The figure on Friday morning of Covid-19 deaths in the UK in the past 24 hours was 980, higher than the daily highs for Spain (969) or Italy (919) in recent weeks. The data created the expectation that the United Kingdom addsl highest number of fatalities in EuropeBecause the trend in the mortality curve suggests that it is one or two weeks behind the most affected countries.
The figure is not exact, because does not include deaths in homes or nursing homes. The conclusion that the British now pay the consequences of a parsimonious initial response from their government cannot be demonstrated. Italy decided to confine its population when there had been 800 deaths, United Kingdom, 335, Spain, 200, France, 175, China, 30.
The population of the United Kingdom, 67.8 million, is greater than that of Italy, 60.5, and that of Spain, 46.7. As the number of deaths in the United States seems to confirm, there is some correlation between the number of infected and deaths and the size of the population. In the United Kingdom, 9,875 people have died and in the United States, with almost five times the population, double. The correlation exists but is weak.
The daily number of deaths in the early hours of Saturday in the United Kingdom was 917. cases – which is also not the total number of infections in the population because the tests are restricted to hospitalized and health personnel – it was 4,600. In the last ten days, the minimum number of cases has been 3,600 and the maximum, 4,900, a week ago. There is no exponential curve.
A scientist who would be involved in government policy against the epidemic, and who is quoted anonymously in the ‘Financial Times’, estimates that the transmission ratio of infection at this time would be 0.6. When an infected person transmits the virus to a number of social contacts below one, the epidemic is on the decline.
Other positive information can be added to the stability in the number of infections. A group of researchers at the University of Oxford advances in “the fastest growing clinical analysis ever performed” of hospitalized patients, trying medications against the existing virus, and another group is convinced that the vaccine they have designed will be able to reach the public in September.
There is however tension before health personnel complaints for the lack of adequate equipment. At least 19 employees of the National Health Service (NHS) have died and the Government has stated in its daily press conferences, or has given the impression at least twice, that the problem has already been solved. The discomfort of a week ago due to the slow increase in tests now resurfaces with the equipment.
The Minister of Health, Matt Hancock, has had to apply the same explanation to this problem that he gave about the tests. The epidemic caught the UK without an inational gown industry, gloves or goggles, and you have to source abroad by competing in a saturated market or wait for production to increase from British companies that have joined the effort.
The main problem, according to Hancock, is however logistical. The civil administration had to ask for help from Army experts to organize distribution. They are more than two hundred hospitals and, in addition, residences and social assistance centers, with nearly two million employees, outpatients and pharmacies. It seems like a typical case of government with big plans that it cannot later execute.
Isabel II: «The coronavirus will not defeat us»
Queen Elizabeth II of England
Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom has acknowledged that the Christian Easter feast “will be very different” this year due to social distancing measures but invited the British to maintain the tradition and said: “we know that the coronavirus will not defeat us” .
The 93-year-old monarch broadcast an audio message to the nation recorded on Good Friday in Windsor Castle (south of London), where she remains isolated in compliance with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. In what is considered her first speech around this time, the Queen, who is head of state and head of the Church of England, says that, despite the current challenges, “Easter has not been canceled” and indeed “is more necessary than ever ».
The monarch, who turns 94 on April 21, urges the celebration of Easter, although respecting the distancing that allows “keeping others safe”, and urges to feel hope remembering the resurrection of Christ. “As dark as death can be, particularly for those who are grieving, the light and life are greater,” he noted in his short speech. “May the living flame of Easter hope be a firm guide to the future,” he declared, before congratulating Easter to people of “any creed.”