March 19 2021

The fiasco in Europe continues as the UK continues to progress well towards the end of this current peak, which will only end with a very high rate of immunisation. It is significant that the UK has now immunised half of their adult population whereas in the EU the average is only 10%.

Let’s first consider our data today. Covid tests done amount to 1,437,257. Of these only 4,802 were positive. This is an 8.7% reduction in the 7 day average (improved over last few days) and the rate of positive tests is 59.2/100K.

There have only been 101 deaths recorded today which is the lowest Friday figure since early October. It is a 36.8% reduction in the last 7days.

In hospital there are now only 6,544 in a hospital bed on 17 March with 494 admitted on 15 March. The daily admissions are 23.2% less than a week ago. Only 879 patients are on a ventilator.

With immunisations, 26, 263,732 first doses have now been given and 2,011,070 second doses.

As we have just got on with the job in hand and saving lives the fiasco abroad seems set to continue. Following the unequivocal statement from the European Medicines Agency saying it is both safe and effective, various countries said they would resume immunising so reversing their position. Countries set to restart included France, Germany and Italy as well as Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. Finland on the other hand decided to suspend whilst they do their own investigation. France has now said they will only use it in the over 55s, a complete reversal of their position a week ago when it was that it would only be used in the under 55s.

Meanwhile the French Prime Minister and the British Prime Minister both had their first dose of the OAZ vaccine, and a cat in Italy has been tested positive together with its owners for the Kent variant. All three are recovering in isolation.Significant new restrictions start tonight in France and Germany is unlikely to allow the planned relaxation. Poland similarly has more restrictions planned to come into force.

The Office for National Statistics suggest that 6 countries in Europe now have a higher death rate than in the UK.

Right from the start this has been a battle to save lives, we are doing that by vaccinating everyone just as fast as the vaccine can be safely produced. It is right and proper to be sure it is as safe as possible and there will be occasional glitches in the production due to technical issues such as the need to recheck stability.

Every hour that immunisation is paused a further life is at risk. We are very fortunate that usually in the UK the decisions made by politicians are in accord with the advice given by the scientists. You would hope the same would be true elsewhere.

If the situation deteriorates in Europe in the way it looks like it is going, the UK will have to take significant steps to protect us. It may be fortunate that we live on an Island. I cannot see travel in and out of Europe being easy and probably banned soon. So, if I were you, I would not plan on any holiday in Europe any time soon. It will just not be worth the risk.

We are in a very good position, we must not put it in jeopardy. We must redouble our efforts to stay away and stay apart. Everyone will pull out all the stops to get more vaccine and put it in arms.

Play your part by helping one another, don’t be hesitant about having the jab, or encouraging other to be immunised.

Stay safe out there.

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