This is the view from the market town of Ledbury, the heart of a rural community in Herefordshire, England. The county is set between the Malvern Hills and the
border with Wales. Recording facts about the pandemic as it happens from direct evidence or reliable information sources worldwide.
Background. Viruses are everywhere. Probably the earliest to be noticed and the one everyone now knows is the influenza
virus. The word ‘influenza’ coming from medieval Latin meaning ‘(astrological) influence (of the stars)’ and the illness was first recorded
by Hippocrates in 412 B.C.E. It is an orthomyxovirus and the form Influenze A has the potential to cause pandemics. The first pandemic was in 1580 C.E. The most
recent were Spanish ’flu in 1918, Asian Flu in 1957, Hong Kong Flu in 1967, and H1N1 (Swine Flu) in 2009. The cold-weather Annual Seasonal Flu
is a mild illness which has been common worldwide for many years.
The earliest virus to affect humanity was probably the poliovirus which is a picornavirus. It was first described in the UK in 1789. Because of widespread vaccination
from the mid-1950’s onwards, polio was eliminated from the Western Hemisphere in 1994 but outbreaks have been noted in Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In the early twentieth-century a retrovirus in West Africa passed from chimpanzees to humans and has since spread everywhere. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
attacks the body’s immune system leaving you wide open to other diseases. Another virus, coronavirus, caused the SARS outbreak of 2002 in Guandong Province,
China but the outbreak was only classed as an epidemic.
A new coronavirus strain, SARS-Cov-2A leading to the disease COVID-19, has appeared in China possibly contracted by humans from
live animals at a market in Wuhan. Previous outbreaks, SARS and MERS came from bats, via palm civet cats and camels respectively.
The virus can be de-activated by soap solution or a 70%-alcohol sanitary handwash solution. The name comes from the corona or crown which shows up on an electron
Virions of coronavirus (colored transmission electron microscopy image).Image Credit: Dr. Fred Murphy & Sylvia Whitfield/CDC
30th December 2019 A hospital director, Dr Ai Fen, texts colleagues at Wuchang Hospital in Wuhan, China saying that she has received a patient
report that indicates that a new, highly contagious, strain of virus that looks like SARS has been discovered. You can read her story here.
Opthalmologist Dr. Li Wenliang, also working at the Wuhan hospital, spreads the word on Chinese social media.
3rd January 2020 Dr. Ai and Dr. Li are approached by the police. Dr. Li is told he must “stop making false comments” and
“spreading rumours”. He signs a letter of apology.
7th January The virus is identified in China and days later the genome is available for study.
13th January A test to detect the COVID-19 disease is produced in Berlin.
22nd January The Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA publishes an online Dashboard
which visualises and tracks reported coronavirus cases worldwide in real-time.
Thursday 23rd January The city of Wuhan enters lock-down with people forcibly confined to their homes.
29th January The first COVID-19 cases are confirmed in two Chinese nationals who fell ill while staying at the Staycity Aparthotel in Tork.
30th January Dr Li is diagnosed with coronavirus.
1st February Snapshot. Right-click to view/save full-size image.
3rd February The first part of the 1000-bed Huoshenshan Emergency Field Hospital is opened to patients in Wuhan, having been
constructed using prefabricated units in 11 days.
4th February Ten people on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess in the Japanese port of Yokohama test positive for Covid-19.
Thursday 6th February Dr. Li Wenliang, aged 34, dies at 18:58 GMT sparking widespread public anger and grief in China.
6th February Today marks the 68th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the UK throne.
11th February After public protests, the chief of the Hubei Health Commission and its director are fired.
The World Health Organization names the coronavirus disease COVID-19.
13th February Xu Depu, former director of Ezhou city Chinese medicine hospital, dies.
From today Hubei province includes “clinically diagnosed cases” in the number of confirmed cases. This means it includes
those showing symptoms, and having a CT scan showing an infected lung, rather than relying only on the standard nucleic acid tests.
The statistics show a sharp increase today because of this.
18th February Wuhan Municipal Health Commission reports death of neurosurgeon Dr. Liu Zhiming, a director of Wuchang Hospital
in Wuhan, aged 51, at 10.54 on Tuesday morning.
Wednesday 19th February AlJazeera reports that two elderly people have died from coronavirus in the city of Qom, south of Tehran.
20th February Two Chinese tourists have tested positive in Italy. Today a 38-year-old man is the first Italian to test
positive for the virus in the town of Codogna in Lombardy. It is believed the virus was mistaken for seasonal flu before this point in time.
Italy also has an above-average elderly population.
29th February First death in the US is reported at EvergreenHealth Medical Center, Kirkland, Kings County, Washington State.
1st March Second death in the US is reported at a nursing home, the Life Care Center also in Kirkland, Kings County, Washington State.
1st March Snapshot. Right-click to view/save full-size image.
2nd March Figures released in May show that the first death in the UK occurred today in a care home.
Tuesday 3rd March US President Donald Trump donates his salary for 4th quarter of 2019 to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Three more people have died in UK hospitals in Nottinghamshire, Essex and Buckinghamshire.
5th March Peking University’s School of Life Sciences and the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai report the virus has mutated
into two forms, a milder 'S' form and a more contagious 'L' form.
Two more UK deaths are reported, a woman in her 70’s at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading an a patient at at Pennine acute hospitals trust in
6th March Another death in the UK, a man in his late eighties at Milton Keynes Hospital.
Cruise ship Grand Princess is quarantined off the Californian coast.
9th March The Italian government places its 60 million residents in quarantine. Shops are closed two days later except for supermarkets and pharmacies.<
br>First person diagnosed with coronavirus in Herefordshire.
NHS England reports in May that, by today, 16 people have died in hospital in the UK.
10th March Dr. Roberto Stella, 67, the head of a medical association in northern Italy dies. Chinese leader, Xi Jinping visits Wuhan. Cheltenham Festival three-day horse racing event begins.
Nadine Dorries, 62, the conservative MP and junior health minister, is the first British politician who has tested positive for coronavirus.
The American College of Physicians publishes a research paper concluding that COVID-19 has an incubation period of approximately 5 days, similar to the SARS virus.
The Cheltenham Festival of horse-racing takes place over the next four days. By The time it ends, there have been 51 deaths in the UK although only eleven have been announced
by the UK Government.
11th March The US President in an address to the Nation says “The European Union failed to take the same precautions [as the US] and
restrict travel from China and other hotspots. As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe.”
He also says “The virus will not have a chance against us. We have the best economy, the most advanced healthcare and the most talented doctors,
scientists and researchers anywhere in the world.”
First death from COVID-19 confirmed in Ireland.
This chart shows the world statistics.
12th March Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says the country’s coronavirus outbreak could be part of a biological attack on the Islamic Republic.
This cartoon may be close to the mark.
Friday 13th March US President declares a National Emergency.
In Ireland, the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, closes all schools, colleges and childcare facilities.
First death from COVID-19 confirmed in Scotland.
15th March The New York Post reports an ISIS newsletter is informing jihadists that the “plague” is a “torment sent by God on whomsoever He wills.”
16th March Racing is on at Hereford Racecourse with six races this afternoon. The going is ‘soft, heavy in places’.
New York Times reports the rise of new infections as the total number of cases outside China has for the first time surpassed those inside China.
First death from COVID-19 confirmed in Wales.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a press conference and announces people should work from home where possible and avoid restaurants, pubs, clubs and theatres.
People over 70 and anyone showing symptoms should self-isolate, but schools should stay open.
In the United States, the City and County of San Francisco moves quickly issuing a Shelter in Place Order. Click/tap to download.
17th March UK Finance minister Rishi Sunak announces a package of support for businesses, including government-backed loans of at least ££330 billion.
Macdonalds USA are closing all seating areas in their restaurants to the public. Walk in - take out and drive in - pick up orders will continue.
18th March From noon today all Czech citizens are required to wear masks when they leave their homes.
UK Prime Ministers Questions shows ‘social distancing’ on the back benches but not on the front benches!
A post on Twitter #iran from Shabbir Hassanally tells us that “103 year old Iranian ‘super granny’ Khavar Ahmedi has fully recovered from COVID-19,
discharged from hospital and back home with her family. She displays a paper that reads — ‘Thank God, I defeated corona.’ She will turn 104 soon.
Love and prayers for her ♡ ” The National Emergencies Trust, an independent UK charity set up last November to provide a domestic disaster response, launches a cornavirus appeal
in partnership with the Red Cross.
New York State Governor, Andrew Cuomo, closes all schools in New York State until 1st April.
Thursday 19th March China’s Health Ministry reports no new cases in Wuhan or the surrounding Hubei province although the risk of new cases has not beeen eliminated.
The i newspaper reports that, after it reduced lending interest rate from 0.75% to 0.25% last week, the Bank of England today cuts it again down to
0.1%. this is the lowest level in the Bank’s 325-year history.
The i newspaper also reports that the Queen left Buckingham Palace yesterday to move to Windsor castle with
the Duke of Edinburgh as they socially distance themselves.
The Czech Republic enforces its first day of making it mandatory to cover mouths and noses in public to stem the spread of the new coronavirus. A few days later a
Czech vlogger posts this video on YouTube.
20th March The Hereford Times quotes the Director of Public Health for Herefordshire, Karen Wright, saying that “In line with national guidance,
community testing of all possible cases has now been stopped. The testing is now focussed on health care and other priority settings. We will not therefore
be able to confirm the number of cases in Herefordshire. This will be the case in other local authorities.”
UK Schools are closing from this afternoon. Schooling is to be arranged for children of key workers in healthcare, emergency services, prisons, delivery services.
Pubs, restaurants, cafes, clubs, theatres, leisure centres and other public venues in the UK are ordered to close after it appears that the earlier advice not to
go there was widely ignored in London and other cities. This is not legally enforceable at the present time.
21st March The National Trust in England closes its historic houses and gardens to the public. This is prompted as increased visitor numbers might be expected
tomorrow for Mothering Sunday.
UK train services are to run much reduced serves from today.
The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, is interviewed on the BBC Andrew Marr Show this morning. This is the first page of a letter sent out to vulnerable people today. The key words are stay at home at all times and avoid face-to-face contact for at least 12
weeks from today. Right-click to view/save full-size image.
23rd March Despite the appeal, people are still crowding together on the London Undergound trains without wearing masks or keeping a safe distance apart. Reports
are that many are foreign construction workers employed on sites in Central London. On Followcn.com the editor, Isherwood Feng, reports that around 5 million people in China lost their jobs amid the outbreak of the new coronavirus in the
first two months of this year, according to data published by the Chinese Government on 16th March.
At 8.30pm UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces that the country is entering a ‘lock-down’ phase to help to limit the spread of the epidemic.
This means all shops closing except for food stores and pharmacies. People not in essential services must stay at home and only go out to walk the dog or for exercise
once a day. Police are to be given legal powers to impose fines and to disperse crowds. This is an extract from the statement.
He went on to say
“To ensure compliance with the Government’s instruction to stay at home, we will immediately close all shops
selling non-essential goods including clothing , electronic goods and other premises including libraries, playgroounds and outdoor gyms and places of
worship. We will stop all getherings of more than two people in public, excluding people you live with, and we’ll stop all social events including
weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies but excluding funerals .... No Prime Minister wants to enact measures like this. I know the damage this disruption
is doing and will do to people’s lives, to their businesses and to their jobs.”
This chart shows the world statistics.
Tuesday 24th March The six Household Waste & Recycling Centres in Herefordshire are closing. Kerbside household waste collections are continuing.
The ExCeL Exhibition Centre in Newham, East London is to be converted into a 4000-bed medical facility which will be named the National Health Service (NHS)
NHS Voluntary Responders has been set up to support the NHS and the care sector during the COVID-19 outbreak. The volunteers will support the 1.5m people
in England who are at most risk from the virus to stay well. Medical and other professionals, will be able to refer people on to NHS Volunteer Responders
and be confident that they have been matched with a reliable, named volunteer. Each volunteer will be provided with a log-in to the GoodSAM Responder mobile phone app.
When the app is switched to ‘on duty’, it shows live and local volunteer tasks to pick from nearby. Within hours of launching 170,000 people sign up.
My local convenience store, SPAR in Ledbury, Herefordshire is displaying this notice.
25th March The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announces that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be postponed until 2021.
Summary of start of entire country quarantines: Italy 10 March, Denmark 12 March, Spain 16 March, France 17 March, Ireland 23 March, United Kingdom, Australia 24 March,
India 25 March.
Time magazine’s Ciara Nugent reports “South Korea, which in early March had the worst outbreak outside of China, has managed to slow the rate of new
infections without introducing lockdown-style measures. Instead, the country carried out testing on a massive scale and aggressively traced patients’ contacts by
tracking their movements through their credit card transactions and cell phone use — as well as widespread surveillance cameras — enabling them to isolate
those who were at risk. A transparent public information campaign also helped people to stay away from high risk neighborhoods and take other action to protect
Kings College, London is releasing an app. called COVID SYMPTOM TRACKER where people can feed in data to increase understanding of how the virus develops.
26th March UK Parliament is closed until further notice. Two vacuum cleaner manufacturers, GTech in Worcester and Dyson in Hullavington, Wiltshire are planning
to adapt their factories to produce medical ventilators for the NHS (if possible). Right-click to view/save full-size image.
Patients have to be heavily sedated as the machine pumps the oxygen mixture through a tube directly into the lungs. Weaning a patient off the ventilator can also
be a difficult process.
Landmarks turn blue and Britons come out to clap in support of the NHS. The clapping is repeated on following Thursday evenings at 8pm.
A snapshot of UK cases.
27th March Both Boris Johnson and Health Secretary, Matt Hancock have tested positive for COVID-19 and are self-isolating. They sat
together in Parliament on Wednesday.
Another snapshot from the Johns Hopkins University Dashboard.
A British company is developing a 10-minute coronavirus antibody test which Boris Johnson describes as a game-changer in the fight against the
pandemic. Health technology firm Mologic is aiming for the test to be rolled out by as early as June if the trials are successful. Antibody tests are designed
to establish whether people have previously been infected, as opposed to antigen tests which show if someone actually has the COVID-19 disease caused by the
virus. Mologic say assessment and validation of its COVID-19 diagnostic test had begun this week at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and St Georges
Hospital, and that global partners would also examine the prototypes.
28th March The Guardian newspaper reports that two further NHS Nightingale field hospitals will be set up at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in
Birmingham having 5000 beds and at the Manchester Central Convention Complex (Manchester Central) which will have 1000 beds.
Sunday 29th March On BBC Radio 4 Broadcasting House this morning. Dr. Catherine Calderwood, Medical Officer for Scotland says that the COVID-19 test
does not detect the virus unless it has reached a level of infection where symptoms are present. So there is no point testing people who may be infected but are not yet
At the daily Government briefing this afternoon, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick, reports that 750,000 people have
signed up to be NHS Voluntary Responders. Also Dr. Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, says it will be clear in two or three weeks as to whether the
first peak of infections has been reached.
A letter from the UK Prime Minister is being sent out to around 30 million households (66 million people) around the country in the coming days. The letters
will cost the Government around £5.7 million. Here is the letter we received on 7th April. Right-click to view/save full-size image.
The letter is also published in ten other languages – Bengali, Gujarati, Polish, Punjabi, Romani, Romanian, Russian, Somali, Urdu and Welsh. All shown here.
The Worcester News newspaper online reports that a hospital patient died yesterday of coronavirus at Hereford County Hospital, the first death recorded in the county.
Monday 30th March The annual vehicle MOT (Ministry of Transport) roadworthiness safety tests are extended for six months.
The BBC News correspondent in Paris reports that, in France, deaths occurring in care homes have not been counted in the official figures.
A further Nightingale hospital is to be set up at the Scottish Exhibition Centre (SEC) in Glasgow and another field hospital, called the Dragon’s Heart Hospital,
at the Millennium (Principality) Stadium in Cardiff with 2000 beds.
The USNS (United States Naval Ship) Comfort is docking in New York Harbour at Pier 90, Manhattan’s West Side, to provide an additional 1000-bed medical
facility to relieve New York’s overstretched hospitals. New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio, says 750 beds will be put into play immediately. The ship is a converted oil tanker.
British low-cost airline easyJet has grounded its entire fleet of over 330 aircraft.
Moscow is put into total lock-down. Dog walkers must remain within 100 metres of their front doors.
Metro News reports that A&E nurse, Ashleigh Linsdell, at Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, Lincolnshire has organised a team of craft workers
to make ‘scrubs’ for medical staff. Scrubs are designed to be simple (with minimal places for contaminants to hide), easy to launder,
and cheap to replace if damaged or stained irreparably. In the United Kingdom, scrubs are sometimes known as ‘theatre blues’.
There is a shortage of scrubs as they are replaced frequently during the day and she created the ‘For The
Love of Scrubs – Our NHS Needs You’ Facebook group, to coordinate people together to sew as many sets as possible. Less than a week later,
the group has 9,000 members with people all over the UK making scrubs at home for their local hospitals.
31st March The Kashmiri goats who normally live wild on a headland above Llanduduno in North Wales are taking advantage of the quiet streets to feed
in town gardens. The herd was a gift from Queen Victoria.
A snapshot of the world situation and Europe in detail at the end of March. WHO reports over three-quarter of a million confirmed cases which means that
total cases may be over a million. Right-click to view/save full-size images.
1st April The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babis, messages President Trump on Twitter advising him to tackle coronavirus the Czech way. Wearing
a simple cloth mask, decreases the spread of the virus .... Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England opposes the widespread use of masks.
In a letter to the Leader of the House, the Commons Speaker urges him to consider having virtual proceedings in the House of Commons as a trial at
select committee hearings has been successful.
The Guardian newspaper reports that research at Harbin Veterinary Research Institute in China has found that cats are highly susceptible to COVID-19.
The Metro newspaper confirms that the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, is promising to find hundreds of billions of pounds to help employed
workers, the self-employed and tens of thousands of businesses, many of them in the hospitality and leisure sectors, which have been completely shut down
by the response to this epidemic.
The April edition of Three Counties Farmer newspaper reports that, as an essential link in the food supply chain, Hereford Livestock Market will remain open
operating under strict DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) guidelines with 'Drop and Go' procedures to protect staff, vendors and buyers.
2nd April The Times newspaper reports that previous research at Harvard has shown that, while bacteria multiply in warm, moist conditions, viruses spread
most effectively in cold,dry air. Researchers at Beihang University in China say that increases in average daytime temperatures in spring in China
are causing the spread of infections to slow down but only slowly. In the UK the temperature rise in a normal summer will not be enough to bring the reproduction
number to below 1, which is the figure needed for an epidemic to die out. This number is the number of people expected to be infected by one person with the virus.
In Britain at present the number is betweeen 2.5 and 3.5.
The website InterNewsCast reports that currently, about 265 million Americans are now on stay at home orders to combat the spread of coronavirus. The
Federal government has left the decision to individual State Governors. Florida, although having an elderly population, is still considering its position. JHU reports
at 5pm GMT the US has recorded 226,374 confirmed cases and 5,316 deaths. The world total of confirmed coronavirus cases exceeds 1 million.
Another news item.
3rd April Two new field hospitals are to be set up in the UK with 1000 beds at Bristol University and 500 beds at a Harrogate conference centre.
The Week magazine reports that trials are beginning on a drug collection of more 15,000 compounds received from the Scripps Research Institute in California by
an Oxford company that uses AI to discover novel drugs. Exscientia, at the Oxford Science Park, will screen the drugs for effectiveness as a treatment for COVID-19.
Two other drugs under investigation are an anti-malarial called clorquinone and an anti-flu drug, Avigan (favipiravir)
which is undergoing clinical trials in Japan.
In the i newspaper, Dr. Gero Baiarda, the Chief Medical Officer of University College, London makes four points: First COVID-19 is
not a living organism, it is a protein chain of ribonucleic acid within a protective layer of lipid or fat. Second is is surprisingly fragile as its only protection
is the thin layer of fat. This is why soap or detergent will destroy it. Third it can persist on cardboard so parcels should be left in a secure place outside for
24 hours. Fourth it is easily transferred on raw food so cold food should be thoroughly washed and hot food cooked at 65°C for at least four minutes.
The French high-school bacalauréat (bac) exam is being cancelled this summer, the first time since it began under Napoleon Bonaparte in 1808.
The total world recorded deaths passes the 50,000 mark.
At a White House briefing today, US President Donald Trump recommends that Americans cover their faces with masks when outdoors. He reports that the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging people to wear face coverings like scarves or homemade cloth masks, but to keep medical-grade masks available for health workers.
Anthony Fauci, head of infectious diseases at National Institutes of Health cites recent information that the virus can actually be spread even when people
just speak as opposed to coughing and sneezing. And on March 31st, the CDC Director Robert Redfield had admitted in an interview with WABE, Atlanta that up to a quarter
of the people who are infected may be carriers but not show any symptoms. Also an infected individual could pass on the virus up to 48 hours before symptoms appear.
4th April Latest UK Government logo is:
On Sky News, Professor Mark Fielder, a medical microbiologist at Kingston University, explains that COVID-19 virus appears to be attacking two specific sets of cells in
the lungs, the mucus-producing cells and the fine hair cells that keep the airway clear of debris. The immune system reacts because it recognises the body is under attack.
It can actually almost over attack, and become what we call hyperimmune, and set up a large attack which can then start to damage the healthy tissue underneath. It can cause
inflammation of the lungs effecting the alveoli and the transfer of oxygen to red blood cells. Intermedical (UK) Limited, a company which produces portable oxygen supplies, says that
the disease can progress to viral pneumonia which does not usually require hospitalisation but is a problem for anyone already suffering from an immune deficiency or a respiratory
ailment such as asthma.
US Surgeon General gives advice today on making a face mask.
Sunday 5th April UK National Express bus company are suspending coach services from midnight tonight indefinitely.
Following the news from the Czech Republic on 19th March, Our World in Data website reports confirmed cases in UK, 41,903 in Czech Republic 4,472.
Dr. Catherine Calderwood, Medical Officer for Scotland admits to travelling twice at weekends from Edinburgh to her second home in Fife in contradiction
to her own advice for everyone to stay home. She gives no explanantion but apologies to the NHS and the people of Scotland. (see 29th March).
The Queen broadcasts to the nation from Windsor Castle at 8pm BST on BBC1.
Her Majesty the Queen will be 94 years old on 21st April 2020.
On the advice of his doctor, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is admitted to a St Thomas’s NHS Hospital, London this evening for tests. Downing Street says This
is a precautionary step, as the prime minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus. Johnson is likely to stay in hospital overnight. Bloomberg
reports that Johnson’s fiancee Carrie Symonds, who is pregnant, has also been self isolating with symptoms of the virus for the past week.
6th April Prime Minister Boris Johnson is taken into intensive care at 7 pm BST.
7th April The Miami Herald explains the different orders which are being used in the United States. The League of Cities says that Safer at Home usually
means that people should do what they can to stay home but some jurisdictions allow non-essential businesses to remain open assuming they limit capacity or impose social
distancing measures inside. Stay Home limits ventures out of the home to essential activities such as doctor visits, grocery shopping and going to work for essential employees.
Shelter in Place is the most restrictive measure of the three. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a shelter-in-place order, used for tornadoes and active
shootings in particular, means you should get inside and stay inside until you’re given additional directives. CNN reports that in the coronavirus situation there are exceptions
for essential activities such as getting supplies and medicines, essential businesses such as healthcare services, automobile rescue etc. and essential government functions
for running the state. Also exercise outdoors for individuals in the local area is allowed keeping social distancing.
that could be used to treat the coronavirus, according to a report.
The Boston Globe reports that three Massachusetts hospitals - Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and UMass Memorial Health Care in Worcester -
have been granted approval by the US Food and Drug Administration to launch the first clinical trials in the US of the Japanese antiviral drug, favipiravir.
In the i newspaper, Professor Paul Hunter at the University of East Anglia, UK, reports that a study indicates that the wearing of face masks by
vulnerable people in high risk situations reduced the odds of infection by around 6% on average. When both housemates and an infected household member wore masks the
odds were reduced by around 19%. The study has not been published or peer-reviewed but the researchers were keen to release their findings.
8th April BBC Midlands Today lunchtime tv programme shows a video of a tribute to the NHS from farmer Jack Pantall of Staunton-on-Wye, Herefordshire.
In the market town of Ledbury, Herefordshire, there are reports of a number of people suffering with COVID-19 symptoms during the last month. This includes one person
who tells us this morning that he had a serious form which had associated stomach troubles. He reports he has now made a full recovery. Sadly there is also an as yet
unconfirmed report of one death in the town.
Up to today there have been 16 deaths in the NHS, eight doctors and eight nurses. For the record many are immigrants who have spent their working
lives in the NHS. Their names and where and when they died are;
Dr. Adil El Tayar, surgeon, 63; at West Middlesex University Hospital, Islington on 25 March
Dr Habib Zaidi, GP 76; at Southend Hospital on 25 March
Dr. Amged El-Hawrani, ENT consultant, 55; at Leicester Royal Infirmary on 28th March
Dr. Alfa Sa’adu, retired medical director, 68; at Whittington Hospital in north London on 31 March
Prof Mohamed Sami Shousha, 79; in London on 2nd April
Anton Sebastianpillai, retired consultant geriatrician, 75; at Kingston Hospital on 4th April
Jitendra Rathod, heart surgeon, 58, at University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff on 6th April
Dr Fayez Ayache, GP, 76; at Ipswitch Hospital on 8th April
Thomas Harvey, mental health nurse, 57; worked at Goodhayes Hospital, Ilford , died at home on 29th March
Aimee O’Rourke, nurse, 39; at the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate 2nd April
Lynsay Coventry, midwife, 54; at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow on 2 April
Areema Nasreen, staff nurse, 36; at Walsall Manor Hospital on 3 April
Liz Glanister, nurse, 68; at Royal Liverpool University Hospital on 3 April
John Alagos, nurse, 23; at Watford General Hospital on 3 April
Rebecca Mack, 29; at Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle on 5 April
Alice Kit Tak Ong, 70; at the Royal Free Hospital, London on 7th April
Reuters correspondent, Brenda Goh, reports that the city of Wuhan began allowing people to leave today for the first time since it was locked
down 76 days ago despite fears of a second wave of infection if such restrictions are eased too soon. Residents are still urged not to leave
their neighbourhoods, the city and even the province unless necessary, health officials said yesterday.
9th April A snapshot of the most affected countries cases and deaths. To date the United States has the most confirmed cases,
Italy has the most deaths. Right-click to view/save full-size image.
A Downing Street spokesman says that Prime Minister Johnson has moved this evening from intensive care back to the ward, where he will receive
close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery. The Care Quality Commission realises that it is not recording deaths from COVID-19 in care homes and adds a tick box for confirmed or suspected
COVID-19 to its form that care homes must fill in to report a death.
The Hereford Times shows Hereford Hospital A&E staff wearing badges so that patients know the names of those treating them.
A Rigby cartoon to lighten the mood.
The Guardian newspaper reports that until now there has been support for the government’s announcement of a national voucher scheme
to ensure that children from the poorest families continue to receive free meals while schools are closed during the Covid-19 crisis.
But many schools have since complained that Edenred, the provider selected by government to supply the vouchers, does not have the capacity
to deal with the demand. To secure vouchers, schools have to upload data on children who are eligible for free school meals. A code is then
sent or emailed to parents, who can convert it into a weekly £15 voucher for each child, to be spent in the supermarket of their choice.
Many are still awaiting their codes.
In Grimsby, Zane Powles, assistant headteacher at Western Primary School has been walking five miles
every day to deliver free school meals to disadvantaged children. He carries 78 packed lunches in a large rucksack,
leaving them outside front doors before having a quick chat with each family from a distance. After three weeks of delivering the food, he
has become something of a local hero. One colourful poster put up on a fence by children reads, Well done, Mr Powles.
11th April The total number of cases in the USA exceeds 500,000. This map shows the countrywide spread, the states most affected and
also the six, mainly rural, states not accepting advice from Anthony Fauci and Robert Redfield.
Right-click to view/save full-size image.
The i newspaper reports that the State of New York now has more coronavirus cases than any single country in the world.
Also that the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has warned the UN Security Council that the pandemic poses a significant threat to the maintenance
of international peace and security. It says that diplomats blame Security Council inaction on the United States and China. Beijing argues that the council does not
have the mandate to act while Washington has insisted that any council action refer to the origins of the virus, much to the annoyance of China.
Easter Sunday 12th April The total number of deaths in the UK exceeds 10,000.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves hospital after being 3 nights in intensive care. He needed oxygen but was not on a ventilator. He will convalesce at Chequers,
the PM’s official country house residence, in Buckinghamshire.
13th April Angela Giuffrida in the Guardian newspaper reports that the total deaths in Italy to more than 20,000.
14th April Forbes reports that the US President announces today that he has put a hold on funding to the World Health Organization until a
60-to-90-day review of its pandemic response, accusing it of severely mismanaging and covering up the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
The UK Government stops using Worldometer COVID-19 statistics as questions are raised about their anonymous analysts and lack of information on sources.
The new data supplier will be the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) (see 22nd January and 27th March entries).
Wednesday 15th April ITV News reports that a 99-year-old [army] veteran who challenged himself to walk 100 lengths of his garden (before he turns 100
at the end of the month) has raised more than £7 million for the NHS.
[Captain] Tom Moore, who served in India and Burma, and now lives at Marston Moretaine in
Bedfordshire, originally set out to raise £1,000 – but a burst of donations has seen that sum pledged on average every 20 seconds. The fundraiser had
topped £1 million as of 9am on Tuesday, before surpassing £4 million as of 11pm and £7 million by 3pm on Wednesday. On Twitter his
daughter Hannah said We are overwhelmed by the response. It’s extraordinary. We remain proud and humbled by the generosity of the British public. Denmark’s children aged 11 and under are returning to schools and daycare centres today after a month of closures.
16th April An aircraft carrying 150 farm workers from Bucharest, Romania is due to land at Stansted airport today. It was chartered from Air Charter
Services by G’s growers in Cambridgeshire, a group of 17 nurseries which form one of the UK’s biggest salad growers. The firm has reported that 500
British people have registered their interest but up to 3,000 are needed to bring in the harvest. Fruit and vegetable picking is skilled and demanding work but it
is also a low-paid job which has been done by mainly foreign workers for the past 10 to 15 years. The National Farmer’s Union says that up to 70,000 seasonal
workers are needed.
Dominic Raab, the UK Foreign Secretary, delivers the daily cornavirus briefing revealing that the lockdown is to continue for a further three weeks. He refers to
COBRA which is a cross-departmental committee meeting held in the Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms at 70, Whitehall assembled in times of national emergency. The first
meeting was in 1972. He also mentions SAGE, a sub-committee, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, made up of leading figures in their respective fields
from across the world of public health, science and academia. They do not operate under Government instruction and membership changes based on expertise needed
to address the crisis at the time.
The Wall Street Journal shows a graphic of the US State Coronavirus Lockdowns. Right-click to view/save full-size image.
The White House issues Guidelines for Opening Up America Again (PDF) prepared by the US Centers for
Medicare & Medical Aid Services (CMS).
Bhasha Mukherjee, who won the Miss England pageant in Newcastle upon Tyne last August, flew back from India on 8th April and will return to work as
a junior doctor at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Lincolnshire after self-isolating for 14 days. Miss Mukherjee, who moved to the English city of Derby from Kolkata
at the age of nine, specializes in respiratory medicine. The 24-year-old has been in India for four weeks on behalf of Coventry Mercia Lions Club, a development
and community charity for which she was ambassador.
20th April The NHS Blood and Transplant Service appeals for convalescent patients to donate blood plasma so that the antibodies can be used for
‘transfusion therapy’ for people with COVID-19 symptoms to boost their immune systems and improve chances of survival and speed of recovery.
Earlier small-scale trials in China were successful.
NHS England releases a breakdown of coronavirus deaths by ethnic minorities for the first time today. On 16th April, the Government announced an inquiry
was to be set up to look at why black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (BAME) are being disproportionately affected by the pandemic in the UK.
The BBC is broadcasting 20-minute long home-schooling lessons called BBC Bitesize Daily from today continuing through the summer term. There are three lessons
for each year from Primary Year 1 (ages 5 to 6) to Secondary Year 10 (ages 14-15) making a total of 30 lessons per day. They are repeated from 9am to 3pm each day
on television and are also available online.
This article (ODT format), written by the Italian theoretical physicist and author, Carlo Rovelli, and published in the
i newspaper today gives us an overview of the situation.
21st April The UK Office for National Statistics has reported 1,662 deaths involving COVID-19 in England and Wales registered in the week up to
April 10th which occurred outside hospitals — 1,043 took place in care homes, 466 in private homes, 87 in hospices, 21 in other communal establishments and 45
elsewhere. The ONS says the numbers are based on where novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, including in combination with
other health conditions. The NHS figures only include deaths in hospitals where a patient has been tested for COVID-19.
A previous report shows a provisional figue of 406 deaths registered occurred outside hospitals up to April 3rd — 217 were registered in
care homes, 33 in hospices, 136 in private homes, three in other communal establishments and 17 elsewhere. This information is published on the TalkTalk web page
and confirmed in other newspaper reports.
On the BBC West Midlands lunchtime programme today, some positive news about production of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) garments.
21st April Reuters News Agency reports that Chinese doctors in Wuhan say a growing number of cases in which people recover from the virus, but
continue to test positive without showing symptoms, is one of their biggest challenges as the country moves into a new phase of its containment battle.
Those patients all tested negative for the virus at some point after recovering, but then tested positive again, some up to 70 days later, the doctors said.
Many have done so over 50-60 days. Paul Hunter, a professor at the University of East Anglia’s Norwich School of Medicine, says an unusually slow shedding of
other viruses such as norovirus or influenza had been previously seen in patients with weakened immune systems.
23rd April Matt Hancock, the UK Health Secretary, gives the daily briefing.
He announces that the government is planning to
send out home testing kits via Amazon to people who are self-isolating with suspected COVID-19 symptoms. This is part of a “test, track, trace” strategy
to enable social distancing rules to be relaxed. 3,000 clinical staff and 15,000 others will be employed “in a matter of weeks” to locate COVID-19
sufferers and trace everyone they had contact with. Belgium has said it will be employing 2,000 “coronavirus detectives” doing the same.
These initiatives were first employed in South Korea when COVID-19 arrived in the country in January. Health officials were given authority to use security camera
footage, credit-card records and GPS data from cellphones and car navigation systems to pinpoint exactly where a COVID-19-infected person had been and then trace
William N. Bryan, head of the Science and Technology Directorate, a part of US Department of Homeland Security gives a presentation at the 5 pm EDT (Eastern
Daylight Time) daily Press briefing and shows these two slides indicating the action of sunlight and disinfectants on the coronavirus. Right-click to view full size.
The president suggests further research that S&T might carry out and Mr. Bryan appears to agree.
BBC WORKLIFE website publishes an article by John Walton on how airlines may operate during the pandemic. Several airlines are exploring the idea of keeping middle
seats empty.Social distancing is impossible on a modern plane where seats are around 45 cm wide and rows 75-80 com apart. Daniel Baron of LIFE Aero Design says
Let’s not forget the cabin air circulation is on a par with operating theatres. A combination of pre-flight screening, thorough cabin sanitising, smart seat
assignments and masks will likely be the way forward in the short to medium term.
24th April Tom Moore (see 15th April) has now raised nearly £27 million for the NHS with his 100-lap garden walk. He has also recorded “You‘ll
Never Walk Alone” with singer Michael Ball which has become a number-one single. He will be 100-years-old on 30th April.
An article on face mask research is published by the American Chemical Society in their journal, ACS Nano. It is known that the virus is carried in fine respiratory
droplets called aerosols.
Supratik Guha at the University of Chicago tested various fabrics and found that one layer of tightly woven cotton sheet combined with one layer of silk or polycotton
material filtered out 80-90% of aerosol particles depending on particle size. In particular silk, which can hold a static charge, can act as an electrostatic barrier.
They also found that a 1% gap reduced efficiency by half or more so to work the mask must fit properly. (note the President’s comments on 3rd April and the US Surgeon
General’s comments on 4th April.)
26th April On the BBC Andrew Marr Show, Dominic Raab confirms that people arriving at ports and airports could be quarantined for 14 days as part of emerging
plans to lift Britain out of its lockdown. Officials at the Home Office, which is responsible for border security, and the Department for Transport are reported to have
drafted plans for 14-day stay at homenotices. Such a rule would apply to foreign arrivals as well as UK citizens, with fines for failure to remain at the address
given for isolation.
Monday 27th April Boris Johnson is back at work at No.10 Downing Street today. Speaking to the Press this morning he says that he is very aware
of the economic effect on the country of the lockdown and he intends to ease restrictions as soon as possible but that he will not jeopardise the gains already
made by the sacrifices of the British people in slowing the pandemic and we must avoid any risk of a second wave of infections overwhelming the National Health
Service and causing even more economic damage.
30th April The WHO website gives these figures for the number of deaths in each of the worst affected countries at 3:00pm CEST today.
Worldwide the figures are over 3 million cases and over 200,000 deaths.
Boris Johnson announces today that the outbreak in the UK is past its peak as the R₀ number is below 1 [the Reproduction number indicates the average number of people who
will contract a contagious disease from one person with that disease. It specifically applies to a population of people who were previously free of infection and have not
been vaccinated.] As well, he notes that both the number of covid-related hospital admissions and the number of patients in intensive care are falling.
The i newspaper reports that the annual Chinese National People’s Congress will be held on 22 May. About 3,000 delegates
will travel from across the country to Beijing.
Nearly 4,000 COVID-19 patients have been treated with convalescent blood plasma across the US, according to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. In April, the US Food and Drug
Administration designated the clinic as the lead institution providing coordinated access to investigational convalescent plasma for hospitalized patients with severe or
life-threatening COVID-19. Coronavirus survivors can volunteer to donate their blood and the plasma extracted contains antibodies which will fight off the infection.
1st May At the daily press briefing, Matt Hancock says as of 9am today there were 122,347 coronavirus tests carried out in the UK exceeding the target of
100,000 for the end of April. However, the Health Service Journal (HSJ) reported that the government was including home-testing kits sent out by post in the tally of tests
to reach the target, even if the recipient has not yet provided and returned their sample.
2nd May The US Food and Drug Administration approves an experimental antiviral drug for emergency use. Preliminary results from a government-sponsored
study show that Gilead Sciences’s remdesivir shortened the time to recovery by 31%, or about four days on average, for
hospitalised Covid-19 patients.
In the UK a trial is about to begin on the transfusion of convalescent blood plasma into COVID-19 patients. More than 6,500 people have registered their interest to
take part in the trial and 150 people have donated so far. Donating takes about 45 minutes as the blood is filtered through a machine to remove the plasma. (see
30th April for situation in the US)
Social-distancing Hereford style.
Monday 4th May Both Italy and Germany are easing lockdown restrictions from today.
The UK government has a second business loan scheme going live today; the Bounce Back Loan scheme is for ssmall and medium-sized businesses to borrow between
£2,000 and £50,000.The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there are no fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. Loan terms will be
up to 6 years.
[ Note: the borrower remains 100% liable to the lender for the debt but the government assumes the debt obligation for the loan in the event that the borrower
This follows on from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) which went live on March 23rd and allows businesses with up £45 million
annual turnover to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and
any fees for the first 12 months. These loans cannot be taken out by banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers), public-sector bodies or state-funded
primary and secondary schools.
The Ledbury Reporter newspaper published on a Friday and online has been providing information on the number of people who have died of COVID-19 in Herefordshire.
The figures so far — April 14th ~ 19, April 23rd ~ 24, April 27th ~ 31 and April 30th ~ 32. May 3rd ~ 33.
An international virtual summit, convened by the European Commission and co-hosted by the UK and seven other countries, is happening today. It is attended by
leaders from more than 40 governments worldwide as well as the Chinese ambassador to the European Union, Zhang Ming, but the United States, India, Russia and Brazil
are absent. At the meeting around €7.4bn is pledged to develop vaccines, treatments and diagnostics to fight Covid-19.
5th May Published on ‘Stars and Stripes’ website.
World War II Red Army veteran, Sergeant Zinaida Korneva, 97, after hearing about Capt. Tom Moore’s renowned
fundraising walk for the NHS, shows the socks she has knitted for him as a birthday present. She lives in St. Petersburg, Russia and, inspired by his effort, she has
launched her own campaign to gather contributions for the families of doctors and nurses who have died of the infection. She is going to raise money by telling wartime
stories between now and May 9th (Russia’a anniversary of the the Nazi surrender in 1945). Both her daughter and granddaughter are doctors.
The i newspaper reports that a trial of the NHS contact-tracing app is being launched on the Isle of Wight, the island in the English Channel.
It works on iPhones and Androis phones and uses Bluetooth technology to detect other phones in the neighbourhood. Civil liberty campaigners have raised concerns due
to the amount of personal information collected by the app and the fact that the records will be held in a central database. Matthew Ryder Q.C. says there may be legal
implications including the possibility of a legal challenge. However NHS England says all data will be held anonymously and deleted when the app is deactivated.
6th May Right-click to view full-size image. A US journal, AIP Advances, reports that a scientific team at Wuhan University led by Dr Jau Tang is designing a new type of jet engine using microwave air plasmas.
Beyond solid, liquid and gas, plasma is a form of electrically charged gas, which – when activated –can cause surges of energy. It uses air from the
atmsosphere and produces no carbon emmissions. A positive news item from Wuhan.
7th May The i newspaper reports the latest figures from the Care Quality Commission for daily deaths in care homes where COVID-19
is mentioned on the death certificate. April 27th ~ 613, April 28th ~ 405, April 29th ~ 331, April 30th ~ 304, May 1st 230. Also that the ONS official analysis figures
show that black men and women are four times more likely to die after contracting COVID-19 than white people in England and Wales. There is also an increased risk for
people of Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indian origin and of mixed ethnicities. Research into the resaons is ongoing.
Friday 8th May In the UK, today is the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) day when the Second World War officially ended in Europe. The Ledbury
Reporter newspaper notes that there will be a National Toast at 3pm when everyone is encouraged to raise a glass at home to pay tribute to the fallen.
The CSSE latest dashboard.
The Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis provides this Crude oil WTI price chart.
This song is the highlight of the BBC VE Day Anniversary Concert shown this evening. It begins with Dame Vera Lynn and Katherine Jenkins. The lyrics are significant
for then and now.
We’ll meet again, Don’t know where, Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.
Keep smiling through, Just like you always do
’Til the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away
So will you please say “Hello” To the folks that I know? Tell them I won’t be long
They’ll be happy to know That as you saw me go I was singing this song
Music and lyrics composed and written by English songwriters Ross Parker and Hughie Charles, 1939.
10th May These news review comments come from this morning’s Broadcasting House on BBC Radio 4. The speakers are the author Dreda Say
Mitchell on the language used by the media and the gardening writer and TV presenter Monty Don on the view from Greece.
Boris Johnson makes a TV announcement at 7pm on a phased recovery programme. He refers to a document to be published this week giving more details.
11th May The UK Government publishes its 60-page Guidance Notes (PDF)
on its COVID-19 recovery strategy. Highlights are: Chapters 3 & 4 and Annnex A ‘Staying safe outside your home’.
Tennis and other forms of outside exercising are now allowed with social distancing observed. Also angling.
People should aim to wear a cloth face-covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and they come into contact with others that they
do not normally meet, for example on public transport or in some shops. However everybody (including critical workers) should continue to avoid public transport wherever possible.
Workers should continue to work from home but those who cannot work from home should travel to work if their workplace is open. For example this includes food production,
construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research in laboratories. Hospitality and nonessential retail workplaces must remain closed. New
COVID-19 Secure guidelines, for workplaces will
be published this week.
A second less-publicised document is issued online at the same time. Staying alert and safe (PDF ) which spells out that garden
centres and golf courses may re-open from May 13th.
12th May Deserted skies over England and Wales. Right-click to view full-size image.
The Express online newspaper has this summary of the easing of lockdown:
This afternoon the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announces in Parliament that financial support for businesses is extended.
Wednesday 13th May Full lockdown officially ends in England after 48 days. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have their own timetables for easing lockdown.
The effect on the London Stock Market is shown in this record of the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) 100 Index consisting of the 100 British companies with the highest
13th May BBC Television evening news reports that the NHS is discussing with Swiss pharmaceutical firm, Roche, adopting their antibody test (Elecsys Anti-SARS-COV-2
serology test) after PHE Porton Down laboratory reports successful results. The blood test uses Roche’s Cobas E 411 analysers which are widely used around the world and
give results in around 18 minutes. The test has already been approved by medical regulators in the EU and USA.
Latest UK Government logo is:
Note the border colour change from 4th April. Thie wording was widely criticised as being unhelpful.
14th May Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issues the following statement on Twitter regarding mental health.
15th May The Department for Health and Social Care says that £500,000 of government funding is being provided for clinical trials
to train dogs to see if they can detect coronavirus before symptoms even appear. Researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and
Durham University, and the charity Medical Detection Dogs will conduct the trials. The six dogs used will be Labradors and cocker spaniels - Norman,
Digby, Storm, Star, Jasper and Asher. Bio-detection dogs have already been trained to detect changes in human body odour caused by the presence of cancers.
16th May The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announces that the British government will be investing up to £93m to bring
forward construction of a new vaccine manufacturing centre at the Harwell science and innovation campus, near Didcot, Oxfordshire.
The funding will ensure the new centre opens in summer 2021, a year ahead of schedule. The Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) is a
key component of the government’s programme to ensure that once a coronavirus vaccine is available, it can be rolled out quickly in mass quantities,
the department said.
The not-for-profit facility will have the capacity to produce enough doses for the entire UK population in as little as six months and will also
boost the UK’s long-term capacity for dealing with future viruses and accelerate the production of vaccines for existing illnesses. The company
is supported by its three founding members: University of Oxford, Imperial College, London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. who
each have experience in development and clinical evaluation of novel vaccines. VMIC UK will receive in-kind industry funding from Janssen, Merck Sharp
& Dohme (MSD) and GE Healthcare. As reported in the Guardian newspaper.
Sunday 17th May In an article in “The Mail on Sunday’ Boris Johnson says I said we would throw everything we could at
finding a vaccine. There remains a very long way to go, and I must be frank that a vaccine might not come to fruition. But we are leading the global effort.
Some of the most promising research into vaccines is happening right here in the UK - and this weekend we are announcing a £93 million investment to
open the new Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre a full 12 months ahead of schedule.
18th May Midland Railways and other UK rail companies start services again today with reduced schedules but increased number of coaches on
each train to help social distancing. Government advice is still to avoid public transport wherever possible and, if you do, wearing a face mask. Evidence
on television news is that the wearing of masks is not widespread.
In the US, Sky News reports that President Trump says he has been taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, as a
preventative measure against coronavirus, for the last week and a half. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
(NIAID), earlier said there was no evidence the drug could prevent coronavirus.
19th May The Prince of Wales, staying at Birkhall, his Scottish residence, since he suffered from COVID-19 in March, issues this video on the
Clarence House Twitter account.
20th May The trade body UKHospitality submits a 75-page document to the UK Government setting out guidelines on how pubs and restaurants can
operate safely when they re-open. They are requesting that the Government endorse the guidelines prior to the provisional planned re-opening date for the
hospitality industry suggested by the Government of 4 July 2020. Safety measures include removing condiments from tables, ending buffet meals, digitising tips
and offering reduced menus in addition to spacing out and/or screening off tables.
22nd May In the US the CDC publishes an NCIRD document Interim Guidance for Communities of Faith. It details measures to be taken including:
washing hands, wearing face coverings, intensive cleaning, disinfection and ventilation, 6-foot distancing, floor markings for one-way routes, and limited singing,
physical contact and sharing of worship aids.
The New York Post shows which states are re-opening [Ed. colours adjusted, not the facts].
Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, announces that travellers entering the UK will have to self-isolate for 14 days or they could face a £1,000 fine.
Passengers will be required to fill out an online contact form providing details of where they will spend their self-isolation. If a person does not have
suitable accommodation they will be required to stay in facilities arranged by the government at the person’s own expense. France is not exempt
from the rules, despite reports earlier this week that its citizens may not be forced to self-isolate.
The New York Times reports today that the woman credited with starting the weekly applause for health care workers fighting the
coronavirus in Britain has suggested that the Clap for Carers should end on Thursday, the 10th week after it started.
Her logic? The public has shown its appreciation enough and it is now up to the government to reward doctors and nurses. Many have died during the outbreak,
and they have cared for patients while short on protective equipment like masks, gloves and visors.
The woman, Annemarie Plas, told BBC Radio 2 that the clapping could be replaced by an annual remembrance. Next week will be 10 times, she said.
I think that would be beautiful, to be the end of the series.
13th June The 12-week isolation period for vulnerable people ends today. [See the letter of March 21st.]