Latest developments

COVID-19 latest developments

  • Daily COVID-19 statistics
  • Updated vaccination guidance
  • DHSC ministers take MPs’ questions in the Commons
  • 4.6m missed out on hospital treatment in England in 2020
  • England gets third jab as Moderna rollout begins
  • Health Committee hears evidence on treatment of those with autism and learning difficulties
  • Surge testing in south London for SA variant

Daily COVID-19 statistics

Owing to a delay in receiving data from Public Health Wales, today’s update of national COVID-19 statistics has been delayed. However, the government’s latest available daily COVID-19 statistics show that:

  • today, 3,568 people tested positive for COVID-19
  • today, 13 people sadly died within 28 days of having tested positive for COVID-19
  • on Tuesday 6 April, 221 patients were admitted to hospital with COVID-19
  • on Thursday 8 April, 2,862 COVID-19 patients were still in hospital
  • on Friday 9 April, 406 COVID-19 patients were in ventilation beds
  • the total number of people who had received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine up to Sunday 11 April was 32,190,576
  • the total number of people who had received their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine up to Sunday 11 April was 7,656,205
  • on Sunday 11 April, 1,218,037 new tests for COVID-19 were conducted.

Updated vaccination guidance

Following the announcement from the government that all adults over 50, the clinically vulnerable, and health and social care workers have now been offered a COVID-19 jab ahead of the 15 April deadline, it has now been confirmed that the programme has moved into the next phase.

People aged 45 to 49 in England can now book appointments through the NHS booking service.

Alongside this, the JCVI has issued updated guidance, covering the next age group, as well as flexibility in delivery, including to avoid wastage, given the higher risks from COVID-19 to men, people from BME backgrounds, those with higher BMI, and those from more deprived socioeconomic backgrounds.

Commenting on these developments, Ruth Rankine, director of our PCN Network, welcomed the progress, but added: “This progress does not mean the crisis is over, as the benefits of the programme will build up over time, and it is still vital that each of us is as cautious as possible, maintaining social distancing and other actions, especially as restrictions are eased.”

DHSC ministers take MPs’ questions in the Commons

Today, the House of Commons held oral questions from MPs to the government on health and social care.

Responding to a question from Labour shadow health minister Justin Madders, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock assured MPs that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is working “incredibly hard” to tackle the large treatment backlog in the NHS caused by the pandemic. Mr Hancock added that reducing the NHS treatment backlog was “not just about the physical investment, it's about making sure we support staff to be able to deliver, and making sure that the NHS gets the support it needs to tackle this backlog”.

Also during the oral questions, Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi told MPs that he was “absolutely delighted” that another milestone has been reached, with priority groups one to nine having been offered a vaccine. Noting the beginning of Ramadan, Mr Zahawi reiterated the message that receiving the vaccine “does not break the fast and is permissible” according to “Islamic scholars and key Muslim figures within the NHS”.

Labour Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth used the session to ask Mr Hancock: “Why, following a private drink he had with Lex Greensill and David Cameron, Greensill was handed an NHS payroll financing contract that sought to convert income from NHS staff pay packets into bonds to sell internationally, and effectively to make money on the back of NHS staff in a pandemic?”. Mr Hancock answered that ministers “were not involved in the decision by NHS Shared Business Services to facilitate the provision of salary advances in pilot schemes”.

A transcript of today’s health and social care oral questions in the House of Commons is available to read in Hansard.

4.6m missed out on hospital treatment in England in 2020

According to analysis by the Health Foundation detailed in The Guardian, more than 4.5 million people missed out on hospital treatment in England last year because of the disruption caused by COVID-19, with growing numbers turning to crowdfunding to pay for cancer drugs and operations.

The number of patients having planned surgery such as a joint replacement fell from 16.62 million in 2019 to fewer than 12 million last year, according to analysis by the Health Foundation.

England gets third jab as Moderna rollout begins

England is delivering its first doses of the Moderna vaccine – the third COVID-19 vaccine to be made available in the UK.

The Moderna vaccine will be available at 21 sites, including the Madejski Stadium in Reading and the Sheffield Arena.

Health Committee hears evidence on treatment of those with autism and learning difficulties

This morning, the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee held an oral evidence session as part of their inquiry: Treatment of autistic people and individuals with learning disabilities.

The Committee heard two panels of witnesses. The first panel included Dr Ian Davidson (Autism Lead at the Royal College of Psychiatrists) and Dr Ken Courteney (Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Intellectual Disability Faculty). The second panel included Sir Norman Lamb (former Minister at the Department of Health), Baroness Sheila Hollins (Founder of Beyond Words) and Dr Theresa Joyce (Clinical Psychologist and former National Professional Advisor on Learning Disabilities at the Care Quality Commission).

In a Twitter thread, Labour MP and Health Committee member Barbara Keeley details some of the findings from the evidence session. Ms Keeley states that the stories heard by the Committee of “people trapped in inappropriate units are hugely distressing”.

A recording of the oral evidence session is available to watch on

Surge testing in south London for SA variant

A “significant” cluster of the South African COVID-19 variant has been found in two areas of south London where surge testing has been implemented.

Wandsworth and Lambeth will see additional testing after 44 confirmed and 30 probable cases were identified.

The DHSC has called the surge testing in the region as the “largest surge testing operation to date”.

Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser for NHS Test and Trace, said the number of cases was “significant” and stressed it was “really important people in the local area play their part in stopping any further spread within the local community”.

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