February 14 2021

Nobody spotted my error in the statistics last night and I have only just spotted it. The number in a hospital bed should have been 23,341 on 11th February. The figure I reported was 10,000 less and reflected the number of new positive cases. I do apologise, but it is quite difficult to transcribe the figures.

Being a Sunday a lot of figures are not adjusted . There were 730,223 tests done in the last 24 hours. The number found positive was only 10,972 . This continues to drop steadily and represents a fall of 28.1% in the last 7 days. The rate of new cases has dropped to 158.7/100k of the population.

Hospital beds occupied by Covid patients have not been updated since 11th February and stands at 23, 341, the same as I should have reported yesterday. This is still the figure of concern, it is falling only very slowly. It should by now be dropping a little quicker and is a reflection of how much our lockdown rules are being broken or ignored. There were only 258 deaths reported yesterday. Can I remind you this is low because of the weekend effect when it can be difficult to formally report deaths. It will be Tuesday before we have typical daily figure. It is, however, falling steadily and shows a 26.5% fall over the last 7 day rolling average.

For vaccinations the target set for tomorrow has been reached 24 hours early. 15,062,189 first doses have now been given and 537,715 second doses have been given. This means everyone over the age of 70, the extremely vulnerable, and Health and Social care front line workers should have had a first jab. If you missed yours or said no and now would like one please ring 119 and get it sorted. Figures suggest many have not yet had the vaccine. Please sort it out quickly. This is one of the best freebies ever offered by our Government.

Now it’s the turn of the 65-70 age group. This will be quickly followed by other priority groups. The targets now set are to give it to everyone over the age of 50 and all vulnerable adults by May. With all adults being immunised by the autumn.

The value of the immunisation has been clearly demonstrated by the Zoe study run by Prof. Tim Spector. He has demonstrated in a study of 50,000 vaccinated subjects that 1 dose of either vaccine in the UK gives 46% protection after 2 weeks rising to 67% after 3 weeks. This again confirms the UK were right to give as many first doses as possible quickly to protect the greatest number of people. A view now supported by all reputable scientists.

A new published study from Barcelona University showed a 60% reduced mortality if patients in hospital were given 5 doses of vitamin D3 on days 2,4, 8, and 15. The dose given is not stated. It further showed an 80% reduction in ITU admissions . Remember that in the UK only about 1 in 10 Covid patients end up in the ITU. This means that this study is based on rather small numbers as 80% of not very many is still not very many! Nevertheless, this study adds more strength to the general belief now that adequate Vitamin D assists in the recovery of a Covid infection.

We must not take our eyes off what else is happening in the world. There have been 3 new cases of Ebola reported. A rapid response has been mounted to contain the outbreak and I believe it will be contained. There is pressure coming from a significant group of MPs to relax the Covid restrictions very soon. Dominic Raab has been resisting this pressure and it is vital we do not lose control again and risk a third wave before we have enough vaccine given to create the herd immunity we need. I think the most in the way concessions you can and should expect is to be able to meet one other person in the park for a take away coffee.

The media continue to discuss Covid passports. We need to stop calling them passports. A passport has an internationally agreed meaning and is a legal document. We have had immunisation certificates for years. Currently after the end of small pox only Yellow Fever is recognised as a certificate, which can allow you entry to some counties that require it. It will be perfectly reasonable for some future activities to require sight of an immunisation record before being allowed entry. It would not be a passport, just a requirement to prove you are not a risk to others before being able to join in. I can see its use for international travel, attendance at a football or other mass gathering event, even for a concert or theatre performance. Probably to require one in the supermarket is a step too far.

If you want to go to a football match and need to show you have been immunised and therefore very unlikely to be a risk ,it is reasonable and does not infringe human liberties. You cannot have rights without responsibility.

There are suggestions that a new approach to face masks would see them coated with a substance called DiOX which is based on a quaternary ammonium salt. It is claimed to kill viruses by breaching the outer protective membrane or envelope of a virus. If a virus should land on a mask the virus is said to be killed within 1 hour. If a virus should land on your hands, hair or clothes it will do nothing to the virus. I am sceptical this approach will significantly affect the protection we would get from wearing one. The biggest risk is still hand to nose or mouth. Let’s see if the idea become popular.

Remember the hotel quarantine rules start tomorrow if you are travelling to the UK from a red listed country. You must book a package via a UK portal before you arrive which includes, hotel, food, transport and tests. Remember if you lie about travel you risk up to 10 years in jail. It remains largely good news, the cold weather is set to end tonight which will be a relief to many who are sitting at home all day. Please look out for your loved ones and neighbours who are struggling alone, but continue to stay apart from them. Remember Hands Face and Space will be better than impregnated masks. Keep apart, keep warm and stay safe.

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