Office for National Statistics (ONS) data – which showed soaring coronavirus cases before the second lockdown – has been quietly revised down and now suggests that cases were largely plateauing at the time, it has emerged.
Many experts have complained that the data presented by the Government ahead of the lockdown was “riddled with errors” and exaggerated the need for a second lockdown, while Greg Clark, the chairman of the Commons science and technology committee, said the belated admission of errors was “of great concern”.
The government has been criticised by the official statistics watchdog for the way it presented data to justify England’s second lockdown.
The UK Statistics Authority highlighted the use of modelling at Saturday’s TV briefing showing the possible death toll from Covid this winter.
It said there needed to be more transparency about data and how predictions were being made.
The projections were out of date and over-estimated deaths, it has emerged…
It is understood the graph was used by the two senior advisers in meetings last week where the decision to impose a nationwide lockdown in England was made.
The way the data are analysed and presented currently gives them limited value for the first purpose [of understanding the epidemic]. The aim seems to be to show the largest possible number of tests, even at the expense of understanding. It is also hard to believe the statistics work to support the testing programme itself. The statistics and analysis serve neither purpose well.