Wednesday 15th April 2020

Wednesday 15th 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:

  • Global cases reach two million. Unfortunately today brings another grim statistic, as the number of confirmed cases across the world reaches two million – with 600,000 in the US alone – according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • The number of deaths in hospitals across the UK rose by 761 to 12,868. This was slightly down on the further 778 deaths reported yesterday. The government’s chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty said that the daily death toll from Covid-19 was “probably reaching [its] peak”.
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock that people will get a right to a last visit to family members gravely ill in hospital or care homes with Covid-19, “wherever possiblethe Guardian.
  • On 18 March the government committed to increasing the rate of coronavirus testing to 25,000 within four weeks. Today is exactly four weeks from the day that press release was issued, but that target has been missed. Currently 16,000 tests are being carried out a day.
  • Nadin Hadi shared You Clap For Me Now: a poem which has now gone viral, highlighting the contribution of ethnic minorities and immigrants on the frontlines against coronavirus. YouTube link
  • The Telegraph has a list of frontline healthcare workers who’ve died from Covid-19. 31 out of 46 are from a black, minority ethnic or immigrant background.

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

  • We’re asking what you need. If you are looking for help with something, feel free to ask here. Asking for help isn’t always easy – this is your chance to practice. And if you want to help out in the District – check here to see what’s needed.
  • Sarah Dixon posted news that furloughed staff may take on farm work. Mark Bridgeman of the Country Land and Business Association said, “The UK government has listened to industry warnings and has now made it clear that if you are furloughed, you should be able to undertake seasonal paid employment to supplement your income.”
  • Please do not light sky lanterns for either the #ClapForOurCarers or #LightUpOurValleys event. The National Fire Chiefs Council says that the lanterns are a fire hazard and “do not believe they should be used under any circumstances.”

Local news:

  • Coronavirus deaths in Gloucestershire reached 107, with nine more people reported dead in this county. To date, there have been 701 confirmed cases in Gloucestershire. (The number is likely to be much higher as currently so few people are being tested). 
  • Cheltenham and Gloucester Hospitals Charity launched a Covid-19 Rapid Response Appeal last month to provide support for healthcare teams working tirelessly to care for patients.More than £100,000 has been raised. To donate to the appeal, please visit the GlosCovid19 JustGiving page
  • Many volunteers across Stroud are giving their time and skills to create hundreds of pairs of scrubs, bags and headbands for hospital workers. Chrissie Lowery coordinates the Stroud team, as well as being in charge of registration, fabrics and funding. The group currently has an order for 1,700 sets of scrubs for Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and Cheltenham Hospital, plus more are needed for community healthcare workers.
  • Stroud Poundland has donated 250 Easter eggs to Stroud Hospital, plus Stroud’s fire fighters, police, paramedics and the district council. Stroud police delivered the treats around the town.

National news 

  • “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.” Metro
  • There have been national concerns about PPE in care homes. “Virus-hit care homes are struggling to pay “unsustainable” prices for personal protective equipment as they try to shield staff and vulnerable residents from Covid-19” reported the Wilts and Glos Standard

 Global summary

  • Confirmed cases worldwide top 2 million. The latest numbers from Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the spread of the virus, put the confirmed global total of cases at 2,008,850. The researchers say at least 129,045 people have died since the start of the outbreak.
  • US President Donald Trump has been heavily criticised for halting funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) amid the global coronavirus pandemic. António Guterres, the UN secretary general, declared now was “not the time to reduce the resources for the operations of the WHO or any other humanitarian organization in the fight against the virus”.
  • New York City has revised its death toll sharply upwards, to more than 10,000 people, adding 3,778 people who were not tested but who are nevertheless presumed to have died from Covid-19.
  • The number of fatalities in Italy rose by 578 on Wednesday, 24 fewer than the increase seen on Tuesday, taking the death toll theer to 21,645. There have been 165,155 confirmed cases in the country, including the victims and 38,092 people who have recovered.
  • Daycare centres and primary schools in Denmark re-opened today while in several other European countries such as Norway, Czech Republic and Switzerland plans are in place for the gradual re-opening of some services later in April. Lockdown in France will continue until at least 11 May, while Angela Merkel announced plans to partially reopen schools and shops  in Germany from 4 May, but this may be contested by regional governments. Italy and the UK have not announced any plans for “re-opening” yet.
  • The European Union’s medicine regulator estimates it could take a year for a vaccine to be available for widespread use. “The European Medicines Agency estimates that it might take a year before a vaccine against Covid-19 is ready for approval and available in sufficient quantities to enable widespread and safe use.” The European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, has previously claimed a vaccine could be on the market “before autumn”.
  • In line with all other upcoming sporting events, the Tour de France has been postponed, the start of the race being put off until 29th August.