I am concerned tonight that the slight upturn in new cases has become a trend, the number of new cases reported positive today was 2,474. This is a rise of 13.4% and the rate is 21.6 per 100k compared with 21.3 per 100k yesterday. Only 711,104 tests were done, the lowest number for some time. There are now several “hot spots “ around the UK where figures are rising and special surveillance and enhanced track and trace are in operation. It is not clear exactly what the cause is yet but could jeopardise the relaxing of some restrictions next week. It would seem to be too late to have been an effect of easing restrictions back in April, but further easing of restrictions on Monday, may well cause a rise in new cases.
Hospital admissions and deaths are continuing to fall, and this is expected to continue. It will be two weeks before the rise in new cases shows itself as a rise in hospital admissions and a further 10 days before deaths could rise.
There were only 11 deaths in the UK yesterday , a further 22% drop in the 7 day rolling average. In hospital there are now only 1,121 Covid patients in hospital beds. Only 106 were admitted in the last 24 hours they were counted. Only 138 are being treated on ventilators.
As for the vaccine roll out, Its 35.72 million first jabs and 18.43 million second jabs . This means well over one third of UK adults have had both doses. As from tomorrow those aged 38 and 39 are invited to book a first injection and this is not likely to be the OAZ vaccine. Providing supplies are maintained it will be either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine.
It has been confirmed that as from Monday next the free NHS app for your smart phone can be downloaded and will include the details of your Covid jabs. This can act as your Covid passport for travel and other situations where you may need to prove your immunity status. If you do not have a smart phone or do not want to use it you can ring 119 and order a paper version for you to keep.
I do not think that many people realise that although you can travel abroad to some countries on 17th May, you cannot travel for the purpose of a holiday but only for business and other specified reasons. Please do not get caught out on this and watch what happens over the next two weeks.
The Prime Minister has announced a full Public Inquiry will take place beginning in the Spring of 2022 to cover the lessons to be learnt in the wake of the pandemic. I sincerely hope this is not too early as it clearly should not begin until the pandemic is over. To make it detailed and comprehensive, which it has to be, and be effective with such a lot of ground to cover with many stakeholders will take a long time . I cannot see it being completed within 3 years. It may well not be completed before the next General Election. To my mind that does not matter, it’s far more important that its planning recommendations for future pandemics and the lessons learnt from our mistakes means it stays fit for purpose for a long time to come.
I anticipate having to provide evidence through my work with the Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management once the details are made public. This blog will form part of my diary of events.
Just because the Prime Minister says you can hug, it does not mean you have to! He did urge caution and common sense before doing so. I recognise the desperate need some people have to give or receive a hug from a loved one, but for many if not most we can manage without if we have to. I for one will be waiting a while longer before changing my acquired habits. If we are to see a surge with a new variant or a less vaccine susceptible strains perhaps hold off for a while to see if the situation improves.
Caution, Care and Concern are the order of the day. Hand washing , social distancing and good ventilation all have major parts to play. Make sure you get your vaccine when called. Stay well away from local outbreaks and use the tests whenever you are told to or fear you may be affected.
Stay safe everyone