Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
14 December 2020
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- Covid vaccinations will start being given to patients from GP surgeries in England as part of the next stage of the rollout programme, and practices in more than 100 locations will receive their first deliveries of the vaccine later. Practices will priorities the over-80s.
- Millions of medical gowns bought for the NHS at the end of the first lockdown for £122m have never been used, the BBC reports.
- Hundreds of Covid-19 vaccination centres run by local doctors will begin opening across England this week, the NHS has said.
- The Guardian is reporting that the UK business secretary, Alok Sharma, insisted the Government was confident that supplies of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine would not be disrupted if there was a no-deal Brexit, although he refused to set out what contingency plans were in place.
- The Metro is reporting that Sadiq Khan is calling for the Government to close all schools in the capital tomorrow amid a ‘deeply concerning’ surge in Covid-19 cases. The BBC is reporting that the London Borough of Greenwich has become the first in England to ask all schools to move learning online from Tuesday amid rising Covid cases.
- In Wales coronavirus testing is to be rolled out in schools and colleges from January. Pupils and staff identified as close contacts will be able to have a lateral flow test each day of a self-isolation period, the Welsh Government said.
- Further doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine have arrived in Northern Ireland. Almost 50,000 doses have now been received in total, according to the Department of Health (DoH).
- The vaccine rollout to Scotland’s care homes will be a slow process, the head of the body that represents private care providers has warned.
- The Evening Standard is reporting that London could be split into different tiers to stop “untold damage” being inflicted on the capital by new stricter lockdown rules, according to reports.
- The coronavirus outbreak is ‘out of control’ in Germany as cases and deaths continue to rise after a failed ‘lockdown light’, Angela Merkel’s economy minister said today.
- In the UAE the first scientific study to detect the presence of the coronavirus through the use of customs K9 sniffer dogs was conducted by a joint task force consisting of experts, researchers and specialists representing HCT and the K9 Unit of the FCA.
- The Prime Minister of Eswatini, Ambrose Dlamini, has died four weeks after testing positive for coronavirus, a Government statement confirmed.
- New Zealand’s cabinet has agreed to establish a quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia in the first quarter of 2021, the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has said.
- The Times has reported that Australia has been forced to abandon the production of a locally made vaccine after clinical trials produced a false positive HIV result in early-stage testing.
- CNN is reporting that high-ranking White House officials are set to receive some of the first coronavirus vaccines in the United States, according to a White House official and a person familiar. The President, however, tweeted Sunday evening that White House staffers should receive the vaccine “somewhat later in the program, unless specifically necessary.”
- The Dutch Government is set to decide on stricter measures to fight the coronavirus outbreak in the Netherlands today, as the infection rate has climbed back to the peak levels reached at the end of October.
- Mauritania on Sunday reimposed a night time curfew in response to a surge in Covid-19 infections as its hospitals are stretched to the limit, the President’s office said.
- Following the Leader of London borough of Greenwich’s council letter to parents and head teachers, the National Education Union said the decision was “very sensible”.
- Responding to the opening of covid-19 vaccination centres, Professor Martin Marshall, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said: “GPs and our teams are about to embark on an enormous challenge, delivering the Covid-19 vaccination programme in the community whilst also delivering the expanded flu vaccine programme and the usual care and services our patients rely on us for…There are also logistical challenges but general practice has an excellent track record of delivering mass vaccination programmes, and we want to use this experience to help protect people from Covid-19 and start getting life back to normal again…Patients will be contacted and invited for vaccination – we would urge them not to contact their practice enquiring about vaccination, we will contact them.”
- NUS has warned that Government failures are politicising a generation, as over half of students (52 percent) now feel more political as a result of Coronavirus.
- Responding to the latest coronavirus survey figures from the ONS, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union said “The Government should commit now to a roll of mass testing across the country, not just in the South East. The testing should also happen in primary schools…We predict that when this testing happens many children will have to be sent home on public health advice. This will lead in practice to a chaotic closure in the last week of term.”
- The Fostering Network has asserted that the UK’s foster carers should be prioritised in the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme to be able to keep providing the best possible care for the children that they look after.