As predicted, the Covid figures have begun to change in the wrong direction. Today we have the highest number of tests done for some time. There were 1,326,435 logged today and 58,194 were found to be positive. 8% more tests have been done this week compared to last. The rate of tests positive is closing on 500 per 100,000 of the population. If you do more tests as we have been urged to we will find more positive cases. 58 thousand is the highest daily figure since last winter. To my mind a 9% rise in testing is disappointing. I wonder how many LRF tests both positive and negative are not reported, so not recorded and included in the statistics. Deaths today amounted to 120, with 148 recorded yesterday. Over the full 7 days the number remains exactly the same. The new omicron variant has not yet had time to influence death data. We will see an impact in another week or so.
The hospital data is beginning to rise again exactly as anticipated as the new variant has been in the community long enough to cause some hospitalisations now. We have seen it dropping but now as expected, it will go on rising as the Omicron variant of covid 19 begins to bite.
On 5th December 813 were admitted to hospital on that date the next day it was 839. Over the last week there has been a rise of 196 in the daily admission date. Yesterday there were a total of 7413 in a hospital bed and 900 were being treated on a ventilator. This compares with 7,347 and 890 the day before. The scientific modellers predict these figures will continue to rise for some weeks and could well impact on the ability of the NHS to cope with the work load.
The good news is that another 24 thousand have been brave enough to have a first vaccination and 33,000 have managed a second. We are now just 1% short of 90% for first immunisations. If these folk can do it so can the 4 million or so that still have not come forward. NHS staff are used to needle phobia problems and have a variety of ways to minimise the impact of a needle prick. Please go and ask for help if you have a needle phobia.
A further 448 Omicron variants have been detected in the UK in the last 24 hours. This brings the total to 1265. There were 249 new cases in England, 1 in Scotland and 4 in Wales.
Boris Johnson continues to want a happier Christmas compared to last year. There is no doubt that with 89% immunised we are much better off than a year ago. He says we should let school nativity plays go ahead, children should not be taken out of school and that family parties should go ahead with sensible precautions. However, Scotland have taken a tougher approach with Nicola Sturgeon saying cancel parties at Christmas.
I think there is little doubt the scientific predictions are accurate. We can now begin to see the effect on numbers and hospital capacity. As time progress we will see younger cases first, but older adults will follow in a few weeks. The Government tries to walk a path between being too harsh or too lax. Whether to be reactive or proactive. The opposition, one would hope would cooperate maximally in a time of National crisis. There is constant criticism but its rare to see any positive suggestions. Protecting jobs, the economy and food supplies is a real challenge. Only the toughest and most resolute personality could cope with this constant onslaught. No one can offer a better way, lets stop the relentless attempts to unseat him. No one else in Parliament at present can deal with this. His Churchillian toughness will see us through Give him some slack to see and enjoy his new child.
Remember immunisation of the whole population is the way out of this, with as near 100% as possible. Its never to late to start a course. Can we all make one more attempt to help someone we know who is still refusing. Please comment. I need to see your reactions to gauge public opinion. I may have been deliberately provocative. If you know a way forward that will work, please share it. Keep up all the precautionary measures do an LFT before going to a public event or if you have symptoms. Mask up all the time you are indoors and wrap up warm if the windows and doors are open for ventilation.
Have the best weekend possible, make the most of Christmas, perhaps increase the decorations to cheer us all up. Stay sensible and above all safe.