Nine deaths, 341 new cases, 474 in hospital, 54 in intensive care and 25 per cent of adults vaccinated with the first dose. Thus stand our metrics on 16 February but the Republic is equal in second doses using Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and confident of catching up by the end of the summer.
At Stormont on 11 February the Health Minister delivered the latest of his regular briefings to the Health Committee.
He revealed that the Human Rights Commission is to be consulted on mental health. The downward trend in the transmission rate R had begun to stagnate, he said, but hospital occupancy was down.
The Kent variant continued to pose severe challenges but vaccination was proceeding a pace, according to the Minister. Test, trace, isolate and support, where we have displayed weaknesses, was being developed.
Waste water was being tested for Covid by QUB and TCD.
Patricia Donnelly, Head of the Vaccination Programme had been talking to GPs.
With regards to the hyponatraemia inquiry the department had accepted all and no funds were being spent on the Chief Scientific Adviser’s court case and Dr Declan Bradley was acting as the chief scientific adviser and attending SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies).
Alan Chambers (UUP) remarked on the positive trends and lack of transmission in care homes and felt there were green shoots with a second vaccination visit in prospect.
At Westminster there is now a Covid Recovery Group, not unlike the European Research Group of Brexiteers, which is trying to persuade the Prime Minister to reduce the lockdown.
70-80 per cent of the population may be vaccinated by April but there is a debate mainly between the Public Health Agency and the British Medical Association about schools and concern that a percentage of school children (one out of seven in primary and one out of eight in secondary) may have the chronic condition known as ‘Long’ Covid.
Of course, who knows what happens on the way to school.
The DUP are distracted by their fight against the Irish sea border which they wrought and are looking at alternatives like Swiss-style or Canadian-style protocols. However, while reform might be needed, neither EU nor the UK seem interested in doing away with the protocol. Now is the time for the party to focus on Covid not on the sea border.
To add to the confusion a DUP MLA has embarked on some abortion law reform.
We have hearing today what the Executive propose to do next (most notably a lockdown extension until 1 April) and await with anticipation and increasing confusion about our future progress even as the politicians discuss and pronounce on our fate.