A few weeks ago, it seemed that the numbers of new cases of Covid were rising but hospital admissions and deaths were not. During the two weeks of half term, the situation has reversed with now the number of hospital admissions and deaths creeping up, but the number of new cases is tailing off. At the same time the number of daily tests has fallen from over 1.1 million a day to less than 900,000.
The unanswered question is whether or not new cases are tailing off or are we not detecting the asymptomatic cases because we are not doing nearly as much testing? Which do you think is the correct answer?
Tuesday figures are always the worst in the week because of catch up over the weekend. Yesterday saw 262 deaths and again today still over 200 at 214. We are regularly seeing over 1,000 deaths per week with a small rise each week. The death rate is 1.6/100k of the population. Nearly 9,000 people are in hospital with Covid and over 1,000 are on a mechanical ventilator.
Although over 50 million first jabs have been given it is only 87.5%. and still less than 80% have had a second dose. Why are there 4 million people still not immunised? Do we write them off or continue to put pressure on them to be immunised? It is pleasing that third or booster jabs have passed 10 million and is now 19% of the target population.Tomorrow is the deadline for Care Home staff to be fully vaccinated or risk being laid off as unable to work. I hope this will cause a flurry of people getting their vaccine in the next week.
The Golden Rule for anyone working in the Health Service is First Do No Harm. I am horrified that the employees refusing immunisation are forgetting this basic rule. I am delighted that all patient-facing staff in the NHS must be fully immunised as well. They have until the spring to achieve this so those requiring two jabs have plenty of time. I hope this requirement will be the same in the Private sector as well. I personally believe that all NHS staff whether or not they are patient-facing should be covered by this rule. Few if any staff can say their paths never cross a patient in a corridor, hospital shop or canteen. Receptionists and ward clerks have regular contact. It would cause much less anxiety if all employed by the NHS have to be immunised.
Records and milestones continue to be broken around the world. Russia has just passed a total of 250,00 deaths since the pandemic began. Germany is seeing an infection rate of 232.1 per 100k.
The Prime Minister should be leading from the front and by example. Recent media pictures show him un-masked sitting in a row of delegates at the COP 26 conference, and other pictures at a visit to a hospital show him without a mask. At the hospital he claimed he was just about to put it on, but no mask can be seen in his hands.
Valnerva vaccine is the latest to be added to the portfolio of the European Medicine’s Agency. The UK cancelled their order after earlier suggestions it might not pass the scrutiny of the EMA. Thailand have allocated 500,00 vaccine doses to be given to migrant workers coming to Thailand for employment.
The Italian Authorities have moved to stop protests and demonstrations in towns and cities as they have become increasingly violent. The Italians have to have green pass showing they are fully immunised to go to their place of work as well as bars, restaurants, planes, long distance trains, as well as museums, theatres, night clubs, cinemas and sports stadia.
It is probable that more animals have been catching Covid from humans than was at first thought possible. The latest are 5 lions in a zoo in Singapore. They have all tested positive and are isolated in their dens at the zoo. At another Zoo in Denver USA 2 Hyenas have tested positive. Denmark elected to cull a large number of mink, who tested positive. Around the world several zoos have now begun an immunisation programme. Some Orangutans and five bonobos were immunised back last March in San Diego.
Here in England at least one dog from Weybridge in Surrey tested positive. He had clearly caught it from his owners both of whom had Covid at the time. Studies from the Netherlands suggest many more pets catch it from their owners, if the owners have the disease, than was first thought. The animals often have mild symptoms or none at all, and so would only be diagnosed if specifically tested for it. If you have Covid and are living with a dog, please consider testing the dog to see if they are infected as well. It is not believed that dogs can carry the infection from one person to another.
Just as with many human infections without symptoms if you do not test you do not know you have had it. Anecdotally we hear of people not testing because they do not want to be off work and isolate. Do you think we should pay a small fee to reward those who do the right thing and get tested, rather than ignore symptoms and pretend all is ok?
Politicians are slowly coming to the conclusions that most scientists have already, that the UK requires more stringent measures now. Let’s be ahead of the game. Implement plan B in your family now.
Get everyone fully jabbed and let’s stay as safe as possible.