You have had both your jabs and are set to go. Stop right there. This week you need another shot of an abundance of caution, or so says our Prime Minister.
The planned reduction in lockdown restrictions began this morning. The decision to move forward was balanced on a knife edge as the number of cases of the Indian variant are still increasing in many parts of the UK. Fortunately, the effects have not so far extended to hospital data and deaths. Those increases would not normally be expected for another couple of weeks, there is also usually a 4-5 day time lag in getting the hospital data. Today there were 1,086,443 tests done, tests over the weekend were both below 1 million each day. There were 1,979 tests positive in the last 24 hours. This is first time it’s been below 2000 for a while. There was a rise of over 8.5% positive tests on each day over the weekend. Today the rate of rise is just 1.1 %. Let’s hope it is a real reflection of a fall in the rate of new cases showing rather than a statistical blip. There is a frustrating delay in producing hospital data. The latest figures show 991 in a hospital bed on 13th may. A further 103 were admitted on 11th May and on 14 May only 124 people required a ventilator. With 5 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, compared with 7 and 4 over the weekend the figures remain very low. To talk about statistical changes with such small numbers is futile. The numbers vaccinated are continuing to grow with 36.7million first doses and 20.28 million second doses now given. The UK is ahead of the schedule to immunise every adult by the end of July. People over the age of 35 are expected to be called for their first jabs this week. Additionally, those awaiting a second jab will have it brought forward a little to 8 weeks rather than 12 weeks after the first. This will increase the community immunity quickly to counter threats from the Indian Variant B 167 2. A study from India still shows the existing vaccine showed a 97% efficacy of the OAZ vaccine in patients exposed to the Indian variant. the study was conducted on 3,235 fully vaccinated health care workers in India. Studies have also now shown the new Covid variant is at least 50% more transmissible than the normal virus. This is why so much emphasis is being place on getting everyone protected. There is a new vaccine on the horizon made by GSK and Sanofi. It has very satisfactorily completed stage 2 trials and is now moving to stage 3. It should be available by the autumn. I did my regular shopping trip to the Supermarket this morning and I was delighted to see everyone wearing masks and keeping a good social distance. At last people seemed to be fully understanding what they have to do. There is a small restaurant selling teas, coffees or breakfasts. It was completely empty. As for the next easing of lock down , what happens in the next 10 days will be critical. If new cases and number continue to rise and the hospital admissions begin to rise any further easing will have to be put on hold. I believe we have taken a risk today; I personally would have delayed by ten days. Please help to prove me wrong by using this abundance of caution. Save the hugs whenever possible for a while longer, Let’s hope I can have a coffee in the supermarket in two weeks. Stay safe everyone and enjoy safely meeting your families again.