Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
31 March 2021
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- Yesterday, the number of people who tested positive for Covid in the UK was 4,040 with 56 people sadly losing their lives having tested positive within 28 days.
- As of the 30 March, a total of 30,680,948 people had received the first dose of a vaccine in the UK and 3,838,010 people had received a second dose of vaccine.
- Around four million of the most clinically vulnerable people in England and Wales will no longer be advised to shield at home from today. A letter sent to the group says that shielding has been paused due to falling virus infection rates. Scotland and Northern Ireland are expected to lift their restrictions later in April.
- Official figures have revealed that half of people living in the UK now have Covid antibodies, as virus deaths hit their lowest level since October. Positive findings have led to calls for Boris Johnson to bring forward next steps on the roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions.
- Secret filming by the BBC at one of the largest UK Covid testing labs has found evidence of possible contamination, discarded tests and pressure to hit targets. The findings suggest that some people may have received no result or an incorrect testing result.
- Volunteers are being recruited to trial a new Covid vaccine in Aberdeen over the coming weeks. The Novavax vaccine is being developed by Canadian company Medicago, with high-profile clinical trials also taking place in Northern Ireland.
- Hospitality firms in Wales claim that the Welsh Government has been trying to “move the goalposts” on a Covid support scheme. First Minister Mark Drakeford has said that he will make an announcement on 1 April about easing restrictions on the hospitality sector.
- Chairman of Northern Ireland’s GP committee, Dr Alan Stout, has warned that there is a “background fear” that the uptake of a Covid-19 vaccine will slow as the rollout moves to younger age groups.
- German health officials have unanimously agreed to suspend use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in under-60s over reports of rare blood clotting incidents. Canada, Sweden, France and Finland have already paused the vaccine for its younger population.
- Head of the US public health agency, Dr Rochelle Walensky, has warned of “impending doom” in the US as new Covid cases reach around 60,000 a day over the past week, a rise of around seven percent. On Monday, President Joe Biden urged state politicians to reinstate a mask-wearing mandate in public places.
- Mexico has revised its figures on national Covid deaths, which indicate that the number of deaths are 60 percent higher than previously reported. The revised toll means that more than 321,000 people have now died from Covid in the country, the second higher number of Covid-related deaths in the world after the US.
- The leaders of Russia, Germany and France are engaged in talks about using Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine in Europe.
- The governments of 14 nations including the UK and US have released a joint statement on the WHO-convened COVID-19 origins study. The statement expressed “shared concerns” over the recent WHO study in China and recognised the need for an “expert-led mechanism for expeditiously investigating outbreaks of unknown origin.”
- Head of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has said that the organisation’s investigation into the origins of coronavirus in China was “not extensive enough,” adding that the theory the virus had come from a Wuhan laboratory should continue to be examined.
- Scientists from Stanford University have determined the sequences of Pzifer and Moderna vaccines from vials set to be discarded and published their “recipes” on the open web. Experts say the publication could help to mitigate false positives when testing samples.