March 25 2022

We come to the end of another week with the weekly number of tests standing at well over 5 million and having grown by 101,000 in the last 7 days.

Around 600,000 tests have been positive in this last week. That is 47,000 more than the week before. A rise of 8.5%. The positive rate has been climbing steadily and is now 877.8/100,000 of the population. The rate of rise may have slowed a little, perhaps giving an early clue that this surge is nearing its peak. Too early to say for sure but we can be hopeful.

The number admitted to hospital in the last week was 14,440. A 17.4% rise on the week before, or 2,133 individuals. The total number in hospital 2 days ago was 17,440, and 302 were requiring a ventilator. Back in January the figure was just under 20,000 and over 750 were on a ventilator.

There seems to have been quite a jump in the number of deaths the reason for this is not immediately clear and might be a flaw in the collection method. It needs investigating. 950 people have died in the last 7 days which is almost 200 more than the previous week, this is a 26% rise week on week. The death rate remains at just 1.2 per 100,000.

As usual vaccine data is remaining static. Do not forget to have your 4th dose. Recent work from Pfizer shows considerable boosting of immunity after the spring or 4th dose.

With nearly 1,000 deaths in the last week, there is no way to claim this is nearly all over and we can get back to a new normal. Prof Sir Chris Witty has reminded us that Covid can still throw surprises. It is possible that the next Covid variant will be the worst yet.

Scotland still has a high prevalence of covid. It is estimated that 1 in 11 of the Scottish population currently are infected with covid. Several of you have reported that you have Covid, having managed to go 2 years without infection. I now have more friends with Covid than at anytime since it all began. I trust you all have a quick complication free recovery soon. It is thought that there are currently 4.26 million active cases in the UK, an all-time record. Thank goodness they are not having more of an impact on our hospitals than would have happened before immunisation. Without vaccines I am sure the NHS would have collapsed by now.

It is proving impossible to obtain accurate figures for Covid in Ukraine. The vaccination programme has virtually collapsed. Even more worrying is the collapse of the routine childhood vaccinations. We will soon see a surge in the numbers of children with measles, whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus and chicken pox. With disrupted water and sewage systems typhoid and cholera will be waiting to pounce. Hepatis is also about to cause problems. There are reports of children beginning to die of malnutrition and cold. We may be enjoying warm spring sunshine but it is still well below freezing at night in Ukraine.

I am delighted to see the levels of medical aid being driven to Eastern Europe. Please keep supporting the efforts with food and medicines or send donations in cash. They will need this for many months to come.

We must continue to try and protect ourselves and our neighbours, friends and families. Remember plan K will add significantly to our safety. And it is our responsibility to stay safe.

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