Despite the large number of different opinions being expressed by scientists and politicians alike, it does seem to me that, although this emergency is far from over, the UK is making steady progress to overcome the pandemic and return our country to a new normal, where we remember the things we have done differently and continue to gain benefits from new ways of working.
The statistics continue to behave as we have predicted. The football came and went without too many adverse effects. Certainly, nowhere near as bad as some were forecasting. The so-called freedom day has come and gone with only marginal effects. The same people who demanded it be delayed are now demanding the next stage is brought forward. This is certainly the case with her Majesty’s Opposition.
The Olympic Games watched from the safety of our living rooms is unlikely to impact much on the statistics at least in the UK. The number of daily tests being done has dropped because school children at home are not being tested so regularly. There were 911k tests yesterday and 863k tests done today. Positive results numbered 31,117 yesterday and 29k today. The most observant will see that having risen a little for two days the figure is falling again. The rate yesterday was 353.5 per 100k and 333.1 per 100k today. I anticipate this continued downward trend will continue but the weekend figures do not reflect the truth. We need to wait until next Tuesday and Wednesday to get a much clearer picture. Deaths reported were 85 yesterday and 68 today but if you take the 7-day figures we see 499 and 503. Virtually no significant changes up or down. This is very positive, we know deaths will be the last figure to change as we come out of this 3rd wave.
Turning to hospital data, 932 people were admitted to hospital on 25 July and 927 on the 26th. A very slight drop for the first time in a while. The numbers in hospital have also dropped slightly to 6,034 yesterday and 5,916 today. Hopefully, we are nearing a peak on hospital admissions. Those in the ITU on ventilators will take a few more days before they show a peak. There were 853 yesterday and 869 today. Only a very slight rise. The R rate nationally has fallen, now 1.1-1.5, there are some minor variations across England. 46.77 million 1st dose jabs have been given to 88.4% of adults. For second doses it is 37.92 million or 71.8% of the adult population. What are your thoughts on the popular slogans at moment? For example, “No jabs means no Jobs” or “no jab means no flying”. The Government itself is ducking the issue and would not want to bring legislation to enforce it. Rather they will look to employers and airline companies to set their own rules and enforce them. Is this really a civil liberties issue, or just basic common sense? I personally think it very reasonable that employers who have a duty of care to all their staff and others they come into contact with, should be able to say you must be fully vaccinated to do this job. Meanwhile, a reminder that this pandemic is very real. Italy has extended many of its restrictions for British tourists for a further month and Greece is considering new rules for many of its many islands. I fear this may further disrupt many holidays. What are you all doing with your used face masks? Throw away masks now apparently amount to 5,500 metric tons of microplastics in the ocean. It is anticipated to take 450 years to biodegrade. Most of these masks are made of polypropylene which breakdown into microplastics.
We still need 5 million or more jabs being done by the end of August. So please make every effort to get the younger adults off to get their second jab. The more vulnerable you are the more I believe you should continue with the sensible precautions of cleaning surfaces, wearing masks on transport and shops as well as other crowded places. I am sure that once the pilots are completed we shall move away from automatic self-isolation if pinged by track and trace. Daily testing will take its place. Those pushing to do it now will be the first to complain if the pilot studies show this is not reliable. I am sure it will be safe, we just have to be able to prove it safe before committing to it. There is still a great deal of stress and anxiety all around us, not helped by media scaremongering or by false information. Please all do your part in being kind and supportive. Stamp on false rumours and help people through these final few months. Stay safe everyone.
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