Covid-19 Daily Bulletin

21 May 2021

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

Key Announcements:

  • The number of people who tested positive for the virus yesterday in the UK was 2,874 and seven people died within 28 days a positive test, government figures show.
  • Up to and including 19 May, 37,250,363 people had received a first dose of a vaccine in the UK, and 21,239,471 had received a second dose.
  • A “software issue” in England’s Test and Trace system was partly responsible for the surge in the Indian variant in some of the worst affected parts of the country, according to a report seen by the BBC.
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that the UK will work with the WHO on a new ‘Global Pandemic Radar’ to track new Covid variants and emerging diseases.
  • The chief executive of BioNTech has said he has been encouraged by a recent paper which indicates the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is effective against both the Indian and South African variant of coronavirus.
  • The UK medicines regulator has extended the length of time the thawed Pfizer vaccine can be stored at normal fridge temperatures to 31 days from five, a move that is expected to make storage easier in a wider range of health facilities.


  • A decision is expected on Friday in Scotland on whether Covid levels in Glasgow, East Renfrewshire and Moray will change.
  • Welsh Education Minister, Jeremy Miles, has said that parents in Wales should have confidence in how grades will be awarded this year. The results will be determined by teachers.
  • Indoor hospitality in Northern Ireland will be able to reopen from Monday 24 May.


  • Patients with severe cases of Covid-19 are more likely to die in Africa than any other part of the world due to insufficient equipment and shortages of specialised staff, according to a study published by the Lancet.
  • The EU has reached a deal on Covid travel passes designed to open up tourism within the 27-nation bloc.
  • Japan has approved both the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines to speed up their vaccination efforts ahead of the Olympic games.


  • Annual data published by the Nursing and Midwifery Council has shown that the growth rate of the workforce has slowed over the past year and the impact of Covid-related pressure on the workforce “is a clear concern”.
  • The Labour Party has cautioned that ministers cannot expect businesses to “bounce back” whilst the economic impact of Covid on the tourism industry becomes apparent.
  • Research led by the National Maternity and Perinatal Audit has indicated that pregnant women with Covid may be at greater risk of stillbirth and premature births.

Unconfirmed reports

  • Boris Johnson has told Conservatives that the one-meter rule is still on course to be scrapped next month which would help pubs recover, the Times reports.