By Bom

A Bit of Colour

G and I were finally able to get out for a walk this afternoon after over a week of wet, cold and windy weather. It was still very gloomy and I nearly slipped over twice in the mud, but it was lovely to finally get out and catch up. This new play area at Kelling Heath was about the only bit of colour we saw (and no John, I don't think W would let you have one in the garden). This morning I was doing some more admin including closing a bank account and credit card over the phone, which took 90 mins - most of which was on hold being transferred to different teams. 

Day 627 / Day 138 of Step 4 of Roadmap Easing (for my record only)
The R rate in England is marginally down at 0.9 - 1.1.. The ONS weekly infection survey of private households to 27th Nov shows 1 in 60 with the virus in England (up a tad); 1 in 65 in Scotland (up a tad); 1 in 45 in Wales (up a tad); and 1 in 45 in NI (up a tad). An official update on UK Omicron cases is expected tonight, but it's said it won't be less than 66 in total, with 6 of the new Omicron cases in Scotland being linked to a concert by Steps on 22nd Nov, implying community transmission. More than half the confirmed cases of Omicron in the UK have been in people with at least two vaccine doses. Researchers in South Africa analysed 2.8m confirmed Covid cases and found 35,670 were reinfections, which is 2.4 times higher than in the first wave. The WHO Chief Scientists reports cases in South Africa are doubling daily. A number of people arriving in the Netherlands from South Africa are testing positive on arrival, despite negative pre-departure tests - implying rapid spread (a British scientist has said Omicron may be more transmissible through the air). It has now been confirmed that the 50 plus people testing positive at a party in a restaurant in Oslo are all infected with the Omicron variant and that there was 'high vaccination coverage' in the group. Meanwhile the Tory party chairman told people to 'keep calm and carry on with your Christmas plans', Labour has cancelled its pre-xmas party. The ONS reports that whilst 37% of adults had a lateral flow test in the last week, astonishingly 20% of those surveyed said they'd never taken a LFT despite it being part of Govt guidance for many months. The next stage of the booster roll out announced recently will start 'no later' than 13th Dec with the website being updated to allow bookings 3 months after your 2nd jab. A UK trial has shown that Pfizer and Moderna (mRNA) vaccines give the best overall boost to antibodies and T-cells of the 7 vaccines tested, these are the ones we are using in the booster programme. GPs will be allowed to defer routine health checks for over 75s to create extra capacity. Another 50,584 cases were announced today. 

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