The effects of lockdown may now be killing more people than are dying of Covid, official statistics suggest.
Figures for excess deaths from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that around 1,000 more people than usual are currently dying each week from conditions other than the virus.
Ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 may not be realistic because the electric vehicle charging network isn’t close to being ready, a government advisory report has warned.
Sir John Armitt, head of the National Infrastructure Commission, said there was a “real risk” to the deadline because of the slow progress of installing new electric chargers.
Drivers will not switch away from fossil fuel cars quickly enough if they are not confident of being able to charge electric vehicles, the commission warned in a report published on Wednesday.
The electric vehicle charging network is “significantly behind where it needs to be” and without more chargers drivers “will not have the confidence to make the switch to electric vehicles”, the report warns.
Scientists abandoned their objectivity, misled with alarming models and failed to appreciate the damage lockdown would cause, a government adviser has claimed in a damning indictment of Britain’s pandemic response.
In his memoir, The Year The World Went Mad, Prof Woolhouse claimed that lockdowns “had surprisingly little effect” and just “deferred the problem to another day, at great cost”.
He argued that Spi-M was set up to tackle the wrong disease, influenza, and that early models were based on flu dynamics, and so mistakenly thought schools were a major driver while underrepresenting the impact of shielding.
Scientists did not have accurate Covid case numbers, and were unsure of hospitalisation and death rates when they published models suggesting that more than 500,000 people could die if Britain took no action in the first wave of the pandemic, it has emerged.
On March 16 2020, Imperial College published its “Report 9” paper suggesting that failing to take action could overwhelm the NHS within weeks and result in hundreds of thousands of deaths.
Before the paper, the UK coronavirus strategy was to flatten the peak rather than suppress the wave, but after the modelling was made public, the Government made a rapid u-turn, which eventually led to lockdown on March 23.
However SPI-M (Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling) minutes released to the Telegraph under a Freedom of Information request show that by March 16, modellers were still “uncertain” of case numbers “due to data limitations”.
The minutes show that members were waiting for comprehensive mortality data from Public Health England (PHE) and said that current best estimates for the infection fatality rate, hospitalisation rates, and the number of people needing intensive care were still uncertain.
They also believed that modelling only showed “proof of concept” that lockdowns could help, and warned that “further work would be required”.
“Following the science” became a mainstay mantra of the pandemic, frequently trotted-out to justify unpalatable policy decisions such as banning hugging or denying fathers the right to attend the birth of a child.
Yet as Britain’s epidemic begins to fade away, it is becoming increasingly clear that many influential scientists were ignored, ridiculed and shunned for expressing moderate views that the virus could be managed in a way which would cause far less collateral damage.
Instead, a narrow scientific “groupthink” emerged, which sought to cast those questioning draconian policies as unethical, immoral and fringe. That smokescreen is finally starting to dissipate.
The wearing of face masks by doctors contributed to the death of a patient in an NHS hospital because they exacerbated communication problems, a coroner has said.
The personal protective equipment “aggravated” a “failure in verbal communication” between two physicians treating an epileptic patient.
John Skinner was admitted to Watford General hospital suffering from seizures in May 2020, during the first Covid wave.
He was given phenytoin, an anti-epileptic drug, by a junior doctor who did not know the correct dose to be administered and asked for help from a more senior colleague who told him to use a 15 mg/kg dose measurement. This was misheard as 50 kg/mg.
The World Health Organization amplified false Chinese statements about COVID-19 initially, while it dragging its feet on declaring an international emergency. Pandemic experts here clung to flu epidemic plans too, ignoring observable COVID-19 successes in East Asia and so ruling out any similar possibility of test-and-trace containment in the UK from the off.
Most public health experts then pivoted to being extremely pro-lockdown, but stuck rigidly to this even as the context, and so the costs and benefits of restrictions, changed with the vaccines and omicron.
Epidemiologists proved especially stubborn. Their modelling usually ignored the role of voluntary behavioural change entirely, so erred on the side of assuming catastrophic public health outcomes absent government mandates and restrictions. Hence, Freedom Day was dubbed “criminal” by scientists, while the government’s scientific advisers called for more restrictions last Christmas. Both proved wrong in retrospect.
The National Grid is paying households to ration their power usage at peak times amid a scramble to reduce pressure on Britain’s energy infrastructure.
From Friday up to 1.4m households will be paid if they cut their normal electricity consumption at certain two-hour periods during the day, as an experiment to see how households’ behavior might be changed.
The move is a pilot scheme intended to pave the way for a broader overhaul of the country’s billing system as the UK ditches reliable but dirty fossil fuel plants.
The Government’s “grossly unethical” uses of its “nudge unit” inflated fear among the public during the Covid pandemic, psychologists have said – prompting MPs to launch an investigation into scare adverts.
A group of psychologists have written to Parliament’s Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, warning that a team of civil servants dedicated to “nudging” public behaviour during the pandemic were unaccountable and unethical.
The letter’s 40 professional signatories – led by Dr Gary Sidley, a retired clinical psychologist – said they opposed the use of dramatic adverts, which included slogans such as: “If you go out you can spread it, people will die.”
Daily reported Covid death figures are too high because people are dying from conditions unrelated to the virus after testing positive, Sajid Javid has admitted.
On Wednesday, there were 359 deaths reported in Britain, but the Health Secretary said that “many” people were being included in the count who “would not have necessarily died of Covid”.
His comments came after death data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show a large discrepancy in weekly death registrations compared to the figures released on the Government dashboard.
For the week ending Jan 7, the UK Health Security Agency reported 1,282 deaths of people who had died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus.
However, ONS data show there were just 992 death registrations with Covid mentioned on the death certificate in that week.
How did we listen to that bonkers, ahem, advice with a straight face? I thought it was worth compiling a list of the 50 craziest measures
Children with learning disabilities were offered “do not resuscitate” orders during the pandemic, The Telegraph can disclose.
GP surgeries asked if teenagers with autism and Down’s syndrome wanted not to be resuscitated, amid concerns about the pressure on the NHS.
The Telegraph has spoken to two families who were asked about the controversial orders – known as DNACPRs – during routine appointments.
The omicron epidemic is being driven by young, vaccinated people, according to mounting data from countries as diverse as the UK, Denmark and South Africa.
The new variant has now been detected in more than 60 countries, including 24 in Europe, with a similar pattern of infection and characteristics being reported across the globe.
…Data from Denmark – a world leader in genetic sequencing – shows that, of 3,437 omicron cases detected, just over 70 per cent have been among those younger than 40, according to the breakdown from the Statens Serum Institut published on Monday.
Some 75 per cent of these cases were in fully vaccinated individuals, the institute added, confirming that even the double jabbed can carry the virus.
Up to 740,000 potential cancer cases that should have been urgently referred by GPs have been “missed” since the first lockdown, according to a damning report.
Watchdogs also warned that NHS waiting lists could keep growing until 2025 and even reach double the current six million.
Charities said the report by the National Audit Office (NAO) reflected a “devastating” situation for many patients, with medics warning of “the biggest cancer catastrophe ever to hit the NHS”.
Only six healthy children with no underlying health conditions died as a direct result of catching Covid during a 12-month window, NHS analysis has revealed.
Four died from Covid, while two developed a Kawasaki-like inflammatory condition called Pims-TS, caused by the virus.
The data calls into question the wisdom of closing schools and forcing children to spend months at home when the health risk to under-18s is so small.
Children ‘have 99.995 per cent chance’ of surviving virus
Covid may no longer be the most “significant” threat to health, Dr Jenny Harries has said.
The chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency said today that Covid was possibly no more dangerous than flu, as she warned that there would be a lower immunity to the illness this year.
She said: “It is important to remember that for an average flu season it’s about 11,000 deaths a year, it’s somewhere between four (thousand) to 22,000 over the last four to five years.
Part of the rush to dismiss women on the basis of little to no evidence comes – no doubt – from a well-meaning, but ultimately misguided effort to reduce vaccine hesitancy in young women, although if anything will drive hesitancy it is surely exactly this kind of medical gaslighting. More broadly, being disbelieved and dismissed by the medical establishment is nothing new for women, who are used to being, for example, prescribed antidepressants when they present to doctors in pain (men who present with similar symptoms are more likely to be prescribed painkillers). Women are simply not considered to be reliable narrators of their own bodies.
A lack of face-to-face appointments during the coronavirus pandemic may have contributed to stillbirths in the first wave, investigators have found.
The study by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) into 37 cases found that remote consultations may have driven down the ability to carry out key pregnancy checks, with some doctors unable to access medical records.
The review was prompted by an increase in stillbirths after the onset of labour referred to the HSIB between April and June 2020 – 45 compared with 24 in the same period in 2019.
None of the women were recorded as having Covid, but the report found the pressures and changes as a result of the pandemic may have affected the care they received.
The mRNA technology, which has proved so crucial to the vaccine breakthroughs, was, at the time, also considered too experimental by Dr Phil Dormitzer, Pfizer’s vice-president and chief scientific officer for viral vaccines.
All but one scientist who penned a letter in The Lancet dismissing the possibility that coronavirus could have come from a lab in Wuhan were linked to its Chinese researchers, their colleagues or funders, a Telegraph investigation can reveal.
The influential journal published a letter on March 7 last year from 27 scientists in which they stated that they “strongly condemned conspiracy theories” surrounding Covid-19.