Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 15 June

WHO Situation Report 146 for 14 June (released 15 June Brisbane, Australia, time)

Globally: 6,690,708 confirmed cases (137,526 new), 427,630 deaths (4,281 new)

Graphs from Johns Hopkins University Dashboard.

The US President shows no inclination to lead on much else other than creating division in society. Consequently the US with the UK remain the most severely impacted nations for which reasonable data collection and testing exists – i.e. amongst all but the least developed nations – although the pandemic is now out of control in South America. The latest report on the US by the Imperial College London, written before the BlackLivesMatter rallies began, showed that the US was on course for a serious escalation in the damage to its people (especially its underprivileged minorities, and it is my emphasis below):

We predict that increased mobility following relaxation of social distancing will lead to resurgence of transmission, keeping all else constant. We predict that deaths over the next two-month period could exceed current cumulative deaths by greater than two-fold, if the relationship between mobility and transmission remains unchanged. Our results suggest that factors modulating transmission such as rapid testing, contact tracing and behavioural precautions are crucial to offset the rise of transmission associated with loosening of social distancing.

Overall, we show that while all US states have substantially reduced their reproduction numbers, we find no evidence that any state is approaching herd immunity or that its epidemic is close to over.

My work on COVID-19 since last update has concentrated on developing a series of videos on food safety particularly with reference to processed meat from plants where large numbers of infected workers have the potential to contaminate the meat prior to packing. Last week I released a short form video and today I released a more detailed video. Although still working on the editing of the latter, the emerging news at the weekend out of China of a new cluster of COVID-19 at a wholesale food market and the finding of virus-contaminated cutting boards used for salmon, and then the removal of salmon from supermarket shelves, obviously prompted me to expedite the release.

I did receive a response from a federal minister to my most recent letter, but I shall not share it here because it says nothing of real substance.

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© Copyright Brett Edgerton 2020

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