Andrew Neil: Vaccines continue to work their magic
Covid deaths now account for less than 1% of all recorded deaths
Good evening. I’m Andrew Neil.
We begin tonight with more good news about Covid. We do so, again, because there is a lot of good news about. But also because other news channels are still a bit glum when it comes to reporting it. So let’s cheer you up.
There are now under 1,400 Covid patients in hospitals across the UK. 1,400. The figure was 39,000 in January, when daily admissions peaked at 4,000. Today daily admissions are under 200 a day and rising slowly.
Patients now tend to be younger, and not yet vaccinated. GB News understands the average age of Covid patients is only 24. That’s an age group in which Covid is very unlikely to make you seriously ill, never mind kill you.
True there are still over 11,000 new cases of the Delta variant daily and a weekly rise of 51%. But the rate of increases is slowing and even as cases rase, deaths remain low.
There have been 84 deaths in England and Wales this past week. Each one a personal and family tragedy. But that’s the lowest weekly figure since September.
Covid deaths now account for less than 1% of all recorded deaths.
Out of 300 councils in England and Wales one-third have had no Covid deaths since April.
The vaccines continue to work their magic. They hugely reduce the chances of contracting Covid and even for the unlucky vaccinated few who do, they are 96% effective at stopping severe illness and hospitalisation.
The link between Covid cases and high hospital admissions has effectively been broken.
Almost 9 out of 10 adults now have Covid anti-bodies, which is getting close to herd immunity. By July 19th — our new freedom day — all adults will have had their first jab. And all over 40s their second.
So matters will have to deteriorate rapidly and substantially in the next few weeks for restrictions not to be removed on July 19th. Health Secretary Matt Hancock is even talking hopefully about no quarantine for folks returning from amber countries who’ve been doubled jabbed. So that foreign holiday looks a little more possible.
We reported that last night. The PM was a bit sniffy about it. Probably best if Mr Hancock doesn’t mention it to him again. But just gets on with it.
And that’s tonight’s viewpoint