Web site logo c. 123-mcc.com

 Angus and Rosemary's Miscellany

  of Malvern - Other Resources

World logoBlogs >

Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic weekly update for Malvern Seniors

Click to read our observations on politics and world events

10th April 2022

Triangular arrowCASES OF COVID-19 VERY HIGH

but levelling off and expected to fall


Over the last two years we have been keeping an eye on the published government figures and monitoring the media to asses the likely level of risk for Seniors in the Malvern Hills district and providing links to where further information could be found.

Now the worst of the epidemic is over the numbers are of far less importance, but we'll carry on with our blog for a while. Testing is being run down and the public is increasingly not recording the result of Lateral Flow tests so the daily cases reported on the Coronavirus Dashboard grossly underestimate the true situation. Roughly half the deaths reported by PHE are thought be elderly patients who die with COVID but not from it.

The best sources of data are currently:

  • The ONS infection survey

  • Registered deaths (ONS, NHS)

  • NHS hospital bed occupancy, and

  • The Zoe COVID Symptom Study

Note: the future of Zoe is a little uncertain as UKHSA plans to stop funding at the end of March and for most people there will be no more free Lateral Flow Tests from 1st April 2022.

For the time being this page will continue to be updated each weekend using Friday's data.



How to get vaccinated

More about vaccinations

Number of cases

Number of deaths

Healthcare numbers

Forecast for the week ahead

Longer term outlook

Advice for seniors


Further information:

How to request a COVID test

About the Zoe COVID symptom study

About the NHS contact tracing app

About the NHS COVID pass

Summary of links

Menu of archived pages


Life appears to have returned to normal for the majority in England who have been fully vaccinated.

The recent surge in daily infections has probably peaked and infections should gradually fall as natural immunity builds up and the current virus runs out of people to infect.

NHS COVID bed occupancy is levelling off and should soon dip as prevalence declines.

Barring new variants, the UK COVID (28) death rate, which rose sharply to 210 deaths per day last week, is expected to peak at about 220 deaths per day during April and then fall to somewhere between 100 and 150 deaths per day as infections drop and the weather improves, before likely rising again next winter.

While the highly infectious Omicron virus remains prevalent, despite being fully vaccinated, many of us will catch COVID-19 in coming weeks. It may make some feel very poorly and send us to bed for a few days; and it could take five to ten days or so to recover. But except for the very frail elderly, clinically vulnerable, and unlucky we are unlikely to be hospitalised and the good news is our resistance to future infection should be greatly increased, whether or not we have a second booster jab.

Many people who have caught COVID report feeling tired for several weeks afterwards so don't overdo things, eat wisely, and allow time to recover your strength.

To counter vaccine waning amongst the most vulnerable, a second COVID-19 booster jab is available to Seniors aged 75+ years known as the Spring Booster.

Click for information about the Spring Booster

Click to view our advice

Click for Worcestershire Dashboard and associated links

How to get vaccinated

By now we expect most Seniors are triple vaccinated.

Children aged 5 - 11 years can be offered the vaccine.

All those aged 16+ years can book a booster 3 months after their second dose.

Click NHS link - Who can get a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine

For information about walk-in centres in Worcestershire go to the website:


and click the Vaccine Rollout tab at the top of the page.

Click for information about vaccination at the Three Counties Showground

Otherwise either see the NHS website for walk-in opening times and vaccine availability:


Or click this link for more information and to book a vaccination on-line:

Book a Coronavirus vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Or talk to your GP.

More about vaccinations


 Our bar chart below shows the total number of:

  1. first jabs;

  2. second jabs;

  3. booster and third jabs;

  4. for comparison, the population of the UK broken down by age band.


COVID vaccination bar chart

Vaccinometer as of 8th April 2022

People are still coming forward to be vaccinated, but the rate is so slow expect to see little change to this chart during 2022.

Vaccination statistics can be found on the Vaccination tab of the Coronavirus Dashboard.

First booster jabs

The government says everyone aged 18+ years has been offered a booster jab. To date just over 49M have had two doses, and nearly 39M booster doses have been administered, suggesting 10M still to boost in the UK; but those under 16 years are not yet eligible so there are probably 6M or so still to get their booster. A booster is essential for protection from the Omicron variants and hospitalisation.

Spring booster jabs for Seniors

Those aged 75+ are eligible for a second (Spring) booster which ideally should be 6 months after the first booster. For the youngest in that age group that may be in a couple of months time. Take up is rumoured to be good.

If you have tested positive for COVID after 1st February 2022, you may want to consider whether or not you need a second booster; and should you decide to go ahead, you must wait at least 28 days after infection before getting the jab.

You will be contacted by the NHS and invited to book your spring booster when it's due. You may be offered appointment dates from 3 months after your last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But try to book an appointment around 6 months after your last dose to get the best protection from your Spring Booster (check the date on your vaccination card).

New Court Surgery is currently not offering Spring Boosters so you may have to book your booster at a mass vaccination centre, either on-line or by phoning 119.

Click to book a Coronavirus vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Protection against hospitalisation

The UKHSA COVID-19 vaccine surveillance reports indicate the possible effectiveness of the vaccines. To quote from an earlier report:

Two doses of either AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccines was associated with a vaccine effectiveness of only 25 to 35% against hospitalisation following infection with the Omicron variant, after 25+ weeks.

After a Pfizer booster, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation started at around 90% dropping to around 75% after 10 to 14 weeks.

After a Moderna booster, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation was 90 to 95% up to 9 weeks after vaccination.


Effectiveness against mortality

The protection offered by the vaccines against death is less clear to us, but our reading of the reports is that if you are taken into hospital and have had only 2 jabs there is roughly a 50% chance you might die compared to the unvaccinated. However after a Booster the risk is reduced to about 1 in 8 after 2 or 3 months.

The latest report has lots of caveats making it difficult to judge exactly how effective the vaccines are. Most people who die are aged 75+ years and most of these are triple vaccinated, simply reflecting that most of the elderly population is vaccinated and the vaccines are not 100% effective.

Click for UKHSA COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report Week 13, 31st March 2022

Now the government is reducing testing, gathering statistics about vaccine effectiveness could become more difficult.

Vaccinations Worldwide

A chart of the worldwide vaccination situation can be found on the Our World in Data website.

Click for worldwide statistics

Hint: click the country list on the left hand side of the screen to add or remove countries from the chart.

Orange triangleNumber of cases

There have been four sources reporting the prevalence of COVID-19 in the UK.

  • The ONS which conducts a weekly random survey by collecting nose and throat swabs from the public for PCR tests, and analysis for variants.

  • The ZOE COVID symptom study, whereby participating members of the public log their symptoms, tests and vaccines.

  • The Imperial College REACT study, similar to that of ONS.

  • PHE data gathered from PCR testing and Lateral Flow Tests reported by the public, which currently underestimates infections.

The recent surge in infections appears to be peaking.

ONS infection survey

The latest ONS infection survey suggests the prevalence of COVID-19 has fallen a tad in Scotland with 1 in 13 testing COVID positive. ONS estimates that 4,141,600 people in England had COVID-19 in the week ending 2nd April 2022 about the same as the week before

Click for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK: 8th April 2022

Date published Prevalence (England) Ratio of people with COVID
1st April 2022 4,122,700 1:13
8th April 2022 4,141,600 1:13

Prevalence of COVID-19 in England estimated by ONS

It looks like prevalence has levelled off in England and so could fall next week following the trend in Scotland.

Zoe COVID Symptom study

The ZOE COVID Symptom Study predicts 4,534,620 people  have symptomatic COVID in the UK and estimates 298,268 new cases per day compared to 340,589 last week.

  Prevalence (UK) Estimated new infections per day
Last week 4,498,791 340,589
This week  4,534,620  298,268

Prevalence of COVID-19 in UK estimated by Zoe COVID Symptom Study

According to Zoe, prevalence in the UK has risen by 1% but the number of new daily infections has fallen by 12% suggesting infections may have peaked.

Imperial College REACT study

We have not been following the REACT study but it is similar to the ONS survey, reporting monthly and with similar findings. Government funding has been cut so this week's may be the last report.

Click for summary - 1 in 16 infected with the coronavirus as REACT study records highest rates yet by Justine Alford 06 April 2022

Click for full report

Numbers testing COVID positive in Worcestershire (PHE)

The breakdown of those testing COVID positive by Worcestershire Lower Tier Local Authorities (LTLA) is shown in the following table, together with comparisons for Herefordshire, a more sparsely populated county, and the city of Leicester.

Note: the cumulative cases are copied from the 'Cases by area' (whole pandemic) data set of the Coronavirus Dashboard. The weekly increase is the difference between this week and last week's total.

Districts of Worcs Number testing positive Weekly increase Population
Bromsgrove 32,803 +522 98,529
Malvern Hills 19,525 +446 77,545
Redditch 28,426 +435 85,317
Worcester 32,495 +523 103,542
Wychavon 37,198 +737 126,240
Wyre Forest 30,141 +619 100,957
TOTAL 180,588 3,282 592,130
County of Hereford 50,920 +1,151 195,000
Leicester (city of) 118,520 +1,053 400,000

Cumulative +ve tests reported by PHE in Worcestershire to 8th April 2022

Note: the weekly increase is indicative; the seven day average by area, which varies day to day, is an alternative metric that can be found on the Coronavirus dashboard.

Daily COVID positive tests in Worcestershire remain high, but have fallen 40% on last week. The fall is most likely due to the withdrawal of free Lateral Flow tests, rather than a fall in infections, so we may delete this section next week.

Interactive maps

Section deleted due to COVID testing being run down in the UK.

Number of deaths

Statistics on COVID deaths are published by Public Health England, The Office of National Statistics, and NHS England. These can't be directly compared as  they cover different periods, but together the figures paint a picture of the direction of travel.

The UK daily death rate has begun to rise tracking daily cases; the death rate is expected to peak in April and then dip as warmer weather encourages people to spend more time outdoors.

TrianglePHE figures

Public Health England reports there were 1,475 COVID (28) deaths in UK hospitals and care homes in the last week bringing the cumulative total to 169,759 (including deaths linked to repeat infections and a backlog of 2,714 deaths added on 6th April). The daily average rose from 165 to 210 deaths per day, as of 8th April, a rise of 27%.

In comparison averaged over recent years 1,700 people die daily from all causes.

 Click to view the UK government Coronavirus Dashboard

Note: in roughly half the cases recently reported by PHE it is rumoured COVID-19 might not be the underlying cause of death.

ONS figures

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) reports registered deaths in England and Wales where COVID-19 is mentioned somewhere on the death certificate. The ONS figures lag the PHE figures by 10 - 14 days and do not include Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Click for national ONS data on deaths (Excel spreadsheet)

The ONS figures are broken down by District providing a glimpse of where deaths are occurring. The provisional cumulative total of COVID related deaths in Worcestershire reported by the ONS up to 25th March (week 12 of 2022) is shown below.

Note: the numbers are from the ONS Death Registrations-Pivot table

Districts of
Week 12 Population
Bromsgrove 164 142 19 0 98,529
Malvern Hills 61 98 24 7 77,545
Redditch 108 109 15 0 85,317
Worcester 87 134 21 3 103,542
Wychavon 157 154 21 2 126,240
Wyre Forest 171 132 29 2 100,957
TOTAL 748 769 129 14 592,130

Provisional cumulative COVID-19 deaths in Worcestershire registered by ONS to 25th March 2022

Note: summation of rows 9 to 339 of the ONS deaths Registrations-Pivot table.

There were 4 death in care homes, 1 at home and 2 in hospital in the Malvern Hills; 3 deaths in hospital in the city of Worcester; 1 death in a care home and 1 in hospital in Wychavon; and 2 deaths in hospital in Wyre Forest.

In England and Wales 779 COVID-19 related deaths were reported in the week to 25th March, 99 more than the week before and a rise of 14%. Of these 145 were in a care home, 73 at home, 20 in a hospice, 531 in hospital and 10 elsewhere.

Note: we wonder if reported home deaths will fall a tad in late April due to COVID testing being run down.

Click for ONS Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest insights: Deaths

The next chart shows how ONS deaths have begun rising.

Chart of ONS deaths

ONS deaths in England and Wales by week of 2022

Weekly COVID-19 related deaths reported by ONS can be expected to rise until the middle of April tracking the surge in daily cases in March.

NHS England figures for Worcestershire

The table below shows the latest COVID deaths in Worcestershire hospitals reported by NHS England on 8th April 2022.

Worcestershire Cumulative deaths Past week
Acute hospitals 1,015 12
Care hospitals 71 2
TOTAL 1,086 14

Click for NHS COVID-19 total announced deaths

Note: look for COVID Total announced deaths sheet, then select tab Deaths by Trust

Risk of COVID-19 death by age band

NHS England provides an analysis of COVID-19 deaths in hospital in England and Wales by age band. Shown below is a snapshot of 8,378 recent deaths for the period 7th January 2022 to 19th March 2022 when most of these deaths will have been from the Omicron variant.

Age band Number of COVID deaths % of deaths
0 - 19 19 0.2
20 - 39 81 1.0
40 - 59 557 6.7
60 - 79 2,804 33.5
80+ 4,916 58.6

Relative risk of COVID-19 death by age band

Those aged 60+ account for 92% of deaths despite young people being more likely to catch COVID.

The risk profile for Omicron appears to be the same as for Delta. Age is the greatest risk factor but remember that because of vaccination the death rate as a proportion of new infections is about ten times lower than in 2020.

triangleHealthcare numbers

The UK government Coronavirus Dashboard includes information about healthcare statistics and NHS bed occupancy.

Hospital COVID cases (UK) Number Change since last week
Patients currently in hospital 20,331 +756
Patients on ventilation 357 +1
Patients admitted daily 2,343 +28

Headline summary of patients in hospital reported on 8th April 2022

COVID UK beds have roughly flat-lined this week suggesting the current wave may have peaked.

There are two important points to note:

  • only 40% these beds are occupied by patients primarily admitted due to severe COVID, the remainder being admitted for other reasons;

  • the number of mechanically ventilated beds is only about 9% of that during the worst of the pandemic, so there is currently little burden on Intensive Care Units.

For more detailed statistics on ICU beds click and explore the link below.

Reports on COVID intensive care beds - see intensive care national audit and research centre (ICNARC) website

Bed numbers by region in England

Tabulated figures for COVID bed occupancy in England can be found on the NHS England website and these give a good indication of direction of travel:

Click for NHS England COVID-19 Hospital bed Activity statistics

Note: see the latest Daily Admissions and Beds spreadsheets, then look for all COVID beds.

Region 1st April 2022 8th April 2022 15th January 2021
England 15,966 16,366 33,362
London 2,448 2,429 7,811
Midlands 2,897 3,203 5,890

Comparison of All beds COVID data for London and Midlands

In the last week the increase in the number of COVID-19 General and Acute beds has levelled off rising by only 2% in England, 1% in London and 10% in the Midlands. These numbers represent a significant burden on the NHS.

For comparison, the number of beds occupied during the peak of the epidemic in January 2021 is shown in red in the right hand column of the table.

Note: the majority of COVID patients are though to be aged 75+ years.

Green triangleWorcestershire hospital beds

Between 28 March 2022 and 3 April 2022, 148 patients went into hospital with coronavirus. This shows an increase of 31% compared to the previous 7 days.

There were 150 patients in hospital with Coronavirus on 5 April 2022, 33 more than reported last week, and roughly 56% of the peak experienced last January, but only 1 on a ventilator.

Note: part of this unexpected rise might be due to patients being accepted from outside Worcestershire.

Click for Summary of Malvern numbers on the Coronavirus dashboard

This link also reports deaths.

Deaths in Malvern Hills

Between 2 April 2022 and 8 April 2022, there have been 5 deaths within 28 days of a positive Coronavirus test.

Forecast for the week ahead

The number of UK COVID (28) deaths (as recorded by PHE) may increase by up to 1,540 towards 171,300 during the 7 days ending 15th April 2022, with the average daily death rate rising towards 220.

In the county of Worcestershire, based on 148 new hospital cases last week and assuming the ratio of deaths to be 1:11 of admissions, then up to 14 deaths per week can be expected towards the end of April.

From the daily cases reported by Zoe, we expect UK daily hospital admissions could fall by 12% to about 2,060 patients per day next week.

Longer term outlook

It's difficult to forecast exactly what happens next. We imagine that we are entering the endemic stage of the disease with a high background level of infection, dipping in the summer and rising  in  the winter, modulated by new variants to which we may or may not have less protection. More deaths than from Flu are expected in the elderly population plus some cases of Long COVID causing fatigue for many months. Otherwise, we expect the majority of the fully vaccinated population under 60 years to be little affected by COVID-19.

In England it is now a personal decision whether or not to take precautions depending on our own situation and assessment of risk. Some may now think it best to ignore precautions in order to build up herd immunity quickly through natural infection, while the risk averse, those hoping to avoid Long COVID, and 'clinically vulnerable' might be inclined to be cautious.

See also summary of links section for UCL and IHME modelling projections.

The UCL projection a few days ago was quote:-

The Spring peak with a prevalence of about 4.4% is anticipated around 3 April 2022 falling to about 2.4% in the summer and rising again to about 4.2% in October. This translates into an impending peak of about 200 deaths per day, falling to about 100 deaths per day in the summer, in the absence of a more virulent strain.

The 7-day average of daily deaths per day may peak at about 200 per day around 14 April 2022.

Click for UCL Long-term forecasting of the COVID-19 epidemic

Note: on the UCL page you will find the assumptions about the effectiveness of the vaccines.

Covid hospital beds have been about ten time hospital admissions so could ramp up a little to somewhere in the range 20,000 to 23,000 UK beds during April with current trends suggesting a figure at the lower end of this range.

The ratio of daily deaths to hospital admissions two weeks before has recently been about 1:11 so we expect the UK COVID (28) death rate to peak at between 200 and 220 deaths per day during April, before dipping in the late Spring and Summer.

Tim Spector (Zoe study)  suspects cases might not drop as quickly as in some other countries while the UCL charts suggest deaths might only fall to between 100 and 150 deaths per day in the summer before rising to roughly 200 deaths per day in the autumn and winter.

Advice for SeniorsCOVID risk medium

We judge the risk of exposure to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 to be VERY HIGH in Worcestershire at the moment, see our riskometer opposite.

During this period of high prevalence, it is likely that, despite being triple vaccinated, many Seniors will at some time or other become ill with the Omicron variant of COVID-19, including some who had the Delta variant before Christmas.

How this affects us will depend on any previous exposure to the virus giving some natural immunity, and vaccination status.

Those most at risk are said to include:

  •  Seniors aged 75+ years who have not been fully vaccinated;

  • Seniors aged 75+ whose first booster may be waning;

  • Pregnant women who have not been vaccinated.

Recently there have been no more than 14 COVID related deaths per week in Worcestershire which has a population of 600,000 so we currently judge the risk of death for fully vaccinated Seniors to be fairly LOW while the risk of Long COVID could be somewhere in the range LOW to MODERATE .

Those who are aged under 75, fully vaccinated, and in good health might reasonably think there is little point in taking any COVID precautions, such as the wearing of facemasks, being happy to accept the risk of any infection while the vaccines remain effective, which might possibly increase herd immunity.

However for the more cautious and those wishing to slow the spread of infection the simple safeguards to remember are to:

  • make sure your COVID and Flu vaccinations are fully up to date - you must have a Booster to obtain protection from Omicron;

  • wash your HANDS thoroughly, using soap and hot water, for 20 seconds, including after handling deliveries to your home, to kill virus picked up from contaminated surfaces (see note 1);

  • ideally wear either a well fitting FACE covering,  or better still an FFP2 face mask when unavoidably near other people for example when in shops, theatres, health-care settings, and when using public transport;

  • SPACE at least 2 metres from people you don't feel safe with (see note 2);

  • preferably socialise with friends and other households outdoors in the FRESH AIR else, if you are indoors, either ventilate by keeping windows open as far as is practicable or put a HEPA air purifier in the room;

  • consider avoiding crowded indoor settings and minimise TIME near strangers;

  • self-isolate for 5 to 10 days to protect others if you feel unwell with cold or flu like symptoms; according to the Zoe COVID Study the current top five COVID symptoms are runny nose, headache, sore throat, tiredness, and sneezing which may be difficult to distinguish from a common cold (see notes 3 and 4);

  • respect others and give them space.


1) Wash your hands thoroughly before touching your face to avoid transferring virus from contaminated surfaces to your mouth, eyes and nose. If outdoors, wash hands with an alcohol based hand gel.

2) Two metres is further than you think - roughly an arm and a walking stick away.

3) The COVID Symptom Study people suggest that if you have symptoms of a common cold there is a good chance you might have COVID.

4) If you are 'clinically vulnerable' consult your GP or specialist; you may need to take a test and consider anti viral drugs if testing positive.

5) However careful you are, don't be too surprised if you catch COVID as the Omicron variant is highly infectious.



This week

Lateral Flow tests are no longer free.

Bearing in mind testing is being run down, the Worcestershire links are not contributing a great deal at this late stage of the epidemic so we have moved them from the summary to the end, and you will see that other sections, such as the number of cases within wards of the town, have been removed.

The main point to remember is that COVID infections remain widespread.

The NHS finally updated the list of possible COVID symptoms after being nagged by Prof Tim Spector (of the Zoe study) for almost 2 years!

Monday was the start of the Easter school holidays, but many holiday flights were cancelled due to COVID staff sickness and shortages for example of cabin crew and baggage handlers.

We read about an Australian school that improved ventilation and had no COVID cases. An example British schools could copy.

How Brisbane Independent School prevented outbreaks of COVID-19, despite Omicron wave

Elsewhere in New South Wales where vaccination is higher than in the UK the COVID death rate seems to be half that here.

Some think there should be more investigation into the causes and treatment of Long Covid. Currently there are thought to be 1.7M self reported cases in the UK.

Others think businesses should be improving ventilation for customers and that the public should be more prepared to wear face-masks in order to slow the spread of respiratory disease generally. Little chance of that we thought - on Friday in Morrisons only 30% of staff and customers were wearing facemasks; most of these were older people. The paper towel dispenser for wiping trolley handles with sanitiser was empty.

COVID video updates

Links to the Zoe COVID Study and Independent SAGE weekly updates can be found here:-

Click to watch Zoe COVID Symptom Study update on 7th April 2022 presented by Tim Spector.

Click to watch Independent SAGE update on 8th April 2022

 Prof Christina Pagel presented the trend in numbers.

You can follow Prof Christina Pagel's recent Twitter on the current COVID situation here:

LONG THREAD on current Covid situation: Covering Vax, Prevalence, Hospitals, Deaths, Kids, Long Covid & longer term impacts, new variants

Questions relating to Long COVID mentioned there could be outcomes between complete recovery and death which leave the body with some damage after infection with COVID_19. It's not necessarily like having Flu, so best avoided.

Independent SAGE plans to continue weekly briefings but there will not be one on Good Friday. New members will be joining the panel. Future sessions will cover Long COVID, new variants, following the science, and stress on the NHS.

List of vaccines

Here is the updated list of COVID-19 vaccines ordered by the UK. It looks as though for now the government has settled on Pfizer as first choice with Moderna second and Astrazeneca held in reserve.

Valneva has been cancelled, and approval has not yet been sought for using Novavax in the EU and US although approval has been sought for use in third world countries.

For two doses plus boosters, only about 200M doses will be needed in 2021 and Jan/Feb 2022 for the population of the UK. The government has now signed deals to buy 114 million additional doses of the Pfizer (54M) and Moderna (60M) vaccines to use in 2022 and 2023.

Click for press announcement - Government agrees new deals to future proof vaccine rollout in light of new variant

The press announcement goes on to say that 60M doses of Novavax vaccine are expected to be delivered in 2022 and 7.5M doses of GSK/Sanofi, so there seems no intention to cancel these late arrivals.

Click for Guardian report - Novavax expected to be become fourth Covid vaccine available in UK

COVID-19 vaccine Doses ordered (million) Status
Pfizer BioNTech, two dose, -70 deg C 40+60+35 Approved, deliveries continuing, made in Belgium (EU). An additional 60M doses have been ordered for booster shots for the most vulnerable in the autumn. A further 35M doses were ordered in August 2021 for delivery in 2022.
Astrazeneca, two dose, fridge 100 Approved for those aged 30+ years; deliveries continuing. Batches made in UK, Belgium and India.
Moderna, two dose, -20 deg C 7+10 Approved. First deliveries to Wales and Scotland 7th April 2021 then England 13th April; mainly for those aged under 50 years awaiting vaccination.
Valneva, two dose 60+40
A jab from French company Valneva will be made in Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland. Order cancelled September 2021. Delivery had been expected to start in second half of 2021.
Janssen, single dose 20 Approved, a jab from Belgian firm Janssen, owned by Johnson and Johnson; UK approval 28th May. Order reduced from 30 to 20M.
Nuvaxovid 60 A jab manufactured by US firm Novavax being made in Stockton-on-Tees UK. Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) contracted to fill and package vials. Approved by MHRA 3rd Feb 2022. JCVI to advise how vaccine will be used.
GSK Sanofi 60 Some delay due to adjusting the formula to give better protection to the elderly; expected approval and delivery of 7.5M doses in 2022.
Curevac 50 ? Contract placed with German company Feb 2021. Possible source of new variant vaccine; disappointing trial results have resulted in the company working on a second generation vaccine. Future uncertain.

Table of vaccines ordered by the UK government


Present rate of detected new cases

The average rate of COVID positive tests per 100,000 population per week copied from the Coronavirus Dashboard is shown in the following table.

Region  Case rate
(last week)
Case rate
(this week)
England  861 638
Wales  452 218
Scotland  1,313 927
Northern Ireland  704 446
London (region) 664 490
Worcestershire  981 685
Malvern Hills  1,041 729

Seven day Case Rate per 100,000 reported 8th April 2022

The fall is probably mostly due to the running down of testing; otherwise the table suggests cases are similar across much of the UK, but significantly lower in Wales.

Note: actual infections will be many times the number of positive tests.

 As a yardstick we suggest a figure of below 10 can be considered LOW, so there is still a long way to go.

Back to top


How to request a COVID test

Note: much of this section is largely historical. Now the population is vaccinated the government no longer sees testing as important. The availability of PCR tests is being cut back to save money and Lateral Flow tests will no longer be free after 1st April 2022. The government plans in future to gather its data from ONS surveys.

In order to protect others it is important to get a test and self isolate if you feel unwell with either classic COVID symptoms, or cold and flu like symptoms which can be caused by the Omicron variant.;

There are now two types of test you can get. The more accurate PCR test involving a throat and nose swab which is sent to a laboratory for analysis and the Lateral Flow Device test.

Click for government guidance on types of tests

Getting a PCR test

Click the link below for information on how to get a free NHS PCR test if you think you may have Coronavirus:


We feel the website discourages people from seeking a PCR test who don't have all the classic symptoms. If you feel strongly enough, press on answering the questions so as to get your PCR test.

In case of difficulty you can try phoning the Coronavirus contact centre by dialing 119.

Alternatively settle for a 'Nasal swab' Lateral Flow Device test in the comfort of your own home (see below).

According to Google there is a 'drive through' COVID testing station at County Hall near the Countrywide Centre, and a 'walk through' at Pershore.

There is also a COVID testing station at the Worcester Royal Hospital for screening patients before admission.

If you cannot get to these you can order a home PCR test kit.

If you test COVID positive you should ideally self-isolate for 5 days or until you feel better.

Getting a Lateral Flow Device test

Lateral Flow Device tests (LFD) can either be booked at Claremont Pharmacy in Barnards Green, Evans Pharmacy in Malvern Link, or taken at home.

The test is intended to screen those who do not show the classic symptoms of COVID-19 and provides a means to check you are 'virus free' at home - either before visiting an elderly person, going to work, or attending a crowded event.  It also provides a means to check whether or not you have Coronavirus if you are feeling poorly with cold and flu like symptoms.

COVID Lateral Flow DeviceYou can collect home test kits, for example packaged as the COVID-19 Self-Test (Rapid Antigen Test) in boxes of 7 tests, from Malvern library, the Co-op, and most pharmacies such as Boots and Murrays in Church Street, Claremont House and Lloyds in Barnards Green, Murrays at Prospect View, Evans and Murrays in Malvern Link, and Boots and Morrisons on the Enigma Retail Park.

If collecting from a pharmacy you now have to go on-line and get a collection code to present to the pharmacy in order to obtain a pack of 7 tests. This involves giving NHS Test and Trace your email and/or mobile phone number and address.


The LFD now comes in two versions.

  • The Throat and Nose Swab kit;

  • The Nose Swab only kit (Orient Gene, Acon Flowflex and MP Biomedicals).

 (Lateral Flow Device cassette shown on the right).

ACON Flowflex comes in a blue and white pack.

Orient Gene comes in a green and white pack.

MP Biomedicals come in a blue, white and grey pack.

Click for instructions for using the LFD test kits

COVID lateral flow test leaflet

Leaflet at Boots the Chemist

Note: from 1st April 2022 you will no longer be able to get a collection code for free tests.

The new Nasal swab test kit which only requires a nose swab is the easiest to use and the best one to get but it is not yet widely available. On 10th November 2021 we found Boots in Church Street and Malvern Library were still supplying the old Throat and Nose kit; Murrays in Church Street had the new kits and Malvern library thought the library in St John's Worcester might have the new kits.

Click for NHS information on Rapid Lateral Flow Test sites and collection sites in Malvern

Hint: to see the list, click on 'filter' and then 'pick up sites for test kits' checkbox.

Click for WCC info about Lateral Flow Tests

In our opinion, many Seniors will find the classic Throat and Nose Swab home test kit difficult to use as you need to rub the tonsils or thereabouts with the swab-stick without touching the tongue, teeth, cheeks, gums or any other surface before swabbing the nose. Doing this standing in front of a mirror on your own without gagging while holding a torch in the other hand, won't be easy unless you have a steady hand and good eyesight.

The Nose Swab kit is by far the best one for testing yourself at home.

If you test COVID positive you should isolate and take a more accurate PCR test to confirm the result.

NHS Test and Trace want people to report the result of their home LFD tests within 24 hours at:


This helps NHS Test and Trace monitor where the issue of the free LFD tests is proving most effective and the spread of the disease.

However, it's tedious to enter your Lateral Flow Test result on the government website and we imagine many people now don't bother.

COVID Lateral Flow test kit

Nose swab home test kit obtained from Murrays


About the COVID Symptom Study app (Zoe)

COVID app logoYou can help others by downloading the COVID Symptom Study app onto your smart-phone or Ipad and reporting how you feel either daily, or as you are able. Note there is no desktop PC version for Windows.

For further details click this link: https://covid19.joinzoe.com

The Zoe app, which is easy to use, allows you to report whether or not you are feeling well and if you have had a test for COVID. This helps Kings College London monitor the spread and symptoms of the disease and give advice to government. This is an important source of data as we progress through the EXIT wave.

There are questions allowing you to enter your vaccine type and whether any side effects; this now includes boosters and flu jabs.


About the NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app (England)

Release of the NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app for Apple and Android smartphones was announced on 24th September 2020.

Click this link for NHS Coronavirus app information

If you have been close to someone who has tested COVID positive, your smart-phone will be pinged and you may be advised to self-isolate

Note: now isolation is no longer a legal requirement you might as well delete this from your smartphone.


About the NHS app and Covid Pass

An NHS COVID Pass shows your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination details and/or test results. This is your COVID-19 status. You may be asked to show your pass to travel abroad

You will need the NHS app installed on your smartphone and be registered with the NHS in order to display your vaccination status.

Note: this is not the NHS COVID-19 app

If you don't have a smartphone you should be able to login from a PC to obtain a printed copy.

Click to login from a desktop computer or laptop

You can use your NHS login when signing in to report the result of Lateral Flow Device tests taken at home; this has to be done within 24 hours.


Some of this information is now out of date but provides a historical context to the epidemic.

Information about Coronavirus can be found on the NHS website:




About COVID symptoms

Note: the list of symptoms was updated on 1st April 2022

Article about the effects of Wuhan Coronavirus on the human body


Reporting and how to obtain a test

How to get a test


About joining the Zoe COVID Symptom Study:




UK government Coronavirus guidance

See also - government sets out next steps for living with COVID

COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan 2021 for England

UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) website


COVID Alert states

Guidance on UK COVID-19 alert level methodology: an overview

COVID-19 Alert Level lowered to 3 on 10th May 2021



Guidance on tiers: what you need to know

Government postcode checker to find tier for other areas



UK government COVID-19: Omicron daily overview

UK government Coronavirus Dashboard

Coronavirus Dashboard Interactive Map

ONS data on deaths in England and Wales (Excel spreadsheet)

NHS England COVID-19 Daily Deaths

NHS England COVID-19 Hospital Admissions

NHS England vaccination statistics

Reports on COVID intensive care beds - see intensive care national audit and research centre (ICNARC) website

Worcestershire Coronavirus Dashboard

Worcestershire COVID-19 Vaccinations Dashboard


HSA COVID-19 vaccine weekly surveillance reports

Information about NHS hospital bed numbers: past, present, future


A glimpse of the worldwide vaccination situation can be found on the Our World in Data website.

Click for chart showing % vaccinated



A forecast of the progression of the COVID-19 epidemic can be found on a University College London (UCL) website.

Click for UCL Long-term forecasting of the COVID-19 epidemic

A projection of the future COVID-19 death toll and daily deaths can be found on The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation website. 

Click for IHME projection of COVID-19 deaths



Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest insights by ONS

A live roundup of the latest data and trends about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic from the ONS and other sources.


The bigger picture

Worldometer summary of coronavirus cases worldwide

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control info


World Health Organisation info



Window on the USA

Centre for Disease Control (CDC)

CDC COVID Data Tracker

Find maps and charts tracking cases, deaths, and trends of COVID-19 in the United States.

American Association of Retired People (AARP)



A local summary of COVID data can be found on the Worcestershire Coronavirus Dashboard.

Note 1: use the arrow <> buttons at the bottom of the Dashboard screen to move between pages.

Note 2: the figures for COVID cases are becoming meaningless as testing is run down.

Note 3:  deaths are on page 7, and hospital beds on page 9.

Click for Worcestershire County Council COVID-19 news

There is a colourful webpage offering advice on learning to live with COVID for those aged under 30 years. 'Rona' is slang for Coronavirus.

Click for The Worcestershire 'Rona' Hub

COVID Outbreak Control Plan

Click for Simple Summary of Malvern numbers on the Coronavirus dashboard



Spanish Flu

Dr Jeff Kildea's commentary about the 1919 outbreak of Spanish Flu in Australia


Views of Martin McKee, Professor of European Public Health

Follow Martin McKee on Twitter

Views of Prof Christina Pagel, a member of Independent SAGE

Follow Christina Pagel on Twitter


SAGE membership

Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE)


Scottish government:

Link to Scottish Government website

Link to Postcode checker for COVID restrictions by protection level in areas of Scotland


Welsh Government:

Guidance on COVID alert levels in Wales


The Malvern Hills logo

Back to top

The interpretations and opinions expressed are our own