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News

Lockdown ‘could kill 75,000 over five years’ – that’s the OFFICIAL projection of non-COVID deaths – Daily Mail

  • 75,000 people could die from non-Covid causes as a result of lockdown to devastating official figures in a 188-page document from SAGE.
  • 16,000 people died as a result of the chaos in hospitals and care homes in March and April alone.
  • A further 26,000 will die within a year if people continue to stay away from A&E.
  • An additional 31,900 could die over the next five years as a result of missed cancer diagnoses, cancelled operations and the health impacts of a recession.
  • Official COVID-19 death toll on 29 September 2020 is 41,936.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8785415/Just-1-800-110-000-occupied-hospital-beds-currently-taken-Covid-19-patients.html

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News

How close is the NHS to being ‘overwhelmed’? Just 1,800 out of 110,000 occupied beds are taken up by Covid-19 patients as thousands more than normal die at home of other causes – Daily Mail

Covid-19 patients are currently occupying fewer than 2 per cent of all hospital beds in England, official data suggests.

The most NHS recent snapshot — released three weeks ago — shows just 478 out of 110,000 beds in use were by Covid-19 patients on September 3.

…Even at the peak of the crisis in Britain, only a quarter of all beds were occupied by virus patients. On April 7, 26.5 per cent of the 67,206 people in England’s hospitals were being treated for coronavirus — the highest proportion on record.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8785415/Just-1-800-110-000-occupied-hospital-beds-currently-taken-Covid-19-patients.html

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News

Councils pay care homes DOUBLE the local weekly fee to take Covid hospital patients amid fears deadly mistakes made at the start of the pandemic will be repeated – Daily Mail

Care home chiefs fear deadly mistakes made at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic risk being repeated as councils offer them extra cash to take Covid-positive hospital patients.

…Now, despite a Government pledge to place a ‘protective ring’ around vulnerable residents, care homes in Cumbria are being offered £1,500 – double the local weekly fee – to take Covid-positive patients from hospital.

…Tony Carling, a care home operator in Cumbria, has decided not to take Covid-positive patients, but fears it could be a costly move. He said: ‘The majority of our clients are funded by local authorities, so it’s very difficult to turn down. You are under extreme financial pressure as to whether you get further business from that authority if you don’t support their needs.’

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Opinion

Covid-19: Does Sweden have herd immunity? – Sebastian Rushworth M.D.

  • Sweden never went in to full lockdown. Instead, the country imposed a partial lockdown that was almost entirely voluntary.
  • The only forcible restriction imposed by the government from the start was a requirement that people not gather in groups of more than 50 at a time.
  • People followed the voluntary restrictions pretty well at the beginning, but that they have become increasingly lax as time has gone on.
  • After an initial peak that lasted for a month or so, from March to April, visits to the Emergency Room due to covid had been declining continuously, and deaths in Sweden had dropped from over 100 a day at the peak in April, to around five per day in August.
  • Dr. Rushworth hasn’t seen a single covid patient in the Emergency Room in over two and a half months.
  • COVID has killed under 6,000 people.
  • On average, one to two people per day are dying of covid in Sweden at present, and that number continues to drop.
  • In the whole of Stockholm, a county with 2,4 million inhabitants, there are currently only 28 people being treated for covid in all the hospitals combined.
  • Sweden seemed to be developing herd immunity, in spite of the fact that only a minority had antibodies, was due to T-cells.
  • Immunity may be long lasting, and probably explains why there have only been a handful of reported cases of re-infection with covid, even though the virus has spent the last nine months bouncing around the planet infecting many millions of people.
  • Almost all cases of reinfection have been completely asymptomatic.
  • People develop a functioning immunity after the first infection, which allows them to fight off the second infection without ever developing any symptoms.
  •  England and Italy have mortality curves that are very similar to Sweden’s.
  • Lockdown only makes sense if you are willing to stay in lockdown until there is an effective vaccine.

https://sebastianrushworth.com/2020/09/19/covid-19-does-sweden-have-herd-immunity/

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Opinion

This second wave of coronavirus is simply not as deadly… if we panic, so many more lives will be lost, says PROFESSOR KAROL SIKORA – Daily Mail

Britain is now in grave danger of sleepwalking into a second national lockdown. The consequences of doing so would be disastrous.

We find ourselves in this wretched position partly because the Government’s main achievement since the pandemic first emerged in China has not been suppressing the virus or saving lives or the economy, but in spreading irrational fear.

  • A blanket lockdown is the last thing we should be contemplating if we are serious about the nation’s mental and physical well-being.
  • This second wave or will not trigger the explosion in deaths we saw in the spring.
  • Not a single young child has died in the UK from Covid without some other serious pre-existing condition.
  • According to Cambridge statistician Sir David Spiegelhalter, anyone under 50 is more likely to die in a car crash than from the virus.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8748883/This-second-wave-coronavirus-simply-not-deadly-says-PROFESSOR-KAROL-SIKORA.html

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Opinion

Did protecting the NHS actually cost lives? – The Telegraph

The British public protected the NHS alright. Any fears that the institution might be overwhelmed were put aside when, a couple of weeks into lockdown, the hurriedly-constructed Nightingale hospitals were still empty, along with many other hospital wards, clinics and surgeries. By mid April, routine clinical activity by GPs was down 25 per cent and A&E visits down 52 per cent. Some of that was thanks to fewer drunks falling over and fewer children coming to grief in playgrounds, yet there is plenty to suggest that some very unwell people were scared into taking the instruction not to trouble the.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/08/27/did-protecting-nhs-actually-cost-lives/

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News

NHS data shows 15m on ‘hidden waiting list’ – The Times

The NHS has a “hidden waiting list” of 15.3 million patients who need follow-up appointments for health problems, according to the first analysis of its kind.

The official waiting list, which stands at 3.9 million, shows how many patients are yet to have their first hospital appointment after a GP referral.

However, the total number who are on hospital books in England and need appointments is not collated centrally. A new calculation, based on freedom of information requests to NHS trusts and seen by The Times, puts the figure at 15.3 million.

Although the official waiting list, after initial referral by a GP, has remained at a fairly stable level throughout the pandemic, this has been mainly driven by fewer patients joining it.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/coronavirus-nhs-data-shows-15m-on-hidden-waiting-list-w250vxvz6

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News

My hospital has become a medical Mary Celeste: As NHS waiting lists rocket while appointments are limited, one doctor tells of his frustration – Daily Mail

Normally, our joint waiting rooms are bustling — with around 100 patients at any one time waiting to see doctors, nurses, or a phlebotomist to take blood. Now there are no patients and just a handful of staff.

There have been just a few patients with Covid in the hospital in the last few weeks, compared with 20 in intensive care and 100 on the wards at the peak of the pandemic.

But we are at a near standstill when it comes to seeing outpatients on site. Much to my frustration, only one of my six NHS rheumatology clinics is conducted face-to-face each week. It is still deemed too risky for patients to attend hospital.

There doesn’t seem to be a master plan or encouragement from the Department of Health to get clinics up and running again — this is needed urgently

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8636343/As-NHS-waiting-lists-rocket-appointments-limited-one-doctor-tells-frustration.html

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News

Covid wards empty as virus death toll plunges – The Times

Fatalities are down 99% and some hospitals have no coronavirus patients, sparking hope that ‘herd immunity’ may be near

The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has fallen 96% since the peak of the pandemic, official data reveals.

Hospital staff are now treating just 700 coronavirus patients a day in England, compared to about 17,000 a day during the middle of April, according to NHS England.

Last week, some hospitals did not have a single coronavirus patient on their wards, with one top doctor suggesting that Britain is “almost reaching herd immunity”.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/covid-wards-empty-as-virus-death-toll-plunges-bvm0mxl2n

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News

NHS hospitals are warned they will face a fine if they are not at 90% of their usual capacity levels by October – Daily Mail

NHS hospitals have been warned they could face a fine if they are not at 90 per cent of their usual capacity levels by October.

A lot of routine care was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic and hospitals are currently thought to be running around 60 per cent of their usual capacity. 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8582991/NHS-hospitals-warned-face-fine-not-90-usual-capacity-levels-October.html

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News

People with treatable cancers will die due to Government scaremongering, warns NHS nurse – The Telegraph

People with treatable cancers are going to die because hospitals have been laid empty due to Government scaremongering, an NHS nurse has warned.

An NHS nurse called Holly* has said that throughout the lockdown period “hospitals were empty” beyond the ICU units and Covid wards and that people have died as a result. 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/23/people-treatable-cancers-will-die-due-government-scaremongering/

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News

Coronavirus pandemic already in retreat before lockdown – Chris Whitty, The Times

The coronavirus pandemic was probably already in retreat before the full lockdown was imposed, the chief medical officer for England said as he insisted that there was no “huge delay” in government action.

Chris Whitty said that “many of the problems we had came out of lack of testing capacity”. He blamed a failure to build up public health infrastructure in previous years for leaving Britain unprepared.

Chris Whitty blames poor planning for lockdown in bad-tempered health committee – The Times, 22 July 2020

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/chris-whitty-blames-poor-planning-for-lockdown-in-bad-tempered-health-committee-d5kb3fmw2

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Opinion

Can we trust Covid modelling? More evidence from Sweden – The Spectator

One reason why the models failed is that they – just like most countries’ politicians – underestimated how millions of people spontaneously adapt to new circumstances. They only thought in terms of lockdowns vs business as usual, but failed to consider a third option: that people engage in social distancing voluntarily when they realise lives are at stake and when authorities recommend them to do so.

As countries plan how to leave lockdown, they can look at Sweden and ask: what happens if you don’t involve the police, if you don’t issue edicts about how many of your relatives or neighbours you can visit, and just ask people to be careful? Might that work? The Swedish experiment casts huge doubts on the models, and makes the case for trusting the public.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/can-we-trust-covid-modelling-more-evidence-from-sweden

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Videos

Covid-19 – Britain’s Disastrous Response Will Have Devastating Consequences – David Starkey

What is unique about this pandemic–apart from the fact that it’s rather small–is that the damage that it does is self-inflicted.

This is a very odd plague. It’s rather small in scale but it’s gigantic in consequences because we have chosen to inflict a form of economic suicide on ourselves.

This week on “So What You’re Saying Is…”: Dr. David Starkey argues that a calamitous series of events and decisions caused a panicked British government to recklessly abandon its sensible coronavirus plan for one that is likely to harm the nation far more than the virus itself.

Comparing this virus with historical pandemics Starkey believes the dire situation we are encountering today has a different cause. Earlier pandemics such as the Black Death eradicated up to half of the population of Europe. In contrast, although it is profoundly tragic on a personal level to the individuals and familiies it afflicts, coronavirus is nowhere near as devastating on a population-wide level as previous pandemics. Consequently, Starkey argues, the Conservative government was correct to follow a similar path to Sweden which was far more relaxed than elsewhere in Europe.

This approach suited Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s libertarian attitude and personality. But on a single weekend there was a calamitous confluence of events and decisions that caused the Tory government to panic (Northwick Park hospital overwhelmed, Imperial College modelling showing potential 500,00 deaths etc.) and enforce an extreme lockdown without any plan to deal with the epidemic. It was simply a goal to protect the NHS.

Protect the NHS: The Tory Government, says Dr. Starkey, was desperate not to be seen as responsible or the NHS being overwhelmed. Eager to prove to the traditional Labour “Red Wall” that the Conservative Party really was their natural home, the British government prioritised the NHS’s capacity to deal with Covid-19 over everything else– but disastrously this included its treatment of cancer patients etc. A bizarre and unprecdented abandoning of the Hippocratic oath that we have not seen in other countries, argues Starkey.

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Publications

It’s not exponential: An economist’s view of the epidemiological curve

The spread of COVID-19 is not going to follow an exponential curve – and grave errors will follow if analysts believe it will. The number of new cases rises rapidly, peaks, and then declines. It’s called the epidemiological curve. It’s not a theory or hypothesis; it plays out that way every flu season. It is how it has played out in China and Korea for COVID-19. Flattening the peak to avoid overloading the healthcare system is the main medical goal of the seemingly extreme containment policies we have seen to date.

https://voxeu.org/article/it-s-not-exponential-economist-s-view-epidemiological-curve

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Videos

There never was a surge but we’re in danger of losing our capacity to deal with the second wave because we panicked – Tony Heller

Tony Heller compares COVID-19 with other pandemics and explains why the lockdown may create an even more devastating second wave.

Medical professionals say there never was a surge, hospital activity is at a low and we’re in danger of losing our capacity to deal with the second wave because we panicked.

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News

The hospital I work in is so quiet – MumsNet

Forum posts apparently show NHS workers and patients discussing the empty UK hospitals. Screenshot below.

https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/coronavirus/3886452-The-hospital-I-work-in-is-so-quiet

Go to forum

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News

NHS crisis: 20 hospitals declare black alert as patient safety no longer assured – The Guardian (2017)

More than 20 hospitals in England have had to declare a black alert this week after becoming so overcrowded that they could no longer guarantee patient safety and provide their full range of normal services.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/11/nhs-crisis-20-hospitals-declare-black-alert-as-patient-safety-no-longer-assured