Covid-19 Daily Bulletin

17 March 2021

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

Key Announcements:

  • Yesterday, a total of 5,294 people tested positive for the Covid-19 and 110 people died having tested positive for the virus within 28 days.
  • As of the 15 March, 24,839,906 people had received the first dose of a vaccine in the UK and 1,663,646 people had received a second dose of vaccine.
  • The EU’s medicines regulator has said it remains “firmly convinced” that the benefits of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine outweigh the risks. However, it added that isolated cases of blood clots “are a serious concern and need serious and detailed scientific evaluation.”
  • France and Italy have signalled that they are prepared to drop their suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine if the European Medicines Agency clears the jab of safety concerns when it releases its findings tomorrow.
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock has insisted that the evidence “does not suggest” that the AstraZeneca vaccine causes blood clots . He urged people to “listen to the regulators” and to “get the jab” as soon as they are offered it. Hancock added: “We know not only [is the vaccine] safe, it’s actually saving lives [in the UK] right now”.
  • The Public Account Committee has warned that the Government’s initiative to house rough sleepers during the pandemic has “exposed the scale” of the issue , with the number of rough sleepers housed nearly nine times higher than official estimates of rough sleepers.
  • A report by the National Audit Office has found that fewer than half of pupils who have received tuition as part of the National Tutoring Programme are from the poorest families.
  • Two cases of a new coronavirus strain first reported in the Philippines have been found in England. Concerns have been raised that vaccines may not be as effective against its notable mutations, including the E484K spike protein.


  • First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that lockdown will start to be lifted in Scotland from the beginning of April. Cafes, pubs and restaurants will be allowed to open until 8pm indoors on 26th April. Travel restrictions in and out of Scotland will also be lifted, although international travel will “not be achievable” before 17th May.
  • Scotland’s “stay at home” message will change to “stay local” on 2nd April.
  • First Minister Mark Drakeford has supported calls for a public inquiry into the Welsh Government’s handling of Covid-19 once the “pandemic is behind us.”


  • A report by UNICEF warns that the pandemic has taken an especially high toll on South Asian women and children, and may have indirectly contributed to 228,000 additional child deaths in 2020, approximately 11,000 maternal fatalities and 3.5m unwanted pregnancies in South Asia.
  • The Prime Minister of France, Jean Castex , has said that France has entered a third wave of the pandemic, as the seven-day average of new cases rose above 25,000 for the first time since 20th November.
  • Former US president Donald Trump has urged Americans to get vaccinated . A new poll from the Associated Press found that 42 percent of Republicans say they probably or definitely will not get vaccinated , compared with 17 percent of Democrats.


  • Senior doctors, government scientific advisers and a former head of the civil service have spoken out in favour of a public inquiry into the UK’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is also being reported that 47 per cent of the British public support a public inquiry, compared to only 18 per cent who oppose the idea.