A quiet day on the Covid front with no startling or worrying news to report. This means it quickly disappears from the headlines, which must be a good thing.The daily figures are affected because it’s a Sunday and particularly deaths registered are lower than average. We use a seven-day rolling average to try and smooth these fluctuations out.
We continue to do covid tests with 1,275,285 done yesterday. Remember this figure is tests, not people. Many in the UK are now having regular twice weekly tests to monitor them carefully. This includes health care staff and school children as well as many other groups
Only 3,861 tests were found to be positive. This is a drop again of 1.7% after two days of a small rise, which was causing concern, when we see what is happening in Europe.
Only 19 deaths were reported, which was a drop of 31.7% in the 7 day rolling average. The death rate is now only 0.6 cases per 100k.There is no new health care data released today but we now have less than 5,000 in hospital beds.
With the vaccine roll out on track still, almost 700,000 were given in the last 24 hours so that now 30,151,287 1st doses have been given and 3,527,481 second doses safely given. If you are over 50 and have still not had a first jab, go get it organised now before the end of March. Remember with the shortages about to hit us in April only second doses will be done with a pause in the remaining adult vaccine until supplies return. It seems as though the Moderna vaccine is now close to being released.The daily express has reported that plans are already quite advanced for next winter to have a seasonal flu jab combined in one injection with a booster covid vaccine slightly adjusted to better protect about the emerging variants of concern. There is nothing new in this concept with conventional vaccines but with the RNA based vaccine we now have experience with Ebola, Marburg disease and Lassa Fever in one injection.The war of words and vaccines continues in Europe with the EU being very firmly told that the OAZ vaccine has been developed at the cost of the tax payer. It is understood that the British Government are looking to provide vaccine to Southern Ireland.
Various overseas aid charities are now asking the UK to be generous with their support to the Covax scheme in 3rd world countries. Far too many countries have seen no vaccine at all yet.
The UK certainly has vastly more vaccine on order than it will need and I am sure once our adults are vaccinated we will turn our efforts to help those in greatest need.
Non essential shops are scheduled to be able to reopen on April 12th. Plans have been announced today that they will be allowed to stay open till 10pm, except Sundays when the maximum 6 hours will still apply. With longer opening hours shoppers should be able to spread out more to respect the social distancing still required, as well as giving a boost to the economy, as more goods are sold.
Some figures are reported from Mexico today, although it’s impossible to say how accurate they are. 321,000 deaths are now reported, perhaps a many as 60% more than this as they have not been counting cases with a positive test. The hospitals are full, most of those dying are doing so at home with no testing or drugs to treat them. Mexico has a population of 126 million. Brazil, the country with the worst death rate has a population of 211 million. There is little or no vaccine available. We may be on top of this crisis in the UK but there is still a crisis in much of the world. We cannot rest or give up until the world comes through the pandemic. The natural history of pandemics is that they do go away after a few years, but may be return again sometime later.
So as from tomorrow you no longer have to stay at home but you must still, stay local. If you do not have to go out then please feel free to stay at home. Similarly if you lack confidence you are under no pressure to relax. If you have had a first dose of vaccine you are very unlikely to be very ill with the disease. We just have to prevent the movement of variants of the disease. If in doubt get a test, stay supportive and look out for one another.
Remember my favourite Joan Baez’s song We shall overcome.
Stay safe everyone.