Thank you for your comments last night when you all told me to go on writing. Your message was loud and clear. I will keep writing if you all promise to keep apart.
I reported yesterday on the rapid response to a new indigenous Covid case in Perth Australia. Today we hear of the similar response to 11 cases of the new South African variant in and around Woking in Surrey. Enhanced track and trace have failed to connect any of these cases to South Africa. There are a total of 105 cases found in the UK and all but these 11 have direct links to South Africa. There is to be blitz on testing everyone in the area especially those without symptoms. There will be genomic testing on all positive cases. If there is a case in your area it is imperative you stay at home and get a test, even if you have no symptoms.
One of the effects of the Covid pandemic has meant the precautions we have taken to help prevent it has meant that seasonal influenza infections are down to the lowest levels for over 100 years. Mask wearing and social distancing has been most effective, With 1,894 people tested for the influenza virus, zero cases were positive. There is a massive ongoing study of influenza in general practice, I was involved in this when in practice myself. 392 surgeries are involved sending weekly reports on the number of influenza like illness. From a base of 4 million patients only 45 were reported. There were zero cases admitted to hospital in the second week of January, Typically, this time of year there would be many hundreds of admissions. Other statistics showed only 1.1 cases per 100k of the population compared with an average of 27 per 100k.
It will be interesting to analyse why this has happened. Several thoughts need exploring. We know we did more influenza vaccinations this winter than inn any other, How much were the Covid precautions responsible for the low number? Did people just not see their GP with flu as they usually would? Did Covid just suppress influenza some how? What will happen in the next few years, will influenza bounce back ? how do we prepare for that as well? A further 100 million doses of Valneva Covid virus have been ordered ahead of its clinical approval by the MHRA. This vaccine is manufactured in Scotland. The UK has got a large order in early, ahead of approval, whereas I do not believe the EU has made an order yet.
Rates of new infections across England are consistently falling except in just 5 local small areas. In England as a whole new cases have fallen from 422/100k a week or so ago to 294 per 100k now.
In London as a whole new cases have fallen from 560/100k a week or so ago to 355 per 100k now.
In the South East new cases have fallen from 412/100k a week or so ago to 280 per 100k now.
In the South West new cases have fallen from 283/100k a week or so ago to 200 per 100k
In the East Region new cases have fallen from 439/100k a week or so ago to 305 per 100k
In the West Midlands new cases have fallen from 528/100k a week or so ago to 350 per 100k
In the North West new cases have fallen from 442 per 100k a week or so ago to 320 per 100k
In the North East new cases have fallen from 318 per 100k a week or so ago to 252 per 100k.
Yorkshire and Humber region cases have fallen 243 per 100k a week or so ago 20 211 per 100k.
In Scotland as a whole, new cases have fallen from 191 per 100k a week or so ago to 144 per 100k.
In Wales as a whole, new cases have fallen from 649 per 100k in December to 152 per 100k now In Northern Ireland as a whole, new cases have fallen from 302 per 100k to 226 per 100 100k now.
The only area with a rise was East Midlands, Derby Dales, which has risen from 206 to 243 cases per 100k
France has a travel ban for anyone travelling outside the EU.
The Isle of Man has no existing cases and have been able to remove all restrictions for its residents. Do not try to travel there, firstly its illegal and secondly you will be turned away.
Guernsey has had to reintroduce all the usual restrictions following an outbreak of new cases having been disease free for quite a while.1 million Astra Zenica vaccines have arrived in South Africa. 55 million more are ordered over the next few months.
Todays statistics are as always affected by the weekend, 574,012 tests were done yesterday, making over 4 million in the last week. This was a 9,4% rise, Only 18,607 tests were positive which represents a drop of 29.7%. The rate is 273.8 per 100k. Only 406 deaths were reported yesterday but still over 8,000 in the last week, this is a 7.4% fall with a rate now of 10.9.
Tomorrows figure will be a much more reliable number of deaths which we still need to drop considerably. There was no reliable hospital data.
You asked me to keep writing, as you can see I am happy to keep doing so, its mostly good news and its down to everyone to make sure it stays that way.
Remember the basics but stay at home whenever possible and stay safe.