March 14 2021

A bit short on statistical data today, but it is often the case on a Sunday. The number of tests done on the 11 March was 1,514,145. Today the number testing positive was 4,618. And the rate 58.7 per 100k of the population.

The number of deaths recorded was only 52. This is a 31.4% reduction of the figure 1 week ago. The death rate is now 1.4/100k There is no new hospital data available.

Vaccinations continue to be given; 24.19 million 1st doses and 1.54 million second doses. By the end of this week, we will hit the 25 million point.

Europe seems split over what to do about the reports of blood clots claimed to be related to the OAZ vaccine. Southern Ireland is the latest country to temporarily suspend the vaccine to investigate further. The EU Regulator, the British regulator and the drug manufactures have confirmed several times that there is no evidence this is anything other than coincidence. Several other European countries have suspended the vaccine programme whereas just as many have said they will continue.

Ireland have had 543 new cases today. They have 340 patients in hospital and 85 patients are having treatment in an ICU. Thailand is delaying starting immunisations until this is resolved. I just wonder how many deaths will occur because of delay in immunising?

In my memories of my time working in casualty I am sure I saw a least 1 pulmonary embolus most days and probably 4-5 deep vein thrombosis. They are common conditions with a range of causes. Perhaps those of you with A and E experience might like to comment on your experiences. We need to organise an urgent prevalence study of blood clot related admissions. Looking specifically to compare an unvaccinated group with a recently vaccinated group. A relatively simple study to do. If I were still in that environment, I would take it on.

The Isle of Man have sadly had the first death from Covid this year. The last death recorded was back in early November.

British Airways will introduce a digital vaccine passport in time for the planned reopening of international travel in May.

The general scientific views are changing and the consensus now is that we will have a third wave this autumn and winter. But is not likely to be as severe in the UK as the second one. There are widespread variations between different areas of the UK. In London now 30% of residents have some Covid antibodies. In contrast, in SW England the rates are as low as 16%. Too many people remain reluctant to be immunised and far too many are ignoring social distancing. Chris Whitty also confirmed that there are large risks in reopening society and we cannot afford not to. We need 90% minimum of the population with Covid antibodies. We need to get them done as quickly as possible before new variants can get a hold.

The Chancellor today was speaking about the rebuilding of Scotland after the pandemic. He confirmed the UK have given £13.3 billion to Scotland and have invested £34 million in the NE economy. Freezing alcohol duty should have given the Scottish Whisky business a boost.

One of the casualties of Covid has been the principle that we in Britain can take part in legal demonstrations if we wish to do so and it is safe to do so. The laws are quite difficult to interpret in every circumstance. In normal conditions none of us would challenge the basic rights to demonstrate against the sorts of horrendous violence we have seen against a woman this last week. At the same time because of the Covid pandemic we have a temporary ban in gathering in groups of more than 2 households. We are told not to travel far from out homes and to maintain social distancing and wear masks. Indeed. we should only go out to exercise or to socialise. In recent weeks we have seen several hundred deaths from Covid each day and several thousand in hospital. A real dilemma for the Authorities and the organisers. After detailed consideration of all the factors, the organisers accepted that the planned demonstration, which would in normal circumstances have gone ahead, should be cancelled. The Police were particularly conscious of the situation they were in, as the suspect for this crime is a serving officer. If a vigil was required this could have been done even more effectively from our front door steps. No Covid rules would have been broken and the message of the demonstration clearly received. Faced with the crowds and some hostility after warning that they were behaving illegally the police had absolutely no option but to act quickly and efficiently. It’s a tribute to their professionalism that only 4 arrests were necessary.

Rather than calls for resignations there should be calls for tougher consequences for breaking Covid legislation which threatens our lives and our livelihoods well into next year.

In England it’s still Stay at home, Stay apart and Stay safe . Attending large scale public demonstrations is not legal at this moment no matter how significant and important the cause of the demonstration may be.

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