities and nursing homes;
  4. Fourth, that preventive measures are in place in workplaces, schools and other places where it’s essential for people to go;
  5. Fifth, that importation risks can be managed;
  6. 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.