Commentary

Doc Hines - Covid News & Views - 26 January 2022

A look at the Government’s Covid dashboard shows all the parameters as green. This means that as far as Covid is concerned in England, things look good and progress is being made to overcome it. There are many other political crises for the Government to tackle at present. I am only considering Covid19.


For the last few days, we have seen between 1.2 and 1.3 million Covid tests done. This figure seems a stable average. The number positive has hovered at around 100,000 per day and 94,000 yesterday. This figure has risen slightly over the last 3 days but looked at over the last 7 days, there has been a fall of about 5,000 or 0.9%. The positive rate is now 945 per 100,000 of the population.

The hospital data is also very encouraging. The number admitted on one day was only 1,388 on 22nd January. This compares with 1,613 the day before and 1,967 the day before that. The number of inpatients in hospital beds now stands at 16,594. The first time it has been below 17,000 for a while.


The redundant statistics of the number in ITUs as reflected by those on a mechanical ventilator has dropped to 575. I learnt today that my local hospital intensive care unit has no covid patients at present. The respiratory wards are using high flow oxygen and non-invasive ventilation very successfully.


The slow creep upwards of the immunisation statistics is pleasing but there is still a long way to go. 90.9% have had one dose and 64.4% have had a third dose.


When our Government refers to fully vaccinated at present, they mean just two doses. Some countries are saying fully now means three doses. We should be ready for our definition to change fairly soon. The WHO are urging the richer nations to ensure they do all they can to vaccinate the rest of the world. There are many countries where the vaccination rate is still in single figures. I often wonder about the two small countries in central Africa, Ruanda and Burundi, that I have visited. There is still little or no communications and very poor road systems. It is a logistical nightmare to keep accurate records and I fear we will learn eventually that there have been hundreds of thousands of deaths, comparable with the genocide in that region in the past.


If you are able to help support aid in these poorer countries, please do so. There are a number of Aid Agencies that would love your financial help or even volunteer to work for them if practical.


France has broken all records with 500,000 new cases reported in just 24 hours.


The United States report 2,259 Covid deaths in one day, its worst toll since last February,


Australians wishing to travel to England can now do so without having to test or spend time in isolation providing they can prove they are fully vaccinated. If not vaccinated they can still travel but must have a negative test on the day of departure and another negative test on the second day after arrival. They have no requirement to isolate at home or in a hotel.


In England, official policy changes move masks from mandatory to advisory. Plan K still requires we wear them in public transport and indoor enclosed spaces such as supermarkets. I am delighted that TfL have said that masks will remain mandatory on the underground and you could be asked to leave if you refuse to wear one. Sainsbury’s have also said masks will be required inn their shops. I am sure other supermarkets will follow suit.


Please remain positive that there are good signs the impact of this pandemic is beginning to wain. In the mean time plan K is the safe way forward for everyone. Please remember to share your thoughts and ideas. All comments are welcome Please stay safe.

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