Covid-19 Daily Bulletin

17 February 2021

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

Key Announcements:

  • Dominic Raab, the UK Foreign Secretary, is to ask for ceasefires to be implemented in conflict zones so local populations can be vaccinated against coronavirus, arguing that the world has “a moral duty to act”.
  • Cases will need to drop by almost 93 percent before lockdown can be lifted, the chief executive of NHS Providers has said.
  • Every adult in the UK could receive both doses of a coronavirus vaccine by August or September “or maybe sooner if we need to”, the head of the country’s vaccine taskforce has told Sky News.
  • England’s vaccination programme is starting to pay off, with the over-80s age group now the most likely to test positive for coronavirus antibodies, Office for National Statistics testing suggests.
  • Scientists have identified another new variant of coronavirus in the UK with some potentially troubling mutations.


  • Four air passengers have each been fined £10,000 for failing to declare they had travelled from a “red-list” country, West Midlands Police has said.
  • Preston should be prioritised in the coronavirus vaccination rollout along with other areas where infections remain high, council leader Matthew Brown has said.
  • Surge testing for the South African variant of Covid-19 is being expanded in several areas across England. The tests will take place in areas of Norfolk, Southampton and Surrey. Surge testing for a mutation of the Kent variant will also expand in Manchester.
  • An Audit Scotland report has said that the Scottish Government was not adequately prepared for the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The youngest pupils are to return to Scotland’s classrooms for face-to-face teaching from next week. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was unlikely that any other pupils would return to school before 15 March at the earliest.
  • Nicola Sturgeon has warned Scots not to book Easter holidays as it is “highly unlikely” that hotels or self-catering accommodation will be open.


  • The Australian state of Victoria and the New Zealand city of Auckland will both exit snap lockdowns on Thursday.
  • Former Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra requested and received an early vaccination against Covid-19 out of turn, a doctor has told lawmakers.
  • Zimbabwe says the coronavirus variant first discovered in neighbouring South Africa now makes up more than 60 percent of cases within its borders.
  • A court in The Hague has told the Dutch government that an overnight curfew to reduce the spread of coronavirus should be lifted, ruling that it breaches the right to free movement.
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has accepted blame – but has not apologised – for a lack of transparency about Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes.
  • Palestinian officials have accused Israel of preventing a vital first shipment of 2,000 coronavirus vaccines intended for frontline health workers from entering the blockaded Gaza Strip.


  • Anne Longfield, England’s children’s commissioner has said that vulnerable children must be at the heart of Government plans to “build back better” after the pandemic.
  • Reform, the think tank, has warned that waiting lists for hospital treatment could more than double by April and hit 10 million in England.
  • The NHS is likely to remain “at full stretch” for at least another six weeks, a health service official said as he warned the Prime Minister against easing lockdown too quickly.


  • Plans are being prepared for nationwide surge testing across England as the Covid-19 lockdown is eased, Sky News understands.