Starting on a very sad note, that more than 20,000 people have died of Coronavirus-related hospital deaths in UK.
The latest figures show 20, 319, up 813 on the previous day. This does not take into account deaths in places like care homes. The vast majority of deaths (16,492) have been among the over-60s, with 9,434 in the 80+ age group. However, all age groups can and have been affected. Deaths from the disease are said to be in decline as social distancing begins to take effect.
By region, the south-west is among the lowest with London and the Midlands worst hit (places of high population).
The UK virus testing website for key workers has run out of slots for two consecutive days.
The Prime Minister remains in recovery which means the Cabinet members are carrying out the daily press meetings.
Data shows that motor vehicle journeys are on the rise again, which some people are suggesting arises from the mixed messaging on journeys and what is and is not essential.
Shops like DIY stores are now re-opening, which is creating some confusion and mixed messages, while some supermarkets are now increasing their hours again. Meanwhile, visits to A & E for non-coronavirus health issues have dropped by 50% in April, as many avoid hospitals because of the fear of catching the virus, thereby putting themselves at risk.
At a local level, there seem to be more people out and about amidst the eerie silence but I have not seen evidence of people doing anything but social distancing.
The Office for National Statistics says:
- Over 70% of adults with a dependent child said they were homeschooling (some children being too young and others still attending school).
- Over half of adults felt homeschooling was impacting negatively on their children’s well-being, and nearly 30% said the same was true for their own well-being.
- Just over a quarter of the workforce (27%) have been furloughed.
- Industries with the highest percentage of furloughed staff were ‘accommodation and food service activities’ (80%), followed by ‘art, entertainment and recreation’ (68%).
- More than 8 in 10 of us (85.4%) say we have not gone out in the past seven days, or only for the permitted reasons (essential shopping, medical reasons, one form of daily exercise and key workers travelling to work).
The way forward?
Well, it is useful that some NHS workers and their families are able to be tested although a test for immunity/viral load might have more long-term efficacy.
A vaccine is now undergoing clinical trials on human testers. The UK is one of 20 countries and global organisations to pledge to give the world access to new vaccines and treatments
Philip Hammond has suggested that the government needs to publish an exit strategy within the next week, to help the economy, which is in real difficulty. Locally, we have seen stark warnings that Cornish businesses could go to the wall. The loss of the Easter trade has already lost Cornwall about £300 million with tourism and hospitality businesses at their lowest cash point after a tough, wet winter. This could rise to over a £billion if summer trade is also affected.
Government is borrowing massive amounts to prop up the economy – but at some point this will have a knock on effect (future pensions, etc).
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