Archive | Pandemic Alert RSS for this section

Update 11th August 2020 @22:15 UTC: Coronavirus Confirmed Cases and Deaths by Country, Territory, or Conveyance Subject To Change: #coronavirus #COVID19 #pandemic #quarantine #GlobalEmergency #HealthEmergency

Courtesy of

Coronavirus: Outbreak among staff at Tesco Extra supermarket in Swindon #COVID19 #coronavirus #Swindon #UK #pandemic #Tesco

Coronavirus Alert

There has been an outbreak of coronavirus among staff at a Tesco supermarket in Swindon.

The company said a small number of its employees at the Extra store in Ocotal Way had been infected with the virus in recent days, and those who had tested positive were self-isolating at home.

No delivery drivers have been infected and the shop remains open.

“The safety of our customers and colleagues is our top priority,” said a Tesco spokesman.

“We have introduced extensive measures across all of our stores to help keep everyone safe, including protective screens at every checkout, social distancing signage and regular deep cleaning.”

he outbreak comes days after around 51 workers at an Iceland warehouse tested positive for COVID-19 in Swindon.

Health chiefs said mobile testing teams had been called in after the cluster of cases, and that many of the new cases being picked up were asymptomatic.

Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for adults and health, Brian Ford, said the town’s recent spike in coronavirus cases was driven by the outbreak at the Iceland food distribution centre.

Three crew members at Swindon’s fire station were also found to have the disease, while local Honda and Royal Mail depots suffered “small outbreaks” as a result of lockdown restrictions being eased.

Steve Maddern, director of public health for Swindon, said: “Small outbreaks are expected as a result of relaxing lockdown arrangements and as people return to work.

“We have developed a local outbreak management plan to supplement and support the national test and trace service, and to ensure that Swindon can respond swiftly to help manage a local outbreak or hotspot.

“The council is currently responding to a small number of COVID-19 cases, and these people are isolating in accordance with the government’s self-isolation guidance.”

Mike Wade, consultant in health protection at Public Health England South West, said “everyone should be following social distancing advice, both in and out of work,” to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Good hygiene is the best prevention and there are some simple steps you can take to protect you, your family and colleagues by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly and if you cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue,” he added.

Courtesy of Sky News

Coronavirus UPDATES: UK death toll rises to 46,574 – but over 1,000 new cases confirmed #COVID19 #coronavirus #UK #pandemic

Coronavirus Alert

The UK coronavirus death toll has increased by eight to a total of 46,574.

All fatalities reported on Sunday were in England after Scotland and Wales confirmed no new deaths.

Elsewhere, 1,062 positive Covid-19 cases were also confirmed amid fears of a second wave.

The latest figures come after a former government chief scientific advisor said the UK could be back in lockdown by the end of this month.

Sir David King told the Sunday Mirror: “We need a proper test and trace system by September. Otherwise full school opening will put us right back.”

Sir David says we are “nowhere near” the safe reopening of schools.

But it is understood that Boris Johnson would force pubs, restaurants and shops to close ahead of schools in the event of a severe coronavirus spike.

Courtesy of

UK ‘heading back into lockdown next month’, says government’s ex-chief scientist #COVID19 #coronavirus #UK #pandemic

Coronavirus Alert

Britain could be heading for full lockdown again by the end of the month.

And the PM must act NOW to prevent it, a former government chief scientific adviser warns today.

Sir David King said: “We need a proper test and trace system by September. Otherwise full school opening will put us right back.”

Sir David says we are “nowhere near” the safe reopening of schools.

He is urging Boris Johnson to “get it right” in August – or face a second wave of coronavirus infections.

And he blasted the Government’s track and trace policy as “disastrous”.

Sir David, 80, heads the Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies shadowing the Prime Minister’s scientific team.

He said: “The Government has a month to deal with the level of infectivity as it stands now. Reopening schools should be a priority, but we believe we are nowhere near the point where it can be done safely.”

He said the R rate of infection number is expected to rise by about 0.5 with all schools open.

On Friday, government figures showed the national rate as between 0.8 and 1 – the tipping point – as infections rise again. “We need a proper test and trace system by September,” said Sir David.

“Otherwise I’m sure school opening will put us right back.

“We will see the Government backing lockdowns and, yes, I do think this could happen nationally.”

Sir David – who set up Independent SAGE amid concerns about political interference on the official advisory committee – said: “Test and trace is still failing dramatically.

“Tracing here is one phone call and you are asked to isolate. There is no follow-up as to whether people do.” He urged the PM to take track and trace from private firm Serco and let councils run it.

“The Government made a disastrous mistake giving contact tracing to a firm with no healthcare expertise,” he said.

“The Serco contract is up for renewal this month. They’ve had roughly £100million so far. They’ll get £300 million if it’s extended. This is not working.

“When you hit 3,000 new cases a day, it’s an enormous number for any national body to deal with. But break it down into local regions and the numbers become manageable.”

Sir David said the Government should follow other countries and put isolating members of multi-generational households in hotels to avoid infecting relatives.

Official figures show UK cases have hit 309,763, with 46,566 deaths. WHO figures show 19,187,943 confirmed cases worldwide and 716,075 deaths..

Tighter lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures in the US, Hong Kong, the Philippines and other countries are being reimposed.

The Academy of Medical Sciences has estimated up to 120,000 people here could die of Covid-19 this winter.

Courtesy of