Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
7 August 2020
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Cornoavirus from home and abroad.
- It was announced yesterday that fifty million face masks bought by the UK government in April will not be used in the NHS because of safety concerns. They were bought for NHS England healthcare workers from supplier Ayanda Capital as part of a £252m contract. Ayanda says the masks met the specifications No 10 had set out. The PM said he was “disappointed” that any protective kit should be unfit for use . This thread on twitter explains the mess, with the Good Law Project deciding to sue the Government on the matter.
- It is expected that at 11am this morning, the Department of Health and Social Care will issue update on local lockdowns following an assessment yesterday from the Joint Biosecurity Centre on local coronavirus infections.
- The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) will publish data on growth rates and regional R numbers at midday today, most likely following the Government’s update this morning.
- As of this morning, Belgium, Andorra, and Bahamas added to UK quarantine list and will come into effect at 04:00am on Saturday (except in Wales, where this will come into effect immediately). However, travellers from Brunei and Malaysia arriving in England and Wales will no longer need to self-isolate, after a decrease in confirmed coronavirus cases.
- The number of coronavirus cases linked to an outbreak in Aberdeen has increased to 79 – with more expected in the coming days, despite the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon imposing a city lockdown.
- In Northern Ireland, All pupils will return to school full-time in Northern Ireland from the beginning of term , Education Minister Peter Weir has announced. Meanwhile, wearing masks in shops and other enclosed public spaces will be compulsory from Monday , Northern Ireland’s first minister has said.
- In Wales, lockdown restrictions continue to ease , with swimming pools, fitness studios, gyms and leisure centres reopening as of Monday. The Welsh Government said the businesses are legally required “to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus” on their premises and Councils will be given extra powers to enforce the requirements.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) holds a virtual press briefing to discuss updates on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
- France has recorded a two-month high in cases . Figures released on Wednesday showed 1,695 new cases within 24 hours. The country has the third-highest death toll in Europe (30,000), after Italy and the UK.
- Similarly, on Wednesday , Spain reported its highest number of new cases since it began easing lockdown restrictions in June, with 1,772 infections.
- The African Union (AU) has said that “aggressive and bold action” is needed in Africa to tackle the virus as cases pass the one million mark. Experts have said a lack of comprehensive testing across Africa means the true extent of the pandemic is not known, although hot spots are known to be in South Africa and Egypt.
- The CBI will today publish a six-point action plan to build confidence for businesses, local authorities and communities if their local area comes under new temporary restrictions. The business group says high-quality and timely communications and an understanding of the data ‘trigger points’ on which decisions are based, along with a framework for businesses to access support, will contribute to easing the consequences of local lockdowns. The CBI’s six points for action are:
o Increasing the visibility and awareness of the data trigger points used in decision-making;
o Ensuring decisions are communicated at the right time, to the right people;
o Clarity of message;
o Communicating who is in charge of the lockdown and have a ‘go to’ person for businesses;
o Stepping up test and trace efforts; and
o Establishing a framework for business support, which recognises that local lockdowns will impact local economies differently.