Monday 8th June 2020

Local: It has been 100 days since Coronavirus hit Gloucestershire.
National: The first airline travellers to become subject to the UK’s new quarantine measures.
International: The head of the World Health Organization warned that the coronavirus pandemic is worsening globally, even as the situation in Europe is improving.

Requests, Offers and Updates posted in our Facebook group

Summary of key local, national and international news

We are now providing our main summary of local, national and international statistical data on a weekly basis rather than daily

Local

  • Gloucestershire Live report that “It has been 100 days since Coronavirus hit Gloucestershire” and provided a timeline of events in the County. As of June 7, there had been 1,377 cases confirmed, and 225 people had died, but though there have been no new coronavirus cases recorded today, one more person in Gloucestershire was recorded to have died over the past 24 hours, according to figures released by Public Health England today (Monday, June 8).
  • Gloucestershire Live also reported that “The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that local, regionalised lockdowns could be brought in if the R-rate of coronavirus infection continues to rise in the South West. It follows reports that the R-rate in the South West could be as high at 1.3 which would be the second highest rate of transmission of the virus in England.”
  • “Professor Debra Lapthorne, regional director of Public Heath England South West said: “The timing of the initial wave of infection was very different in each region, and consequently there will be some regional variation in R even now. Alongside the North West, and East of England, the South West had one of the lowest levels of activity prior to lockdown, due to a delayed spread into these regions.”
  • When sharing this article, we noted that R is not the only factor to consider when making judgements about precautions to take, and though the South West includes Gloucestershire rates may vary significantly around the region, and estimates by different teams of scientists using different modelling methods may vary.
  • For anyone who would like to explore (some of) the detailed analysis underpinning the above article, please see regional R estimates. It is worth emphasising the note at the start “ it takes time for infection to cause symptoms, to get tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection, for a positive test to return and ultimately to enter the case data presented here. In other words, today’s case data are only informative of new infections about two weeks ago. This is reflected in the plots below, which are by date of infection.” [we have included only the South West plot below]
chart showing R estimates falling from around 2 in the South west on March 22nd, and falling to under 1 in April, before seeming to rise again - poentially to over 1 by May 28th

There is a useful article on BBC News which explains what R is, talks about variation around the country and via different scientific modelling, and why it is important to our understanding and to preventing the spread of the virus and people dying. See also the story below about potentially local rather than regional lockdowns.

National 

  • “There were no new coronavirus deaths reported in London today, according to NHS figures. A total of 55 deaths were reported in UK in the past 24 hours – the lowest level since before the lockdown was first introduced – but none were in the capital city. Both Northern Ireland and Scotland also announced zero new fatalities in the last 24 and 48 hours respectively. Speaking at the daily Downing Street press conference Matt Hancock said the figures were a sign that the “coronavirus is in retreat across the country.” (The Telegraph)
  • “The Health Secretary also suggested that the Government would adopt local, rather than regional, lockdowns if the coronavirus was resurfacing – though he insisted that the R value was below one across the UK.” (The Telegraph)
  • Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in Britain have been hit harder by job losses during the coronavirus crisis than the population as a whole, researchers have found… The share of BAME people in employment fell to 67.4% in April from 72.0% in February, researchers from the University of Essex and other academic centres said. That was a bigger drop than a decline to 79.4% from 81.1% for non-BAME people, they said, using data from the long-running Understanding Society survey led by the University of Essex.” (Reuters)
  • The COVID-19 epidemic in British care homes is coming under control, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday after announcing that all remaining adult care homes would have access to testing for residents and staff. The announcement means that working-age care homes will have access to a full COVID-19 testing service, in addition to care homes for the elderly, which had been prioritised previously.” (Reuters)
  • Passengers from Hong Kong arrived at London Heathrow at 4.40am on Monday, becoming the first airline travellers to become subject to the UK’s new quarantine measures. “Everyone on board was required before departure to complete a Passenger Locator Form. Passengers, but not the flight crew nor transit travellers, were required to provide an address where they will remain for the next two weeks. They are expected to travel straight to their place of self-isolation, using public transport if necessary, and remain there until 12.01am on Tuesday 23 June; the 14-day clock starts ticking from the day after arrival.” (The Independent)
  • The Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, Sir David Norgrove, has written to Matt Hancock to raise concerns about the Government’s presentation of COVID-19 testing data.
  • Ministers are facing a high court legal challenge after they refused to order an urgent investigation into the shortages of personal protective equipment faced by NHS staff during the pandemic. Doctors, lawyers and campaigners for older people’s welfare issued proceedings on Monday… The case is being brought against Matt Hancock, the health and social care secretary, by the Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK), the Good Law Project headed by Jolyon Maugham QC and the charity Hourglass, which campaigns on issues involving care homes. They are paying for the lawsuit through crowdfunding, which has so far raised more than £41,000. They launched their legal action after government lawyers said an inquiry was unnecessary and would distract the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and other key bodies involved in arranging the supply of PPE or guidance about what kit should be used.” (The Guardian)
  • “There have been 43 deaths of transport workers from Covid-19. Six worked directly for TfL. Thirty-three worked for bus companies, of which 29 were bus drivers. A number of taxi and private hire drivers have also tragically died from coronavirus… there have been 60 reports of people spitting at bus drivers since the lockdown began.” (BBC News)
  • BP has announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs following a global slump in demand for oil because of the coronavirus crisis. The oil giant had paused redundancies during the peak of the pandemic but told staff on Monday that around 15% will leave by the end of the year.” (BBC News)

International

Notes

Please remember we have a (growing) list of resources to support your emotional and mental health during this time on our website. The following numbers may be useful:

  • Samaritans: 116 123
  • Domestic Violence Hotline: 0808 2000 247
  • Mind: 0300 123 3393
  • Age UK: 0800 169 6565
  • Childline: 0800 1111.

Thanks to everyone who helped create this update through our Facebook group. If you submit posts, we will often decline posting them to the discussion directly and instead hold them till the single daily summary – to try to reduce the number of posts in the feed and make it easier for people to follow the information. Please continue to submit posts to admins for this purpose with the appropriate flag: one of REQUEST / OFFER / UPDATE / QUESTION / COMMENTARY.