Covid-19 Daily Bulletin

18 March 2021

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

Key Announcements:

  • Yesterday, 5,758 people tested positive for the virus. Sadly, 141 people died having tested positive for the virus within 28 days.
  • Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, led a press conference yesterday encouraging people to continue following the rules in place, as well as providing details of the positive impact of the vaccines. He also confirmed that shielding guidance would end on 1st
  • The BBC is reporting that an expected reduction in the UK’s Covid vaccine supply next month is due to a delay in the delivery of five million Oxford-AstraZeneca doses from India. However, according to Sky News, drug giants Pfizer and AstraZeneca have rejected an NHS claim that the UK is facing a COVID-19 vaccine shortage, insisting there is no threat to supplies.
  • The Times has reported that under-50s will have to wait longer for their coronavirus jab after the NHS warned last night of a four-week supply drought.
  • Individuals’ human rights may have been breached in more than 500 cases where “do not resuscitate” decisions were made during the Covid pandemic, the care watchdog for England has said.
  • Politics Home has reported that the government has confirmed that the majority of weddings cannot resume from 12 April as expected, despite the official roadmap suggesting they could go ahead with 15 guests.
  • The prime minister’s former aide, Dominic Cummings, has criticised the Department of Health as “a smoking ruin in terms of procurement and PPE” at the start of the pandemic.
  • Most people who have had coronavirus are protected from catching it again for at least six months, new research in Denmark has suggested. However, the news is less positive for those aged 65 and over who are more prone to reinfection.


  • Health officials are examining what affect a reduced coronavirus vaccine supply in England might have in Northern Ireland, the BBC reports , as Health Minister Robin Swann said NI’s vaccine roll-out is ahead of schedule and would be able to adapt.
  • According to guidance on testing in schools published by the Department of Education (DE) in Northern Ireland, pupils younger than those in years 12 to 14 could be included in Covid-19 testing for schools “at a later stage”.
  • More than two million people in Scotland have now received their first dose of the Covid vaccine.
  • Researchers in Wales have asserted that support in schools needs to be targeted to avoid trying to get children to “catch up on everything” when classes resume.
  • Wales’ NHS will take “a number of years” to tackle the backlog caused by the pandemic, according to its boss.
  • Vaccine supplies which were due to arrive in Wales by mid-April will be delivered up to four weeks late, the Welsh government has confirmed.


  • Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has died aged 61, the country’s vice-president has announced, after unconfirmed rumours that he had contracted Covid-19.
  • A digital certificate to kick-start foreign travel should be given to citizens across the EU “without discrimination”, officials say.
  • The BBC is reporting that several European countries are experiencing a new surge in coronavirus infections, while a number had also suspended use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine over safety concerns.
  • The Guardian has reported that the EU is prepared to take exceptional steps to halt exports of Covid-19 vaccines to Britain and secure doses for its own citizens unless the UK starts shipping shots to the bloc, the European commission president has said.
  • Australia is to provide 8,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Papua New Guinea as the island nation struggles with an outbreak of coronavirus.
  • Brazil is experiencing a historic collapse of its health service as intensive care units in hospitals run out of capacity, its leading health institute, Fiocruz, has warned.
  • Drug regulators in Nepal said they have launched an investigation into how a Bahraini prince was able to take Covid-19 vaccine into the country, the BBC reports.
  • Politico is reporting that Poland will close most public venues this Saturday for three weeks, as the rapidly growing number of new daily coronavirus cases threatens the country’s already overwhelmed health care services, Health Minister Adam Niedzielski said Wednesday.
  • Norway is currently in a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, health minister Bent Høie said at a briefing on Wednesday.
  • Al Jazeera learned through reliable sources that Bashar al-Assad’s government received 5,000 vaccine doses from a country it refused to name and simply described as “friendly”. The first jabs were given to front-line health workers spread across several main hospitals in the country.
  • Reuters reports that Israel’s government announced on Wednesday a long-awaited bailout of its airlines to help them weather the coronavirus crisis and maintain operations in the midst of a year-long halt to international travel.


  • Mark Taylor, from the Royal College of Surgeons in Northern Ireland, has said Covid-free sites must be developed to protect surgeries in the event of another coronavirus wave.
  • NHS staff in Wales are not receiving the regular lateral flow tests they were promised, according to staff and the British Medical Association (BMA).
  • Delaying the winter lockdown caused up to 27,000 extra deaths in England, the Resolution Foundation thinktank has claimed as it accused the government of a “huge mistake” which should be central to any public inquiry into the UK’s handling of the pandemic.
  • The Central London Alliance, of which London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, are part has urged the UK government to explore the adoption of the EU ‘s coronavirus digital green certificate scheme, and the benefits it could bring to London and the UK’s economic recovery from COVID-19.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the practical implications of outdated and inflexible working arrangements in the fire service, reinforcing the need for national reform, a new report has said.