Weekend Update

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US excess deaths

Currently above average in 50 States


March 15 to November 7

Deaths nationwide, 18 % percent higher than normal

Deaths above normal, 326,000

Covid deaths, 251,715

US trends


Donald Trump, Jr., (42) tested positive on Friday, has entered quarantine


Toronto prepares 28 day lockdown Monday

A normal Christmas is quite frankly right out of the question


Over 1 million confirmed cases

Test confirmed deaths, 100,000




8 November to 14 November 2020


Prevalence, 664,700 infections

One in 80 people

38,900 new cases per day

Rates increasing

London, East of England South East

Rates decreasing

North West, East Midlands

Highest positivity rates

Secondary school-aged, older teenagers, young adults


Positivity rates peaked end of October

One in 165

Northern Ireland

Rates decreasing over past four weeks

One in 135


Rates levelled of

One in 155

WHO and remdesivir (20th November)

Conditional recommendation against the use of remdesivir in hospitalized patients

Regardless of disease severity

Currently no evidence that remdesivir improves survival and other outcomes

Guideline, developed by international guideline development group

28 clinical care experts, 4 patient-partners, one ethicist

Match scientific standards with the speed required to respond to an ongoing pandemic

WHO Solidarity Trial, 3 other randomized controlled trials

N = 7000

Insufficient evidence of an important effect on:


Need for mechanical ventilation

Time to clinical improvement

Other patient-important outcomes

Supported continued enrollment in trials evaluating remdesivir.

A conditional recommendation

When the evidence around the benefits and risks of an intervention are less certain

In this case, there is a conditional recommendation against the use of remdesivir

This means that there isn’t enough evidence to support its use.

US pharmaceutical company Gilead

Disputes the findings

WHO's findings were yet to be subjected to peer review

Remdesivir is currently approved for use as a COVID-19 in over 50 countries


A treatment cycle may take 5-10 days

A five day course of treatment for one patient costs around $2340 (£1773; €1976) for government programmes

$3120 for private insurers

Gilead has reached agreements to make cheaper generic versions available in low and middle income countries

(Tamiflu costs less than $75 per course of treatment to shorten symptom duration for patients with influenza)
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