Sadly, but totally predictable, the figures for deaths, 1,610 in the last 24 hours are the highest recorded since the pandemic began. It will continue to rise for another week or so and then hopefully will begin to fall soon after. This is a further 19.8% rise over the 7day rolling average. The number in hospital on the 17th January was 37,946 with 3,634 admitted in the last 24 hours. This is still a 3.6% rise in the 7day rolling average and is a sign the number of daily admissions may be beginning to plateau. This number has to begin to fall before we see an impact on the number of deaths. The good news is that we are now seeing a steady fall in the number of new positive cases. There were 33,355 new cases detected in the last 24 hours whilst 336,689 tests were done. This is a drop of 22.3 % in the 7day rolling average. The rate is also falling steadily and is now 471/100k.
Vaccination is continuing well. 204,076 more people were vaccinated yesterday. This means that in total of 4.26 million doses have been given. In many areas the residents of care homes and staff have all been offered the vaccine, as well as most of those 80+ years old. The next groups, including the extremely vulnerable and the over 70s, are beginning to get immunisation invitations.
It is inevitable in an operation as large as this that there will be some supply issues in some areas and that some will manage to do more than others. We should not get too worked up about this.
New York is reportedly close to running out of vaccine and further supplies are urgently being resourced.
A researcher in Israel claims to have found that one dose of the Pfizer vaccine gives enough immune response to prevent spreading the infection without suffering themselves. The work needs peer review and the same findings replicated before we can get too excited, but this is the remaining uncertainty about the vaccine being resolved and is very positive news.
A very sad local story is about a Lincolnshire Care Home that had a sudden severe outbreak in November having previously been free of infection. All the residents and 20 members of staff contracted Covid, over the next 6 weeks. 18 people died, mostly patients over 90 years old. The home is now free of Covid again and full of patients again. The CQC said they had investigated the outbreak and were extremely satisfied that everything possible had been done to mitigate the risks.
Scotland have announced that their existing restrictions are to be retained in full until mid-February, the rules will be reviewed by the Scottish Cabinet on 2nd February. Many Imans have been encouraging Muslims that it is perfectly ok to have the vaccine. Their faith allows it and contrary to much false information, there is no reason not to have the vaccine.
If you are living in one of the many areas where there are severe flood warnings for the next few days and it is pouring here again right now, please prioritise a flood emergency over the Covid emergency. It is far more important to leave your home if flooding is imminent. You must not stay put because of Covid and end up needing a helicopter rescue.
If you have had your first vaccination, well done, people are rightly very happy they have reached this point. Please do not think it is good to go out. It takes 2 weeks before you have any significant immunity and you must continue to treat yourself as though you have the virus. Continue to stay at home and stay apart and follow all the rules.
If you have not had one yet it will not be too long and you must continue following all the rules as well. There is clear evidence the lockdown is working. We cannot relax in any way but vaccine induced immunity will soon be protecting us all. If you did not have a vaccine when it was offered you are entitled to go back on the list. Just contact your GP and ask to be restored to the list. If you have had Covid and are well again, you should still have the vaccination about 28 days after you were tested positive.
Please go on supporting those struggling to keep the NHS going. Support and encourage those running out of steam and becoming more frightened daily.
Kindness and Empathy are free, let’s share it abundantly and Stay Safe.