Hospitals are under intense pressure. 4,240 Covid patients have been admitted to hospital in the last 24 hours. This means 35,075 patients are currently in hospital with this wretched disease. 3,363 are being treated on a ventilator.
There have been 1,243 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, the death rate is still rising and is now 7.8 per 100k.
There have been 45,533 new cases testing positive. This is actually a slight drop of 0.5% in the 7day rolling average. This might just be the glimmer of hope we have been waiting for. We just might be levelling off the new cases thanks to the lockdown. Hospital admissions and deaths will go on rising for 2 weeks before they plateau as it is usually about 2 weeks after infection before admission may be needed.
I am sure most off you have realised the overall impact of this pandemic but official statistics released today show that in the year 2020, the number of excess deaths was 91,000 more than the average of the previous five years. Making 2020 the year with the highest number of excess deaths since the second world war.
It was the Home Secretary’s turn to lead a briefing tonight. Her clear message was that if you flout the rules restrictions will be tightened again. The Met. Police Commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, also warned they will get tougher enforcing the rules.
Matt Hancock confirmed again that the support bubble is safe and will remain sacrosanct.
Ireland now tops the list of highest rates of Covid infections with Israel second and the UK third.
John Lewis has announced the suspension of their click and collect service with immediate effect. Accepted orders will be met but no future orders will be accepted. They explain this is to assist in reducing the number of people leaving home to collect orders.
The Medical Director of the NHS in London was speaking in support of Miss Patel, the Home Secretary. He said that on 1stNovember there were 1,000 patients in hospital in London with Covid . By the 25thDecember it had risen to 4,000 and tonight is now over 8,000. He went on to say that part of the ExCel Centre was a rehab unit for patients and another hall was a mass vaccination centre. It is going to be necessary to move patients out of London to provincial hospitals. He did not say how this would be done. One method under consideration is to use hospital trains.
Much of the media conference discussed the interpretation and definitions being used in the rules. What does exercise mean? What does local mean? One school of thought is that to define them exactly helps those who do not know what to do and want to be told. The opposite view is that these have to be personal to a particular set of circumstances and you cannot make precise rules for every situation.
A key message was you should be exercising not socialising. Too many of us are doing the later rather than the former. The two ladies from Derby have had their fines reviewed and rescinded. More comment about Boris’ bicycle ride tonight, and the rights and wrongs of it.
In Wales exercise must start and finish at home, meaning you cannot drive somewhere to exercise. We are already restricted to once a day in England, Scotland have a five mile rule and France has widespread curfews. Perhaps these could all be adopted across the 4 nations to make the rules easier to understand.
Just how vital is exercise to us? Do we need to do it every day? The general advice for everyone is only to leave home if there is absolutely no other option. Then to think twice before we do it. Go out at quiet times. If the shop or park is too busy do not join in. just try again at a less popular time, usually early morning or late at night.
Chris Witty has said we are at the worst possible point and that we should stop seeing friends and family even in the limited allowed circumstances.
Finally, there is widespread criticism of the food parcels which are supposed to contain £30‘s worth of food. Marcus Rashford led many from both government and opposition to demand an explanation for the lack of food contents.
Is the word egregious in your vocabulary? It seems to be the In word to describe the situation we are in . I heard it used at least 4 times today by those speaking to the media.
We have only one option left now and that is to stay at home all the time, to go to work if essential and not possible to do it from home, and only to go out for other essential reasons. If you need to exercise, start and finish at home, and stay local . 60 mile cycle rides are not local. You can manage on a lot less. Do not forget the basics with the disinfecting of surfaces, frequent hand washing and wear a face covering if you have to leave home. Keep caring and keep looking out for one another.
Exercising not Socialising please.