Covid-19 Daily Bulletin

4 January 2021

A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.

Key Announcements:

  • The government could bring in even tighter coronavirus measures for England within 24 hours, Matt Hancock has indicated, saying the NHS is “under significant pressure” from fast-rising case numbers across the country.
  • In an interview on the Today programme Hancock said he was “incredibly worried” about another new variant of the virus, the one that has emerged in South Africa.
  • The UK has become the first country to administer the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, following its approval last week.
  • The health secretary promised on Monday that there would be 1,000 vaccination sites up and running in the country by the end of the week.
  • Plans for the start of the new school term in England were in chaos on Sunday, as teaching unions and some councils refused government instructions to send primary school pupils back to classrooms amid a surge in coronavirus cases across the country.
  • Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director of NHS England, has told BBC Breakfast he hopes the country may be able to get back to “normal ways of life” by the summer.
  • Labour is calling for stronger coronavirus restrictions and a clearer public message about the need to stay at home. Kate Green, shadow education secretary, tells BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It is very clear that the government has lost control of the virus, we’re seeing a really alarming rise in cases and in the spread of the infection .”


  • Nicola Sturgeon is expected to announce tougher Covid controls in Scotland later today, with her government considering plans to keep schools closed for the rest of January .


  • Vietnam’s government on Monday said it was in talks with four countries, including the UK, to import Covid-19 vaccines, state media reported. Truong Quoc Cuong, deputy health minister, said that talks were most advanced with the UK drug maker AstraZeneca.
  • Australian researchers are set to open recruitment for volunteers aged between 18 and 75 years for an accelerated clinical trial of two “second generation” coronavirus vaccine candidates.
  • Russia has distributed more than 1.5m doses of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the official Tass news agency reported on Sunday.


  • Growth in eurozone manufacturing activity accelerated in December helped by strong foreign demand and positive news on Covid-19 vaccines.