“The government has done an amazing job. The vaccine rollout, the furlough programme, the economy having bounced back to pre-pandemic levels. .. he has got all the big decisions right”
Did the government get the response to Covid right?
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics there have been more than 200,000 deaths due to Covid.
Last week, The Guardian reported Professor Christina Pagel, director of University College London’s clinical operational research unit as having a different opinion from Johnson, Rees-Mogg and Gove. She said:
“At the moment there’s a narrative of ‘we got the big calls right on Covid’ and I just don’t think you can look at those numbers and say that,” said Prof Christina Pagel, “More than 150,000 deaths were in the first two waves and many countries around the world are nowhere near that figure because they took different actions early in the pandemic.
“Also 50,000 of those deaths have happened since last summer. There was a time when the suggestion of 50,000 deaths a year seemed outrageous, yet we seem to have just accepted that this is the way it is, when it’s much higher than the death toll from an annual flu season.”
Data up to 12 July this year shows the UK to have one of the highest number of Covid deaths in Europe. It is higher than France, Spain and Germany, but lower than Italy, Hungary or Poland. These figures come from Our World in Data and are based on deaths with Covid-19 on the death certificate.
Is the government blocking Covid evidence?
The same Guardian article claims:
“On the same day that the number of Covid-19 deaths has passed the tragic milestone of 200,000, caretaker Ministers are attempting to block vital evidence which could expose their serious failings.”
In the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus, Layla Moran MP and chair of the group, had this to say on the subject:
“While dodging accountability is true to form for this government, those hoping to replace the current Prime Minister must pledge that all evidence will be provided to the inquiry, so that lessons can be learned, those who lost loved ones get the justice they deserve and voters know the truth when deciding their next Prime Minister.”
Covid deaths by UK regions
Data from Gov UK show the total number of people whose death certificate included Covid-19 as one of the causes since the pandemic started. The data are published weekly. Due to the data being based on death registrations there is a lag of at least 11 days.
The current figures show that the North East has one of the highest death rates.
|Area||Number of Deaths||Rate per 100,000 population|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||17,033||308.2|
An increase in infection rates
In the last week of June there has been an increase in the percentage of people with positive Covid-19 tests across all English regions.
Understanding the R value
When the R value is less than 1 this means that if ten people are infected then fewer than than ten will be infected by them.
When the R value is between 1.1 and 1.3 this means that, on average, every ten people infected will infect between 11 and 13 other people.
The latest R values for England are currently 1.1 to 1.3.
In the North East and Yorkshire R rates are: 1.0 to 1.3
Long Term Solutions
It is important to find longer-term solution as new variants emerge, especially as this could mean a reduction of the effectiveness of existing vaccines
As reported in the Guardian, Professor Christina Pagel said:
“We can’t think about temporary restrictions. It’s not putting curfews on things or restricting who we can see. There have to be things that we can do sustainably – not just tomorrow but this year and next year.”
She commented on things like improving ventilation and also using new technology such as far ultraviolet C (UVC) light. And she added:
“The government should make tests free again … Then we need to improve our sick pay. We have one of the lowest rates of sick pay in Europe. People can’t afford to stay home if they are ill and so they’re going to work.”
Will we get to discussions on long term solutions to the ongoing Covid Pandemic? Certainly not for some time. News headlines at the moment are related to the crumbling Conservative Party such as: “Suella Braverman backs Liz Truss after exit from Conservative leadership race”.
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