Covid-19 Daily Bulletin
19 April 2021
A series of daily updates for CHO members regarding relevant updates pertaining to Coronavirus from home and abroad.
- The number of people who tested positive for the virus yesterday in the UK was 1,882 and 10 people died having tested positive within 28 days.
- As of the 17 April, 32,849,223 people had received the first dose of a vaccine in the UK and 9,930,846 people had received a second dose of vaccine.
- More than three million people have now died worldwide from the Covid-19 pandemic according to John Hopkins University, as the World Health Organization warns that the world is approaching the highest rate of infection in the pandemic so far.
- Health officials are investigating whether a Covid-19 variant first found in India spreads more easily and evades vaccines. While not yet classified as a “variant of concern,” more than 70 cases have been identified in England and Scotland, including some not linked to travel.
- Healthy volunteers in the UK who have previously had Covid-19 are to be deliberately re-exposed to the virus in a new study. The human challenge trial, led by Oxford University, aims to investigate immune responses. Participants will be quarantined for 17 days and will receive just under £5,000 as payment.
- Opposition parties in the UK have urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to cancel his India trade trip and place India on the travel ‘red list’ amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in India.
- Millions of children across England are being asked to contribute to a survey about their hopes for the future. The ‘Big Ask’ aims to be the largest consultation with children ever undertaken in England and will inform a review aimed at tackling generational problems.
- First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the way elderly people were discharged from hospital to care homes in the early stages of the pandemic was a mistake. More than 1,300 elderly people were sent to care homes before a robust testing regime was in place.
- Leaders of Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Conservatives have called for a Wales-specific public inquiry into the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. First Minister Mark Drakeford has said there should be one single inquiry involving all UK nations.
- Most pupils at Scotland’s secondary schools are returning to class following the Easter break for the first full week in classrooms for many since before Christmas. Strict social distancing rules between pupils have been relaxed but face coverings must be worn.
- Good progress is being made on a high street voucher scheme in Northern Ireland to support retailers hit by Covid-19. Separately, new grant schemes for charities and carers have been launched by Health Minister Robin Swann from a Covid-19 emergency fund.
- Indian capital Delhi has announced a week-long lockdown after a record spike in cases overwhelmed the city’s healthcare system. Officials reported 24,462 cases on Sunday alone.
- Human Rights Watch has warned that the Covid-19 pandemic is being used by authorities in Cambodia to edge the country towards “totalitarian dictatorship.” A new law means people could face 20 years in prison for lockdown breaches, as campaigners warn of an impending human rights disaster.
- A pause in the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccination in the US has raised fears among largely rural and conservative states that vaccine hesitancy could be heightened.
- Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, has lauded the launch of a trans-Tasman travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand.
- Leading doctors have warned that rebuilding the NHS after Covid-19 could be a bigger challenge than the pandemic itself. Health professionals have said that a “radical rethink” of the way hospitals work is needed, while tackling backlogs will be an enormous challenge for exhausted staff.
- Tourism taskforce leaders in Wales have called on First Minister Mark Drakeford to bring forward reopening plans for the indoor hospitality sector. The group has called for Wales’ reopening date to match that of England and Scotland, on 17 May.