Covid-19 Daily bulletin
19 February 2021
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- According to Government statistics, yesterday saw 12,057 new confirmed cases of Coronavirus. Sadly, 454 people died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus.
- 16,423,082 people have now had their first dose of the vaccine , with 573,724 having also had a second dose.
- Today, the Prime Minister will chair the first meeting of the UK’s G7 presidency, where the pandemic is expected to be a focus of discussion. In advance of the meeting, Johnson said: “Perhaps more than ever, the hopes of the world rest on the shoulders of scientists and over the last year, like countless times before, they have risen to the challenge. The development of viable coronavirus vaccines offers the tantalizing prospect of a return to normality, but we must not rest on our laurels.”
- The government announced overnight that the UK will send the majority of its surplus vaccines to the COVAX scheme, which distributes the vaccine with developing countries. The number of doses sent will be dependent on supplies and the development of new virus strains. Johnson has also urged world leaders to increase funding to the COVAX scheme and cut the development time of vaccines from 300 days to 100.
- According to data seen by the Telegraph, vaccines appear to cut Covid transmissions and infections by two-thirds. The data shows that just one dose of either the Oxford or Pfizer vaccines has such an effect on all age groups.
- Liaison Committee Chair Bernard Jenkin has written to Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg, calling on the government to press on with its legislative agenda after being held up for months by the pandemic. Jenkin urged government to press on with bills on issues like environmental standards and sentencing reform, now that it was bringing the pandemic under control.
- Today, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford will announce stay-at-home restrictions will remain in place for another three weeks. He is also expected to announce that some children will return to school from Monday. At the next review, the Welsh government will be considering whether all primary school pupils and some older students can return to schools and colleges from March 15.
- Scottish National Clinical Director of Healthcare Quality and Strategy, Professor Jason Leitch, has said that Scotland could “strive” to eliminate Covid-19, but at the cost of isolation. He warned that an elimination strategy would prevent international travel to Scotland “for some time”.
- Japan has confirmed a new variant of Covid, presenting new challenges as the country tries to overcome a third wave of the pandemic. The new strain appears to have originated overseas but is different from other types that have been found sporadically in Japan, according to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.
- A study in Israel has found that the Pfizer vaccine is 85 per cent effective after the first dose. Pfizer has said alternative dosing regimens of the vaccine have not been evaluated yet and that the decision resided with the health authorities.
- Africa’s reported covid death toll has passed 100,000 as a second wave of infections overwhelms hospitals. Deaths are reportedly rising sharply across the continent, with deaths in South Africa accounting for nearly half.
- According to the Daily Mail’s Shaun Wooller , people in their 40s could be vaccinated by the end of March, according to analysis of the government’s vaccine rollout plan.
- The Times reports that Ministers are increasingly optimistic that Britons will be able to go on foreign holidays this summer. The government is reportedly still considering internationally recognised vaccination passports that will allow people to travel and is in talks with holiday destinations, such as Greece, about how they will work.