Published on 15th June 2020 by Premela

Welcome to the COVID-19 weekly update. Every Monday we summarise the key events that have happened in the previous week in this pandemic. We will give you a rundown of what’s going on in the UK and the major events globally.

This week’s key statistics

  • UK cases rise from over 287,000 on Monday to more than 296,000 on Sunday
  • UK deaths rise from 40,597 on Monday to 41,698 on Sunday
  • Worldwide cases rise from over 7 million on Monday to more than 7.7 million on Sunday
  • Worldwide deaths rise from 404,000 on Monday to more than 430,000 on Sunday

What has happened in the UK this week?

The UK started the week with the lowest recorded daily rise in coronavirus deaths since lockdown began. The government is to draw up a new plan for social care as restrictions are eased. Matt Hancock suggested that secondary schools might not even fully reopen in September.

Non-essential shops can open from Monday in England, as long as they comply with guidelines. Some shops such as hairdressers are still not allowed to open. Restaurants and bars are set to reopen on 4th July.

The plans for all primary school children to return to school for a month before summer have been abandoned. There will be a national “catch-up programme” for school pupils in England. It has also been confirmed that schools will not remain open over the summer break for children of key workers.

Boris Johnson announced “support bubbles” on Wednesday. From Saturday, people living alone were allowed to stay in another household. Zoos, safari parks and drive-in cinemas will be allowed to open from Monday.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that the test and trace system is critical for controlling the virus. More than 31,000 contacts were identified in the first week of the scheme, and 85% of them agreed to self-isolate. Matt Hancock has said it is a civic duty to follow instructions given by contact tracers.

The UK has abandoned plans for full checks at the border with the EU amidst worries that businesses will not be able to cope with problems caused by the pandemic as well as full border checks. It has been warned that NHS waiting lists may double to 10 million by the end of the year in England.

Face masks on public transport will be compulsory from Monday, with possible fines for non-compliance. There will be a review into the 2m social distancing rule. The hospitality sector says it won’t be able to make a profit with this measure in place.

What has happened globally this week?

The WHO warned at the start of the week that the pandemic is worsening globally, despite the progress in Europe. A study by Imperial College London estimates that more than 3 million lives have been saved in Europe due to lockdown measures.

Brazil has recommenced publishing of its coronavirus data after a ruling by the Supreme Court, after stopping the publication of some data over the weekend.

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in some countries that are lifting restrictions, including Turkey and Israel. Record numbers of infections have also been reported in much of Latin America including Chile, Peru, Argentina and Colombia. This was the case in India too, where 500 railway carriages are to be converted to 8,000 beds for coronavirus patients.

Parts of Beijing reimposed lockdown measures after dozens of new cases were linked to a major wholesale food market. Previously, Beijing had no domestic cases for 55 days.

3 hopeful pieces of news

All of the news on COVID-19 can seem very doom and gloom, but there are good things happening amongst all of the pandemic chaos. Here are 3 snippets of good news from the last week:

  • New Zealand is declared virus-free

There are no known active cases of COVID-19 in the country, which has lifted all restrictions except for border controls.

  • Study shows that lockdowns saved 3.1 million lives in Europe

Imperial College London’s study looked at 11 different European countries, including the UK, where it is estimated 470,000 lives were saved by lockdown measures.

  • 5-year-old amputee Tony Hudgell raises almost £450,000 for the NHS (so far!)

Tony was inspired by Captain Tom to raise money for Evelina Children’s Hospital. He will walk with his prosthetic legs and crutches every day in June to reach his 10km target.

Words by: Safiya Zaloum

Other articles to check out:

UCAT June 2020 Update

Work Experience Medical Schools Want For 2021 Entry

Four Screen-Free Ways to Prepare for UCAT


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