First of all, here is some excellent news: the first human trial of a vaccine against coronavirus, in Europe, started in the city of Oxford, here in England on April 23.
Of course, they are just testing it, and there is no guarantee that it will work. But the fact that they are already experimenting on humans is a significant advance and a hope for all of us.
Most experts believe that a vaccine is likely to be available in about 12 to 18 months. It seems that 60-70% of people need to be immune to the virus to prevent it from spreading quickly, which is why it is crucial to have a vaccine as soon as possible.
The virus spreads fast, and because it is new and unknown, the majority of the world’s population is still vulnerable to it. The vaccine would provide some protection, “training” people’s immune systems to fight the virus, so they don’t get sick or at least have less aggressive symptoms.
Further, I want to talk about the “fake news” that COVID-19 is a government plot and the proof is that hospitals built to treat infected people have a low number of patients.
Since the beginning of the pandemic here in the UK, it was stated that these hospitals were being built in case the other hospitals did not have sufficient capacity and to prevent what happened in Italy, where they had to use the “Sophie’s choice” because of the lack of beds and equipment.
Fortunately, the NHS is managing to assist almost everyone, and only a few cases went to the newly built Nightingale hospitals.
That does not mean the other hospitals are not overcrowded. Every day we read and watch statements from doctors, nurses and other frontline workers, telling how chaotic the situation is, how hard they are working, how many people are infected, dying, surviving and such.
Also, each region has different numbers of beds and people hospitalized. There is no way to compare a hospital in London, where it is the most infected city and a small town in the countryside, where it may not even have the coronavirus.
It is easy to take a picture in a crowded hospital and say it is in chaos, just as it is to go to an empty hospital and say that they are lying about the existence of the virus.
From the beginning, the government was very clear, saying that if the population followed the new guidance and stay at home, they might not even require these new hospitals.
The tabloids here such as The Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Star, Daily Express Daily Mail, among others, pass on a lot of inaccurate or sensationalist information and cannot be entirely trusted.
Therefore, if you see the news coming from them (or from any communication by any means), research, analyze, before sharing false information.
Perhaps I should explain that here in England the private medical sector is not working directly with the coronavirus, that is why I always talk about the NHS.
No matter your financial condition, if you are infected, you will be treated by the NHS.
I wrote a few weeks ago (here) about the private health sector making a deal with the government, where it made almost its entire national hospital capacity available to the NHS.
Beds, ventilators and healthcare staff are available to help fight COVID-19 – in addition to other illnesses – thanks to this agreement.
Some people are accusing, not only here, but in several other countries, that the number of cured patients is not being disclosed. But the math is simple: take the number of infected and decrease it by the number of deaths.
There you have the number that the government is hiding for the population to think it is much more severe than in reality and I don’t know what else people who like a conspiracy theory say.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK has reached more than 143.000 and more than 19.500 people unfortunately died. However, the daily number of deaths has been falling in recent days.
Nevertheless, it is estimated that the actual number of infected people is much higher – at the moment, the tests were carried out only in hospitals and some NHS employees and nursing homes.
One of the most significant criticisms of the government is the lack of testing, especially the fact that key workers are not being tested.
On April 23, Health Minister Matt Hancock announced that he had expanded the testing program and all essential workers and their families can register and take the tests if they have the symptoms.
Those who can apply for the test include NHS and social workers, police, teachers, workers in the justice system, transportation, supermarkets, food production and journalists.
If you are one of the essential workers, register here: https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk
Even so, the government remains slightly below the target of 100.000 tests per day as promised.
The numbers for the 24th showed 23.560 tests, although Hancock said the capacity has now increased to 51.000 a day. How they will reach 100.000 in less than a week is something to the seem.
Another news is that the NHS is testing an app to track Covid-19 among the population, at a Royal Air Force base in North Yorkshire.
This app would work using Bluetooth signals to record when smartphone owners are nearby, and if someone develops symptoms of Covid-19, an alert will be sent to other users who may have come close to that person and possibly be infected, warning them to isolate.
Companies like Airbus, Ford, Siemens and several Formula 1 team worked with Penlon, a manufacturer of medical devices, to adapt their ventilator so that it could be produced quickly and in large quantities.
The result of this effort was that this week hundreds of ventilators were delivered to several hospitals across the UK.
The Bank of England reduced interest rates to 0.1% to facilitate the loan for individuals and companies that are in difficulties due to the pandemic.
The focus is on providing these loans, which ended up impacting property market mortgages. As the housing market has stopped because of isolation, financing loans are not being easily approved, and banks are asking for a higher deposit than before the crisis.
People who are experiencing difficulties may also request a holiday of up to 3 months in payments for loans, financing, credit card, rent, etc., depending on the bank used.
Also, here in London, we continue with the same lack of certain products in the supermarkets, such as wheat flour, yeast, hand sanitizer, antibacterial soaps and some other non-perishable products.
Schools in the UK are still closed, and there are currently no plans or dates to reopen them. There is a debate, as a possible solution would be not to have a summer holiday (July and August), but this would be unfair to the teachers who are still working, giving virtual classes or giving lessons at schools, for the children of essential workers.
And before I finish, I need to say that every Thursday at 8 pm, we continue to applaud the NHS and all the essential workers.
But I hope that after all this is over, these people will be more appreciated, and their salaries and working conditions will be improved.
Have a lovely day…
This post is also available in: Português