Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
14 January 2021
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- Yesterday, the UK recorded 1,564 coronavirus deaths, the highest daily figure since the pandemic began.
- At PMQs yesterday, Boris Johnson confirmed that vaccine centres would move to be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, “as soon as we can”.
- Johnson told MPs that recent coronavirus restrictions “are starting to show signs of some effect” – but he refused to rule out even tougher measures. Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallence backed this claim in an interview with Peston yesterday.
- The government is expected to introduce a flight ban on several South American countries due to a new highly transmissible variant of Covid identified in Brazil.
- The new rule requiring a negative test 72 hours before flying to England, initially due to be implemented on Friday, has been delayed until Monday 4am.
- Vallance said they were not sure whether the Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines would work on the Brazilian and South African strains, noting that the experiments verifying this were underway.
- No cases of the new mutation have yet been found in the UK, but flights from the region continue.
- A-level, AS and GCSE students in England could be asked to sit mini external exams to help teachers with their assessments after formal exams were cancelled last week.
- The first pharmacies to offer coronavirus jabs will be able to administer the vaccine from today. Six outlets will be initially involved, with more than 200 up and running by the end of the month, according to NHS England.
- Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam told the Sun’s Kate Ferguson that England will remain in lockdown until “mid to late spring.”
- First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced six new Covid restrictions which are due to come into effect on Saturday, subject to approval by the Scottish Parliament. They include click and collect services limited to essential shopping such as clothing and baby equipment, and customers no longer being able to collect takeaways from inside restaurants.
- The Northern Ireland Executive are considering requiring negative tests for international arrivals.
- Hundreds of students in Wales are preparing to take part in rent strikes after paying for accommodation that they have “hardly used”.
- WHO experts have arrived in Wuhan, China, to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Chinese state media. It comes after the team were stopped entering the country earlier this month, which had led to international outcry.
- Ireland recorded the highest infection rate in the world last week, having had one of the lowest rates in Europe in December.
- Public Health England have published a report that shows that Covid infections provide 83 percent immunity for at least five months. They believe that people may still be able to transmit the virus despite the immunity.
- The Times reports that the government is considering introducing a flight ban on countries such as Argentina, Uruguay, Peru and Colombia, and could soon be extended to the United States, amid fears that the new variant is prevalent there too.
- The Times reports that Health Secretary Matt Hancock proposed ditching the exception which allows exercise with one person outside one’s household, however the PM argued against it.
- Politico has analysed documents showing that the test and trace bill of the Department for Health has almost doubled with consultants paid to reboot the work on the NHS contact tracing app.