January 21 2021

The number of tests done in the last 24 hours was 640,856. It is a slight reduction of the 7 day rolling average by 3.1%. It brings the total number of tests done since they were first available to just less than 4 million. 37,892 were found to be positive today. Although there are day to day variations the 7 day rolling average is still falling with a 23.6% reduction.

We still have to wait for the hospital admissions to fall. If all the lockdown rules continue we should get there in a week or so. There are still 38,676 in hospital beds and 3,709 more joined them on the17th January. Ventilator beds were also high with 3,953 patients being ventilated.

It will not be until we see hospital admissions decreasing that we can expect the death rate to fall. 1,290 have been recorded in the last 24 hours, with over 8.5 k in the last week. This is a rise of 14% of the 7day rolling average. And the death rate is 11.2 per 100k. I do not remember this death rate ever being reached before.

Boris Johnson refused to be drawn as to when lockdown conditions will be eased, suggesting they may get tightened and not relaxed until May.

Northern Ireland’s Arlene Foster announced The Northern Ireland’s lockdown is to be extended until March 5th.

Large numbers of children are still waiting for lap top computers and are being told they are coming. Someone needs to grasp this issue and make it a priority, surely industry and business could respond to calls for help, either to provide a reconditioning service or to provide new ones. Glastonbury has announced their festival is to be cancelled for the second year running.

Matthew Hancock is now claiming that immunisations are being done at 200 jabs per minute. At the same time, I am hearing of vaccination centres idle for 3 days awaiting further vaccine. Given the size and complexity of the operation it is not surprising there are still hiccups in delivery. I do hope these can be overcome quickly.

Tony Blair put it bluntly; the choice is mass lockdown or mass vaccinations. Test and trace is collapsing again in the face of the new highly transmissible “Kent” variant, H 1.17. We have a stark choice. I understand where he is coming from but I believe we need both simultaneously to see us through as safely as possible. It is not really a choice, we must have both. Everybody wants to see as many people as possible vaccinated as quickly as possible. There are disturbing suggestions that there is some underhand activity trying to get vaccines when not yet authorised , and other stories that where vaccines have been done well supplies are being restricted and relocated to poorly performing areas. It seems some have been prepared to make false declarations or even impersonate others, taking their identity to obtain their jab. The NHS swift queue system to book on line time slots for a vaccination are trying to take steps to reduce fraud and to require proof of entitlement to secure a jab.

Having had my invitation to book a vaccine I have now tried to book a session. I can book the first one very easily but when I try to book the second one 11 weeks later it can find no slots. That automatically cancels the first one. I have now tried 10 times in 3 days with the same result. I contacted them by phone only to be told they are having the same problem and that I have no option but to keep trying.

Pritti Patel gave a press briefing tonight and gave several examples of rule breaking with raves and parties. As a result there will be a £800 fine for anyone taking part in parties. The fine will be doubled with each subsequent offence.

She said there are encouraging signs the lock down is showing its effects. Do not even think about holidays. You must not be travelling anywhere in the foreseeable future.

The police chief at the briefing said it is only a few that are being irresponsible. He compared it to turning on lights in a wartime blackout, you put everyone’s lives at risk.

Finally, 21 people have had an anaphylactoid reaction amongst the 1.8 million given the Pfizer vaccine. Of these 81% could have been anticipated with a previous history. There have been no fatalities and all were successfully treated. This is a very low risk and not one to worry us. Discuss with your clinician if you are still concerned.

I hope none of you are displaced due to flooding, that crisis is not over yet either. Just keep going, stick rigidly to all the rules, remember the basics and stay kind and supportive to everyone, but stay apart and Stay Safe.

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