Alarming Levels of Inaction

This is an assessment from the WHO about countries who are not taking steps which could be taken to try to contain covid-19.

The video is worth watching.

Meanwhile PHE (Public Health England) is explaining why they are refusing to test people:

Phillip Meyer, a businessman from Kent, said he and his son had been waiting nine days for a coronavirus test after getting a cough following a trip to northern Italy.

He said: “We are testing between 1,000 and 2,000 people a day in the UK, so clearly there is a bottleneck. If in South Korea they test 15,000 a day, why can’t we do that here?”

A retired intensive care doctor told the Guardian that the increase has come “way too late” after he and his friends were repeatedly refused tests despite falling ill following a skiing trip, to Ischgl in Austria. The 55-year-old doctor from Chichester, who has his name only as Andrew said: “They may be upping the testing but they haven’t put Ischgl on a high risk list, despite knowing about this for days. Six of us have been back in Chichester going about their daily life. I suspect we’ll find a big cluster in Chichester two weeks.”

Public Health England defended its decision not to test everyone reporting symptoms. A spokeswoman said: “We are testing those who are most likely to have contracted coronavirus, either through travel or by having close contact with a confirmed case, with symptoms.” [1]

It appears that despite all credible clinical evidence to the contrary PHE are still guided by the Victorian principle that everything depends on whether someone is showing symptoms. It doesn’t. Covid-19 transmits before symptoms appear.

If you wrote down on a piece of paper what steps PHE should take / not take if they wanted to create as large as possible an epidemic of coronavirus in the UK and then wrote down on another piece of paper the steps they have taken those two lists would not be very different.

Alarming levels of inaction.

Alarming levels of inaction part 2

Returning to the UK, the Labour MP Maria Eagle has asked the health secretary about the decision to allow Atlético Madrid fans to come to the UK for their team’s Champions League last 16 second leg match:

Schools and colleges are closed in Madrid and public gatherings of over 1,000 people banned because there’s a cluster of 782 coronavirus cases and there have been 35 deaths.

Is it really sensible for fans who couldn’t watch their team at home to be able to travel to Liverpool and watch their team play with 51,000 locals? Is that really sensible?

Hancock replied:

We are aiming at the things that have the biggest impact and there are some things that feel right but don’t have an impact at all, and that’s why it’s so important to follow the science and what Public Health England say. [2]

For a comment on the 100% fiction of “follow the science” please see yesterday’s post.

Update 3

This is the UK’s Minister for Health:

The public can be assured that we have a clear plan to contain, delay, research and mitigate, and that we are working methodically through each step to keep the public safe,” he said. “Overreaction has its costs too, economic and social, and so we have to keep the public safe, but we also need to act in a way that’s proportionate. [3]

Either the man doesn’t understand the plan or this is evidence that the ‘plan’ is in effect a hoax. If ‘contain’ was real and worked there would be no ‘delay’ and ‘mitigate’ phases. Are the phases as they were originally presented a chronological series of steps or, as they now appear to be presented, a set of 4 steps which are worked through in parallel at the same time?

Notice the clear and admitted trade-off between “keeping the public safe” and profits, sorry I mean “economic and social costs”. In reality lots of elderly people dying of a virus which they needn’t have caught if WHO advice about containment had been followed is a social cost; Mr Hancock has dishonestly put social costs on the wrong side of his equation. Basically it is profit v. people and guess who is going to win that one?

 

Notes

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/mar/11/uk-coronavirus-cases-jump-to-456-and-eighth-briton-dies
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/mar/11/coronavirus-update-live-news-uk-health-minister-italy-lockdown-australia-us-china-stock-markets-outbreak-latest-updates#block-5e6946078f087df56e4c6cb1
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/26/matt-hancock-clarifies-coronavirus-travel-advice-after-criticism

 

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer