Positive covid rate rises in Thanet but vaccination programme due to expand from this week

Covid vaccine (Image iStock/MarsBars)

Another 97 people in Thanet have been recorded today (January 7) as testing positive for covid, making a total of 1062 in the last seven days – a hike of just under 40% on the preceding week.

The positive rate per 100,000 is now 718 (as of January 2), far above the 422.1 recorded for the seven days up to December 5. A total of 8,207. positive tests have been recorded for Thanet according to the government data dashboard.

The total number of people recorded who have died within 28 days of testing positive for Coronavirus as of January 5 was 252 (loss of life within 28 days of a positive test). Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate but may not be the primary cause of death.

Data for East Kent Hospitals show 54 people were admitted to either QEQM, William Harvey or Kent and Canterbury hospitals on January 2 making a total of 460 people currently being cared for as covid in-patients as of January 4. Of those patients, 26 are on mechanical ventilation. The Trust has recorded the deaths of 876 patients being treated for covid to date.

The three main East Kent hospitals are currently at Critcon level 2, which means critical care capacity is full and has overflow into quasi-critical care areas (theatre recovery, other acute care areas).  Trusts can begin mutual aid and phased reduction of elective work to support critical care, by local decision. For QEQM this is an improvement on the level 3 recorded on New Year’s Day. The highest level is 4 and indicates resources are overwhelmed.

Across the UK 1,162 deaths within 28 das of a positive test were recorded – making a total of 4,996 losses in the last seven days – and another 52,618 positive tests. The UK positive rate per 100,000 is 581.6.

There are 30,370 covid patients in UK hospitals and 2821 people are on mechanical ventilation.

Find the data dashboard here

PM Boris Johnson today said he ‘had no doubt’ that there were the resources and supplies to vaccinate all those n the top four priority groups by February 15. A full vaccination deployment plan will be published on Monday. Some 1.5 million people in the UK have now received a first dose of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine.

The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is being rolled out to General Practice led services today, making it easier to protect care home residents and other vulnerable people against Covid-19.

The vaccine has been trialled at selected hospitals for surveillance purposes before being sent out to hundreds of community-based local vaccination services.

Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, the first to be approved, the Oxford vaccine does not need to be stored at ultra-low temperatures and is much easier to move, making it easier to use in care homes and to vaccinate the housebound.

Hundreds of new sites are opening at hospitals and in the community this week in the new phase of the vaccination programme, the largest in NHS history. This is on top of the 700 which were already open and vaccinating.

Seven large vaccination centres will be among many more sites coming online next week, along with more hospitals, GP led services and a number of pilot pharmacy vaccine services.

In Kent Jonathan Neame, Shepherd Neame Chief Executive, has offered premises in the pub chain for vaccination hub use,

The PM said: “By the end of next week there will be over 1,000 GP-led sites providing vaccines, 223 hospital sites, seven giant vaccination centres and a first wave of 200 community pharmacies

“If all goes well these should have the capacity to deliver hundreds of thousands of vaccines per day by January 15.”

Care home residents and staff are set as the highest priority group by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

In addition to the Oxford jab, local vaccination services are being issued with small packs of Pfizer jabs which can be used in care homes. The aim is to offer vaccinations to the majority of care home residents by the end of January.

Kent & Medway Clinical Commissioning Group says vaccines will not be mixed, patients will receive either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines but not a mix.

Brigadier Phil Prosser (pictured), the commander of the 101 Logistic Brigade, will lead members of the military distributing the drugs across the country.

The PM said patients who are admitted to intensive care units due to COVID-19 are set to receive new life-saving treatments which can reduce the time spent in hospital by up to 10 days. Results from the government-funded REMAP-CAP clinical trial published today showed tocilizumab and sarilumab reduced the relative risk of death by 24%, when administered to patients within 24 hours of entering intensive care.

Patients receiving these drugs, typically used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, left intensive care between 7 to 10 days earlier on average.


  1. Excellent briefing tonight, proud to be British. A pity the press just have to be so negative all the time

    • Isn’t it the job of the free press to hold government to account?
      Boris has made all sorts of promises that he’s failed to keep.
      Track and trace – a world beating system.
      It’s also the job of the press to ask searching questions of the government.
      Such as just why did so much of our money go to companies to provide PPE when the only qualification those companies had was that a board member was an MP or was related to an MP.
      I think our scientists and health care professionals are amongst the best in the world.
      It must be acknowledged that Johnson is a bit better than Trump, though!

    • The government’s response from March onwards has been shambolic. It’s right that the press should be critical of them.

  2. John shale totally agree I listened to the briefing earlier and the main media BBC ITV Channel 4 and Channel 5 couldn’t resist constant knocks today was the first day it takes time and drugs need to be made and distributed. Rome was not built in a day. At least local papers are trying to be impartial.

  3. Why do the government continue to make public the deaths being accredited to or coupled with the possibility of death by Covid19 but not necessarily the prime cause.
    Why not release the actual deaths attributed mainly by Covid19.
    We may all need reminding of how vigilant we must be. But let’s have the truth if. Not scare tactics

    • Yes John I have been a bit confused by this too, but from the figures given that 252 people in Thanet have died of the virus, it should shake up the idiots who deny it exists, or claim its all a hoax! What would they say to the relatives, and friends of people who have died, that its all a joke? There are still people walking around not wearing a face covering, and they should be forceably denied access to supermarkets, and other stores!

      • It doesn’t help either by the fact that only now, almost 12 months since the Covid outbreak became headline news that the Government are thinking of making it compulsory to wear a mask in Supermarkets etc. Plus now they are considering the wearing of face masks outdoors compulsory too.
        Then the Government wonder why the plague is still spreading.
        I don’t wish to live in a Police state, but if people continue to act so irresponsible and selfish and continue to ignore sound advice then it’s time to change the approach. It’s no good fining people £20 or £200. a lot of those fines will cost just as much to chase up and collect.
        When is this Country going to wake up.

  4. I am really keen this accelerates. The centre at Montefiore is a great place but progress seems snails pace? Many over 80s heard nothing, I can’t see everyone being jabbed on target, we really need to up the pace. Increase the volunteers. Get the people queuing up nobody will mind. I really want this to work, want Thanet to get jabbed ASAP. What can we do to help? Let’s all get behind it, but we really need a massive increase in outputs, staff, helpers. I see nothing, no call outs for help? Why not?

    • It was bewildering to hear from a representative of High St Pharmacies (the ones that do our flu jabs every year) on the radio the other day saying they’d had no request from the government to help out.
      Perhaps, like the provision of PPE, the contracts will go out long established medical firms set up last week by tory MPs or their friends?

  5. It is disparate isn’t it. Why not open a jab tent at the port and let the community queue up in the different priority groups, alongside other allocations for people called to attend. Tackle it both ways. Just calling that many people to attend, or writing to them is an administrative nightmare burden and I think will take weeks and weeks just to do the admin.

    There has to be a better, quicker way?

  6. “Tocilizumab and Sarilumab reduced the relative risk of death by 24%, when administered to patients within 24 hours of entering intensive care”. These drugs along with Dexamethasone were known to help covid patients back during the first lockdown but the government was then denying it because the NHS were giving it too late. Now they are changing their minds, isn’t that a surprise ! But these drugs work much better when administered as soon as covid is suspected, not after actually covid being bad enough for the patient to be admitted into hospital. So that 24% mentioned could be much higher the earlier the patient doses start. As usual in the UK our feeble government are very slow to acknowledge the facts. Yes, some of the drugs can be expensive but how do you put a price on saving lives and stopping covid?

    • The price you put on saving lives?
      Given that there’s a finite amount of money, if you spend ten times as much on a drug that saves the life of one person compared with ten times less on saving the life if ten people, then it’s obvious where the money should be spent.

      • In the long term it is better to halt the covid epidemic in the UK by supplying these drugs to all who find they need them as soon as possible and rolling out the vaccinations to everyone quicker. There apparently is enough to go round, it’s just getting it delivered so people are vaccinated which seems to be an issue.

  7. Why isn’t the QEQM included in the hospitals rolling out the jabs. If William Harvey and Medway are doing it. Leaves our corner worryingly exposed.

  8. Let’s review the situation:
    1.From the start it was known that a mass vaccination scheme would be necessary,so Central Govt,The Hospital trust,GP surgeries,Social care and Local Govt had ample time to plan,prepare and stress test.What were they all doing? Don’t say saving patients, because the Health planners were far away from the Covid face in hospitals,care homes and in the community.
    2.The target is 300,000 vaccinations a day or 2m per week.So far we have not reached 2m in a month.
    3.We were told that all was ready to go last autumn,clearly this was not the case.
    4.the planning has been patchy and incoherent, with some districts well on the way to vaccinating the vulnerable groups, but others such as Dover have not even started and may not be on line for another 2 weeks.
    5. The hospital trust’s fixation with Ashford and the Wm Harvey is damaging to the vaccination roll out.They are trying to do it by increasing the circle from there.It is too slow and not fit for purpose.
    6.Saying that other countries are not doing as much or as well, or that some other leadership would not do as well, misses the point.This Govt is in charge and they are accountable.
    7.Every day’s delay costs lives.The NHS is buckling under the strain, only vaccination can relieve it.Test,track and trace has little purpose when the virus is out of control.
    8. Most people have or are adhering to lockdown, the constant finger pointing might feel good, but distracts from the main point, which is vaccination.
    9. Using the army every time civilian authorities cock up, is no recipe for running the country.
    10.The public understands that the logistics are significant, they are patient, but their patience is not inexhaustible.The argument about money is specious.A govt is not run on a household account basis. A country doesn’t die or have a finite lifespan unlike us poor mortals.Remember unless all our vaccinated none of us our safe, so if anybody here has been vaccinated and think they are invulnerable, think again.

    • Or an alternative view.

      Its been known since the early days of the pandemic that being overweight and unfit leaves people at disproportionate risk of severe effects (even death) from covid, but we don’t see any real pressure to get people to improve their lot , people would it seems not like to do something they’d rather not, the population would rather whine and moan about the government not protecting them.
      There was a report that alledgedly public health england won’t deliver vaccines on a sunday, peoplemare using covid as an excuse to take time off work. Seems that whilst the taxpayer is protecting peoples incomes there’s considerable flexibility of views.

  9. “Most people have or are adhering to lockdown, …”
    Demonstrably, this is not good enough. Every day, tens of thousands of people are being infected simply because they are not observing social distancing.
    And not all of them are key workers obliged to work in covid insecure environments.
    It’s no coincidence that numbers shot up a few days after Christmas.
    The military? Bring them on. They’ll get the job done.

    • Expect you’d lock them away for the rest of their lives Andrew – young, old, healthy, elderly wanting company. No matter how flawed the testing system demonstrably is, and no matter how healthy a large number of people are with strong immune systems. In 5 years time you will be saying the same thing as tumbleweed blows through the towns and viruses come and go, and mutate every year, and a number of people die yearly as ONS stats show, for a multitude of reasons. No perspective as quite a few retired old style nurses and sisters have remarked recently.

  10. I don’t think you’re in a position to say what I might not do.
    As demonstrated by countries such as New Zealand, Australia and so on, a proper lockdown for a short period, just a few weeks, coupled with effective track, trace and quarantine will do the job.
    The virus is killing young and healthy people, too. The *only* reason deaths are not higher is because most people, most of the time, observed to some extent the lockdown rules.
    Personally speaking, Mr Democrat, I can’t wait for the pubs to open again.
    When they do, you can buy me a pint.

  11. I note on the web pages of Kent & Medway Clinical Commissioning (CCG) that Thanet isn’t even listed as an area getting more jab centres from January onwards. As ever, we are the Kent poor relation. Every other region in Kent listed, but not Thanet. Even if this is a simple content oversight it says it all for me.

    3 GP hubs just isn’t enough.

  12. As usual its assumed that all people are on line, or buy papers, remember lots are almost cut off from local news, why can’t information on what’s happening be put through letterboxes. I.e. testing, book on line, how older people don’t have the means to do this.

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