I will get the grim statistics out first tonight. On 5th January we manged to do 498,624 tests. Of the tests 62,322 were positive. This is a rise of 42.6% of the 7 day rolling average and a positive rate of 550.5 /100k of the population.
1,041 deaths were recorded yesterday, the highest since 21st April. The rate of deaths has risen again, 6.0 per 100k of the population. A rolling average rise of 37.2% in the last 7 days.
There were 30,451 patients in hospital on 4th January. 3,179 of those were admitted on 29th December.
I have repeatedly warned about potential inaccuracies in these figures. The Gov. UK Covid Dashboard where I normally get these figures from, posted the following warning tonight. “Figures are correct as of 5pm Tuesday in England and Wales and 9.30am for Northern Ireland and Scotland. The number of deaths may be significantly different. “ This has been making consistent regular reports almost impossible. I know Scottish deaths have been left out of the statistics released at about 4pm each day on several occasions recently. I can only report what is there and give the appropriate Government health warning.
More details about the vaccine roll out have been released today. Half of the ExCel hospital in London will become a ‘mega-vaccine’ centre, with the other half being used for Covid patients . The other ‘mega-vaccine’ sites are the Epsom race Course, Robertson House Stevenage, The Centre for Life Newcastle, The Ashton Gate Stadium Bristol, the Etihad Tennis Centre Manchester and Millennium Point in Birmingham.
There will be 595 GP led sites running with 180 more later this week. 107 hospitals will also provide a vaccine service.
I am concerned that the mega-centres particularly could become quite crowded with queues. Remember that no one in the queue is immune from the disease and could pass it on. After they have been immunised they will still be just as risky. Immunity does not develop instantaneously . Please remember to keep your distance and wear a mask. It will help speed up the process if you dress appropriately. The vaccinator needs access to the very top of the deltoid muscle just below the shoulder. A lose, short sleeve shirt or blouse is ideal. A tight jumper may cause a problem having to get the whole arm out. Please go prepared when it’s your turn, and go at the right time, not too early or late. Do not make the vaccine centres hot spots of the disease.
Give us the tools and we will do the job. The health service is ready, it now depends on enough vaccine being available.
Some Covid patients in the North of England are now being admitted to hospitals in Scotland. Cumbria Royal Infirmary has triggered its highest level OPEL 4 alert which amounts to an admission they are unable to deliver comprehensive care. A significant number of patients have been moved to Dumfries in Scotland and a number of ITU patients moved to Newcastle, 40 miles across country. Around the country major incidents are being declared regularly, patients being taken long distances by ambulances with many queuing hours to off load patients. Birmingham is concerned about nursing pressures tonight.
The Office for National Statistics say there have been 87,000 cases in London in the week since Boxing Day with the rate above 1,000/100k in 12 London boroughs, the worst being Barking and Dagenham at 1,496 per 100k. Another interesting statistic from the Office of National Statistics suggests that 1 in 50 of the population now have the virus infection at present. Please look at this in another way; it means 49 out of 50 or 98% of us do NOT have the virus infection. Same thing but different emphasis makes us all feel better about it.
Gavin Williamson has confirmed all state examinations will be cancelled, saying ‘we will put our trust in teachers rather than algorithms to grade the students fairly based on coursework’. There are growing calls for students to get a rebate on wasted rent this year. Many places have announced they will teach remotely until the end of the academic year.
The Mayor of New York, concerned about the new variant now found in New York wants to ban all travel from the UK to the USA. Current rules say you can only enter with a negative test within 72 hours.
It is hoped that approval will be given soon to get 6 doses out of a 5 dose ampule of the Pfizer vaccine. There is usually a little spare to allow for a tiny wastage when filling syringes accurately. I am sure it can be done but not sure about whether it should. It would delay the drawing up and risk the 6th dose being short. What do you think nurses?
Finally, a series of Wednesday demonstrations are planned against the Lockdown. They are clearly illegal and police have made clear their intentions to break them up with arrests not only of organisers but also those who join in. I hope by this time next week we have turned the corner with hospital admissions. Deaths will take longer
Please every one just stay at home, stay out of the way of the virus and stay safe.