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Doc Hines - Covid News & Views - 23 July 2021

The cautious optimism I mentioned on Wednesday continues tonight as the number of new cases has dropped further over the last two days. 39,906 new cases yesterday and 36,389 today. This is now 6 consecutive days that the number of new cases has fallen. There has been a drop in the number by 15,000 new cases in the last week. This is no longer a quirk of statistics it's real.

However, this has to be tempered with the as yet unknown consequences of this week’s relaxation of social distancing and masks. It will take about 2 weeks to see if this is going to affect new cases.

Hospital data and deaths lag behind new cases by about 2 weeks, so we will probably need to wait for two weeks more to see those figures decline as a result of recent new cases. If the relaxation of the rules this week leads to more new cases we shall not see a lowering of hospital data in 2 weeks time. We will have to wait and see.

We continue to do just over 1 million tests each day. And as explained above the last two days have less than 40k new cases. The hospital data is, as anticipated, still slowly climbing. 788 people were admitted to hospital on the 19th July and 870 on 20th July. The number in hospital with Covid reached 5001 on 22 July compared with 4861 the day before. 699 people are on a ventilator on 22 July.

Daily death figures do vary because of reporting issues. There were 64 today but 84 yesterday. More comparable is the weekly figure of 402 in the last 7 days. The death rate is now 0.5 per 100k of the population.

Perhaps the most important figures are probably the number of vaccinations still being done every day. 47.47 million 1st doses have been given which is 87.9% of the adult population and 36.58 million second doses which are 69.5%. So we still have 30% to get done.

Travel this weekend is likely to be very busy being the first weekend of the school holidays. If you are flying off somewhere good luck! Please allow at least 3 hours before departure to process the administration. Remember that masks are required still on all international and domestic flights. Staffing levels are low due to self-isolation following contact with positive cases. There is a lot of admin work so please remember to take several paper copies of your tests and covid status, ensure they are in hand luggage rather than cases you check-in. You never know when your phone device battery goes flat. Do not rely on it. I am told you will require a mask if travelling on the Heathrow express.

Be sure to check your insurance cover meets all your requirements as they vary considerably.

In Italy, where cases have been rising a new green pass will be required to access indoor venues. This includes dining areas, gyms theatres etc. you can have a green pass if you have suffered Covid itself in the last 6 months or if you have had at least 1 dose of the vaccine, or a negative test in the last 48 hours. This comes into force on 6th August.

Lone women being detained in isolation have been promised female guards after a series of complaints about inappropriate behaviour by male guards.

There is a restaurant in Spain that has covered up an outbreak of Covid amongst its staff so as not to have to close. Keeping it quiet and staying open has put some British customers at risk. I wonder just how often this is happening? I am surprised it has not been reported a lot more often.

We still have 30% of the population not double vaccinated. We must all play our part in reducing this figure as much as possible. Continue your personal use of masks and social distancing, respect the guidelines and comply with the specific requirements of the travel companies and shops like supermarkets.

Please share your experiences if travelling and do pass on any helpful tips. All your comments are much appreciated The more we can get further immunised the lower our overall risks The NHS is busy but not overwhelming. Come September be ready for your flu jab and a Covid booster.

In the meantime, play your part by staying apart when possible. and stay safe,

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