Covid-19 government press conference summary- 22.01.2021

Who was on today’s panel?

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson, Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, and Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance.

Update on COVID-19 cases

Today, 40,261 people tested positive, there are 38,562 patients in hospital, and there have been 1,401 deaths. The PM says there is some evidence that the new variant may be associated with higher mortality.

Update on vaccines

PM Boris Johnson has confirmed that the COVID vaccines are effective against the differing strains of the virus. 5.4 million have received a vaccine, 1 in 10 adults having received their first dose.

General Summary of points

  • The Prime Minister strongly urges everybody who gets their invitation letter to go and receive their vaccine
  • Prof Chris Whitty says that although ONS statistics are showing a decrease in R number (now between 0.8-1) and hospital admissions, there is set to be an increase in deaths
  • Sir Patrick says there are 3 contagious strains currently in the U.K. (the U.K., South African and Brazilian variants) The U.K. strain is much more transmissible and can affect all ages
  • Sir Patrick continues to say however, studies have proven that the vaccines are effective at neutralising the more contagious strains
  • The PM says it is too early to consider lifting the lockdown. He further stresses that the rules are much more strict this time with greater consequences as mentioned yesterday 
  • The PM says they are looking into tighter restrictions around border controls

More information on stats and rules can be found on the government website here.

A gentle reminder of numbers to contact if you are struggling or in danger: