Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
11 December 2020
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- The latest figures show an increase of 20,964 new cases over one day, with 516 new deaths, sadly taking the death total in the UK to 63,082. Latest daily figures of hospital admissions stand at 1,464.
- Covid testing across universities before students travel home has found few positive cases according to the BBC. There are no national figures thus far, but early findings have shown low rates. However, these findings include three universities in Tier 2 for infection rates – and not the highest Tier 3 areas – and it is not known yet whether these are representative.
- Last night, the Health Secretary announced testing in Secondary Schools across London, Kent and Essex, as it was explained that 11-18-year olds have seen the fastest rise in coronavirus infection rates “by far”.
- The Independent are reporting that a new study from the National Audit Office shows that of the £720m spent on recruiting 18,000 contact tracers, only one hour of every 100 hours paid was spent working – or 1 percent.
- The Global Carbon Project have published a study that highlights how the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic has driven the biggest annual fall in CO2 emissions since World War Two, with a decline in carbon emissions by 2.4bn tonnes.
- All secondary schools in Wales are set to shut next week to avoid face to face teaching for the two weeks before Christmas. Lessons will be conducted online.
- Strong rumours are circulating that London will enter Tier 3 after the Government’s next assessment on 16 December.
- Non-essential shops in Scotland have reopened as Scottish restrictions are eased. Analysis from the BBC shows that promising signs that the ‘level four’ restrictions worked to significantly reduce cases.
- A promising Australian candidate for a coronavirus vaccine has been abandoned after trial participants returned false HIV positive results.
- In the States, the FDA have recommended emergency approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. The decision comes after a 23-member panel met to determine whether the drug’s benefits outweigh the risks.
- In response to testing increase announced last night, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I’m pleased that the Government has listened and will be providing more testing resources to support the most seriously affected areas of the capital. We have repeatedly asked for more testing in our worst hit boroughs to help tackle the spread of the virus and I have discussed our concerns with the Health Secretary, including the particularly concerning rise in cases in secondary school children… Nobody wants the capital to face Tier 3 restrictions, but with cases rising we face a tipping point. That’s why it’s important that the Government is providing this much-needed testing support and it is essential that Londoners continue to follow the rules to reduce the spread of the virus.”
- Responding to funding for councils to support those self-isolating who lose out on income running out, Cllr Giles Archibald, District Councils’ Network lead member for Better Lives, said: “District councils have been on the frontline fighting this virus since day one, and supporting residents and businesses throughout… However, we have concerns that the money we have to provide payments to those on low incomes needing to self-isolate is about to run out… We are also concerned that if the money runs out, infectious people will be tempted to go to work because it is the only way of paying the bills and meeting household costs. With mass testing being introduced in some areas, there is a risk that councils will be unable to provide financial support to households who need it. We need government to address this by providing new, additional funding, so we can continue to work together and get through the months ahead of a vaccine becoming widely available.”