By Powerscourt on 26/10/2020

Powerscourt Coronavirus Briefing – 26 October 2020


reports that the jab produces robust immune responses in the elderly. This is doubly important: the elderly suffer disproportionately from COVID-19 and also immune responses decline with age. The report means that the vaccine should work with those who need it most. It is expected that the news will be published in a scientific journal in the near future.

Yesterday Dr Antony Fauci, US’s leading expert on infectious diseases said it should be known ‘by the end of November or early December’ if a vaccine was safe and effective.

How much is a life worth? The answer, according to Barry McCormick, the former chief economist at the Department of Health and a former member of Sage, is £30,000 a year. That, says Dr McCormick is the maximum price the Department of Health is prepared to pay for a year of life.

Writing in The Times, Dr McCormick says a two-week circuit breaker lockdown would save 7,800 lives and deliver an economic benefit of £2.11 billion. This is set against the costs which he estimates at £7.3 billion of GDP.

With pressure growing on Boris Johnson to replace Baroness Harding as head of UK’s Test and Trace programme, the Prime Minister has ordered a review of the two-week isolation period. It’s thought reducing the period to ten or even seven days may result in higher levels of compliance.

China’s top epidemiologist, meanwhile, has said his country has done too much testing. Wu Zanyou of the China Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said that testing everyone was unnecessary, did not eliminate the risk of outbreaks and had vast social costs.

A Covid-19 test that can provide a result in twelve minutes will be made available at High Street pharmacy Boots. The nasal swab will cost £120 and will be available to anyone who is not showing symptoms.

The monthly consumer confidence survey from YouGov and the Centre for Economic and Business Research fell for the first time since April, dropping by 1.1 points from September.

Lloyds bank has told the majority of its employees not to return to the office until spring at the earliest.

Spain’s government declared a national state of emergency and imposed a curfew yesterday in an attempt to curb the second wave of the pandemic.




Financials & Real Estate 

Inland Homes
Inland Homes, a leading brownfield developer, housebuilder and partnership housing company with a focus on the South and South East of England, today issued a trading update for the year ended 30 September 2020 ahead of its Preliminary Results which will be announced in January 2021. With an expected revenue for the year to be no less than £135.0m, Inland Homes noted that trading was in line with market expectations to mid-March 2020, but its results have inevitably been impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Stephen Wicks, Chief Executive, commented: “The past six months have been one of dedicated focus to achieve the Group’s stated strategic aims, namely a refocus for the Group on a clear strategy of land-focused activities geared to positive cash generation and net debt reduction. This has been achieved despite the inevitable disruption and significant impact on our results caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.”


Retail & Consumer

The Hut Group
The global technology platform specialising in taking brands direct to consumers, today announced its trading update for the three months ended 30 September 2020. Q3 Group revenue increased to £378.1m +38.6% year-on-year and they have increased revenue guidance for the full year to a range of c.£1.48bn to c.£1.52bn (+30% to +33%). The Group noted that they operate with less than 2% returns from customers, with no notable impact on these through the Covid-19 pandemic. Matthew Moulding, Group CEO and Executive Chairman commented: “I am pleased to report a strong period of trading in our first quarterly update as a public company, including an upgrade to revenue growth guidance for 2020.”

Coca-Cola European Partners
The leading multinational bottling company dedicated to the marketing, production, and distribution of Coca-Cola products announced both a Q3 trading update and the proposed acquisition of Coca-Cola Amatil Limited (CCL), one of the largest bottlers and distributors of ready to drink beverages and coffee in the Asia Pacific region. The company note that volumes significantly improved compared to the second-quarter of the year, mirroring outlet re-openings. However, revenue was still down 3.0% driven by the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic across their markets. Damian Gammell, Chief Executive Officer, noted: “While the reintroduction of restrictions and local lockdowns has resulted in continued uncertainty about the duration and impact of the pandemic,” he “remains confident that we will emerge from this crisis as a stronger business.” 



Oxford Covid vaccine trials offer hope for the elderly – THE FINANCIAL TIMES

Quarantine could be cut to week amid doubts over test and trace – THE TIMES

Rule of six and curfews likely to have ‘zero effect’ on reducing contacts – THE TELEGRAPH