March 21 2021

For the third consecutive day a record has been set for the number of immunisations given in a day. Despite all the controversy and other issues, the Health Service is just getting on with getting maximum protection from vaccine while we can and before the shortages begin to bite. They are certainly doing their bit to prevent the threatened third peak of cases. Over 800,000 doses were given in the last 24 hrs.

I just wish it was not only the Health Services taking this seriously. There continues to be widespread disregard for the social distancing, mask wearing and meeting in groups. We need widespread vaccination and good social distancing together to beat this pandemic.The President of the EU Ursula Von Der Leyen has now threatened to halt all export of the OAZ vaccine if the EU does not get its vaccine order fully delivered first. You would not believe that she had trained in medicine and taught epidemiology at Hanover in an earlier life. Others within the EU are saying that any bid to block vaccine to the UK would be counter productive and damage the EU’s reputation.

Here at home a Government minister had no symptoms, had a covid test and then went straight back to work, only later to discover his test was positive. As a result, a number of his staff are now having to self-isolate at home. A number of offices in central London have been deep cleaned and air conditioning vents changed. I find it incredible that a Government minister could be so lacking in intelligence that he did not wait for the result of his test. His crass stupidity will have cost the taxpayer a significant amount of money.

France seems to have what is being called “lockdown light”. Under the Covid restrictions imposed in the Paris is the rule that no one can travel more than a 10km radius of their home to shop, practice sport or to go on walks. There is a curfew from 7pm to 6am. All the usual facilities are closed but up to 6 people can meet outdoors before 7pm. They are seeing 35,000 new cases a day which is 7 times more than seen in the UK. Hospitals in Paris are full and patients are being moved long distances to the provinces. Critics in France say the restrictions need to be much tighter and there needs to be a lot of mass testing. The French President is not listening to his scientists, still only 9% of adults have had a shot of the vaccine. This must also be a priority but it will not be done by vaccine alone.

In Germany there are calls for tougher restrictions immediately. At the same time Germany saw one of the biggest demonstrations of the year in Kassel. Some 20,000 took part. Police claimed they were repeatedly attacked. To restore order they had to use water cannon, pepper spray, and batons.

Across the world in Miami , revellers celebrating the spring break led to officials having to declare a State of Emergency .There were no masks in evidence and no social distancing, under the Emergency powers there was an 8pm curfew and other draconian measures.

Back in the Netherlands a music festival with several thousand present has been allowed to go ahead despite rapidly growing numbers of new cases.

By contrast in Bristol, there has been a kill the bill protest, where demonstrators did behave and fully co-operated with the police to have a peaceful socially distanced event. This proves it can be done providing events are not taken over by rent a mob determined to cause trouble.

In the Congo in Central Africa the national elections are to go ahead despite the leading opposition candidate being in hospital with Covid. He was said to be in a serious but stable condition.

As already mentioned vaccines are being given at amazing rates. Now today 27.69 million first doses have been given and 2.29 M second doses.

Remember it’s Sunday and deaths are not easily reported, but there were only 33. This is a 33% fall on the seven day average the rate is now just 1.0 per 100k. Tuesday’s figure is usually the most reliable.

1.44 M tests were processed on 15th March, on 21st March 5,312 were positive a slight fall still of 4.4%

There were no new hospital figures released today.

Much of Europe is heading for a crisis. We can avoid it hitting the UK. We need to batten down the hatches, close our borders with Europe, we must use as much vaccine as possible and encourage much better compliance with the rules. The time has come to try and politely and safely challenge the selfish behaviour of the few. Do a little basic stockpiling of food for a few weeks to minimise still further the need to be out. Only go to work in a Covid secure way and challenge it if it’s not.

Look after one another.

Be vigilant, be alert, stay apart and stay safe.

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