There is again only limited published data tonight as the Christmas holiday season continues. There have been 30,501 new positive cases in the last 24 hours. This is a 3.7% increase in the average for the last 7 days. The rate is creeping up still at 4.7 per 100k. There is no new published data on hospitals. It is the situation in our hospitals which most concerns me. The Government has always said that one of its aims is to prevent our NHS being overwhelmed. Today things are quite critical for the NHS in the UK. There has been a call for medical students and any ex NHS trained staff to help out at Cardiff hospitals, especially if they have experience of proning patients. That is nursing very sick patients with breathing difficulties lying on their stomachs. This apparently improves the oxygenation without the need for intubation.
At one time this morning, the London Ambulance Service were holding over 500 emergency calls without ambulances to send. Those that took patients to hospital had often to wait many hours before they could be off loaded because there were no trolleys or beds available. A major incident was declared and the National Ambulance Reserve was mobilised to assist in London. This is largely St John Crews being mobilised from across the country. They will all need to find accommodation and food.
The Daily Mail reports that many hospitals are now having to use cancer wards to care for Covid patients as the pressure on beds grows.
My extended family all met together virtually for Christmas via Whereby which is like Zoom. I looked around and could see a Senior Occupational Nurse, A Senior Ambulance Officer, A Nurse Specialist working with Covid patients, another ex-nurse, a PhD Clinical psychologist, an anaphylaxis expert, some teachers, and media experts as well as myself. The combined experience and knowledge was quite remarkable and we talked as much about Covid inevitably as we did about our Christmas experiences.
A new Chinese vaccine similar to the Oxford vaccine is about to come on line after final checks in the next few days. Japan has banned all foreign nationals from entering Japan with effect from tomorrow.
Many of you were battered by wind and rain as storm Bella passed over us during the night. I hope you are all safe from that and not affected by flooding. Snow is again forecast for some areas tonight so please take great care.
Scientist from independent SAGE say that the whole of England must be put into tier 4 with enhanced travel restrictions. The devolved Nations should do the same so that all the UK has the same lockdown. The Teaching Unions now want to see schools kept closed after the winter break, particularly as the new variant is proving particularly infectious in children. Very reluctantly I agree with this thought, as schools have already been the source of cross infection in many areas. I appreciate no one wants to disrupt teaching but I do believe children can quite easily catch up missed lessons. I do not accept we will have a generation that are poorly educated. They will be much better educated than most of their parents and grand-parents about infection control and quarantine. We remain in a hiatus, deaths and new cases continue at far too high a rate. Vaccines are yet to impact on the pandemic and people are fed up about not being able to socialise. We will very soon begin to turn the corner if we have every single one of us committed fully to avoiding spread. You all know what you have to do and why.
Pull together and we can get Covid done.
Please all stay safe.