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Everything we know about coronavirus in the UK so far

Here’s what we know…

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So far there have been 40 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, with 12 more people testing positive over the weekend, and a further four today.

That includes one person in Greater Manchester, with the man from Bury immediately self-isolating after returning from Italy – it’s being reported he visited Milan. 

According to Bury council’s director for public health Lesley Jones he was ‘quickly’ tested, and has now been transferred to a specialist hospital in London.

All of his close contacts are being tested for the virus, but health officials reportedly won’t confirm what date he returned to the UK or which airport he used.

Besides the case in Bury, two people from Leeds who had been to Iran and one person from Bradford who had travelled to Italy tested positive for coronavirus. 

The Scottish government also confirmed its first case yesterday, saying the patient was receiving treatment in hospital in isolation.

Three of the new cases down south were close contacts of the man from Surrey who tested positive on Friday, and were ‘part of an adult family cluster’, Public Health England said.

China News Service

According to the Guardian, as of today, March 2nd, coronavirus has affected an estimated 87,000 people globally, with 44,462 (56%) of the 80,026 confirmed cases in mainland China having recovered and 2,912 (3.6%) dying.

As it stands, at least 30 countries have been affected by coronavirus, with South Korea (4,212 cases and 22 deaths), Italy (1,100 cases and 29 deaths) and Japan (850 cases and four deaths) worst affected.

Hong Kong, the Philippines, Taiwan, France, and the US have also reported deaths, while there have been no fatalities in the UK to date.

China News Service

People who have fallen ill from it have reported feeling flu-like symptoms, including a fever, a cough and breathing difficulties, while in some cases it can cause pneumonia – in very severe instances there can be organ failure.

Regular antibiotics won’t help, as it’s viral, and the antiviral flu drugs we already have don’t work. If you contract coronavirus your recovery depends on your immune system’s strength, and many of those who have died were already in poor health (it appears to hit older people hardest, with few cases in children).

It’s currently unclear how dangerous it is, but the mortality rate is roughly 2% in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, and less elsewhere. To compare, seasonal flu usually has a mortality rate below 1% (around 400,000 annual deaths across the world), and Sars had a death rate of more than 10%.


To help stop the spread of the virus, the NHS recommends covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze, immediately putting used tissues in the bin, washing your hands with soap and water often, and avoiding close contact with people who are unwell.

If you’ve recently travelled from areas affected by coronavirus, the current UK medical advice is to call NHS 111 to inform them of your travel and stay indoors and avoid contact with people.

For more advice on coronavirus head over to the NHS site here, and for full travel advice to UK nationals visit the government site here.

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Greater Manchester Nightingale Hospital open again due to high levels of coronavirus

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Peter McDermott/Geograph

The Nightingale Hospital for the North West will open later this week and house non-Covid patients.

The temporary facility to treat patients with Covid-19 opened originally in April but has been closed in summer. 

However, later this week it is set to reopen for non-Covid patients.

It is set to reopen as figures show the number of coronavirus patients being treated in the North West is now approaching the level it was in the first surge of the virus.

A spokesperson said: “The NHS Nightingale Hospital North West will accept patients from today to provide care for those who do not have Covid-19, but do need further support before they are able to go home, such as therapy and social care assessments.”

As of October 26th, North West hospitals had 2,407 patients with coronavirus, the highest number of cases since April 23rd.

Dr Jane Eddleston, medical director of the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Nightingale will not be used as a critical care facility and neither was it in the first phase. It will be used as a facility for patients to have additional rehabilitation.”

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Sacha Lord says 10pm curfew will be reviewed next month

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David Dixon/Geograph & SachaLord/Twitter

Greater Manchester’s Night Time Economy Adviser, Sacha Lord, has said the government will review the 10pm curfew in November. 

All hospitality venues must shut their doors at 10pm under current laws, however, Sacha Lord and other industry members have been campaigning the curfew.

Since September 24th, when the curfew was put in place, the #CancelTheCurfew movement has been backed by a number of industry professionals.

The Parklife founder, Lord, filed a pre-action letter last night which claimed there was no scientific justification of the Tier 3 regulations and the limits on pubs and bars operating hours. 

Lord has tweeted that the government ‘are reviewing the UK 10pm curfew’ in November.

He wrote: “In November, the Government are reviewing the UK 10pm curfew.

“It doesn’t work for the public or operators.

“Overloaded transport, crowded takeaways, supermarkets etc.

“It’s doing far more harm than good. Operators are running safe and secure COVID19 venues.

“Cancel the Curfew”

Lord confirmed they had a formal response from the government regarding the judicial review where he said ‘we consider it insufficient’.

He added “I cannot go into detail, but I can say that we have considered it and it is insufficient. I have instructed my lawyers to commence legal proceedings.”

Lord is now backing the OneGM campaign, which sees different sectors of the industry coming together to show support for businesses and people in Greater Manchester. 

It is unclear yet when Greater Manchester will be removed from Tier 3 restrictions.

 

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Dr Hilary backs calls for tier 3 restrictions across all of England by Christmas

It’s not looking good.

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S&B Vonlanthen/Unsplash & GMB/Twitter

Dr Hilary has responded on GMB this morning to reports that the whole of England should be in tier 3 by Christmas. 

It comes following some reports that all of England could be placed under the strictest coronavirus restrictions by mid-December. 

The UK deaths hit their highest level in five months on Tuesday, when 367 new fatalities linked to coronavirus and nearly 23,000 more cases were recorded.

The Sun explained that SAGE member, Professor Sir Mark Walport said it is ‘not unrealistic’ to think that 25,000 people could be in hospital with Covid-19 by the end of November.

With total Covid related deaths reaching 61,000 across the nation, there are predictions that figures will be higher than the Spring peak come December.

Members of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Body (Sage) are reportedly warning that virus rates all over the country will soar past the levels seen in areas in the North already.

A government source also told The Sun ‘the latest Sage numbers are utterly bleak.’

According to the Daily Telegraph, ‘Downing Street is working on the assumption that the second wave of COVID-19 will be more deadly than the first.’

From next week parts of Nottinghamshire and Warrington will be placed into Tier Three.

This means that more than eight million people in England, predominantly in the North, will be under the most stringent Covid-19 restrictions by the end of the week.

The Environment Secretary, George Eustice, told Sky News: “The prime minister has been very clear, as we all are, that we want people to celebrate Christmas in a way that is as close to normal as possible.

“But it is too early to be able to say exactly what the situation will become Christmas, and exactly what different parts of the country will or will not be able to do.

“Obviously checking the spread of this virus is paramount, but alongside that we want people to live their lives as close to normal as possible, including at Christmas which is an incredibly important time for families.”

Dr Hilary Jones spoke on Good Morning Britain this morning explaining that a vaccine ‘won’t stop a rise in infections’.

Jones said: “Just look at the figures, the hospital admissions are increasing, doubling every two weeks. In a month from now, we’ll be worse than we were in the first wave.”

He said: “We can’t rely on a vaccine, we hope it will save people from dying but it won’t stop infections, not the early vaccine anyway.”

Adding that: “I think we still need to rely on the basic principles which is hands, face, space and if we all do that and we’re realistic and don’t say Christmas is an exception.

“If we make Christmas an exception, then every celebration will be an exception. A birthday, a Friday night, a promotion…” 

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