Latest developments

COVID-19 latest developments

  • Daily COVID-19 statistics
  • Community Network launches report on community services
  • Niall Dickson discusses Phase 3 of NHS response on Radio 4
  • Second wave to be twice as big as first without effective test and trace
  • Frontline healthcare workers more likely to test positive for COVID despite PPE
  • Recovered COVID-19 patients may become exempt from isolation rules
  • Weekly ONS mortality statistics
  • Blackburn launches own contact-tracing scheme
  • Mayor of London seeks views on giving key workers priority access to housing
  • Welsh government outlines measures to ensure COVID-19 patients get timely medical attention
  • Scottish government announces £50 million additional funding for social care

Daily COVID-19 statistics 

As of 9am on 4 August, 306,293 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the UK – the number of additional lab-confirmed cases is 670. The statistics on testing can be found on the Gov.UK website.

Community Network launches report on community services

The Community Network – which is jointly run by the NHS Confederation and NHS Providers – has published a report on the impact of COVID-19 on community health services.

The report notes that community health services have been critical in preventing hospitals from becoming overwhelmed during the pandemic. However, it notes that the vital contribution of community health services is at risk without greater investment and support from the government.

Niall Dickson discusses phase three of the NHS response on Radio 4

This morning, Niall Dickson appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today programme to discuss Sir Simon Stevens’ and Amanda Pritchard’s letter to health leaders launching the third phase of the health service’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Niall discussed the difficulties in getting services back up and running and he insisted that expectations need to be realistic.

Second wave to be twice as big as first without effective test and trace

The Lancet has published modelling from University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine that suggests a second wave of COVID-19 could be more than twice the size as the first without an effective test, trace and isolating strategy.

The modelling stimulated six different scenarios and concluded without high levels of testing and contact tracing, the reopening of schools together with gradual relaxing of lockdown measures are likely to induce a second wave that would peak in December 2020 if schools open full time in September.

Frontline healthcare workers more likely to test positive for COVID despite PPE

New research from King’s College and Harvard, published in the Lancet, has found that healthcare workers on the front line with personal protective equipment (PPE) have a three-fold increased risk of a positive COVID-19 test when compared to the general population and those without “adequate” PPE had an even greater risk.

The study also found that BME healthcare workers were more likely to test positive.

Recovered COVID-19 patients may become exempt from isolation rules

According to i news, members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) decided at a meeting last month (chaired by Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance) that there was enough evidence to justify applying different rules to some people confirmed to have previously had COVID-19.

However, according to minutes from the meeting, SAGE agreed that “it would be premature to introduce immunity passports."

Weekly ONS mortality statistics

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released figures on the number of deaths registered in England and Wales (including deaths involving COVID-19) by age, sex and region, for the week ending Friday 24 July.
 
The ONS reports that of the deaths registered in the week ending 24 July, 217 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, the lowest number of deaths involving COVID-19 in the last 18 weeks, accounting for 2.4nper cent of all deaths in England and Wales.

Blackburn launches own contact-tracing scheme

Sky News reports that Blackburn with Darwen Council is developing its own contact-tracing system as it deals with a local spike in COVID-19 cases.

Dominic Harrison, the council’s director of public health and wellbeing, claimed that the local system was being introduced as the national Test and Trace programme is “simply not tracing enough cases and contacts fast enough.”

Mayor of London seeks views on giving key workers priority access to housing

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has started a consultation on the proposal to give key workers in the capital (including healthcare workers) priority access to buy or rent homes below market rates.

The consultation will close on 11 October.

Welsh government outlines measures to ensure COVID-19 patients get timely medical attention

The Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, has outlined a series of measures in a written statement today to ensure COVID-19 patients receive timely medical attention.

Further advice includes monitoring for vomiting, breathlessness and fatigue for all those isolating at home with COVID-19.

Scottish government announces £50 million additional funding for social care

Scottish Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman, has announced additional funding for the social care sector to meet additional costs associated with COVID-19.

The funding will be allocated to Integration Joint Boards (IJB) to support social care providers with costs, such as reduction in occupancy due to the virus, additional staffing or sickness costs, infection prevention and control, and PPE.

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