Good morning. The Health Service Journal is reporting this morning that hospital admissions for coronavirus in London and the south-east have started to fall for the first time since Christmas. They are still appallingly high, but the HSJ says these figures are “the first substantive indication that the third wave may have peaked in two of the regions where it began”.
The rolling seven-day total of admissions for the capital on 10 January was 5919, this was a fall of 131 on the previous day. The last time that London saw a fall in it seven-day total of admissions was 2 December. 8 and 9 January saw increases of just 17 and four respectively in the seven-day total.
It is important to stress that 734 admissions recorded on 10 January was still the among 20 busiest days recorded since the start of the pandemic …
The seven-day total of admissions in the south east fell 82 on 10 January to 4551, the first time the running figure has dropped since 23 December. 8 and 9 January saw rises of 3 and 65.
The full story is here.
Here is the agenda for the day. It’s chock-a-block.
9.30am: Prof Wei Shen Lim, chair of the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation, gives evidence to the Commons science committee. Other witnesses include executives from AstraZeneca (at 10.15am) and Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccine deployment minister (at 10.45am.)
10am: Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, gives evidence to the Commons education committee.
10am: Senior police officers give evidence to the Commons home affairs committee about Covid and policing. At 11am scientists, including the epidemiologists Prof John Edmunds from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, will give evidence.
12pm: Boris Johnson faces Sir Keir Starmer at PMQs.
12.15pm: Dr Andrew Goodall, chief executive of NHS Wales, and Dr Frank Atherton, chief medical officer for Wales, hold a Welsh government coronavirus briefing.
12.30pm: Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, is due to answer a Commons urgent question about the post-Brexit trade between Britain and Northern Ireland. At around 1.15pm he is also due to answer a UQ about the elections in May.
12.30pm: Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, takes questions in the Scottish parliament. Earlier there are ministerial statements on the vaccine roll-out and on remote learning in schools.
2pm: Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, holds a press conference.
3.30pm: Boris Johnson gives evidence to the Commons liaison committee.
Politics Live is now doubling up as the UK coronavirus live blog and, given the way the Covid crisis eclipses everything, this will continue for the foreseeable future. But we will be covering non-Covid political stories too, and when they seem more important or more interesting, they will take precedence.
Here is our global coronavirus live blog.
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