Senior government officials have raised “urgent” concerns about the mass expansion of rapid coronavirus testing, estimating that as few as 2% to 10% of positive results may be accurate in places with low Covid rates, such as London.
…However, leaked emails seen by the Guardian show that senior officials are now considering scaling back the widespread testing of people without symptoms, due to a growing number of false positives.
…On 9 April, the day everyone in England was able to order twice-weekly lateral flow device (LFD) tests, Dyson wrote: “As of today, someone who gets a positive LFD result in (say) London has at best a 25% chance of it being a true positive, but if it is a self-reported test potentially as low as 10% (on an optimistic assumption about specificity) or as low as 2% (on a more pessimistic assumption).”
The NHS’s London regional team has told its integrated care systems to draw up plans for ‘another possible [covid-19] surge later in 2021’, HSJ has learned.
- The ‘new strain’ of coronavirus that put London into Tier 4 was down to more computer modelling from Neil Ferguson.
- The government deliberately resorted to fear.
- The damage done to our standing in the world is permanent.
- The government is doing something it should not do and has no justification.
- The whole notion of the mutant strain is completely constructed.
- NERVTAG is full of psychologists who are experts in frightening people.
- If you don’t get angry, this will never go away.
- There is no evidence that this new variant is any more infection that the old one.
- Historically medical beliefs are often wrong.
- Fighting this thing is probably the most important thing we’ve ever done in our lives.
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.
By plunging London into a Tier Three lockdown, the Government is going to do terrible harm to the city, the entire national economy, and to millions of lives.
No one can predict the number of people who will lose jobs, suffer poor mental health or who will have life-saving operations postponed until too late.
All we can say with any certainty is that all these things will happen, and not to a few isolated people. The harms caused by these new restrictions, like those caused by the previous over-reactions, will be immense.
- The Government is withholding much of the information we need to draw our own conclusions about better ways to handle the crisis.
- The weekly average number of Covid deaths in the capital is just over a tenth of what it was at its peak in April.
- Weekly average Covid admissions to London’s hospitals are a quarter of what were in the spring.
- The [UK Government’s] obsession with secrecy is not intended to hide the facts from enemy agents but from us, the general public.
- This disease is not like Spanish flu, or the plague. It does not sweep away young and old indiscriminately. In fact, many younger people – now more likely to catch Covid – will have it without even being aware. They will be infected but not affected.
- The average age of people dying with a Covid infection is 82 years and four months – 14 months more than the average life expectancy in Britain.
- In November the total number of deaths in London was very little different to the average over the past five years.
- Covid is a respiratory virus that spreads on the wind. Just look at the leaves blowing around – that’s what viral particles do when we walk past each other.
- Cloth or woven paper masks are no barrier to this tiny virus either, as shown by the world’s only controlled study, from Denmark, which found that they only made a small, ‘non-statistically-significant’ difference.
No traces of coronavirus have been found on surfaces and in the air on the London Underground or on buses in the capital city, scientists have said.
Experts from Imperial College London have been carrying out monthly tests on the network, mimicking a passenger journey and taking swabs from escalators, handrails, bus shelters and Oyster Card readers.
Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, has gone back to Plan A, reviving his ‘protect the NHS’ message from March and now wears a facemask with those words on it. The Prime Minister is repeating the slogan. It’s deeply controversial with senior doctors who fear that it discourages the sick from seeking help – which might explain the 28,000 excess at-home deaths over the last few months. The NHS is worried about this and has countered with its own advert, urging people to seek medical help. I looked at this in my latest Daily Telegraph column.
The NHS has learned much from the first wave of Covid. PPE equipment, for example, is now in bountiful supply. Basic medical techniques – better use of blood thinners, oxygen therapy, steroids etc – are having a big impact on survival rates. When Boris Johnson went into intensive care, his survival chances were about 50 per cent. Now, they would be closer to 70 per cent. The trajectory this time is nowhere near as daunting – the below graph shows the rise of Covid patients needing critical care. As the data shows, intensive care unit (ICU) usage is 13 per cent of what it was at the end of March. (These figures are from the Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre.)
Covid has been used as an excuse for road closures to encourage people out of their cars to get fit and lose weight and protect themselves against the virus
London, Oxford, Manchester, Birmingham, York, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Derby and Cardiff are all in line for Government funding to install ‘green’ measures
Government has set aside £225m for ’emergency’ walking and cycling measures
- 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.
[I]f you believe herd immunity is only reached at 60 per cent, you should be terrified at any loosening of lockdown. If you don’t, then you must reconcile antibody testing that says 80 per cent are still susceptible with the difficulty the virus seems to encounter in marching very far past 20 percent of the population.
That is the reconciliation my hypothesis achieves. I propose that there may exist forms of human resistance to this virus that don’t show up in Covid-19 antibody tests.
[I]n focusing on that Covid antibody test alone as indicating a pass-or-fail immunity, we could be overlooking important ways in which humans may be endowed with, or acquire, other kinds of resistance.
For the first time in my lifetime, a British government has drawn a utilitarian line in the sand and declared that no peaceful protest can be tolerated.
As the world comes out of lockdown, the regional approach is being used everywhere. London is the safest place to try it here
I have not seen the police like this before. Sure, I’ve seen police heavy-handedness; I’ve actually encountered it, on demonstrations many years ago. I’ve seen police harassing homeless people for no good reason. I’ve seen the over-policing of certain streets and certain communities and seen how dispiriting people find it. But this arrogant, sneering barking of orders at sunbathers and mums and homeless people resting under trees on a warm day is completely new. It is lockdown fanaticism in action. This rude and heartless officiousness is the logical conclusion of the culture of hysteria our political and media elites have whipped up over Covid-19.
This poster for a mass gathering has been circulating in social media. We do not know if it is genuine but it may be of interest to some readers.
Details: Saturday, 16th May, 2020 at 12PM in Hyde Park, London.
At least one man was arrested during to an anti-lockdown protest in Central London today (Sat 2nd May). The demo, which was organised on social media, saw demonstrators congregate close together outside New Scotland Yard. At one point, several protesters, including children, were seen to take part in a mass hug. They were campaigning for an end to lockdown procedures introduced by the government a month ago following the coronavirus outbreak.