Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
5 January 2021
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- Last night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced another ramping of English restrictions in order to keep the spread of the virus under control. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has imposed a similar lockdown in Scotland.
- People in England can only leave home for one of five reasons:
- To go to work if it is “impossible” to work from home,
- To shop for essentials such as food or medicine
- Exercise can be done with members of your own household or support bubble, or with one other person from a different household
- To provide care or help to a vulnerable person
- And for medical reasons or to escape domestic violence or harm.
- Police will have legal powers to ensure compliance, including fines.
- In a major U-turn from just the day prior, today all primary and secondary schools and colleges will move to remote learning, apart from children of key workers, who will still go in. Exams, including GCSEs and A-Levels this summer will be cancelled according to the BBC. Nurseries and early years providers will remain open.
- The Government is still hopeful that the vaccination programme offers a route out the current predicament, with Johnson saying that all care home residents and their carers, everyone aged 70 and over, all frontline health and social care workers, and the clinically extremely vulnerable will be offered one dose of a vaccine by mid-February.
- Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs on Monday that Scotland faced an “extremely serious” situation, with the new, faster-spreading variant of coronavirus “a massive blow”. A government document revealed there were more than 90 patients in intensive care units in recent days, with new modelling suggesting that figure could more than double by early February. The modelling sets out different scenarios with the most pessimistic predicting hospitals admissions could soar to more than 8,000 with over 700 patients requiring intensive care.
- Announcements about this year’s school transfer tests in Northern Ireland are expected today, First Minister Arlene Foster has said. She was speaking on Monday night after the Stormont executive announced an extended period of remote learning for school pupils in Northern Ireland. The executive also plans to give its stay-at-home guidance legal force.
- Parties and new year celebrations that attracted thousands of revellers with little social distancing or mask wearing have triggered panic and a strict 30-day national lockdown in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare.
- Italy has decided to keep nationwide restrictions in place while relaxing curbs on weekdays, Reuters is reporting. Italians spent much of Christmas and New Year at home, with people allowed to leave their houses only for work, health and emergencies, or for brief trips to see a limited number of friends or relatives. These rules are set to expire on Thursday and ministers agreed at a late Monday night cabinet meeting to return to the old, three-tier system, which allows for different measures to be applied to different regions.
- In what has been described as a “state scandal”, France has only vaccinated approximately 500 of its citizens, compared to around 240,000 in Germany and one million in Britain, according to health ministry figures.
- A leading thinktank has called for action to make Britain a fairer country after its research showed that the Covid-19 pandemic had led to greater inequality . The Institute for Fiscal Studies said the most vulnerable – those on lower incomes, the young, the least-educated and people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds – had been hit hardest by the crisis.