Britain could have been hit harder by Covid-19 than other European nations because the past two winter flu outbreaks have only been mild, according to a study.
Researchers say influenza kills the same groups of people as the coronavirus, with both illnesses posing the greatest danger to the elderly and those with underlying conditions.
Public Health England statistics show around 20,000 excess deaths – those of any cause that happen above average – occur from influenza each year.
But only 1,700 extra fatalities were recorded during the 2018/19 outbreak, said lead author Dr Chris Hope who claimed data showed the 2019/20 season was also ‘very mild’.
It means more than 30,000 people in England alone were alive at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic who would have been expected to die in the previous two flu seasons.
NHS doctors are prematurely ending the lives of thousands of elderly hospital patients because they are difficult to manage or to free up beds, a senior consultant claimed yesterday.
Professor Patrick Pullicino said doctors had turned the use of a controversial ‘death pathway’ into the equivalent of euthanasia of the elderly.
He claimed there was often a lack of clear evidence for initiating the Liverpool Care Pathway, a method of looking after terminally ill patients that is used in hospitals across the country.
Professor Pullicino claimed that far too often elderly patients who could live longer are placed on the LCP and it had now become an ‘assisted death pathway rather than a care pathway’.
In the final analysis, our future depends not on a handful of ministers, but on us, the great majority of the British people, from schoolteachers and shopkeepers to car workers and business leaders.
Finally, we can say with confidence what many of us have suspected for weeks: not only is the end of the pandemic now in sight but also the people best-placed to recharge our economy have little to fear from it.
Thanks to definitive figures released yesterday by Public Health England, we know that Covid-19 is not a random killer, but one that targets specific groups – namely the old and those with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or dementia.
Professor Carl Heneghan, an Oxford University epidemiologist, expects no ‘excess deaths’ by the second week of June, for which the data will not become available until mid-June.
The weekly death toll in England and Wales dropped to its lowest levels since the lockdown began, an Office for National Statistics (ONS) report said today. A total of 1,983 people in England and Wales died with Covid-19 in the week ending May 22, down almost 30 per cent in a week and the lowest figure for two months.
Three mothers are considering suing the Government over school closures – amid claims they may have breached children’s human rights and pupil’s are being ‘treated like they’re germs’.
The women have also written to the Secretary of State Gavin Williamson to ask whether the ‘long term physical and mental welfare’ of pupils has been considered, and to raise concerns about social distancing.
- Groups hit out over threat of forced 14-day quarantine for test and trace scheme
- It comes as the NHS Test and Trace scheme faced issues on its first official day
- Other groups have raised concerns over how people’s data will be stored safely
The government’s coronavirus contact tracing site crashed on launch this morning amid complaints it has been a ‘complete shambles’.
Doctors and other staff reported major teething troubles as the much-trumpeted scheme finally got up and running, with some saying they had not even received passwords to start work.
US CDC that antibody tests for Covid-19 may be wrong up to half of the time.
The CDC now warns antibody testing is not accurate enough for it to be used for any policy-making decisions, as even with high test specificity, ‘less than half of those testing positive will truly have antibodies’.
There is currently a high level of inaccuracy in the testing, however, caused by how uncommon the virus is within the population.
Boris Johnson has ‘trashed’ public trust and adherence to lockdown, Government advisers warned last night.
* Stephen Reicher, psychology professor at The University of St Andrew
* Susan Michie, professor of health psychology at University College London
* Professor West, health psychology professor at UCL
- JP Morgan research said infection rates had fallen since lockdowns were eased
- It suggested the virus ‘has its own dynamics’ which are ‘unrelated’ to lockdowns
- Report said they were imposed with little thought of ‘economic devastation’
- Keeping R below one is not the only way to map a route out of lockdown.
- R is an artificial construct and not even a number we know with any certainty.
- R is calculated using mathematical models which have repeatedly been found to reach wrong-headed conclusions.
- R is not a strong enough number to bear the burden of any Government policy.
- Epidemiology models share the same serious problem as meteorology because of weak data.
- Lack of testing means we don’t know how many people have been infected, or have recovered.
- Changes to death certification during this epidemic mean that we genuinely don’t even know how many people have died as a direct result of COVID-19.
- It is becoming increasingly clear that assumptions central to the models that generate R are flawed.
- Worries that R was apparently heading back towards one were missing the point. For some segments of society, including most people of working age, that would be a good thing.
- Another implication of seeing R this way, which is quite a relief, is that social distancing can be consigned to the dustbin of bizarre historical episodes.
- R is calculated in ways that the Government can produce at will to justify a policy that is no longer tenable.
The real and overwhelming tragedy is the devastation it is causing to previously profitable businesses, and even worse to the millions of working people previously in secure and productive jobs. This should be the Government’s overriding priority
[Humans Rights Watch] considered how the technology has been used by China, Israel, South Korea, the United States, and other governments, and gives guidelines to governments on ‘human rights risks’ posed by using mobile location data.
University of College London scientists sampled and sequenced the genomes of virus samples from more than 7,500 people who caught COVID-19
Their findings suggest the pandemic began sometime between October 6 and December 11, 2019
The virus appears to be mutating about as frequently as expected
A March study suggested that two separate strains of coronavirus spread from China, with the more aggressive one becoming dominant in Europe and the US
Now, the University of College London researchers say that their study suggests just a single strain swiftly spread around the globe
It has mutated, but it’s unclear if those changes have made it more or less deadly
The grim threshold was supposedly crossed when the UK’s mortality rate reached 29,427 deaths, seemingly surpassing Italy’s figure of 29,029. But those bald figures are like any other statistic, utterly devoid of meaning when stripped of context.
- Just 11 people under the age of 20 have succumbed to Covid-19.
- Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College has a dismal record as a forecaster.
- There’s the possibility that the lockdown has actually made the virus more deadly.
- Bank of England warned that if the lockdown is extended until June the economy could shrink by 14 per cent this year.
- More than one-in-five adults now furloughed on 80per cent of their wages.
- A fifth of the working-age population could be jobless and the quality of people’s mental and physical health would plummet.
- Every day, about 1,700 people die in Britain. Only five years ago, in the winter of 2014/15, more than 28,000 people died from seasonal flu, not far off the current coronavirus death toll of just over 30,000.
- Direct evidence to support the two-metre rule is weak, and based almost entirely on modelling rather than real life.
But it’s clear that in their increasingly desperate search for a route out of the lockdown labyrinth, Ministers are giving serious consideration to some radical – and dangerous – schemes. One is the idea of some sort of continuing restriction on private social gatherings, along the lines of the ‘ten friends’ proposal.
My normal will not involve State-approved lists of people I can meet. Or State monitoring of when and where I meet them. Or a quiet acceptance of the division of my country into the pure and the plague-carrier.
A frontline nurse working in New York on coronavirus patients claims the city is killing sufferers by putting them on ventilators, advocating against them
The nurse persuaded a friend, a nurse practitioner who is not working on coronavirus patients, to make the video to get the word out
‘It’s a horror movie. Not because of the disease, but the way it is being handled,’ the frontline nurse said through the friend, who only was identified as Sara NP
Sara said COVID-19 patients are placed on ventilators rather than less invasive CPAP or BiPAP machines due to fears about the virus spreading
She explained: ‘The ventilators have high pressure, which then causes barotrauma, it causes trauma to the lungs’
More than 12,000 people have died from the virus in NYC, with another 4,300 dying in other parts of the Empire State
New York emergency room doctor Cameron Kyle-Sidell stepped down this month because he didn’t want to follow the hospital’s ventilator protocol
Republican Minnesota Senator Scott Jensen told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham that Medicare pays hospitals three times as much if patients are placed on ventilators