Having just looked at the confirmed covid cases for the UK and France I note that we seem to be around 10 days behind France. Today (October 28th) we have 917K cases and France passed this number on October 21st. Does this mean we shall pass the 1m in 3 days and be in Lockdown in 10 days?
Today France is talking about a total lockdown according to the news. Time to go out and buy toilet paper and flour again?
The BBC and others are fixated on UK news. Are we SO insular these days? Looking at the Worldwide COVID-19 Dashboard I see that not only has the 40M case number been passed but the 400K new cases per day also. The whole of the EU (and UK) is also now in the midst of a second “wave”. In March the peak was at the 30K per day level at present it’s 115K per day.
Of course this is not the whole story as most people in March were not tested, so the estimated daily infection rate for March is probably higher than now.
Worrying Trend for the UK
However, behind the current statistics is a worrying trend. So whilst the current estimated daily infection rate for the UK is around 17.5K per day, well short the peak 100K per day in March, unless something drastic is done in the UK this could rise to 85K by the end of the year. This would also mean that the same number of ICU beds that we needed in May would be needed in January. Unfortunately we are due to run out of ICU beds in early November……
I came across this diagram of the relative size of the Coronavirus on the website Visual Capitalist. It shows the size of coronavirus compared with other particles like dust, pollen, hair, salt and sand etc. The fascinating thing was how small smoke and droplets from breath can be. The full article Visualizing the Relative Size of Particles gives all the information.
I have not written anything about COVID for some time so with the news about the US President I thought it would be a good time to compare the UK against other countries to see just how well the UK is actually doing. Most people can make their own minds up, but knowledge is power. To keep any comparison meaningful all figures are per 1M of the population and are taken straight from Worldometer
Cases / 1M
Total Cases per 1M of Population
Immediately what this shows is that because of our population size we actually do compare favourably with other EU countries who are all struggling to contain the virus. The surprise to me was Ireland who I thought was doing so much better than the UK. The second table I want to show is just how much Testing is done.
Tests done / 1M
Total Tests done per 1M of Population
To me, this simple table shows that it’s not the total number of test done but who, when and why…i.e.the QUALITY of the testing. Getting the results back fast, contacting the correct person and the population acting upon the information.
Lastly below is the current Cases per million of population from Ourworld in Data.
On 1st September, the UK rate was 19.48 cases per million, just below the government’s quarantine rate for other countries of 20 per M. Today it stands at 92.4 On July 8th it was 8.65. Where has it all gone wrong?
My own personal conclusions and predictions
Are the UK Gov doing better than others? I’d say at most average. They lost the confidence and respect of the general public a long time ago and leadership and accountability is completely lacking together with a complete lack of joined up thinking. Hence the Poll of Polls shows their 23% lead is down to 1%. However here are my current predictions on 3rd Oct.
There will be no 2nd UK wide lockdown
This second wave is “peaking”
This second wave could have and should have been avoided.
The UK governments “Track and Trace” is the single best weapon to fight COVID infections, and it still does not work. Just watch this weeks Panorama. (see below)
We will still be talking about COVID this time next year
As part of the government’s coordinated response to Coronavirus, NHS Test and Trace has developed the new NHS COVID-19 app.
It is now available for download to all residents of England and Wales. We strongly recommend that everyone over the age of 16 downloads and uses it.
Download the ‘NHS COVID-19’ app from the App Store or Google Play. There is more information at https://covid19.nhs.uk
The app will help you to understand and manage your personal risk and reduce the spread of Coronavirus. The more people who use it, the more effective it will be.
The app requires operating system 13.5 or above if you have an Apple iPhone. It requires Android 6.0 or above if you have an Android phone. If your smartphone is not compatible, you can still access full support from the NHS Test and Trace service.
The date for the release of the new NHS COVID-19 contact-tracing app is THURSDAY 24th September. It will then be launched across England and Wales according to the UK Gov.
Businesses are getting ready
Businesses across England and Wales like pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas are at present being urged to ensure they have NHS QR code posters visible on entry. This will enable customers who have downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app to use the NHS smartphone app to easily check-in.
With coronavirus cases rising in the UK over the last few weeks it is essential businesses capitalise on the benefits QR codes which bring to protect both themselves and their customers.
Businesses who are already using their own QR system are being encouraged to switch to the NHS Test and Trace QR code. An alternative check-in method must also be maintained to collect the contact details of those customers who don’t have the app.
After Thursday 24th September
Following the launch of the new NHS COVID-19 app, customers and visitors in England and Wales will be able to check-in on entry with their phone instead of filling out a check-in book or tool specific to a business. This will allow NHS Test and Trace to easily contact customers with public health advice should there be a COVID-19 outbreak.
What the app does regarding Check-in
When someone enters a venue and scans an official QR poster, the venue information will be logged on the user’s phone.
Each venue has its own Location Identity.
The location information scanned on entry will stay on a user’s phone for 21 days.
NO INFORMATION at any time is send from your phone to the government.
If in the next 21 days a coronavirus outbreak is identified at that location, the venue ID in question will be sent to ALL devices.
The App will check if users have been at that location and if so, users may get an alert with advice on what to do based on the level of risk.
What else does the app do?
The full details can be seen the the app website. However it can help with the following:
Symptoms (you can report your symptoms onto the app)
Testing (it will advise you how to book a test if needed)
Isolating (it provides a self isolating countdown)
“World Beating app”
Now that the app is here on Thursday, it will of course need for the large percentage of the population to download, install and carry their phone around at all times. People will need also to switch their phones on! I am happy that no information is now stored in a central database and I do hope that it proves to be world beating. It however, very similar to app other countries have been using for quite some time.