After a further week of political turmoil emanating from Parliament it is pleasing to be able to say that they seem to be getting things right in managing Covid and balancing it with trying to bring life back to a new normal, now concentrating more on the financial difficulties of maintaining a stable economy.
1.2 million tests were done for Covid infections yesterday. This figure has been maintained with minor fluctuations for some time. Remember some people are tested more than once and others do not report their test results, so at best this is a best guess estimate subject to day-to-day fluctuations. Many people are testing every day still, others only if going out somewhere with others. There are still more who have never tested.
Only 84,053 people bothered to report a positive test. This is showing a day to day drop this week. There have been 14.9 thousand less positive results over a 7-day period. The positive rate is below 1,000 again at 986 per 100k of the population.
There was a drop in hospital admissions over 7 days of 1,075 or 8.7% reported for 31st January. Yesterday there were only 14,637 in hospital and only 478 on a ventilator. There were over 16,000 people in hospital with Covid just a week ago.
Deaths recorded today are 254, this is a fall of 62 or 3.4% in the last week. The death rate remains at 2.5 per 100,000 of the population.
With vaccinations, 91.1% have had at least one dose, 65.1% have managed to have all 3 doses.
Looking around the world Spain have made some changes which could affect your half term plans. Those individuals who are unvaccinated must produce a negative LFT 24 hours prior to departure. It has been changed from 48 hours before. For people fully vaccinated no LFTs tests are required. This could potentially affect school children yet to have their second dose.
Portugal have announced similar changes with effect from 9th February. If fully vaccinated no LFT tests are required on entry. Be sure to carry with you your certificate of vaccination. Check the date on it as you may need to renew it as they are only valid for 1 month. Get one via the NHS app or ringing 119.
France no longer requires masks to be worn out-doors, but vaccine passes are required for restaurants etc.
With the winter Olympics beginning this weekend, team Norway have been particularly badly hit by Covid with several of their star competitors ruled out.
A 5th Vaccine has been approved for use in the UK. It is called NUVAXOVID. It has been developed largely in the US and it had been hoped it would be manufactured on Teesside. It was hoped to be part of the levelling up programme for that area. Instead the production has been given to a business in India. The UK have ordered 60 million doses. Clearly somebody expects to have to use them in the coming year.
I hope many of you will be able to relax over the weekend and hopefully some sunshine will show that spring is around the corner. If you are able, please now try to get out and about and especially those shut in for 2 years. You can and should venture out, taking care and being sensible as you go. I very much value your questions and comments. This is not the forum however for arguments against vaccination. If that is what you really want to do there are plenty of places you can do so. I try here to present the facts and interpret data without political bias and am not making any political point. Pandemics affect everyone for a number of years and inevitably have to involve politics and arguments. After all there are several ways to boil an egg, just as there are different ways to control contagion.
What is important is that we work together to combat its bad effects. Whether it’s individuals or nations, collaboration and support is the way through this difficult time. Remember the plan K, apply it to yourselves and your family, follow it carefully so you can stay safe.