Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
15 July 2020
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- As of 5pm on 13 July, of the 291,373 people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, 44,968 have died across all settings.
- As of 9am on 14 July, there have been 12,720,317 tests in the UK.
- Health Secretary Matt Hancock has today rejected suggestions that office workers should be obliged to wear facemasks, as in shops and public transport.
- Stricter measures to curb the spread of coronavirus have been introduced in Blackburn and Darwen in Lancashire, following 61 new cases in the past week. Measures so far have included telling people to wear face coverings in all enclosed public spaces, while mass testing began at the weekend. If these measures prove ineffective, the first step would be a “smart lockdown” of key areas, rather than a full lockdown as in Leicester.
- Yesterday saw some unsurprisingly weak economic numbers, showing growth of just 1.8 percent across the UK economy. The Office for Budget Responsibility has warned of unemployment potentially going above 1980s levels.
- Ministers are “preparing the ground for thousands of civil servants to return to their offices in the coming weeks,” according to the FT with a repopulating of Whitehall seen as both a practical and a symbolic step the government can take to revive the economic fortunes of central London and other city and town centres hollowed out by mass working from home
- In Scotland, pubs and restaurants reopen for indoor trade today, a week on from the successful reopening of beer gardens and outside seating.
- The speed at which coronavirus tests are processed in Wales has worsened, despite fewer tests being done. Last week, only 66.3 percent of results came back within 48 hours, the worst performance since the crisis began. The 24 hour measure declined too, with 46.5 percent being processed within that timeframe, compared to 49.6 percent the week before. And 16.5 percent took more than three days to come back, the biggest proportion yet. Last week 14,332 tests were carried out, down from 19,634.
- Stormont’s Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has said she supports the use of face coverings in shops in Northern Ireland. Wearing a face covering in shops will become mandatory in England from 24 July, but in Northern Ireland it is only compulsory on public transport.
- The European Commission will today prepare the ground for corona contact tracing apps to become interoperable across EU countries. A decision set to be taken at today’s College meeting will “provide the modalities for operating a secure IT infrastructure” to support the interoperability of contact tracing and warning apps,” according to a draft document
- In the United States there have been positive developments on a potential vaccine, with the Moderna coronavirus vaccine inducing an immune response to the virus in all 45 human participants during testing. It will now move to a larger trial with 30,000 participants.