Undercover filming, by BBC Panorama, at a major UK Covid testing lab has revealed how poor working practices could lead to people getting incorrect test results.
Telegraph Cartoonist Bob Moran makes an interesting comment about this BBC News article.
This is a great example of how mad people (the BBC) have become. In attempting to demonstrate how serious the current situation is, they accidentally show that everything is completely normal and remind us that when things were actually bad, we didn’t even notice.@bobscartoons on Twitter, 29 January 2021
Ivor Cummins aka the Fat Emperor – gives James the lowdown on why you can’t trust anything our governments tell us about Covid-19. If you want the facts on Coronavirus – how deadly is it? do lockdowns and masks work? how does it compare with previous pandemics? – you’ve come to the right place
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When announcing the national lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the NHS risked being overwhelmed if the measures weren’t taken.
But statistics suggest that the proportion of beds currently occupied by patients is actually lower than usual.
So how can both things be true?
…To create that wiggle room, there has been a big decrease in patients coming in for non-urgent operations and outpatient appointments, to ensure that space is there and pressures are not increased.
Even in September 2020, when hospitals were beginning to increase the number of operations carried out, these were still 25% lower than in previous years.
This also helps explain why there are also fewer patients in hospitals this year, as well as fewer beds.
The impact of this is a large backlog and the potential for certain treatments – such as cancer care – being delayed.
Nursery schools present “very little risk” and are Covid-safe, vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi has said, as he defended keeping them open.
The Office for National Statistics said borrowing hit £31.6bn last month, the highest November figure on record.
It was also the third-highest figure in any month since records began in 1993.
Since the beginning of the financial year, borrowing to cover the gap between spending and revenues has reached £240.9bn, £188.6bn more than a year ago.
The independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has estimated that the amount could reach £372.2bn by the end of the financial year in March
A quick glance at the latest data on hospital beds shows there were nearly 13,000 beds free at the end of November.
That’s 50% more than last winter.
The increase in coronavirus infections appears to be slowing around the UK, latest data from the Office for National Statistics show.
Although the number of people with Covid continues to rise, the growth is levelling off.
In the week to 30 October, ONS says new daily infections in England stabilised at around 50,000.
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.
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.
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.
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
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”.
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%.
- 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.
…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.'”
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.
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.
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”.
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.