April 29 2021

A sure sign that in the UK at least we are winning the battle against Covid is that the media have almost lost interest in good news. We all know that does not sell newspapers. The decoration of a certain flat is now more important! It is harder and harder to find a new slant on the pandemic each day.

I think therefore the time has come to just bring you news from the beginning of May on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only. I can always restart if there are new developments or fit in an extra bulletin if the need arises.

Covid 19 cases have dropped below 50 per 100k of the population in more than 95% of Local Authority areas. In 10% of the areas the rate is in single figures per 100k.

There have been 73 cases of the variant known as b 1. 617 found in England and 4 cases in Scotland. It remains a variant under investigation rather than a variant of concern. Public Health and Track and Trace have the cases under close surveillance, and they all seem contained with no local spread.

The Schools’ Minister says that he hopes that school pupils will not need to wear masks in the class- room at school from mid-May. BUT it all depends on the data nearer the time.

Air pollution in the UK in 2020 showed the lowest levels since records began back in the 1990s. This is not surprising considering how few cars, trains and aircraft were in use for much of the year. We all need to play a part in assessing the air pollution as restrictions are eased again. We do not want record highs in 2022.

A body I had not come across before, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue or ISD, has a think tank and their research suggests that Amazon is inadvertently promoting widely debunked conspiracy theories forcing the material to its customers through its book market and search functions. They are said to be flagging up conspiracy beliefs, extreme views and disinformation. For example, if you search for ‘vaccines’ it takes you to antiviral content such as an article ‘Vaccines are dangerous and do not work.’ And another suggesting the Covid pandemic is ‘the biggest medical fraud in history.’ Amazon have responded by saying they take the ISD ‘s comments very seriously and are urgently looking into it.

Today’s statistics show 1,360,719 Covid tests have been done. 2,445 were positive. This is a further 8.6% fall on the seven-day average and the rate is now 24.5 positive cases in 100k of the population.

The number of deaths was 22. This was a very slight rise on the 7-day average, but because the numbers are so small is almost certainly a glitch in the statistics.

The hospital data is the most impressive, only 134 people had to be admitted to hospital to join the 1,553 in hospital already. Now only 208 are on ventilators. A significant number of hospitals have no cases at all as inpatients tonight.

34.09 million 1st doses have been given and 14.04 million second doses. Everyone over 42 years old has been called to have their jabs. As you can see the news is very good and continuing to get better. Your job remains to ensure you are immunised fully, to keep to social distancing with wearing masks and not to try and rush to the end too quickly. The chance of a nasty mutation is too great to take the risk. Look out for others, follow the science, do it slowly, and we will win.

Please stay safe everyone.

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