At the latest count, 92 patients are dead in yet another hospital fire in Iraq involving a Covid ward. There are also about 100 injured, some critically. It has been alleged that there was an electrical fault in the air conditioning which started the fire and then many oxygen cylinders exploded. An oxygen cylinder in a fire behaves like a bomb and can cause very considerable injuries and damage. How many more deaths are going to happen like this before people manage to separate fire and oxygen cylinders? In the UK and most other more advanced counties, oxygen is piped from a central tank rather than relying on cylinders. With some 70 beds on the ward there could well have been a 100 or more cylinders behaving like bombs. It is also alleged that exit doors were locked and that there were no fire extinguishers or other fire fighting equipment on the ward or nearby.
It is believed that at present 830,000 school children are of school self-isolating after a track and trace contact with an infected person.
The WHO has strongly advised nations not to start giving booster Covid jabs until every country has had the opportunity to immunise its population. Many countries are yet to start any immunisation programme. Israel has already begun to offer boosters to those clinically vulnerable because of reduced immunity. Indonesia has begun to offer boosters to their clinical medical staff. No announcement has yet been made about the booster policy for the UK.
The Government, after a fierce debate won their contentious bill to make a temporary cut in our foreign aid for a short period of time until the UK itself has to stop borrowing to pay for the pandemic. As a nation we have already been generous in other ways especially through the provision of vaccine to the poorest countries.
France has banned entry to people who have had two doses of vaccine, not from an approved vaccine source. This includes the vaccine made in China and those made in India at the serum institute which is the biggest production plant in the world. Their vaccine is often called Covishield but is identical to the OAZ vaccine. This must be resolved quickly, with the regulatory authorities recognising Covishield as safe and effective. A family travelling to Malta have also been turned away for not having the right vaccine.
It now seems as though the 19th July will only bring one major change. The police will no longer be involved trying to enforce laws that just cannot be enforced. It is well recognised that a good law can be easily enforced. Now we will be obliged to still wear masks and socially distance as a right of passage. We have already learnt from Transport for London that masks will be required as a condition of use on all buses, trains, underground, trains and taxis in London. The National Rail network are considering following suit. The major supermarkets are also considering their policy which I anticipate will retain masks. Other institutions such as theatres, cinemas, restaurants will be able to set their own policy. If I have a choice, I know what I shall look for.
There are to be more changes tonight and more in the coming days about the traffic light system for foreign travel. It is widely predicted that Italy, Majorca and Menorca will go back on the UK amber list as new cases are soaring again in those counties. Two other countries may be added to the Red list. Be careful if you are about to commit to foreign travel.
There has been much speculation about the effect the Cup Final will have had on the number of new cases. If it is going to be very marked we should see a very big rise in new cases over the next two or three days as people finish their incubation and develop symptoms prompting testing. Of course not everyone will show symptoms. So we shall not identify them all. I am sure questions will be asked of those being tested, as to where they were exposed. I think today is still too early for cases caught just 4 days ago to show up. There were 42,302 new cases today compared with 36k yesterday. That’s a background rise of 6,000 to start with. If you had a seat for Wembley you really only had transient contact with people travelling to and from your seat and only more prolonged contact with the dozen or so sitting closest to you. You would have had no contact with any of the crowd on the other side of the stadium. The multiple exits also will have helped minimise the 15 minutes contact that causes concern.
The crowd were also supposed to have double jabs and an Lateral Flow test negative before going, I wonder whether Prince George has been immunised?
The biggest risks were not at the match even though people broke in to watch but the melees in public spaces in London and around the country.
By this time next week we will have reached the predicted 50,00 new cases , if we substantially pass that total we can blame the football generally.
Yet again tonight there is a hitch in the data being released by the Government . 1.06 million tests were done yesterday with none yet reported today. There were 42,302 testing positive today and 36,660 yesterday. There have been 50,000 new cases in a week .Deaths were 50 yesterday and 49 today. These figures continue to rise slowly and the death rate has gone up a notch to 0.3 per 100k.
Hospital data has not been released for some time and there are no figures released today.
46.03 million 1st doses and 35.14 million second doses have been given. We now have 2/3 of the adult population protected but one in three adults are still not be protected. This is the Achilles heal for our recovery plan. We must get this figure higher. Please get yours if you have missed it. Carry on with all your usual precautions, it would seem not a lot will change on July 19th.
We can carry on without the threat of a criminal conviction but your right of passage may be conditional on being immunised and wearing masks. Do stay safe everyone.
Please feel free to comment or make suggestions on what I have written or ideas you might have.