But this logic is faulty. For a start, children are almost entirely unaffected by the virus. And anyway, why should the country be held hostage because one-fifth of the population decline to protect themselves?
…Regrettably, we may unintentionally have encouraged more serious variants with lockdowns instead of allowing milder variants to circulate and ultimately prevail.
The science behind fighting Covid is difficult, and politicians need all the help they can get to interpret it correctly. Sadly, Mr Johnson has repeatedly retreated to his comfort redoubt of a handful of key advisers who seem wilfully blind to the fact that their recommendations are tearing apart the fabric of our society.
This is not because Ted Mooney contracted coronavirus in the very good (and expensive, it must be said) care home three miles from our house, as statistics will now state.
Because he did not. Yet the principal cause of death is set down officially as Covid-19 — and that, in my view, is a bizarre and unacceptable untruth.
…They agreed that, yes, it must distort the national figures — ‘and yet the strangest thing is that every winter we record countless deaths from flu, and this winter there have been none. Not one!’
Despite the success of the vaccine programme, which will see all vulnerable people protected against Covid-19 in a month, it seems lockdown will largely continue until July.
Restaurants and churches possibly still closed. Travel impossible. Families forbidden to mingle indoors. The Treasury still borrowing billions to keep people on furlough. This is draining the health of our population and our economy.
Anyone would be justified in demanding to know what the past year’s sacrifices have been for, if not to end lockdown as soon as possible.
How can the Government fail to set free the country — particularly after the stellar vaccination campaign?
Scientists are trying to work out why coronavirus cases in India are falling when at one point it looked like the country might overtake the US as the worst-hit nation.
In September the country was reporting some 100,00 new cases per day, but that went into decline in October and is now sitting at around 10,000 per day – leaving experts struggling to explain why.
While the Indian government has been keen to put the apparent success down to its mask-wearing and social distancing laws, few believe these measures alone are responsible for the dip.
Instead, experts believe it may be down to the fact that India’s largest cities have reached herd immunity, meaning the virus has moved to rural areas where it spreads slower and where cases and deaths are far less likely to be tested and logged.
But then Ministers discarded a decade of planning in a few hours and embarked on a sinister and untried experiment with the lives of millions. They ordered a national lockdown which was both coercive and indiscriminate.
That decision, I believe, was nothing to do with the science. They were panicked to act by seeing recently ordered lockdowns in Italy, France and Spain, following the lead of totalitarian China. Ministers seemed convinced that the public would blame them if they failed to do what other nations were doing.
- Family said Captain Sir Tom Moore had regularly tested negative for Covid-19 until he visited hospital
- Only after a ten-day stay for pneumonia was he discharged on January 12 and then tested positive that day
- The inspirational NHS fundraiser later had to be readmitted and died in hospital surrounded by his family
- A family spokesman revealed Captain Tom’s pneumonia battle meant he had not had the coronavirus vaccine
- Centenarian became a national treasure over first coronavirus lockdown after raising millions for the NHS
- Boris Johnson today announced there would be a clap at 6pm by everyone to remember his achievements
- It came after a minute’s silence was held in the Commons by MPs in honour of the respected ex-army man
- His grandson Tom Teixeira also paid tribute to him, describing him as ‘a patriot to the country’
‘On January 22, Tom was discharged from hospital back to the family home where he felt most comfortable. Unfortunately he was left still fighting pneumonia and tested positive for Covid-19 that day.
‘Tom was able to have visitors to say goodbye to him at the end of his life. On Monday evening his daughter Hannah and grandchildren Benjie and Georgia were able to be by his side and his daughter Lucy was able to speak to him on FaceTime.’
- Hospital chaos will have led to 46,000 avoidable deaths by end of next month
- Cancellations to routine operations may cause 18,000 excess deaths overall
- Another 40,000 people may die due to the economic impact of lockdown
More than 100,000 people are likely to die from non-coronavirus causes because of the pandemic, according to an official government estimate.
By the end of next month the chaos in hospitals and care homes will have led to 46,000 avoidable deaths, Department of Health research has suggested.
Cancellations to routine operations may cause 18,000 excess deaths in the long-term, on top of hundreds more from cancer.
Officials calculated that over the next few years another 40,000 people may die due to the economic impact of lockdown, including rising unemployment and mental health issues.
Depression among pupils is at ‘frightening’ levels, paediatrcians have warned, as they urge the Government to reopen schools or risk a ‘calamitous,’ impact on children’s mental health.
Ten of the UK’s top exerts in child health say anxiety, self harma nd suicidal thoughts have reached frightening levels among children.
- German researchers enrolled nearly 2,500 parents and their children in a study
- Found three times as many adults had coronavirus antibodies than children
- Data also shows a previously infected adult and an uninfected child was 4.3 times more common than a previously infected child and an uninfected parent
Children are unlikely to have played a significant role in the spread of coronavirus during the first wave last year, a study shows.
Throughout the pandemic it has become increasingly evident children are less affected by Covid-19; symptoms, severe disease and death figures in children are all much lower than would be expected when compared to the rest of the population.
Figures from Public Health England (PHE) show the current risk of dying from coronavirus if infected is 1,513 per 100,000 people for over-80s, but for children aged five to nine, this is just 0.1 per 100,000.
- More than 25,000 patients caught coronavirus in hospital since second wave
- One in six Covid-19 patients in NHS hospitals in England were infected while being treated for other conditions since September
- So far this month, 5,684 Covid-positive in-patients out of 44,315 were infected after being admitted for other conditions
A specialist Covid nurse treating people at home said many of her patients had contracted the virus in hospital and were re-admitted when their conditions worsened.
The nurse said one elderly lady, originally admitted after breaking a rib in a fall, was now critically ill and had passed the virus on to two close relatives while at home.
- South Korean study reviewed pre-existing research on role of gut microbiome
- Hong Kong-based scientists examined blood and stool samples from patients
- Both studies indicate a gut microbe imbalance is key in severe Covid-19
The study concludes the gut microbiome may be involved in the ‘magnitude of Covid-19 severity possibly via modulating host immune responses’.
The authors found that patients with Covid-19 had depleted levels of several gut bacteria known to modify a person’s immune response.
Lockdowns cannot eradicate the disease or protect the public. Indeed, Matt Hancock nearly said as much this week. They lead to only economic meltdown, social despair and direct harms to health from other causes.
In fact, lockdowns may be worse than just useless. There is some science to suggest – perhaps ironically – they actually drive the disease to spread more easily.
This danger lies in the evolutionary nature of the coronavirus. Like all viruses it mutates all the time. More than 20,000 variants of the Covid-19 virus have already been identified, which is why it is so wrong of the Government to whip up hysteria over two new strains, a reportedly more infectious strain in the South East of the UK and a ‘South African’ strain.
A top German virologist heavily played down fears about Britain’s mutant virus strain today, saying he was ‘not so worried’ and questioning Boris Johnson’s claim that it is 70 per cent more infectious.
Christian Drosten said the 70 per cent figure was ‘simply called that’, suggesting that preliminary scientific estimates might have been overblown by politicians.
Nightingale hospitals built during the first Covid-19 lockdown still remain ‘on standby’ despite parts of England being plunged under draconian Tier 4 measures.
It has been suggested the hospitals are largely deserted, despite Boris Johnson’s dramatic decision to plunge a third of those in England under tough Tier 4 measures from Sunday.
- Intensive care ward occupancy down to 75% from 84% this time last year
- Hospitals across country declaring incidents as they struggle to cope
- But wards are less busy too – 89% full compared to 95% in December 2019
- NHS warns of invisible pressures unique to Covid, such as ward segregation
NHS data still shows hospitals to be quieter than they were this time last year even as coronavirus’s second wave bites and the number of Covid patients approaches levels seen in the crisis’s peak in April.
- Professor Chris Whitty is paid between £205,000 and £210,000, it was revealed
- Meanwhile the chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance is on up to £185,000
- Thirty officials at soon-to-be scrapped Public Health England earn more than £150,000
- Pensioners were given the ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ notices against their wishes
- Now NHS England plans to give everyone aged over 65 a ‘national frailty score’
- The new programme involves a ‘geriatric assessment’, sometimes by phone
These four pensioners are bravely fighting back against a draconian NHS policy that sees over-65s assessed for frailty and handed notices saying they will be denied resuscitation if they suffer a heart attack or stop breathing.
…All too often it seems these orders have been handed out secretly by NHS staff without the patient’s consent or even their knowledge.
The PCR verdict cannot tell these individuals whether they need to self-isolate or whether they might need treatment – the things that really matter to them and society.
n some cases, for example, viral RNA might be present in such very low quantities that an individual is not at all infectious and poses zero danger. In other cases, the swabs might pick up RNA which is so old it is completely dead, as people continue shedding material from the virus up to 80 days after the initial infection.
I believe these people are testing positive time and time again.
Nearly half of care home staff won’t take the coronavirus vaccine, with bosses desperately calling on ministers to make jabs compulsory among healthcare workers.
Nadra Ahmed, chairman of the National Care Association, said as many as 40% of carers could choose not to take up the option as it is rolled out over the coming days.
Ms Ahmed told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘We know that between 50-60%, depending on individual services, the staff are actually saying they will definitely have the vaccine and are very keen.
‘We understand between about 17-20% of staff in services are saying they definitely won’t have it, and then you have the rest who are waiting to see.
‘So we are looking at potentially 40% who decide not to have it.’
- Blood samples unveiled this week show people in California, Oregon and Washington infected in December
- Further tests on blood taken in mid-to-late December and into early January found virus in six more states
- Italy, Brazil and France have all since found traces of the virus before China even acknowledged it existed
- Evidence has emerged in Spain and the UK suggesting that Covid-19 was around before testing was possible
- Claims the virus emerged in a market in Wuhan last winter have crumbled in the face of scientific evidence