By Bom

Hippy Chicks

There were lots of baby birds around at Pensthorpe today, the goslings and ducklings in the central area, but there was also lots of tweeting in the woodland as the baby birds called for food from their parents. The flamingos have laid some eggs, so fingers crossed. I can't resist the chicks, so have added two collages in extras, one being a gosling that decided to have a scratch and almost fell over. I also added a photo of a banded demoiselle. Very tight semi final matches so far at the French Open, fingers crossed for Nadal beating Djokovic tonight. 

Day 452 / Day 26 of Step 3 of Roadmap Easing (for my record only)
There were 8,125 new cases today, the highest since 26th Feb, and now hospital admissions have started going up - 173 today which is up 41% on a week ago. The ONS infection survey also shows numbers up with 1 in 560 in private households in Eng having the virus. The R no. has jumped to 1.2-1.4 in Eng, with the NW highest at 1.3-1.5. The ONS said there's no obvious increase in infections in Wales, Scotland and NI. PHE research confirms initial views that the Delta variant is 64% more transmissible than the Alpha variant indoors and worryingly it's also 40% more transmissible outside. Case rates have risen in nearly all age groups. Vaccine effectiveness for Delta is 33.2% with 1 dose and 80.8% with 2 doses. The Chair of the BMA said 'there is a huge risk that prematurely relaxing all restrictions will undo the excellent work of the vaccine programme and lead to a surge of infections.' Again the Govt were too slow to close the border to India, and really needs to delay the easing of more restrictions as its own tests haven't been met. 

Yesterday the US pledged to donate 500m Pfizer doses to 92 countries and the African Union (55 countries). That's 200m in 2021 and 300m in H1 2022. The UK today pledged at least 100m doses, 5m in the coming weeks and the rest by the end of the year. The EU as a whole has pledged at least 100m doses by the end of the year. It's also providing assistance to help develop local vaccine manufacturing capability, particularly in Africa. In addition France and Germany have each pledged 30m doses and Italy 15m. Japan has pledged 30m doses. The UK economy grew 2.3% in Apr, meaning our GDP is 27.6% larger than the same month last year,  a very good sign. In opening the G7 meeting, Boris said that 'we need to make sure we don't repeat some of the errors that we have made in the course of the last 18 months or so' and that we must 'build back better'. 

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