Weekends seem to come very quickly these days and you will remember how the data gets distorted and less is recorded. This is why, when I can, I give you a 7 day rolling average to try and reduce the inconsistencies.
Consistently now we are seeing over 750, 000 tests done daily. I think this is because many people are being tested 2-3 times a week whilst at work because they are still not eligible for the vaccine.
23,275 persons have tested positive in the last 24 hours. This is a reduction of 31.3% on the 7day rolling average. The rate of positive tests has dropped to 306.4 per 100k of the population. Even allowing for the weekend effect we have seen this figure fall every day for the last week or so. This demonstrates we are on track with lockdown and cannot afford to relax in any way yet.
The latest hospital figures show 34,783 are currently in hospital. A further 3,117 were admitted on 26th January and 3,872 are on a ventilator as of yesterday. These figures are also now falling which is to be expected as the benefits of lockdown are clear. Sadly, we still have a very high number of deaths with just 1,200 in the last 24 hours, when adjusted for a 7 day rolling average it is a 5.7% drop with the rate at 11.9 per 100k of the population.
More positive news on the vaccine front. 8,378,940 first doses have now been given and 480,432 second doses are done. We are approaching the 10 million mile-stone quickly and it looks as though we will hit the target of all those 0ver 70 and Care Home staff and residents being done in the next two weeks.
Meanwhile the very public and heated row with the EU and Astra Zenica has continued with several new developments today. The EU has retracted from its plan to override part of the Brexit deal over Northern Ireland’s export controls on Coronavirus vaccines, but only after widespread condemnation of the move. The EU faces even more criticism over its decision to push ahead with imposing controls on vaccine manufacture within member states. Yesterday, Brussels announced that it would activate Article 16 of the Northern Ireland protocol to stop the country being used as a back door route to bring our vaccine from Europe back to the UK. They later reversed this policy. They were intending to place export controls on the movement of vaccines to protect its own supplies. The Northern Ireland First minister called it an “incredible act of hostility”.
Boris Johnson meanwhile expressed his grave concerns to Ursula Von De Leyen and also spoke with the Irish Premier Michael Martin who claimed the Irish had not been consulted or given advanced notice of the Brussels decision.
As a result the EU did a further U turn and said it would not trigger the safeguard clause to ensure the protocols were unaffected. In the last hour Michael Gove has announced that the UK vaccine supplies are now expected to be as planned as the EU recognise their errors, and will now work with the UK again.
If you are having difficulty understanding this, just know that after being somewhat red faced by their delay in ordering vaccine, they tried some devious and underhand ways to get it. The UK have stood firm and offered to help with vaccine once our most vulnerable are immunised and at a not-for-profit basis. This would seem to have been acceptable. I am certain there was no intention to prevent the EU getting their vaccine but production difficulties can hit at any time. I hope this is the last we hear of this, but I doubt it. If Vaccines are a UK success story, it’s a miserable failure in the EU who found themselves incompetent.
In other news, 133 people including some British have been caught skiing at the top of an Austrian mountain. They are being required to be tested for the virus and face a fine of £1,900.
A batch of very vulnerable children have been invited by the NHS to attend an immunisation centre for a first dose of the vaccine. This human error was a very embarrassing mistake for the NHS to make and they have apologised.
Moderna and Pfizer are both conducting trials on children over 12 years of age and the JCVI have said that in exceptional circumstances the vaccine could be used off licence. This is not an unusual step. A considerable number of children are treated with drugs only licensed for adults without any problem every year.
We have had enough of vaccine squabbles, lets just get on with the immunising as quickly as possible. At the same time its vital to maintain the lockdown and get the figures much lower.
We can relax our minds that there is a way out of the whole nightmare, but we must not relax our actions in any way for a while yet. Stay at home, stay apart. Follow the rules. Remember once you have had your vaccine you still have to follow all the rules, you must not relax them in any way.
As always share your concerns, share your ideas to keep minds active and share your creative ideas.
Be kind and be thoughtful whilst staying safe.