The Mayor of London issued a reminder that the pandemic “is not over” after revellers were seen breaching social distancing rules as pubs reopened in the city’s Soho area last night.
He reminded people that “the Chief Medical Officer has warned there will be an uptick in COVID19 cases if people don’t take the rules seriously”, and that “lives depend” on people following government guidance.
You can get more about the city’s problems with social distancing here.
The chief executive of NHS England urged people to “not hold back” with concerns about cancer, and seek medical help.
However, he said the NHS was pleased to see a reduction in trips to A&E from “nights out boozing” and from car accidents as less people travel, and presumably drink and drive.
Simon Stevens said the NHS had not had the spike in A&E visits that was feared when pubs reopened yesterday.
NHS launches Covid recovery service
NHS England is building a Covid recovery service, the chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens, has announced.
It will include face-to-face check-up, a personalised treatment package, and 12 weeks of online support.
Stevens warned that coronavirus would have lasting health impacts beyond the initial pandemic, with after-effects including scarring to lungs.
“This is a legacy which will be with us for years to come,” Stevens said.
According to the NHS website, the service “forms part of NHS plans to expand access to Covid-19 rehabilitation treatments for those who have survived the virus but still have problems with breathing, mental health problems or other complications.”
It follows the building of a new Seacole rehabilitation centre to help those most seriously affected by the deadly virus, with similar facilities expected to open across the country.
Stevens also said the NHS would be delivering the coronavirus vaccine when that happens, but that this would require training tens of thousands of new nurses.
NHS is preparing for second wave of coronavirus in winter
When asked by Andrew Marr if the NHS was preparing for a second spike in winter, the chief executive of NHS England said “yes”, it was perfectly possible.
Simon Stevens said this would be particularly difficult if it coincided with seasonal bouts of the flu, which has similar symptoms to coronavirus. Stevens said we needed unprecedented flu vaccinations to help the NHS cope.
You can watch the clip here:
This is a good summary from Press Association about Hancock’s response to criticism of test and trace:
Earlier, the health secretary Matt Hancock said it was “completely wrong” to say the government’s NHS test-and-trace programme is not working effectively enough.
He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “We now have 127,000 – so far more people – who are isolating as a result of test and trace.”
On care homes, Hancock said: “If you compare us to other European countries, a far lower proportion of people have died in care homes – only about 30% of the total deaths in care homes, compared to about 50% from the European average.”
He added: “The number of people going from hospital to care homes reduced in that period. It didn’t go up, it reduced.”
Asked if he knew how many people who were moved back to care homes had Covid-19, he said: “No we didn’t because at that point … no, it comes back to this point about asymptomatic transmission. At that point, it was not known about the asymptomatic transmission of this disease because no other coronavirus transmits asymptomatically, as my understanding.”
He added: “The number of people who went from hospital into care homes fell during that period and so therefore we got more people, we supported more people to go home and get the support they needed at home, rather than into hospitals.”
Stevens has defended the controversial decision to move hospital patients to care homes without testing them for coronavirus, which was taken to free up beds for coronavirus patient.
Stevens says hospitals actually reduced the number of patients discharged to care homes, and they were all discharged because that was what clinicians thought was “medically the right thing to do”.
Asked why they weren’t tested beforehand, Stevens says hospitals followed PHE guidance and due to lack of testing capacity, had to prioritise tests for patients in intensive care units.
Hospital staff have said they did not knowingly discharge patients with Covid, but Stevens says less was known about asymptomatic carriers at the time.
Around 25,000 people were moved from hospitals to care homes without testing. You are 12 times more likely to be a victim of the virus if you’re over 80.
Stevens says we still do not have a “fair” adult social care system. He says that if Beverage was writing his “five social ills” again, there would be a sixth – adult social care.
Obesity doubles your likelihood of dying from coronavirus, says Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England.
Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, Stevens says as a country, we must work to tackle these issues, as collectively, “we still carry too many pounds”.
Health secretary Matt Hancock has defended the decision to impose a localised lockdown in Leicester.
Responding to suggestions the situation in Leicester does not require a lockdown, Hancock told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “It is not true to say that we shouldn’t take action unless the NHS is going to be overwhelmed. We need to take action to keep the virus under control.
“I’ve been against this sort of herd-immunity argument that is implied in that right from the start. So in Leicester, absolutely we’ve taken action in order to get the virus under control.”
He added: “There are more hospital admissions in Leicester than elsewhere in the country but they are not at a level that is creating difficulties for the trust there that is doing a great job.”
On reports that local authorities do not have enough real-time data on positive cases, Hancock said: “Where I want to get to is an open-data approach where we publish as much of this data as possible at as granular level as possible so that then it is not only my experts and local councils who are spotting problems, but then anybody can, raise them, and then we can take a look at that.”
As you can see from these photographs, social distancing was a mere memory for many revellers in Soho, London, last night.
John Apter, chair of the Police Federation, who worked in Southampton last night, said there were similar scenes there. He has warned that it is “crystal clear” that drunk people cannot social distance.
You can read more on his comments here:
Former chief scientific advisor David King says that if the UK had gone into lockdown a week earlier, we would have had a quarter of the number of deaths we have so far had.
The government’s former chief scientific adviser has warned that 27,000 “excess deaths” are likely between now and next April.
David King has been consistently critical of the government’s response to the pandemic, and even started a separate group of scientists called Independent Sage to offer alternative advice to the government’s scientific advisory group, Sage.
He says it appears government policy is to retain a policy of 3,000 infections a day, whereas Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be approaching net zero. King says both economically and health-wise, this is a better approach, as it would enable a safe, larger reopening.
“If we want to return to full economic growth as soon as possible, get rid of Covid,” he said.
People visiting places of worship this weekend will be asked to give their contact details.
This is the same policy as was rolled out in pubs when they reopened yesterday.
This is done to enable NHS contact tracers to locate everyone who has come into contact with someone who tests positive coronavirus, should this happen at a public place.