January 9 2021

As you look at tonight’s statistics remember it’s only 5 days since the latest National Lockdown began. For some it has been a long time, but remember people testing positive today probably contracted the disease on or just before lockdown was strengthened. The figures of those going into hospital reflect people catching it well before that as do the death figures. Remember also, that figures tend to be lower over weekends and Mondays.

619,941 Covid tests were done today with 59,937 testing positive yesterday. The rate testing positive was 639.5 per 100k.1,035 deaths were recorded. The rate has now risen to 7.0 per100k and is a 51% rise in the 7 day rolling average. Today we passed the 80,000 milestone for deaths in this pandemic.

Another significant milestone was that the total number of positive cases in this pandemic has passed 3 million. What is particularly worrying is that we reached 2 million on 19th December and the last 1 million have come in just 3 weeks.

It has always been known from studying previous pandemics that the second wave is always much worse than the first wave. I mentioned this several times during the first wave.

Hospital data is still rising for the reasons mentioned earlier. 4,051 were admitted to hospital on 5th January, a rise 34% in the 7day rolling average. 32,294 were in hospital on 7th January and 3,098 are on ventilators.

The vaccine has today been given to HM The Queen and Prince Philip a spokesperson has confirmed. If it’s good enough for them it’s good enough for the rest of us. Please do make sure you have it when it is offered to you. Normally the Royal family protocol is to keep private such medical information. This is the second time they have broken protocol over immunisations. Do you know what was happening last time?

If you are of a certain age and remember 1957 you will remember the polio epidemic affecting school children. A good school friend of mine caught it in 1956. In an effort to encourage people to get their children immunised the Queen announced Prince Charles and Princess Anne had both been given the vaccine.

I was appalled to see video footage of a very long queue of the over 80s coming from a South London GP surgery, out the door and several hundred yards round the block. Clearly most unsatisfactory, putting the elderly and vulnerable in danger. Clearly something went badly wrong with the protocols. The local Clinical Commissioning Group have apologised and the CQC ( Care Quality Commission) are reviewing what happened.

To help reduce the time a jab should take the NHS has changed its policy. It is no longer necessary to wait for 15 minutes after receiving the Oxford Astra Zenica vaccine . If well. Patients can leave at once. The risk of a serious reaction has been assessed as 1 in a million, whereas the risk of sitting around for 15 minutes is greater. For the moment those having the Pfizer vaccine will have to wait the 15 minutes, but I suspect when there is enough data this will be relaxed as well.

An anti-lockdown demonstration on Clapham Common in South London led to some more violent scuffles and 5 arrests.

The pressure at the Royal London Hospital continues. They have more than 120 patients being cared for in an extended ITU which would normally hold just 60. That would normally mean 120 trained ITU experienced nurses per shift which is impossible to achieve at present. Many nurses are having to care for 3 patients at once.

The owner of a gym in Hackney who kept his gym open, despite being ordered to close, has been fined a fixed penalty £1,000 fine. There are other reports of very hash treatment given to two walkers who met up to walk their dogs together at a quiet open space all fully complying with the rules and wearing masks and socially distanced. They had travelled only 5 miles to their meet up. The problem was they had crossed a county border by a mile or so to get there. They had also independently brought a take away coffee with them. This, police considered amounted to a picnic and so fined them both. The police are reviewing what happened as it sounds very over-zealous. If common sense prevails, and I hope it will, the fines will be rescinded, and the police officers concerned given some guidance.

Sadly, the population at large are still not taking guidance seriously either. The scientists are not happy that this lockdown is having much effect. Too many are out and about. There are loud calls for tougher measures.

You know what we have to do, its quite simple. stay at home, stay as local as possible, only out for essential reasons. We will get through the next month if we follow the guidelines all the time.

Just please stay safe.

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