Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
3 June 2020
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- Latest figures show that a total of 4,615,146 tests have been carried out in UK. A total of 39,369 have died across all settings.
- Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch has been tasked the government’s response to a Public Health England review of the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the country’s poor and on black and minority ethnic communities. Badenoch will be “looking into the causes and what further can be done,” said Matt Hancock.
- The review also looked at data that suggests being older, male, obese and living in a city all increase risk, as do a range of sometimes associated health conditions such as diabetes, which was mentioned on 21 per cent of death certificates where COVID-19 was also mentioned. It serves to reinforce previous evidence that death rates are higher among people from ethnic minorities, and that England’s poorest areas have been the worst hit.
- The home secretary, Priti Patel, will make a statement in the Commons this afternoon and is expected to give details on the two-week quarantine scheme for new arrivals into the UK.A Home Office briefing note sent out overnight confirmed that as of next Monday, anyone entering or re-entering the country from abroad will be ordered to quarantine for 14 days, with £1,000 fines dished out to anyone who breaks the rules. Exemptions are available for anyone arriving from Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
- Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is under fire after saying in an interview over the weekend that those not showing symptoms could not spread the virus. The first minister initially stood by her assertion yesterday that government scientists told her asymptomatic carriers “didn’t shed the virus” as recently as April.The World Health Organisation has warned about asymptomatic transmission since January.
- Parents and pupils in Wales will learn later if any classes will return for the final weeks of the summer term. Education Minister Kirsty Williams said she will make a statement on Wednesday on the way forward for reopening classrooms following lockdown.
- Australia is set for its first recession in 29 years as the country feels the impact of the virus pandemic. Official figures show that the economy shrank by 0.3 per cent in the first three months of the year, amid bushfires and the early stages of the outbreak. Economists expect data for the current quarter to confirm that the shutdowns have pushed the country into recession. It comes even after the government and central bank stepped up measures to support the economy.
- The World Health Organization struggled to get needed information from China during critical early days of the coronavirus pandemic, according to recordings of internal meetings that contradict the organisation’s public praise of Beijing’s response to the outbreak. The recordings, obtained by the Associated Press (AP), show officials complaining in meetings during the week of 6 January that Beijing was not sharing data needed to evaluate the risk of the virus to the rest of the world. It was not until 20 January that China confirmed coronavirus was contagious and 30 January that the WHO declared a global emergency.
- Labour leader Keir Starmer was critical of the government’s response to the Public Health England review, tweeting: “No mention of structural inequalities. No recommendations. No answers. No action. Coronavirus thrives on inequality. Inequality thrives on inaction. The government must act now to protect BAME communities.”
- The FT has published what it claims are draft social-distancing rules for pubs ahead of what the industry hopes will be a gradual reopening this summer. “Hotels, pubs and restaurants face having to reopen under onerous social-distancing rules, with strict limits on the number of customers and tables spaced at least two meters apart under proposals set out by the government,” they report . “Managers will also be expected to replace ketchup bottles and salt cellars with disposable sachets and ban customers from loitering at the bar under the draft proposals.”