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Covid: Deaths near lowest level since March – BBC

Coronavirus accounted for 1% of all deaths in England and Wales in the second week of this month.

That’s among the lowest figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) since March when the pandemic took hold.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54248150

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Primary schools ‘no greater risk than home’ for pupils and staff – BBC

Attending primary school puts children and staff at no greater risk of contracting coronavirus than staying at home, a study of 131 schools suggests…

…A separate sample of 2,100 staff and children, who were tested for antibodies, found 10.6% of pupils and 12.7% of staff had previously had coronavirus.

This could suggest that children are as likely as adults to be infected, rather than being less susceptible to the disease.

But because so few positive cases in children are detected, it confirms previous research that they are likely to experience mild symptoms, or none at all.

The study found children and staff who attended school more frequently were no more likely to test positive for antibodies than those who did not attend school, or went less often.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54025708

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Coronavirus: Tests ‘could be picking up dead virus’ – BBC

The main test used to diagnose coronavirus is so sensitive it could be picking up fragments of dead virus from old infections, scientists say.

Most people are infectious only for about a week, but could test positive weeks afterwards.

Researchers say this could be leading to an over-estimate of the current scale of the pandemic.

But some experts say it is uncertain how a reliable test can be produced that doesn’t risk missing cases.

Prof Carl Heneghan, one of the study’s authors, said instead of giving a “yes/no” result based on whether any virus is detected, tests should have a cut-off point so that very small amounts of virus do not trigger a positive result.

He believes the detection of traces of old virus could partly explain why the number of cases is rising while hospital admissions remain stable.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54000629

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News Opinion

Children could spread COVID19 more if they wear masks – Professor Russell Viner, BBC Newsnight

According to professor Russell Viner, President of Royal College of Paediatrics and SAGE member:

  • There’s very little evidence for the use of masks in schools.
  • Children could potentially spread the virus more if they wear masks
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News Opinion

Children are at more risk from flu or car accidents – Dr. Jenny Harries, BBC, Sky News

According to Dr. Jenny Harries, England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, the evidence shows:

  • The vast majority of children, even those deemed to be in the vulnerable category, do not have severe outcomes from COVID-19.
  • The risk child dying in a road traffic accident or from flu “is probably higher than their risk from COVID-19”.
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England death count review reduces UK toll by 5,000 – BBC

A review of how deaths from coronavirus are counted in England has reduced the UK death toll by more than 5,000, to 41,329, the government has announced.

The new methodology for counting deaths means the total number of people in the UK who have died from Covid-19 comes down from 46,706 to 41,329 – a reduction of 12%.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53722711

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Exposure rate ‘similar’ in London and Stockholm – BBC News

  • Exposure to Covid-19 is similar in Stockholm and London, based on antibody tests, despite different lockdown strategies.
  • The research, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, found that 17% of people tested in April in Stockholm had developed antibodies.
  • This compares with 17% of Londoners tested in April and May, and 5%-10% of people living in Geneva.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53741851

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Opinion

The evidence for making face coverings mandatory is quite weak – Dr. Frank Atherton, BBC

…Wales’ chief medical officer said “very little had changed” in the science, which pointed to them having little benefit.

Also speaking to Claire Summers on Tuesday, Wales’ chief medical officer Dr Frank Atherton said the evidence for making face coverings mandatory was “quite weak”, although there might be a “small benefit”.

Nevertheless, the BBC went with the headline, “Coronavirus: Face masks ‘should be compulsory in shops.'”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-53400877

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Coronavirus: Majority testing positive have no symptoms – BBC News

Only 22% of people testing positive for coronavirus reported having symptoms on the day of their test, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Note: the article deduces that this shows the importance of asymptomatic transmission. However, cases of asymptomatic transmission has been found to be very rare.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53320155

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Opinion

How the BBC and ITV turned into full-on Tory propaganda mouthpieces – The Canary (2019)

As Boris Johnson’s government plunges the UK further into political chaos, a ‘No 10 source’ has been very busy. Some of the UK’s most influential political journalists seem to be repeating whatever this unnamed and unverified source says. But this isn’t journalism, it’s propaganda. And both the BBC and ITV‘s political editors have turned up the megaphone as full-on government mouthpieces.

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News

Huge rise in number of people claiming benefits – BBC

The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in the UK soared to 2.1 million in April, the first full month of the coronavirus lockdown.

But the labour market is set to worsen, according to politicians and analysts, with Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, telling the BBC on Tuesday that the unemployment rate was likely “to increase significantly”.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52719230

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Opinion

The ‘official Covid story’ is one-sided to the point of deceit – The Telegraph

The biggest political ruse of our time has now spiralled so far out of control that it has become almost impossible to distinguish fact from deception. Every day we are besieged with such a selective and biased artillery of “scientific” assertions that it makes a mockery of expert insight.

Every day we are subjected to yet more bitesized epidemiology that gives an utterly false impression of risk. And every day we are bombarded with terrifying death figures so out of context that they are effectively meaningless.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/05/14/official-covid-story-biased-selective-point-deceit/

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News

Coronavirus: Chancellor Rishi Sunak warns of ‘significant recession’ – BBC

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52641807

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News Opinion

Lord Sumption discusses Coronavirus lockdown on BBCR4 PM with Evan Davis

The is the worst interference with personal liberty in our history. For what is by historical standards not a very serious pandemic except for particular categories of vulnerable people who can isolate themselves voluntarily.

The problem about law is that it excludes common sense.

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News Videos

The government’s daily briefings are “not trustworthy communication of statistics” – Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, BBC

The government’s daily briefings on #Covid_19 are “not trustworthy communication of statistics” says Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter from the University of Cambridge

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News Videos

Coronavirus: Is the government really ‘following the science’? – BBC Newsnight

Throughout the UK’s coronavirus crisis, the government has stressed its response has been guided not by ideology; not by politics – but by the science. So what are the scientific justifications for lockdown?

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News

How the media made the crisis even worse – Spiked

The coronavirus crisis has clearly demonstrated the value of good journalism. Yet the response of too much of the media has also shown how bad journalism can help to make a terrible situation even worse.

Self-important media outlets have crossed over from ‘speaking truth to power’ to assuming that they should have the power to tell governments what to do.

The overwhelming pressure of this shrill Something Must Be Done journalism quickly helped to push the UK government into changing tack and imposing a general lockdown, with far-reaching consequences for society.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/04/23/how-the-media-made-the-crisis-even-worse/

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News

Even the BBC is starting to admit the lockdown is causing deaths

BBC: Coronavirus: Deaths at 20-year high but peak may be over

Summary:

  • “A third [of deaths in the week up to 10 April] were linked to coronavirus, but deaths from other causes also increased, suggesting the lockdown may be having an indirect impact on health.”
  • “On Tuesday [21 April] 823 new deaths were announced, but most of these happened in the previous days and weeks. Some even date back to March.”
  • “But the ONS also said deaths from other causes rose too.”
  • “The number of deaths from flu and pneumonia…is three times higher than the total number of coronavirus deaths this year.”
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News

Unintended consequence of the lockdown may outweigh effects of the virus – Professor Bauld, BBC Newsnight

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News Opinion

Coronavirus Lockdown and What You Are Not Being Told – Off-Guardian

The knee jerk reaction, assuming any questioning of the lockdown demonstrates a cavalier, uncaring disregard is puerile. Grown adults shouldn’t simply believe everything they are told like mindless idiots. Critical thinking and asking questions is never “bad” under any circumstances whatsoever.