March 2 2021

Todays figures confirm the good progress we are making with getting rid of this pandemic. We must not forget the rest of the world in this. We must eradicate it globally before we can really relax. There are still far too many places where numbers remain very high and they still have no vaccine. Life will not come back to near normal until international travel is safe again.

A further 727,972 tests were done yesterday. Only 6,391 proved positive yesterday. This is a rate of 94.9 per 100k and shows a 29.4% drop in the last 7 days. Next week we will be doing many thousand extra tests as we test all school children. It will be interesting just how many extra positives we will find testing children.

Further good news is in the number now in hospital,12,748 were occupying a hospital on 28th February. The latest daily figure for admissions is 9 days out of date and stands at 1,110. I am sure by now it is below 1,000 per day. A further 1,806 were being treated on a ventilator on the 1st of March.

Deaths always have the highest daily figure on a Tuesday and today it is only 343. This is a considerable drop over the last 7 days with a fall of 36%. The death rate is now only 2.9/100 k of the population.

Vaccination figures continue to grow rapidly and by all accounts we are about to see another push to get more done per day. 20,478,619 first doses and 844,098 second doses have been administered now. The search goes on for the person who has the Brazilian variant of Covid 19. The detective work by PHE and the Post Office has narrowed it down to one of 379 households in SE England. If you live in one of those households you may get a visit to exclude you from the search. I do hope the person concerned has isolated himself at home and not commuting to work every day. You can see why it is so important to trace them quickly. I did not mention that the other 3 cases are safely under isolation in Scotland. There is some data now which suggests that the Brazilian variant MAY spread more easily and COULD evade the immune system. And that it is between 1.4 and 2.2 times more transmissible. This all still has to be peer reviewed yet but it may indicate the reason for extra concern over the missing patient. Austria and Denmark seem to be the latest EU countries to break EU ranks and source their vaccine from China and Russia. A recent study put the Sputnik V vaccine right up with the others giving 92% efficacy. Hungary has been using Chinese and Russian vaccine for a couple of weeks. France has now reversed its earlier decision and said that the over 65s can and should be immunised with the OAZ vaccine now.

Israel has now immunised 98% its entire adult population with a first jab. This compares with 31% in the UK and only 7.5% within the EU.

Tomorrow is budget day. We will learn how much more help there is going to be for those severely affected financially. We will also learn more about how this is all going to be paid for and how long it will take to clear the 280 billon pounds of debt the UK has accumulated. Matt Hancock has said today that we may be able to end all social distancing by mid-June even though this is earlier that his own Government review which will not have reported by then. It’s good he is so often optimistic and that he sets tough goals to achieve. With all of our help and compliance with the rules at present this is a reasonable target to aim at.

Remember for now, and at least till next Monday, nothing should change. Just Stay Apart, Stay at Home and Stay Safe.

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