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Doc Hines - Covid News & Views - 8th October 2021

Big changes in the travel requirements for British people returning to the UK have been announced this week. Last week 54 countries were on the Red list but this has been dramatically reduced to just 7 countries. Remember that the rules in force now are for fully vaccinated individuals returning to the UK. Both doses must have been given more that 14 days before travel and the day the last jab was given does not count. Further the vaccines given must be approved. A significant number of people who took part in early trials of different vaccines have been disadvantaged because the vaccines like Novovax and Valnerva they were given were never approved. To allow them to travel they have been offered 2 further doses of the Pfizer vaccine which is of course approved. We owe these volunteers who had trial doses a great deal, it is a pity to see them penalised now in this way.

Fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to perform pre arrival tests which will save a lot of money. Lateral flow tests will be done back here in the UK and only if positive will a PCR test performed under the NHS be done for free.

The remaining countries on the Red list are Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. You will see the strong South and Central American influence.

We are promised that half term breaks to Europe will be a lot easier and cheaper.

By all means get ready to celebrate with a holiday but go off remembering that things could change suddenly and at short notice. If a new resistant variant or mutation shows its head things could revert to very expensive quarantine and considerable costs for a family.

I do not think we are able to confine this pandemic to the history books just yet despite attempts to suggest it is all over bar the shouting. It is estimated that one in 70 of people aged 12 or over in England have Covid at present and over 35,000 new cases every day, and over 120 deaths. Thank goodness it’s impact on our day to day life is much better, but caution and responsibility are necessary for another year at least.

Russia reports it is at the highest levels for cases this year with over 900 daily deaths for the last 2 days. 5,404 positive cases are reported in Moscow alone.

The figures for England remain steady with some day-to-day fluctuations which are probably not significant, the number of new cases is consistently higher than I hoped for by now.

There were just under a million tests done today, but just over a million yesterday. There were 36,000 tests positive today and 40.000 yesterday. The seven-day figure for yesterday showed a slight drop whereas the same calculation for today showed a slight rise of just 0.1%

The number of patients in hospital has dropped back a little to 6,763 on 7th October. It had risen a little from earlier in the week. The number on a ventilator on 7th October was 808, just one more than the previous day.

Remember that percentages of those vaccinated have been adjusted to show everyone over 12. This is 49.10 million first doses and 45.12 million second doses, so 85.4 % have had one jab and 45.10% have had two.

I am ready for a break from the screen. I have spent six hours both today and yesterday watching a virtual conference on the computer about prehospital medical emergency care, as my attempt to stay up to date and understand new developments. I know several in the audience still read my reports in order to stay up to date with Covid. Please say Hi in the comments,

Enjoy your weekend, it may be the last very warm one of the Summer. Your mission for the weekend is to review your position and ensure you are as fully protected as you can be and those others in your family as well. This means all vaccines given, flu, Covid and pneumonia if eligible. Continue to have a mask readily available to wear when conditions suggest it’s a good idea. Life post Brexit is still very tough for many, be kind be considerate and be tolerant.

Above all be sensible and stay safe

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