Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
22 February 2021
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- In total 17,582,121 people have received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine so far.
- Yesterday, a total of 9,834 new cases were recorded and 215 people sadly died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus.
- Today, the Prime Minister will announce the roadmap out of lockdown. The cabinet is expected to sign off the plan this morning before the PM makes a statement to the Commons at 3:30pm. He will deliver a press conference at 7pm.
- The roadmap will set out four tests to guide the Government from one stage to the next. Politico’s Playbook reports these will be (i) the vaccine program is continuing successfully; (ii) data showing the vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalizations and deaths ;(iii) infection rates do not risk putting unsustainable pressure on the NHS; and (iv) the risk assessment is not changed by new Variants of Concern.
- Public Health England will publish data on vaccine efficacy, including the impact on the number of hospitalizations, deaths and infections.
- The PM is expected to announce that:
- – on the 8th of March all schools in England can restart and one-to-one recreation will be again permitted in public spaces.
- – On the 29th of March, the rule of six will be reintroduced; two households of any size would be allowed to meet up outside and outdoor sports such as basketball and football will be permitted.
- On Andrew Marr Show yesterday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: ” There are signs that the number in hospital are falling much more quickly than they did in the first wave”.
- In Scotland, all pupils in P1-P3 and pre-school children can return to school full time from today. There will also be a part-time return, but on a very limited basis, for senior secondary pupils to allow them to complete work for national qualifications.
- People with underlying health problems and unpaid carers in Scotland will receive vaccine appointments.
- In Wales, children aged three to seven will start a phased return to face-to-face teaching, along with some students on practical college courses.
- Israel has reported a 95.8 per cent drop in Covid-19 infection among those who have received two doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, its health ministry announced on Saturday.
- Hospitality in Ireland will remain shut until mid-summer.
- The Covid Recovery Group of lockdown-sceptic backbenchers is calling for all restrictions to be lifted by the end of April.
- NASUWT, the teaching union, has said it was “reckless” to bring pupils back on the of March, as they called for a “cautious” and “phased return”. They have also reiterated that education staff should be prioritised for vaccines in the second phase of the rollout as schools reopen. On Sophie Ridge on Sunday, Matt Hancock has rejected prioritising teachers for vaccine ahead of the return to school.
- The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has urged the PM not to bow to political pressure or dilute public messaging.
- The British Beer and Pub Association said it was ” time to commit to reopening our pubs in a commercially viable way “.
- Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds is calling on the Government to extend eligibility for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment to anyone without access to workplace sick pay.
- The Telegraph reports that the government will drop its “stay at home” order from March 29, when outdoor activities are permitted. It also says that s hops and outdoor serving will be allowed in April, whilst hairdressers can open from May.
- The Sky reports that the R number, which has been central to the Government’s approach, will no longer inform decisions on whether to lift or introduce restrictions.
- The FT’s Chris Giles and John Burn-Murdoch argue that the fall in infections, hospitalisations and deaths are a result of the lockdown, rather than vaccinations, with numbers falling proportionally in young populations well as older (vaccinated) groups.