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The Covid-19 serious chat thread

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Post by RDW Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:50 pm

First topic message reminder :

A thread set up to house the more serious chat relating to the global pandemic.

Nothing has changed in what we expect from discussions on here though:

- Please treat each other with respect
- Avoid hyperbole and fake news
- This thread shouldn't be used for a political soapbox, but political discussion will likely happen. See point 1!

A reminder that we have a community thread here for people to vent, look for help and all round support each other. https://www.606v2.com/t69506-the-covid-19-community-thread#3896653

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Post by 123456789. Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:09 am

The government defence seems to be that it's fairly common for a Prime Minister to miss a COBRA meeting. That the term COBRA refers to the room itself rather than any special organisation. However we know that in times of crisis that Prime Minister does attend these meetings. During the London riots David Cameron attended the meetings regularly. The intimation of Boris Johnson being on a 'working holiday' whilst this was going on in February suggests that either he did not consider it a crisis or that he did not care. As we know now we should have been preparing for the crisis in February; we should have ramped up production of ventilators earlier, we should have been ordering more PPE (I know that contradicts what I have said previously however if the shipping to China was done on the proviso that we would receive more back in time it seems the right thing to do in practical and moral terms). In effect whilst it may be fairly normal for the Prime Minister not to attend certain meetings. It seems that errors were clearly made whilst he was on holiday and it would have been in the nation's interests for the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to be in attendance. For a bit of context Gordon Brown attended every meeting during an outbreak of foot and mouth in 2007 to lead the nation's response.

The single most damning aspect for me was the following:

Sunday Times wrote:
One of those present was Imperial’s Ferguson, who was already working on his own estimate — putting infectivity at 2.6 and possibly as high as 3.5 — which he sent to ministers and officials in a report on the day of the Cobra meeting on January 24. The Spanish flu had an estimated infectivity rate of between 2.0 and 3.0, whereas for most flu outbreaks it is about 1.3, so Ferguson’s finding was shocking.

The professor’s other bombshell in the report was that there needed to be a 60% cut in the transmission rate — which meant stopping contact between people. In layman’s terms it meant a lockdown, a move that would paralyse an economy already facing a battering from Brexit. At the time such a suggestion was unthinkable in the government and belonged to the world of post-apocalypse movies.

So on the 24th January our government was told it may have to consider a lockdown by an expert, whose advice has led the government on its later decisions.
On the 3rd February, so ten days after that advice Boris Johnson gave this speech:
Boris Johnson wrote:
And when there is a risk that new diseases such as Coronavirus would trigger a panic, and a desire for market segregation that go beyond what is medically rational, to the point of doing real and unnecessary economic damage. Then, at that moment, humanity needs some government somewhere that is willing to make the case powerfully for freedom of exchange. Some country that is ready to take off its Clark Kent spectacles and leap into the phone booth and emerge with its cloak flowing as the supercharged champion of the rights of the population of this earth. I can tell you in all humility, that the UK is ready for that role.

Again either Boris Johnson never received that advice because he was not in attendance, or he heard it at a later date. It is true to say there is no single science. The idea that Johnson would follow one piece of advice or another is not ridiculous or scandalous in itself. What is pretty dreadful is that, in spite of the advice of a Professor who evidently they respected enough to follow later on, he announced his plan for us to be a trend-bucking superhero. By extension dismissing the advice out of hand. There is of course the possibility that he was lying on the 3rd February, he is, after all, a pathological liar.

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Post by Pr4wn Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:19 am

Apparently here in the Philippines, we're going to Martial Law very soon. The military were outside my apartment building today arresting people that were walking on the street without a mask and taking them away. They've also been into apartment buildings to make sure people aren't in the outside areas.

All very scary and I can't readily leave as there's no way I'll leave my dog behind.

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Post by hampo17 Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:25 am

If they implement that over here then they'll need to reduce the price of masks. Some shops are selling them for £50!

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:30 am

Sounds serious Pr4wn, keep you head down and stay well.
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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:33 am

I am not sure where I would go to buy a mask? Advice has always been that they can cause more harm than good.

I did think that the old style handkerchief mask would work best; once you have been out and it has possibly been infected, you can wash it / steralise it once you are home.
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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:35 am

Anybody selling ppe at £50 for a mask should be put up against a wall and be forced to have people cough all over them.
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Post by laverfan Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:34 am

Just my 2c from across the pond! Looking to place blame on someone/something for pandemics in past has been a futile exercise. However, we can learn from them and not repeat the mistakes of the past. Politicising such discussions results in the 'us vs them' mindset, which is not conducive to a constructive and civilized debate.

Lessons Learned from the 1918–1919 Influenza Pandemic in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota

This is the US CDC - Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.This has some interesting advice. For example, there is similar advice on the Infographic: Using face masks in the community.

POTUS wants to 'open' the country, forgetting the second wave that caused havoc in 1917-1918.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:47 am

Watching the Downing Street Briefing at the moment, has BoJo got anyone with any credibility that can go on screen, Williamson is the Secretary of State for Defence for in February 2018, dined with Lubov Chernukhin, the wife of a former Putin minister, in exchange for a £30,000 donation to the Conservative party. Has he got anyone who has political credibility that can stand in front of a camera and possibly tell the truth.
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Post by 123456789. Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:20 am

This is a UCL Professor's take on the Press Conference.


Professor Costello wrote:I cannot believe what I am hearing at the press conference. Deputy CMO Jenny Harries still believes that testing policy in the UK has been correct. And she doesn't understand links between tests and #COVID death rates. Is this #CMO policy? If so, they should resign.

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Post by navyblueshorts Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:25 am

123456789. wrote:This is a UCL Professor's take on the Press Conference.


Professor Costello wrote:I cannot believe what I am hearing at the press conference.  Deputy CMO Jenny Harries still believes that testing policy in the UK has been correct. And she doesn't understand links between tests and #COVID death rates. Is this #CMO policy? If so, they should resign.
What a surprise; disagreement amongst scientists....
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Post by navyblueshorts Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:30 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:I am not sure where I would go to buy a mask? Advice has always been that they can cause more harm than good.

I did think that the old style handkerchief mask would work best; once you have been out and it has possibly been infected, you can wash it / steralise it once you are home.
This might help others a little, if you have SARS2 (i.e. catching sneezes/coughs etc), but it won't protect you from catching it.
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Post by navyblueshorts Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:35 am

Re. PPE, specifically face visors, which are supposed to be in short supply. Why is it that no-one appears to have any agency? Why is it that they're being disposed of as essentially single-use (as per Doctor's video diary on BBC last night) when they're made of impermeable plastics? Why is no-one, for example, filling baths/large tanks w/ 1:100 Distel (other virucidal disinfectants are also available), soaking masks for ~60 mins, rinsing, drying and re-using?

Maybe they do/are and I'm doing everyone a disservice...
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Post by navyblueshorts Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:40 am

laverfan wrote:Just my 2c from across the pond! Looking to place blame on someone/something for pandemics in past has been a futile exercise. However, we can learn from them and not repeat the mistakes of the past. Politicising such discussions results in the 'us vs them' mindset, which is not conducive to a constructive and civilized debate.

Lessons Learned from the 1918–1919 Influenza Pandemic in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota

This is the US CDC - Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.This has some interesting advice. For example, there is similar advice on the Infographic: Using face masks in the community.

POTUS wants to 'open' the country, forgetting the second wave that caused havoc in 1917-1918.
Feel free to chuck a lot more 2 cents from over your way! OK
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Post by MrInvisible Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:48 am

Another link to that Sunday Times article is here: https://archive.is/20200418182037/https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/coronavirus-38-days-when-britain-sleepwalked-into-disaster-hq3b9tlgh

As others have stated it makes for damning reading, but its also v frustrating to read of the opportunities that have been squandered. When the 1st initial cases in UK emerged, good work was being done on the contact tracing, yet it is clear that after this promising start things went awry very quickly, and by the time the government was making a concerted effort to source PPE and ramp up testing it was too late.

The article refers to the lack of attention on pandemic planning - one consequence of a narrow focus on no-deal Brexit planning to exclusion of everything else. Even now, I am not convinced the government is still 100% focussed on this crisis, as they cheerfully informed us the Brexit negotiations are back on track (via video-conference) and have declined opportunity to request extension to transition period now so they can concentrate fully on Covid-19.

One area not covered in depth by this otherwise comprehensive article is the preparedness for care homes - we knew by early March the horrors it was wreaking on care homes in Italy, and a bit later on France and Spain, yet it was only 2 weeks ago that government started to look at PPE for care home workers.



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Post by JuliusHMarx Mon Apr 20, 2020 4:41 am

Seems pretty certain now (according to scientists) that people can get infected more than once, and thus also still spread it around if they catch it a second time. This seems to scupper the 'have the antibodies, you're OK to go out' theory to some extent, since immunity seems to be short-lived at best.
This in turn, seems to scupper a lot of the approach to ending lockdown. I reckon we're going to have to figure out a way to ensure the NHS/beds/ventilators etc don't get stretched beyond capacity, whilst easing the current restrictions - and expect/accept several hundred deaths a day for several months or more.
A vaccine is thus more vital than ever, but there's no guarantee we'll ever get one.

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Post by 123456789. Mon Apr 20, 2020 5:04 am

For the sake of balance the Spectator has offered this rebuttal of the Times piece. I don't think some of the arguments don't carry weight. The idea that it is normal for a Prime Minister not to attend these meetings holds up to an extent. However in a crisis it is normal for a Prime Minister to assume control. It is their job. It seems therefore that either he decided he didn't want to direct it or that it was not a crisis. The former shows he is not up to the job and should be replaced. The latter suggests a catastrophic error of judgement and that he should resign.

The Spectator wrote:
Was Matt Hancock shrugging off Coronavirus in late January? An 'insight' article in The Sunday Times which has spread like wildfire today online accuses him of doing so. The virus was making its way over the world, it says, but 'It took just an hour that January 24 lunchtime to brush aside the coronavirus threat. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, bounced out of Whitehall after chairing the meeting and breezily told reporters the risk to the UK public was “low”'.

The ‘Insight' government deep dive – which curiously appears to have been swerved by the paper's award-winning political editor Tim Shipman – states that Boris Johnson didn’t chair any meetings about it until March, and that the threat level was kept to ‘moderate’ until mid-February. Several paragraphs imply that Johnson was too busy dealing with his love life – divorce, a secret engagement and a pregnancy – and Brexit to think about a global pandemic that caught nearly every country off guard. You get the overall picture: lazy, complacent Prime Minister and a Health Secretary who took far long to press the panic button:

'One day there will be an inquiry into the lack of preparations during those “lost” five weeks from January 24. There will be questions about when politicians understood the severity of the threat, what the scientists told them and why so little was done to equip the National Health Service for the coming crisis. It will be the politicians who will face the most intense scrutiny.'

This is quite true, but we don’t have to wait for that inquiry to fill in the gaps of what happened. In light of the article, government ministers have gone on the offensive over what they perceive to be a hatchet job while opposition MPs are heralding it as proof of Tory incompetence. Whichever side you sit, there are gaps in the Insight report. In the spirit of full disclosure, and with full respect to the paper’s award-winning Insight team, Mr S has emptied his notebook and found plenty of detail that escaped this first draft of history.

1. The breezy health secretary? For all of Hancock's current difficulties – from testing targets to an ongoing PPE headache – one thing it's difficult to seriously accuse him of is brushing off the virus in January. If anything, he was boring people about it back then (as those who met him at The Spectator’s Parliamentarian of the Year awards dinner can attest). He held his first meeting in the Department on 6 January and discussed it with the PM the next day. A meeting of NERVTAG “New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group” was held on 13 Jan.

The stronger criticism of Hancock is that he has been too fixated, too narrowly focussed on the virus and not paying enough attention to the wider health (and economic) impacts of lockdown.

2. How unusual is it for a Prime Minister to miss a COBRA? The article reads: 'Unusually, Boris Johnson had been absent from COBRA. The committee — which includes ministers, intelligence chiefs and military generals — gathers at moments of great peril such as terrorist attacks, natural disasters and other threats to the nation and is normally chaired by the prime minister.' While it is the case that the Prime Minister often leads COBRA meetings, it’s a stretch to say it’s unusual for this not to happen. Generally, COBRA will have the relevant people attend and the information then relayed back to the Prime Minister – pandemic would be chaired by the Health Secretary: as happened in the COBRA meetings of Jan 24 & 29, and the meetings of 5,12 and 18 Feb.

3. The No. 10 'adviser'. The piece says: 'Last week a senior adviser to Downing Street broke ranks and blamed the weeks of complacency on a failure of leadership in cabinet. The prime minister was singled out.' This would be a very serious thing for a No. 10 staffer to do – as has been the read in certain quarters today. Only 'a senior adviser to Downing Street' is not how the Sunday Times usually describes No 10 sources. It may be because the article has not been penned by the politics team. But the phrasing leaves room for it to be an external adviser to No. 10 rather than a full time aide on staff. It could be anyone on any committee advising government, and from what the Insight report doesn’t say it seems that the source didn’t have very good access.

4. Hancock blaze on 24 January? 'But it took just an hour that January 24 lunchtime to brush aside the coronavirus threat. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, bounced out of Whitehall after chairing the meeting and breezily told reporters the risk to the UK public was “low”.' At the time, this was the consensus. But Hancock was at that stage holding daily meetings and had already instructed his department to disregard their ‘central’ scenario and instead operate around for the “reasonable worst-case scenario” whose assumptions were presented to COBRA on…. 24 January.

5. Did politicians actually ignore the scientific advice? Various figures are quoted suggesting the UK ought to have acted quicker in updating the risk factor to the country or lockdown measures – but were they actually ignored? One infectious disease modeller – John Edmunds – says that he at one point wanted the government to change its threat level from moderate to high but wasn't able to actually say this in the meeting because... 'his technology failed him at the crucial moment'. Meanwhile, Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College, says he also would have recommended increasing the threat to high but.... wasn't able to join the meeting as he was in America.

Mr S is yet to see the evidence of the government ignoring the advice they were given by their most senior scientific and medical advisers. If there has been a criticism throughout this process on ministers and scientific advice from Tory MPs it's an over reliance on it – with the government repeatedly saying it is the leading component in their decisions.

6. The real problem? When the inevitable inquiry comes out, it’s likely that ministers will be criticised for paying too much attention to the experts, who clung to a palpably-inadequate pandemic response toolkit (for which many thanks, Jeremy Hunt). When it became clear testing was needed, Public Health England was convinced only it could do so and spurned help that would have been needed to ramp up testing at speed – not to mention the false hope placed on an antibody test. Another issue that will need close examining is PHE's inability to procure and distribute PPE: the list goes on. This inquiry might also end up asking why no one was more worried about collapse of non-Covid healthcare. But that’s a scandal for another day.



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Post by No name Bertie Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:23 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:
No name Bertie wrote:Dear navyblueshorts, you made a number of personal attacks against me claiming me of obfuscation and bias.  Please tell me what bias you think I might have?  To make it easier for you for now I won't even ask for any evidence.

For your memory the following is what transpired:
Spoiler:
Tumbleweed
Thank you for confirming yourself. What we have here is someone exploiting a certain power structure to make unfounded personal attacks. In the end you will only have a thread containing moderators and admin and a few hard nosed forum members. Now shall we discuss biochemistry?
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Post by Samo Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:34 pm

Maybe once you provide evidence of your claim about the editor of The Lancet he’ll tell you anything you want to know?

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Post by rodders Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:01 pm

Give it up No name, the power of cognitive dissonance is hard to overcome in some people. Anyone who can defend the governments actions to date isn't worth debating with.

Over the weekend I saw 2 back to back interviews with Michael Gove (Andrew Marr and Sky News), when quizzed over the sending of PPE to China in February. The first one he defends it as he claimed we got more PPE in returned than we sent.

The second interview, he refuses to answer the same question and admit it even happened.

Obviously he'd been caught out first time round and then briefed to change is response until the governments PR team were able to throw together a rebuttal.

How anyone can believe anything they say is beyond me, and to defend a prime minister who didn't attend COBRA meetings, not to mention the EU conference meetings to develop co-ordinated response is incredible.

In normal times there would be a call for him to resign.
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Post by lostinwales Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:05 pm

The problem with Boris, the government in general and the COBRE meetings are that the buck stops with them, not the advisors. We are crying out for leadership and all we get is obfuscation.

The defense of Boris seems to be that the dog ate his homework.

I have said this before but if the top advisors were actively pushing the UK in a different path from the rest of the world the response should have been 'why?' If they give good enough answers then OK.

What seems to come across is a response that goes something like 'I am sure they are right as this is the easiest thing for us to deal with as we haven't prepped for a pandemic anyway'

After that we have to be very careful about blaming the Gov for things out of their control (and for giving credit, either way).

The most important thing is that the NHS is holding out - we haven't reached the point where we are rationing ventilators - but there are too many casualties amongst medical staff. It doesn't feel that the survival of the NHS is down to the actions of the government.

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Post by 123456789. Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:13 pm

I actually think it's a lot simpler than that even. The rest of Europe, generally speaking, followed the WHO advice. It tested early and locked-down early. Predictions suggest we are going to do worse than all of them. So, regardless of who gave the advice, who was or wasn't there when it was given or where they were and for what purpose. The wrong decisions seem to have been taken. In this specific case those wrong decisions have cost thousands of lives. Could it be that Johnson's libertarian instincts took over and meant he convinced himself that the course most palatable to him was the best course to fight the virus?

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Post by lostinwales Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:28 pm

123456789. wrote:I actually think it's a lot simpler than that even. The rest of Europe, generally speaking, followed the WHO advice. It tested early and locked-down early. Predictions suggest we are going to do worse than all of them. So, regardless of who gave the advice, who was or wasn't there when it was given or where they were and for what purpose. The wrong decisions seem to have been taken. In this specific case those wrong decisions have cost thousands of lives. Could it be that Johnson's libertarian instincts took over and meant he convinced himself that the course most palatable to him was the best course to fight the virus?

He wasn't in the meetings. If he made decisions they were based on 2nd hand info at best. I think the instincts that took over were the lazy f**ker ones.

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Post by 123456789. Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:33 pm

This is very interesting as well from Robert Peston.

Robert Peston - ITV.com wrote:
How the government could have done more earlier to protect against Covid-19

Paul Marshall makes the compelling point that mistakes have almost certainly been made by scientists and Public Health England.

But in the British system power lies not with the scientists and officials, but with the elected politicians.

And I have been concerned since the start of this outbreak that ministers were using the expert advice of the scientists and epidemiologists, and the recommendations of the assorted expert committees, as a reason not to take responsibility for life-and-death decisions.

"We're following the science" has been the ministerial mantra and cliché of this crisis.

And if we've learned anything in this crisis it is the limits of scientific knowledge in respect of a new virus.

What matters I think is not the precise date of the lockdown.

We won't know for some time whether these unprecedented restrictions on our freedoms were implemented too early, too late or just about the right time.

But what we do know, beyond reasonable doubt, is that it was eminently possible to increase investment in testing capacity many weeks earlier than happened, and it should have been possible to learn there was not enough PPE protective clothing equipment for all healthcare workers in hospitals, care homes and assorted public services.

The big point, as I said last night, is that ministers were well aware in the second week of February that there was a very real risk that a devastating epidemic was coming our way.

As I mentioned, on 11 February I was briefed by a senior member of the government that "we should know within a fortnight if we are looking at pandemic in UK. If there is a pandemic, the peak will be March, April, May. The marginally better news is mortality rate is looking less than 2%. And for most people rest and isolation will lead to recovery. But the risk is 60% of the population getting it. With a mortality rate of perhaps just over 1%, we are looking at not far off 500,000 deaths".

I sent those notes of my conversation with that senior government member to colleagues at ITV and ITV News, so that it would condition our coverage.

And the reason I am dredging the notes up now is not to prove that the government ignored a certain catastrophe.

What I was told by that government source more than two months ago looks chillingly prophetic, but at the time ministers did not know whether they could shield the UK from a major outbreak of Covid-19.

They were hoping for the best. But they were acutely aware of the worst.

So the question is whether, in the absence of certainty but the presence of a known catastrophic risk of devastating outbreak, it would have been sensible to expedite an assessment of the UK's resources to cope with such an outbreak, and correct the deficiencies in a timelier and earlier fashion.

This would have meant spending public funds.

And if Covid-19 had never arrived in scale here, some would have accused the government of wasting that money.

But from today's vantage point, wasting public funds in the cause of public health looks money well wasted.

Hindsight is wonderful. For the avoidance of doubt, this is not me looking to name and shame individuals in government or advising government who may have got it wrong.

It is to highlight the gap between the government's capacity to identify a clear and present danger and then take the steps to limit its harm.

This looks like a systemic problem. It happened in the run up to the banking crisis too.

Lessons need to be learned.

Last updated Sun 19 Apr 2020

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Post by Crimey Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:38 pm

It is strange that money being proactively public health, such a protective equipment (which could have been used afterwards, even if Covid-19 didn't hit us hard) would have been seen as a waste if the pandemic never came, when we spend £38 billion on stockpiling weapons, having nuclear weapons, a large standing army despite not needing it right now.

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Post by rodders Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:50 pm

You know I've being doing a bit more analysis of % mortality and a few interesting things-

Global average is about 6.8%.

The UK average is 15.73%, mostly attributable to England (15.8%) - Scotland are at 10%, NI and Wales around 7%.

So England and France(17%) are by someway the worst hit countries, followed by Italy (13.2%), then Spain/Sweden (10.7%). Now France and the UK have similar populations and done roughly the same amount of tests but Italy have done far more so variation can't just be result of no of tests skewing the data - Across Europe we are seeing mortality > 10% bar a few outliers, namely Germany (3.18%) and Ireland (3.9%) both well below global average.

Germany and Ireland have stringently followed WHO advice at testing and isolating cases and fared better than the rest of Europe by a long way, could that be the difference - Ireland also went into lock down 2 weeks earlier.

The UK despite all the governments man sausage ups, haven't really done much worse than some of their similar sized EU neighbors, but within the UK England has done a lot worse than rest of the regions.

Other observations, despite conspiracy theories, China (5.23) has % mortality as USA (5.33) although a lot lower numbers. South Korea and Japan, with very different approaches to this have done far better than everyone else - both around 2.2%.

South Korea gets talked about a lot with their technology and testing capacity - interesting piece on Japan -

https://asiatimes.com/2020/04/why-japan-gets-no-covid-19-respect/

I guess the conclusion is Asian countries who have experience of similar outbreaks and/or disasters have done much better than western developed countries, particularly Europe, where we all seem heading for similar fates.

Germany and Ireland have shown though that we had opportunities to significantly mitigate the impact but much of unfortunately Europe failed to take it.

The WHO originally predicted 3-6% mortality so any country with a mortality >7% needs to be firstly scrutinizing the accuracy of their figures and secondly asking serious questions of their governments handing of this.
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Post by guildfordbat Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:16 pm

[quote="123456789."]For the sake of balance the Spectator has offered this rebuttal of the Times piece. I don't think some of the arguments don't carry weight. The idea that it is normal for a Prime Minister not to attend these meetings holds up to an extent. However in a crisis it is normal for a Prime Minister to assume control. It is their job. It seems therefore that either he decided he didn't want to direct it or that it was not a crisis. The former shows he is not up to the job and should be replaced. The latter suggests a catastrophic error of judgement and that he should resign.

The Spectator wrote:

...

5. Did politicians actually ignore the scientific advice? Various figures are quoted suggesting the UK ought to have acted quicker in updating the risk factor to the country or lockdown measures – but were they actually ignored? One infectious disease modeller – John Edmunds – says that he at one point wanted the government to change its threat level from moderate to high but wasn't able to actually say this in the meeting because... 'his technology failed him at the crucial moment'. Meanwhile, Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College, says he also would have recommended increasing the threat to high but.... wasn't able to join the meeting as he was in America.

Mr S is yet to see the evidence of the government ignoring the advice they were given by their most senior scientific and medical advisers. If there has been a criticism throughout this process on ministers and scientific advice from Tory MPs it's an over reliance on it – with the government repeatedly saying it is the leading component in their decisions.

...

Hi Numbers - for the sake of further balance, I do think we also need to probe the advisers. Not just the quality of their advice but their effectiveness in getting the message across. Edmunds and Openshaw may be mega brainy but they appear in the extract above as two utterly feeble bureaucrats. Given their apparent thinking, they should then have been doing whatever it took to communicate those concerns rather than - little short, in effect of - saying, ''It was coming up to 5 o'clock and I had to go home for my tea.''

My take on Johnson is that he's not someone interested in personally working hard to find the detail but that once it is clearly presented to him by others, he'll act on it and use his very considerable oratory skills to get others on board and heading in the same direction. He is a fine motivational speaker (cf him and Theresa May on Brexit) and we could actually have done with some of that whilst he's been ill instead of the uninspiring and unconvincing drivel from other politicians and medical leaders. None of this is to give Johnson a green light for what has happened but I'm sure others didn't help him enough at outset to help us as much as we had every right to expect.

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Post by navyblueshorts Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:37 pm

No name Bertie wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
No name Bertie wrote:Dear navyblueshorts, you made a number of personal attacks against me claiming me of obfuscation and bias.  Please tell me what bias you think I might have?  To make it easier for you for now I won't even ask for any evidence.

For your memory the following is what transpired:
Spoiler:
Tumbleweed
Thank you for confirming yourself.   What we have here is someone exploiting a certain power structure to make unfounded personal attacks.  In the end you will only have a thread containing moderators and admin and a few hard nosed forum members.  Now shall we discuss biochemistry?
If you say so.

Biochemistry? Could do, if relevant to this thread, but you'll have to forgive me if I'm reticent to bother myself.
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Post by navyblueshorts Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:38 pm

Samo wrote:Maybe once you provide evidence of your claim about the editor of The Lancet he’ll tell you anything you want to know?
That would be a start. He made a claim, so I asked him, politely as I recall, to point me to it. He's accusing the Lancet's editor of deliberately politicising his Journal, which to me is quite a charge. In absence of any support for the charge, I assumed (quite reasonably I think) that he harbours bias.
🤷 Couldn't care less anymore, tbh. Moving on...
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Post by navyblueshorts Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:48 pm

rodders wrote:Give it up No name, the power of cognitive dissonance is hard to overcome in some people. Anyone who can defend the governments actions to date isn't worth debating with.
Over the weekend I saw 2 back to back interviews with Michael Gove (Andrew Marr and Sky News), when quizzed over the sending of PPE to China in February. The first one he defends it as he claimed we got more PPE in returned than we sent.

The second interview, he refuses to answer the same question and admit it even happened.

Obviously he'd been caught out first time round and then briefed to change is response until the governments PR team were able to throw together a rebuttal.

How anyone can believe anything they say is beyond me, and to defend a prime minister who didn't attend COBRA meetings, not to mention the EU conference meetings to develop co-ordinated response is incredible.

In normal times there would be a call for him to resign.  
Oh, give over. If anyone isn't onboard w/ the anti-UKG groupspeak here, there's no place for them? As I think I said before, you've made your mind up on pre-formed black/white criteria and nothing can be allowed to intrude on that. I'm happy to stick around and correct your misconceptions.
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Post by navyblueshorts Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:52 pm

123456789. wrote:This is very interesting as well from Robert Peston.

Robert Peston - ITV.com wrote:
How the government could have done more earlier to protect against Covid-19

Paul Marshall makes the compelling point that mistakes have almost certainly been made by scientists and Public Health England.

But in the British system power lies not with the scientists and officials, but with the elected politicians.

And I have been concerned since the start of this outbreak that ministers were using the expert advice of the scientists and epidemiologists, and the recommendations of the assorted expert committees, as a reason not to take responsibility for life-and-death decisions.

"We're following the science" has been the ministerial mantra and cliché of this crisis.

And if we've learned anything in this crisis it is the limits of scientific knowledge in respect of a new virus.

What matters I think is not the precise date of the lockdown.

We won't know for some time whether these unprecedented restrictions on our freedoms were implemented too early, too late or just about the right time.

But what we do know, beyond reasonable doubt, is that it was eminently possible to increase investment in testing capacity many weeks earlier than happened, and it should have been possible to learn there was not enough PPE protective clothing equipment for all healthcare workers in hospitals, care homes and assorted public services.

The big point, as I said last night, is that ministers were well aware in the second week of February that there was a very real risk that a devastating epidemic was coming our way.

As I mentioned, on 11 February I was briefed by a senior member of the government that "we should know within a fortnight if we are looking at pandemic in UK. If there is a pandemic, the peak will be March, April, May. The marginally better news is mortality rate is looking less than 2%. And for most people rest and isolation will lead to recovery. But the risk is 60% of the population getting it. With a mortality rate of perhaps just over 1%, we are looking at not far off 500,000 deaths".

I sent those notes of my conversation with that senior government member to colleagues at ITV and ITV News, so that it would condition our coverage.

And the reason I am dredging the notes up now is not to prove that the government ignored a certain catastrophe.

What I was told by that government source more than two months ago looks chillingly prophetic, but at the time ministers did not know whether they could shield the UK from a major outbreak of Covid-19.

They were hoping for the best. But they were acutely aware of the worst.

So the question is whether, in the absence of certainty but the presence of a known catastrophic risk of devastating outbreak, it would have been sensible to expedite an assessment of the UK's resources to cope with such an outbreak, and correct the deficiencies in a timelier and earlier fashion.

This would have meant spending public funds.

And if Covid-19 had never arrived in scale here, some would have accused the government of wasting that money.

But from today's vantage point, wasting public funds in the cause of public health looks money well wasted.

Hindsight is wonderful. For the avoidance of doubt, this is not me looking to name and shame individuals in government or advising government who may have got it wrong.

It is to highlight the gap between the government's capacity to identify a clear and present danger and then take the steps to limit its harm.

This looks like a systemic problem. It happened in the run up to the banking crisis too.

Lessons need to be learned.

Last updated Sun 19 Apr 2020
Thanks for that. I think he hits a lot of nails on the head.
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Post by rodders Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:03 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:
rodders wrote:Give it up No name, the power of cognitive dissonance is hard to overcome in some people. Anyone who can defend the governments actions to date isn't worth debating with.
Over the weekend I saw 2 back to back interviews with Michael Gove (Andrew Marr and Sky News), when quizzed over the sending of PPE to China in February. The first one he defends it as he claimed we got more PPE in returned than we sent.

The second interview, he refuses to answer the same question and admit it even happened.

Obviously he'd been caught out first time round and then briefed to change is response until the governments PR team were able to throw together a rebuttal.

How anyone can believe anything they say is beyond me, and to defend a prime minister who didn't attend COBRA meetings, not to mention the EU conference meetings to develop co-ordinated response is incredible.

In normal times there would be a call for him to resign.  
Oh, give over. If anyone isn't onboard w/ the anti-UKG groupspeak here, there's no place for them? As I think I said before, you've made your mind up on pre-formed black/white criteria and nothing can be allowed to intrude on that. I'm happy to stick around and correct your misconceptions.

I'd be happy if you correct something, but so far you've actually contributed nothing to the debate except tell everyone else they are wrong.

There is nothing preformed about it the statistics and facts they are there to see.
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Post by navyblueshorts Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:12 pm

rodders wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
rodders wrote:Give it up No name, the power of cognitive dissonance is hard to overcome in some people. Anyone who can defend the governments actions to date isn't worth debating with.
Over the weekend I saw 2 back to back interviews with Michael Gove (Andrew Marr and Sky News), when quizzed over the sending of PPE to China in February. The first one he defends it as he claimed we got more PPE in returned than we sent.

The second interview, he refuses to answer the same question and admit it even happened.

Obviously he'd been caught out first time round and then briefed to change is response until the governments PR team were able to throw together a rebuttal.

How anyone can believe anything they say is beyond me, and to defend a prime minister who didn't attend COBRA meetings, not to mention the EU conference meetings to develop co-ordinated response is incredible.

In normal times there would be a call for him to resign.  
Oh, give over. If anyone isn't onboard w/ the anti-UKG groupspeak here, there's no place for them? As I think I said before, you've made your mind up on pre-formed black/white criteria and nothing can be allowed to intrude on that. I'm happy to stick around and correct your misconceptions.

I'd be happy if you correct something, but so far you've actually contributed nothing to the debate except tell everyone else they are wrong.

There is nothing preformed about it the statistics and facts they are there to see.    
Can I hear you say 'haemoglobin is destroyed by SARS2' etc? Pretty sure I recall explaining why your suggestion wasn't likely to hold water. Informing people that they might be incorrect in a perception is actually quite important.
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Post by navyblueshorts Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:22 pm

rodders wrote:You know I've being doing a bit more analysis of % mortality and a few interesting things-

Global average is about 6.8%.

The UK average is 15.73%, mostly attributable to England (15.8%) - Scotland are at 10%, NI and Wales around 7%.

So England and France(17%) are by someway the worst hit countries, followed by Italy (13.2%), then Spain/Sweden (10.7%). Now France and the UK have similar populations and done roughly the same amount of tests but Italy have done far more so variation can't just be result of no of tests skewing the data - Across Europe we are seeing mortality > 10% bar a few outliers, namely Germany (3.18%) and Ireland (3.9%) both well below global average.

Germany and Ireland have stringently followed WHO advice at testing and isolating cases and fared better than the rest of Europe by a long way, could that be the difference - Ireland also went into lock down 2 weeks earlier.

The UK despite all the governments man sausage ups, haven't really done much worse than some of their similar sized EU neighbors, but within the UK England has done a lot worse than rest of the regions.

Other observations, despite conspiracy theories, China (5.23) has % mortality as USA (5.33) although a lot lower numbers. South Korea and Japan, with very different approaches to this have done far better than everyone else - both around 2.2%.

South Korea gets talked about a lot with their technology and testing capacity - interesting piece on Japan -

https://asiatimes.com/2020/04/why-japan-gets-no-covid-19-respect/

I guess the conclusion is Asian countries who have experience of similar outbreaks and/or disasters have done much better than western developed countries, particularly Europe, where we all seem heading for similar fates.

Germany and Ireland have shown though that we had opportunities to significantly mitigate the impact but much of unfortunately Europe failed to take it.

The WHO originally predicted 3-6% mortality so any country with a mortality >7% needs to be firstly scrutinizing the accuracy of their figures and secondly asking serious questions of their governments handing of this.
Interesting post. Just to be clear, are you talking about % mortality of those confirmed as infected? Re. Italy's testing, do you know if the proportion of +ves is the same as in the cases of UK/France?

I think the point's been made elsewhere, that those 'Asian countries' had first-hand experience of SARS and various influenza scares etc - they took this seriously from the off. I see Canada is doing relatively well, too.

There's a lot of variables re. this sort of thing. I don't think any of us are going to be able to pick apart who's actually doing 'worse' for some time.
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Post by 123456789. Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:02 am

On the point: "Anyone who can defend the governments actions to date isn't worth debating with". I do wonder what the point of all of us who think the government has done poorly, a category I very much so fall into, all congregating on this thread to discover which of us most dislikes the government's response.

With regard to the mortality rates, it's worth noting that countries are all in different stages of this virus. So it's better comparing their mortality rate with regard to the progression of the illness, the scale of testing, the strength of their healthcare system and the age/ demographic profiles of their population. Italy is far further than us through the course of this illness than us. That means that the illness will have spread further through their population than ours and much further than Germany's, so even though they test more than us they will also be picking up more people with a particularly severe form of the illness.

A lot of Asian countries learnt the lessons from SARS. Incidentally Singapore used our Pandemic plan from the period shortly after it. We were not in a place to carry out our old plan from the off if the Times report is to be believed and then lost at least a month in catch up time.

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Post by 123456789. Tue Apr 21, 2020 1:55 am

https://www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/news/remdesivir-shows-promise-covid-monkeys/

I've quoted the full article below. In short they infected twelve monkeys with Covid-19. Six of them did not receive any medication and by the end of the period all had breathing difficulties. Of the Six that were treated with Remdesivir only one showed mild difficulties. It's more good news. I suppose if it shows efficacy on humans in full trials we may be able to back to relative normality if it's mass produced.

Pharmaceutical Technology wrote:
SHARE
A preclinical study in the US found that Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug candidate remdesivir prevented disease progression in rhesus macaques monkeys with Covid-19.

The animals were infected with the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

Data announced by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed a significant decrease in clinical disease and reduced lung damage in monkeys treated with the investigational antiviral drug.

The preclinical study involved dosing and treatment procedures being used in a clinical trial of remdesivir to treat hospitalised Covid-19 patients. NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is leading the trial.

In the preclinical study, one group of monkeys were given remdesivir while the second group acted as an untreated comparison arm, both infected with the novel coronavirus.

The treatment group was administered a dose of intravenous remdesivir 12 hours after infection, followed by a daily intravenous booster dose for the next six days.

According to the NIH, initial treatment was given shortly before the virus reached its highest level in the lungs.
SHARE
A preclinical study in the US found that Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug candidate remdesivir prevented disease progression in rhesus macaques monkeys with Covid-19.

The animals were infected with the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

Data announced by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed a significant decrease in clinical disease and reduced lung damage in monkeys treated with the investigational antiviral drug.

The preclinical study involved dosing and treatment procedures being used in a clinical trial of remdesivir to treat hospitalised Covid-19 patients. NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is leading the trial.

In the preclinical study, one group of monkeys were given remdesivir while the second group acted as an untreated comparison arm, both infected with the novel coronavirus.

The treatment group was administered a dose of intravenous remdesivir 12 hours after infection, followed by a daily intravenous booster dose for the next six days.

According to the NIH, initial treatment was given shortly before the virus reached its highest level in the lungs.
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Twelve hours following initial treatment, six treated animals had significantly better health compared to the untreated group. This improvement continued during the seven-day study.

One of the six treated animals had mild breathing difficulty while all six of the untreated animals experienced rapid and difficult breathing.

Also, the amount of virus in the lungs was lower in the treatment group compared to the untreated animals. The findings also showed that the virus led to comparatively less lung damage in treated animals.

Findings from the study have been posted on the preprint website, bioRxiv.

According to investigators, the results indicate that early initiation of remdesivir treatment in Covid-19 patients could result in maximum treatment effect.

Furthermore, scientists said that remdesivir helped prevent pneumonia but did not mitigate virus shedding by the animals.

A statement from the team said: “This finding is of great significance for patient management, where a clinical improvement should not be interpreted as a lack of infectiousness.”

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Post by navyblueshorts Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:11 am

123456789. wrote:https://www.pharmaceutical-technology.com/news/remdesivir-shows-promise-covid-monkeys/

I've quoted the full article below. In short they infected twelve monkeys with Covid-19. Six of them did not receive any medication and by the end of the period all had breathing difficulties. Of the Six that were treated with Remdesivir only one showed mild difficulties. It's more good news. I suppose if it shows efficacy on humans in full trials we may be able to back to relative normality if it's mass produced.

...
Thanks. That does look promising. Viruses have a knack of acquiring resistance to antivirals, so let's hope this one's an exception. Think such mutation has been seen, but the changes weakened the virus where that had happened (https://mbio.asm.org/content/9/2/e00221-18). Fingers crossed. I wouldn't put it past a virus w/ its huge replicative capability, in a large host population, to come up with something sneaky over time, though.
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Post by 123456789. Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:50 am

I suppose in an ideal situation the drug would tide us over until a vaccine became available and was widely distributed. If the virus mutates and becomes less dangerous that's obviously a positive. If it becomes more fatal it may burn out quicker. Diseases with a high fatality rate struggle to spread because they tend to incapacitate or kill their hosts. The big test is if we find a drug that dramatically reduces the death rate in the general population or a vaccine that effectively wipes it out over time whether we will engage in a global distribution or implementation or whether the countries of the world focus inwards. I suppose it probably depends on who wins the Presidential election in November.

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Post by lostinwales Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:18 pm

In other news at least 128 invented twitter accounts were set up pretending to be actual NHS staff (and in some cases using pictures of actual staff) to apparently either push certain ideas (herd immunity, NHS has enough PPE etc) or at best just 'test the waters'. The DHSC deny that it has anything to do with them, although the source of the twitter accounts apparently has links.

Oh and the order for Turkish PPE that was announced on Saturday wasn't placed until Sunday and will take several days to fulfill

FFS

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Post by guildfordbat Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:49 pm

lostinwales wrote:
...

Oh and the order for Turkish PPE that was announced on Saturday wasn't placed until Sunday and will take several days to fulfill

FFS

I usually try and console myself by thinking how much worse things would be if Corbyn had won the election and Diane Abbott was in charge of the numbers. However, even this lot would give her a run for her money!

What was that expression by medico bureaucrat Harries on Sunday - ''international exemplar in preparedness''?

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:24 pm

Hopefully once we’re out the other side of this the government will start properly funding the NHS and making sure we have sufficient stockpiles of medicines - nonsense we spend billions on making sure the military is prepared for nuclear war, yet public health is taken nowhere near as seriously
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Post by navyblueshorts Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:30 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
...

Oh and the order for Turkish PPE that was announced on Saturday wasn't placed until Sunday and will take several days to fulfill

FFS

I usually try and console myself by thinking how much worse things would be if Corbyn had won the election and Diane Abbott was in charge of the numbers. However, even this lot would give her a run for her money!

What was that expression by medico bureaucrat Harries on Sunday - ''international exemplar in preparedness''?
To be fair, she didn't clarify as an exemplar of what, exactly! Could be worse, could get more of Angela Mclean. For someone so lauded scientifically, she's awful at those briefings.
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Post by navyblueshorts Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:30 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Hopefully once we’re out the other side of this the government will start properly funding the NHS and making sure we have sufficient stockpiles of medicines - nonsense we spend billions on making sure the military is prepared for nuclear war, yet public health is taken nowhere near as seriously
OK Here's hoping.
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Post by lostinwales Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:34 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
...

Oh and the order for Turkish PPE that was announced on Saturday wasn't placed until Sunday and will take several days to fulfill

FFS

I usually try and console myself by thinking how much worse things would be if Corbyn had won the election and Diane Abbott was in charge of the numbers. However, even this lot would give her a run for her money!

What was that expression by medico bureaucrat Harries on Sunday - ''international exemplar in preparedness''?

Well we used to be.

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Post by jimbopip Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:42 pm

lostinwales wrote:In other news at least 128 invented twitter accounts were set up pretending to be actual NHS staff (and in some cases using pictures of actual staff) to apparently either push certain ideas (herd immunity, NHS has enough PPE etc) or at best just 'test the waters'. The DHSC deny that it has anything to do with them, although the source of the twitter accounts apparently has links.
DHSC??? Forgive me being dense this morning but just what /who is that?

Oh and the order for Turkish PPE that was announced on Saturday wasn't placed until Sunday and will take several days to fulfill

FFS
FFS indeed.

I heard that on the tellybox this morning the ONS (Office of National Statistics)have published figures saying that over the last five years the week ending Good Friday/ 10th April had an average of just over 10, 000 deaths registered. This year on 10th April the figure was over 18 000. Sad To my rudimentary maths mind that is an increase of 80%.

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Post by navyblueshorts Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:44 pm

lostinwales wrote:In other news at least 128 invented twitter accounts were set up pretending to be actual NHS staff (and in some cases using pictures of actual staff) to apparently either push certain ideas (herd immunity, NHS has enough PPE etc) or at best just 'test the waters'. The DHSC deny that it has anything to do with them, although the source of the twitter accounts apparently has links.

Oh and the order for Turkish PPE that was announced on Saturday wasn't placed until Sunday and will take several days to fulfill

FFS
I wonder if our magnificent investigating journalists have ever considered whether their decades of fomenting leaks from UKG (and which has created a market for every dissenting Tom, Dick or Harriett, or for those pushing an internal political agenda counter to UKG) has contributed, even if only in a small fashion, to the error-ridden operation of Government that we're seeing? Probably not.
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Post by navyblueshorts Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:45 pm

jimbopip wrote:
lostinwales wrote:In other news at least 128 invented twitter accounts were set up pretending to be actual NHS staff (and in some cases using pictures of actual staff) to apparently either push certain ideas (herd immunity, NHS has enough PPE etc) or at best just 'test the waters'. The DHSC deny that it has anything to do with them, although the source of the twitter accounts apparently has links.  
DHSC??? Forgive me being dense this morning but just what /who is that?

Oh and the order for Turkish PPE that was announced on Saturday wasn't placed until Sunday and will take several days to fulfill

FFS
FFS indeed.

I heard that on the tellybox this morning the ONS (Office of National Statistics)have published figures saying that over the last five years the week ending Good Friday/ 10th April had an average of just over 10, 000 deaths registered. This year on 10th April the figure was over 18 000. Sad  To my rudimentary maths mind that is an increase of 80%.
Yes, but where does it say those extra are all Covid-19-related?
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Post by lostinwales Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:51 pm

jimbopip wrote:
lostinwales wrote:In other news at least 128 invented twitter accounts were set up pretending to be actual NHS staff (and in some cases using pictures of actual staff) to apparently either push certain ideas (herd immunity, NHS has enough PPE etc) or at best just 'test the waters'. The DHSC deny that it has anything to do with them, although the source of the twitter accounts apparently has links.  
DHSC??? Forgive me being dense this morning but just what /who is that?

Oh and the order for Turkish PPE that was announced on Saturday wasn't placed until Sunday and will take several days to fulfill

FFS
FFS indeed.

I heard that on the tellybox this morning the ONS (Office of National Statistics)have published figures saying that over the last five years the week ending Good Friday/ 10th April had an average of just over 10, 000 deaths registered. This year on 10th April the figure was over 18 000. Sad  To my rudimentary maths mind that is an increase of 80%.

Department for Health and Social Care.

It is all very odd. The story about the fake NHS twitter accounts definitely has legs.

There was another story which I almost quoted that I then realised was false. There is a company that was set up to manage NHS supply that was reported on twitter as having Hancock as its sole shareholder. That sounds damning but if you do look the company up it is owned by the government. Hancock is in that position because he's SOS health.

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Post by Pr4wn Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:52 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:
jimbopip wrote:
lostinwales wrote:In other news at least 128 invented twitter accounts were set up pretending to be actual NHS staff (and in some cases using pictures of actual staff) to apparently either push certain ideas (herd immunity, NHS has enough PPE etc) or at best just 'test the waters'. The DHSC deny that it has anything to do with them, although the source of the twitter accounts apparently has links.  
DHSC??? Forgive me being dense this morning but just what /who is that?

Oh and the order for Turkish PPE that was announced on Saturday wasn't placed until Sunday and will take several days to fulfill

FFS
FFS indeed.

I heard that on the tellybox this morning the ONS (Office of National Statistics)have published figures saying that over the last five years the week ending Good Friday/ 10th April had an average of just over 10, 000 deaths registered. This year on 10th April the figure was over 18 000. Sad  To my rudimentary maths mind that is an increase of 80%.
Yes, but where does it say those extra are all Covid-19-related?

I'd imagine nowhere seeing as it's impossible to prove. But much to be a statistic anomaly though, don't you think?

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Post by Soul Requiem Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:59 pm

Hospital deaths with Covid-19 that week are over 5,500 I believe. PHE are suggesting that accounts for 90% of overall deaths in the same period, taking into account care home deaths (over 1,000 Crying or Very sad ) I make that about 85% which would leave approximately 1,500 extra unexplained deaths that don't mention it. The knock on effect the pandemic is having on other areas of the NHS is unknown at the moment. On the face of it it appears that unlike Italy and Spain the NHS is coping ok and we're managing to get as many very ill patients into hospital as possible.

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Post by jimbopip Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:31 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:Hospital deaths with Covid-19 that week are over 5,500 I believe. PHE are suggesting that accounts for 90% of overall deaths in the same period, taking into account care home deaths (over 1,000  Crying or Very sad ) I make that about 85% which would leave approximately 1,500 extra unexplained deaths that don't mention it. The knock on effect the pandemic is having on other areas of the NHS is unknown at the moment. On the face of it it appears that unlike Italy and Spain the NHS is coping ok and we're managing to get as many very ill patients into hospital as possible.

Good to see you back Soul brother. According to Big Gee, who is a nurse and very much on the front line, his hospital is finally beginning to look like it is coping and won't be overwhelmed. Although there were times when he had his doubts. However, now that the staff have a , tiny, bit of breathing space (no pun intended) the thing they are concerned about is the lack of patients turning up with chronic illnesses. The suspicion is these people are quietly dying at home. Also, since it now seems that covid-19 doesn't just attack the lungs but also affects other major organs (heart, liver and kidney I believe) then surely there will be deaths which do not occur on a ventilator in ICU but which are "strongly linked" to that virus.

I've re-read your post a couple of times and I'm not sure I can see what point you're trying to make. Is it that an 80% increase in the average number of deaths for that week is no big thing? Is it that we shouldn't panic because "the NHS is coping ok and we're managing to get as many very ill patients into hospital as possible"?

I wasn't being sarcastic when I welcomed you back: all too often interweb forums become echo chambers and people who go against the grain are demonised and driven out, which is something I find abhorrent. You disappeared for a while when the government were getting a lot of tick on here (deservedly so in my opinion) and it's good to see you back. Maybe you could clarify what you were trying to say.

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