April 26 2021

More excellent statistics for the United Kingdom tonight. On 25th April 1,477,709 Covid tests were done and only 2,064 were positive. There has been a further 6.5% reduction in the 7 day average and the positive test rate is now only 25.0 per 100k of the population Remembering Monday’s figures are still affected by the weekend, it is pleasing that Scotland did not record a single death and only 6 were recorded for the rest of the UK.

Hospital statistics are equally impressive. There are currently 1,781 patients in hospital with Covid 19. There were only 132 admissions in the 24 hours of 20th April. Only 243 are on ventilators on 23rd April. I seem to remember our ventilators stocks being boosted to 30,000, we can certainly send a lot more to India.

This means that many hospitals up and down the land have no Covid patients at all and non in the ITUs. Life is coming back to near normal again.

The vaccinations done continue to rise with 33.75 million first doses and 12.89 million second doses. We are well on track still to immunise all adults by the end of July. Look out for your invitations if you are in the 45-49 or 40-44 age groups. They could come as soon as this week.

In other news around the world, I notice the Prime Minister of Thailand has been fined the equivalent of £137 for breaching the country’s rules by not wearing a face mask.

Fans of the Korean Boy Band have raised more than £20k in less than 24 hours to support India during their crisis. Ireland have announced they are sending 700 oxygen concentrators to India.

Portugal, like Scotland have also reported no Covid deaths in the last 24 hours.

Astra Zenica are to face court charges brought by the EU for failing to deliver the vaccine they had ordered. Astra Zenica say they have fully complied with the advance payment agreement with the EU and they will fully defend themselves in court.

Despite now being approved after a pause in the USA the American people seem to be rejecting the single dose J and J vaccine because of fears about the rare side effect of cerebral blood clots associated with low platelets. America apparently has sufficient Pfizer and Moderna vaccine not to be concerned. The J and J vaccine will be much easier to immunise large numbers with because its only a single dose.

An antiviral could still be the answer to stopping Covid in its tracks. Boris Johnson has enthusiastically commented on a potential way to bring the pandemic to an end. It would be given by mouth immediately the infection produces a positive test and after a few days treatment the patient is cured. I can only find one antiviral drug going through trials in the UK at present that is Favipavir for influenza. No results are expected for 6 months. Look out for a trial with the unlikely name Getafix says Professor Blythe from the University of Glasgow who is leading the trial.

Mentioned in the comments last night was a very interesting paper about understanding uncertainty and explaining and comparing risks. For those of you who do this in the course of your work or are interested I recommend it as a good read. It is by David Spiegelhalter and Mike Pearson . You can click on the link to read it.

Here in the UK all is going well, we now have to turn our energies to ridding the whole world of this curse before mutations mean we have to start all over again.

Your role is as always follow the rules, keep our airports secure, avoid crowded places and ensure we have our vaccinations when called for. Remember you may need a booster in six months but above all stay safe.

As always please share your thoughts, concerns and questions, between us we should know the answers.

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