Tuesday 14th 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:

  • The Office for National Statistics published new data on the people who have died after testing postive, which includes people in care homes and living at home – unlike government announcements which only include people who have died in hospitals. The ONS said: “Of the deaths registered in Week 14, 3,475 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, which was 21.2% of all deaths; this compares with 539 (4.8% of all deaths) in Week 13. In London, nearly half (46.6%) of deaths registered in Week 14 involved COVID-19; the West Midlands also had a high proportion of COVID-19 deaths, accounting for 22.1% of deaths registered in this region.”
  • The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned the pandemic could see the economy shrink by a record 35% by June… Robert Chote, the chairman of the OBR, said a drop of this magnitude would be the largest “in living memory”. While the UK economy would contract by 12.8% this year under this scenario, it is expected to get back to its pre-crisis growth trend by the end of 2020.” (BBC News)
  • Physical distancing measures may need to be in place intermittently until 2022, scientists have warned in an analysis that suggests there could be resurgences of Covid-19 for years to come. The paper, published in the journal Science, concludes that a one-time lockdown will not be sufficient to bring the pandemic under control and that secondary peaks could be larger than the current one without continued restrictions. One scenario predicted a resurgence could occur as far in the future as 2025 in the absence of a vaccine or effective treatment.” (The Guardian)

Updates from the Stroud Coronavirus Community Response team and the local community

Local news from the papers:

  • “Nearly 100 people have now officially died with Covid-19 in Gloucestershire hospitals but the true toll on the county is likely to be much higher. According to the latest figures a total of 98 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 had died in the county’s hospitals by 5pm on Easter Monday. And the number of confirmed cases in Gloucestershire is now much higher than many of its neighbours after 46 more people tested positive for the virus… However the figures do not include those who have died in private care homes, hospices or at home.” (Gloucestershire Live).
  • Morrisons is announcing a ten-per-cent discount on shopping” for NHS workers to support them through the Covid-19 pandemic… The 10% discount, which comes into effect from Thursday, is a thank you to the 1.5 million National Health Service workers. It will last until July 12th when it will be reviewed. The NHS shopping hour will continue to be at the beginning of every day from 6-7am, and 9-9.30am on Sundays.” (Stroud News and Journal)

National:

  • “As of 9am 14 April, 382,650 tests have concluded, with 14,982 tests on 13 April. 302,599 people have been tested of which 93,873 tested positive. As of 5pm on 13 April, of those hospitalised in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus, 12,107 have sadly died.” (Department of Health and Social Care tweet)
  • This means that yesterday 778 people died, and there were 5,252 new positive tests. These numbers are both higher than for yesterday – indicating that the previous declines were indeed a Bank Holiday effect in reporting rather than the indication of a new trend, as we suggested yesterday, sadly.
  • The Metro reported that “The true UK coronavirus death toll could be 15% higher than official figures, new data has revealed. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said 6,235 people in England and Wales had died by April 3 with mentions of Covid-19 on their death certificates.” On that date the Department of Health and Social Care were only able to announce the deaths of 4,313 people in hospitals. “Unlike the daily data published by the government that show only deaths in hospitals, today’s figures include deaths in the community, such as at nursing homes… The new ONS figures confirmed 406 people with coronavirus died outside hospitals in England and Wales in the week up to April 3.” The ONS data is available here.
  • “The government confirmed there had been coronavirus outbreaks at more than 2,000 care homes in England – although they did not specify the number of deaths that had occurred.” (BBC News)
  • “Inmates at a Lancashire prison have been transferred after a serious outbreak of Covid-19 and the death of a member of staff. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ)… has confirmed 207 prisoners in 57 jails have tested positive with 13 suspected Covid-19 related deaths. Half of prisons in England and Wales have confirmed cases of coronavirus.” (BBC News)
  • “In a letter to MPs, Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle says plans for a virtual parliament are progressing well. The main proposal would see some proceedings take place through video link, and broadcast live. Parliament is due to return on 21 April to debate the coronavirus outbreak and other matters.” (BBC News)
  • The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned the pandemic could see the economy shrink by a record 35% by June… Robert Chote, the chairman of the OBR, said a drop of this magnitude would be the largest “in living memory”. While the UK economy would contract by 12.8% this year under this scenario, it is expected to get back to its pre-crisis growth trend by the end of 2020.” (BBC News)
  • “The Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK) says that hospitals which no longer do fit-tests are playing “Russian roulette with doctors’ lives” at a time when Covid-19 has already claimed the lives of at least 40 NHS doctors, nurses, paramedics, midwives and porters. Hospitals appear to be in breach of Health and Safety Executive guidelines, which specify that anyone using a disposable respirator such as an FFP3 in the course of their work should always have a fit-test first. For example, Northwick Park hospital in London emailed its staff last week to tell them: “As you know, there is currently an international shortage of FFP3 masks … Therefore, we are adopting an approach that has already been put in place in a number of trusts both in London and nationally: we are training staff to properly identify and use the best fitting FFP3 mask presently available, and to check that they have a good seal.”
  • ContractStore.com have published a furlough letter template for employers. 
  • Doctors of the World, the British Medical Association, Medact, Docs Not Cops, and several medical Royal Colleges have published an open “Letter to Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care calling for suspension of NHS Charging Regulations”. They say: “”To tackle the huge challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic together, it is critical that everyone currently within the UK is supported to stay healthy and included in nationwide public health measures. No one must be excluded, regardless of their immigration status. Recognising this fundamental public health principle, the World Health Organization has stressed the importance of ensuring all migrants and refugees have equal access to health services, are effectively included in national COVID-19 responses and are not prevented from seeking care due to fear of immigration enforcement”. You can read and sign the letter in full here.

Global Summary:

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.