January 16 2021

Today we continue to see a fall in the daily number of new cases testing positive, there were 41,346 reported yesterday, a fall of 1,865 in the 7 day rolling average. A high number of tests were done, 695,148 which is above the daily target. This is the good news.

Sadly, the not so good news is that hospital admissions and deaths are 2-3 weeks behind new cases and these continue to rise. There were 1,295 deaths reported yesterday, with 7,722 seen in the last 7 days. The 7 day rolling average is up by 23.5%. The rate is 9.7 per 100k.There are 37,475 Covid patients in UK hospitals as of 14th January. 4,532 were admitted on 12th January and 3,789 were being treated on a ventilator.

A new surge of cases in China has led to a 1,500 room hospital being built in just 9 days at Nangong , South of Beijing and another 3,000 room hospital is being built in Shijiazhuang. It is interesting to see these are single roomed hospitals not like the mass hospitals we have seen already with large open plan wards with cubicles.

There continue to be teething problems with our vaccination centres. Some people are failing to turn up for their vaccines, others have cancelled because of weather problems. At the end of the day there has been some thawed vaccine ready for use but not being used. Doctors were using their common sense and giving it unplanned but fully documented to staff and others nearby. In some cases, giving a second injection to complete a course in the recommended way. This initiative is to be applauded and avoids wastage. Health officials have however turned round and said GPs must not do this and it must be thrown away. My colleagues and other clinicians view this as appalling and verging on a criminal wastage of a perfectly good vaccine that through no one’s fault is spare at the end of the day. I am sure we will hear more on this.

There is about to be a temporary reduction in the deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine to Europe whilst the company upgrades its production capacity at its premises in Belgium. Even though we have left the EU Britain is likely to be affected. There is a single as yet unconfirmed report that Canada is similarly affected. So it may not just be Europe. All the more reason not to waste any.

In the USA vaccination has been far too slow to get started, allegedly due to poor leadership from the top. President elect, Joe Biden’s plans will require billions of dollars to be spent on a national plan as part of his America’s Rescue Plan.

India started its mass vaccine programme today.

The so-called Kent variant, B.1,17 has now been detected in 76 people spread over 12 states in the USA. It will be endemic in a few weeks across the whole country.

Snow forced the closure of a vaccination centre in Luton today. Salisbury Cathedral was also being used as a large vaccination centre and patients there were treated to an organ recital whilst they waited.

Ireland has opened 3 mass vaccination centres today. France has tightened restrictions with a curfew from 6pm tonight.

It is sadly again necessary to warn you about scams. Doctors and police joined forces today to warn people of the growing number of scams. Please remember that under the NHS vaccination is free. Please remind all your frail elderly or gullible friends they do not have to pay for it. The NHS will never ask for cash or credit cards or cold call to your door. If you have one of these calls or messages please report it to Action Fraud. There have been over 65 calls to Action Fraud per day recently and numbers are rising. We must eradicate this cruel form of theft.

So that’s it for tonight. Numbers of new cases continue to fall thanks to lockdown and early benefits of the vaccine. 1 in 20 of our population have now had at least one jab.

We must keep very vigilant, especially in the bad weather, we do not want an epidemic of fractures as well. Best to stay at home and sit this next month out. Remember all the rules, keep being kind and remember to share your ideas or concerns

Please Stay Safe.

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