March 20 2021

It is now clear a 3rd wave of Covid 19 infections is about to engulf most of Europe.

The warnings have been here for a while. Scientists have been warning about it and now the figures are also showing the evidence there is a problem.

Let us be very clear this could also cross the channel and come here despite our efforts to keep it out. There was a milestone today when we passed the 50% mark in immunising all UK adults. We will not rest until we have done all 100% of adults and school children. Two things need to be done quickly, first get more people immunised and secondly keep new variants and those positive for Covid out of circulation and properly isolated.

Today’s demonstrations in Central London are clearly an example of the dilemma facing our police and security forces. Just what do the police do when they witness deliberate flaunting the rules designed in this emergency to keep us as safe as possible? I believe in the freedom and rightful ability to take part in marches and demonstrations in our society under normal conditions. I also believe in our corporate responsibility in times of crisis to adapt and modify our behaviour to comply with legislation designed to keep us safe.

After recent criticism the police seem today to have taken a softer approach which has allowed flagrant, deliberate breaches of the Covid pandemic to go unchallenged. Sadly, there are now reports of scuffles and there have been some arrests. This has put our police force at risk. Most are under the age of 50 and most in good health so they have not been immunised yet.

The seven-day average death rate in the UK is below 100 for the first time since early October last year. At the same time 20 countries in Europe are seeing a rise in figures and 15 countries are already seeing more hospital admissions. France and Poland have already started new lockdown regulations. Many people have been trying to leave the Paris area. Italy and Spain are already quite well locked down. Germany, almost predictably are sitting on the fence and are still to decide on third lockdown arrangements. Several other countries have seen demonstrations and at least one has used a water cannon to disperse demonstrators.

There have been some interesting trials in Germany using 10 dogs from the German Army to sniff out asymptomatic people with Covid using airports. Early reports suggest they were able to detect 91% of cases from 5,242 travellers tested positive . They were best at detecting a Covid smell in urine at 95% whereas in saliva it was 82% . This could well be an option once the study is verified and fine- tuned.

Looking at the number of tests done today being a Saturday it’s an impressive 1,437,257 with only 5,587 positive. The number positive is still falling but only very slowly. It has dropped by 7.5% in the last week. The rate of positive cases is 58.9/100k The number of deaths is encouraging. It is now below 100 at 96, a fall of 22% in the last 7 days. As for the hospitals, 6,162 beds are taken by Covid patients with only 830 on ventilators. Only 496 people needed admission on 15th March, a 23% drop since the previous week.

Vaccine numbers remain on the rise. The anticipated shortage is not here yet, there have been 26.85m first doses and 2.13m second doses.

All these parameters are going in the right direction, we are slowly coming out of our second lockdown. We need to do it very carefully step by step in the very sensible plan worked out for us. We can avoid the problems seen in Europe but we won’t be able to if today’s behaviour in London continues.

Let’s lock right down for a few more weeks and ensure our figures continue to drop. Promise one another not to break the Covid regulations and not to book any holidays in Europe this summer. When you are out on that walk with one other household, or on that Zoom meeting, check on one-another’s stress levels, offer support and be kind. Make small promises to one-another you can keep to make sure we all stay safe.

Masks, Space and Vaccine are what is required.

Stay safe everyone.

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