Here are the latest talking points in regards to Covid: 

  • The Government said a further 1,401 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Friday, bringing the UK total to 95,981. Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 112,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK. The Government also said that, as of 9am on Friday, there had been a further 40,261 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.
  • Government data up to January 21 shows of the 5,849,899 jabs given in the UK so far, 5,383,103 were first doses – a rise of 409,855 on the previous day’s figures. Some 466,796 were second doses, an increase of 2,760 on figures released the previous day. The seven-day rolling average of first doses given in the UK is now 306,880. Based on the latest figures, an average of 400,704 first doses of vaccine would be needed each day in order to meet the Government’s target of 15 million first doses by February 15.
  • Government scientists believe the reproduction number – the R – for coronavirus has fallen to below 1 across the UK, suggesting a retreating epidemic. A subgroup of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) put the R – which represents how many people an infected person will pass the virus on to – at 0.8 to 1.0, down from 1.2 to 1.3 last week. The latest estimate came as new Government figures showed one in 10 UK adults have now received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. The Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-M) said the number of new infections is now shrinking by between 1 per cent and 4 per cent every day. All regions of England have seen decreases in the R number and growth rate estimates compared with last week, and R is below or around 1 in every region.
  • Five adults have been fined £200 for breaching Covid regulations after police found three households having a barbecue in freezing conditions on the moors, Durham Police said. Officers were called out to Waskerley above Consett at about 4pm on Thursday, where the remnants of Storm Christoph was causing gusts of 40mph, and found 13 people – including seven children and a seven-month-old baby – from Gateshead.
  • The daily rate of Covid-19 vaccination needs to be doubled to allow the UK to lift lockdown restrictions by May, new data has shown. At the rate of the current rollout, it is expected that measures could still be in place by mid-September. The news comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the NHS is vaccinating people against Covid-19 at the rate of 200 jabs per minute. The Health Secretary told MPs the UK has now given more than five million doses of coronavirus vaccines to 4.6 million people.
  • People aged 75 and over in Darlington will start receiving letters inviting them to book a vaccination appointment. The Darlington Primary Care Network (PCN) has rolled out its vaccination programme in the town to the two most vulnerable cohorts – including giving first doses to care home residents, NHS and social care staff and people over the age of 80 and is now extending to it to those in the third priority cohort – the over 75s.