March 1 2021

When things are going well they cease to make news. Its hard to find any real news coverage today dealing with the pandemic. The world’s media are today speculating on the future of the monarchy, Prince Philip’s move to St Bart’s hospital and what Prince Harry and his wife are up to in California.

Just as I finished writing last night the news broke about the unidentified person with a variant of the Covid 19 known as the P 1 Brazilian variant. It would seem he did a home test on 12-13th February and posted it. Unfortunately, he failed to fill in the contact details and his sample has proved positive for the variant. If by chance you or some one you know did a postal test on either of those days and you have not had a result yet, please ring 119 as quickly as possible to identify yourself to the Track and Trace team. Everyone who gave contact details will have been informed of the result by now for people tested on those dates. Public Health England are doing extensive enquiries and are being assisted by the Post Office.

Another couple also have the Brazilian variant in South Gloucester. They have cooperated fully with PHE and should present no further risk. One of them had travelled home to the UK via Zurich before the airport lockdowns and Quarantine hotels were activated.

There is a lot of speculation about this variant and its behaviour, but very little hard evidence, it would seem none of these 3 cases have had to be hospitalised so that’s good news. I will wait for official information about it before commenting on transmissibility or virulence.

Someone who makes the news for all the wrong reasons is Piers Corbyn, brother of the former Labour leader. I understand he now faces 10 separate charges relating to his anti-lockdown protests. He is not due to appear in court until May 20th. Many of you may have views about where he should be after that.

Vaccinations, at least in England continue to push on. 20,275,451 first doses have been given now and 815,816 second doses are completed. Spare a thought for those countries with no vaccine at all yet and countries nearer home in Europe who are a long way behind due to political wrangling. 526,679 tests were done yesterday, which is a high number for a Sunday. Only 5,455 proved positive. The positive rate is almost below 100, it is currently 100.4/100k and represents a 28% drop in the last 7 days.

Deaths reported in the last 24 hours are only 104. It will be a real landmark when we break below the hundred. The death rate is only 3.2/100k of the population. A fall of 34.7% in the last 7 days.

With only a week to go now till schools go back we enter a potentially risky phase if people do not still strictly follow all the rules. Schools will be safe if adults keep to the rules. This means still staying at home except for essential reasons. Always wearing a mask when out and staying 2 metres apart.

If we want our grandchildren safe, we must also play the game and stay at home and stay safe.

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