Covid-19 Daily Bulletin

18 January 2021

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

Key Announcements:

  • Global deaths linked to coronavirus have passed two million – just over a year since it was first identified in China.
  • All UK travel corridors, which allow arrivals from some countries to avoid having to quarantine, have now closed.
  • People in England aged 70 and over, as well as those listed as clinically extremely vulnerable, will begin receiving offers of a coronavirus vaccine this week, the BBC reports.
  • All adults in the UK should have been offered the Covid vaccination by September, Dominic Raab has said, setting a clear timescale for the first time.
  • Nadhim Zahawi has said that the Government will “absolutely” begin pilots for 24/7 vaccination centres before the end of the month, according to the Telegraph.
  • A study suggests that nearly a third of COVID-19 patients who needed hospital treatment were readmitted within 140 days, Sky News is reporting , with evidence that suggests that those who recovered from the virus had increased rates of respiratory and cardiovascular problems, as well as diabetes.
  • The BBC is reporting that concerns have been raised about employees forced to go into workplaces that are not Covid-compliant during lockdown, as between 6 and 14 January, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) received 2,945 complaints about safety issues.
  • Up to a fifth of staff in some care home groups have refused an offer of a coronavirus vaccine, with younger workers thought to be more likely to be resistant, new data has shown.
  • Fake news is likely to be causing some people from the UK’s South Asian communities to reject the Covid vaccine, a doctor has warned.


  • In Northern Ireland, medical staff are expected to “face pressures unlike any other they have faced before” as it approaches its toughest week so far in the pandemic. The British Medical Association has said while its doctors are “coping”, many feel they are unable to give care to the “standard they would want”.
  • Northern Ireland’s mental health champion is among child health experts warning of the “devastating effect” of the coronavirus pandemic on children, reports the BBC. Professor Siobhan O’Neill was among more than 50 signatories to a letter calling children’s welfare “a national emergency”.
  • British Army soldiers are to help establish 80 new Covid vaccine centres across Scotland.
  • In Scotland, taxi drivers affected by a huge drop in passenger numbers as a result of the pandemic are being encouraged to claim a £1,500 grant.
  • An extra £40m to help students struggling in the coronavirus pandemic is to be given to Welsh universities amid outcry over rent and tuition fees, reports the BBC.
  • After experiencing its most difficult period of the entire Covid-19 pandemic in December, the boss of Welsh Ambulance Service says they are still under “extreme pressure”.
  • Wales Online reports that the Welsh Government has said one Oxford-AstraZeneca batch out of four had been delayed, affecting 26,000 doses due to be sent to Wales’ seven health boards.


  • The coronavirus was found on ice cream produced in eastern China, prompting a recall of cartons from the same batch, according to the government, the Telegraph is reporting.
  • The US says it has intelligence that researchers in a Wuhan lab became sick with COVID-19-like symptoms in autumn 2019 – before the first identified case of the outbreak.
  • Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.
  • A nurse has received Brazil’s first vaccine dose after health regulators gave emergency approval to two jabs. Regulator Anvisa gave the green light to vaccines from Oxford-AstraZeneca and China’s Sinovac, doses of which will be distributed among all 27 states.
  • Hospitals in the Brazilian city of Manaus have reached breaking point while treating Covid-19 patients, amid reports of severe oxygen shortages and desperate staff, the BBC reports.
  • Rwandan authorities have announced closure of nursery, primary and secondary schools in the capital, Kigali, as numbers of coronavirus cases continue to rise.
  • Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has announced that the country has recorded new variants of Covid-19 at its main airport.
  • Nigerian MPs have asked the federal government to postpone the planned reopening of schools by three months citing rising Covid-19 cases.
  • Schools in Malawi will close for at least 15 days from Monday under new restrictions to combat a surge in coronavirus cases.
  • A sanitation worker became the first Indian to receive a Covid vaccine as the country began the world’s largest inoculation drive. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the programme, which aims to vaccinate more than 1.3bn people against Covid.
  • Several EU countries are receiving significantly fewer doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine than expected, after the US firm slowed shipments, the BBC reports.


  • Dealing with the deadly second wave of Covid has left the NHS in the most precarious position in its 72-year history, chief executive Sir Simon Stevens has warned , as ministers said they were aiming to get all adults in the UK vaccinated by September.
  • Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds has today stepped up her calls on counterpart Rishi Sunak to amend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to give working parents the legal right to request paid flexible furlough.