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Old 13th October 2021, 03:52 PM   #1561
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Originally Posted by Lothian View Post
Perhaps New Zealanders are protected by magic.......

Or perhaps Covid doesn't treat New Zealanders any differently and it is the much lower figures for deaths in New Zealand are a combination of a lower population, lower population density, better controls limiting spread, and the respective vaccination programs that account for the differences rather than the magic theory. Who knows?
Well, maybe Gandalf had something to do with that
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Old 15th October 2021, 02:40 AM   #1562
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Around 43,000 people in England and Wales may have been wrongly told their Covid-19 test was negative because of errors at a private laboratory.

Testing at the Wolverhampton lab has been suspended following an investigation by NHS Test and Trace.
It is now contacting those affected, mainly in the south west region, to ask them to take another Covid test.

Concerns were raised when people had positive lateral flow tests but negative PCR results from the lab.
The UK Health Security Agency said negative tests results received from the privately-run lab between 8 September and 12 October are being looked at.
Most people affected are in the south west, but some may also be in the south east of England and in Wales.
All samples from the lab, where Immensa Health Clinic Ltd runs the testing operations, are now being sent to other labs.

UKHSA said all other labs are working normally and there are no technical issues with the test kits themselves.
Dr Will Welfare, public health incident director at UKHSA - which replaced Public Health England - said: "As a result of our investigation, we are working with NHS Test and Trace and the company to determine the laboratory technical issues which have led to inaccurate PCR results being issued to people.
"We have immediately suspended testing at this laboratory while we continue the investigation."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54923641

Last edited by Captain_Swoop; 15th October 2021 at 02:43 AM.
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Old 15th October 2021, 03:28 AM   #1563
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How have private lab Immensa managed to issue up to 43,000 false negative PCR test results over the last month???

Immensa was only set up in May last year and were immediately handed a £120 million govt contract by Hancock..
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Old 15th October 2021, 03:56 AM   #1564
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The lab is owned by Immensa Health Clinic that was first established in May 2020.
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Old 15th October 2021, 04:00 AM   #1565
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This is also Immensa Health- a video from the Sun (sorry about posting this, it was an exclusive) showing 'lab scientists' fighting, hiring escorts, playing football, rolling about on the floor.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/139005...e-fight-booze/
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Old 15th October 2021, 04:00 AM   #1566
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This gets worse - so the founder of Immensa health is also the founder of Dante labs, now under investigation by the CMA for breaking the law with COVID PCR testing.

Investigation of unlawful conduct include allegations that the firm is treating consumers unfairly by not returning PCR tests in time or *at all*, not responding to complaints, and delaying refunds.
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Old 15th October 2021, 04:01 AM   #1567
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Make of this what you will but Eton College has confined 50 students to their boarding houses this week, cancelled assemblies & chapel & instructed the entire school to wear masks & take daily lateral flow tests.
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Old 15th October 2021, 04:14 AM   #1568
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Well, maybe Gandalf had something to do with that
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...des-of-service
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Old 15th October 2021, 04:41 AM   #1569
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Make of this what you will but Eton College has confined 50 students to their boarding houses this week, cancelled assemblies & chapel & instructed the entire school to wear masks & take daily lateral flow tests.
Got to look after our future rulers...

A while back when I was driving through Eton most mornings I did used to wonder how many future PMs I was passing, how many ministers, leaders of industry and so on.
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Old 15th October 2021, 04:42 AM   #1570
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
This gets worse - so the founder of Immensa health is also the founder of Dante labs, now under investigation by the CMA for breaking the law with COVID PCR testing.

Investigation of unlawful conduct include allegations that the firm is treating consumers unfairly by not returning PCR tests in time or *at all*, not responding to complaints, and delaying refunds.
Who would have thought it - you allow unregulated labs to get into the action and you have such problems...
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Old 15th October 2021, 06:08 AM   #1571
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Around 43,000 people in England and Wales may have been wrongly told their Covid-19 test was negative because of errors at a private laboratory.
Well, that explains something I saw recently, on Twitter I think, where a number of people were reporting they had a positive lateral flow test, symptoms, but a negative PCR. Not good that it's happened, but at least it's better than the alternative, that there's a new variant of the virus that the PCR test doesn't detect.

It's not clear yet, from what I've heard, what the reason for the problems is, and what proportion of the 43,000 results actually were incorrect.
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Old 15th October 2021, 06:19 AM   #1572
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Got to look after our future rulers...

A while back when I was driving through Eton most mornings I did used to wonder how many future PMs I was passing, how many ministers, leaders of industry and so on.
A third of PMs if current stats keep up.

I knew a lot of PMs had been to Eton, but I thought it was 9 or 10. I only realised it was 20 out of 55 last week.
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Old 17th October 2021, 09:38 PM   #1573
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So this is "interesting". I expressed concern about the rising number of coronavirus cases in the UK to a friend there, and also the fact that deaths are bubbling along at around 100 or more a day. He dismissed it as hype and scaremongering.

What is the opinion in the UK? Has everyone decided that the number of deaths are just background noise now? That there are no significant increases? If excess deaths have not risen, should people just assume the pandemic is over?

OR is this dangerous thinking?
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Old 17th October 2021, 11:49 PM   #1574
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
So this is "interesting". I expressed concern about the rising number of coronavirus cases in the UK to a friend there, and also the fact that deaths are bubbling along at around 100 or more a day. He dismissed it as hype and scaremongering.

What is the opinion in the UK? Has everyone decided that the number of deaths are just background noise now? That there are no significant increases? If excess deaths have not risen, should people just assume the pandemic is over?

OR is this dangerous thinking?
Went for a walk with a couple of friends yesterday, one of whom is a Tory-supporting Brexiteer and he echoes this view saying that 20,000 die in a bad 'flu season so the 100 a day is no worse than that.

The other friend pointed out that there's no end in sight so that at the current rate we're looking at close to double the 20,000 over the course of a year.

A lot of people are bored with Covid restrictions and our little monkey brains have had close to 2 years to come to terms with the new threat. 100 people a day dying seems bad, unless you've had periods of 1,000 people a day dying in which case it's relatively fine.

Personally I think this is dangerous, people will fail to take reasonable precautions like mask-wearing, hand washing and avoiding large groups in stuffy, confined places and if the NHS gets overwhelmed (as it often does) over the winter then things could get very bad in a hurry.
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Old 18th October 2021, 01:18 AM   #1575
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Went for a walk with a couple of friends yesterday, one of whom is a Tory-supporting Brexiteer and he echoes this view saying that 20,000 die in a bad 'flu season so the 100 a day is no worse than that.

The other friend pointed out that there's no end in sight so that at the current rate we're looking at close to double the 20,000 over the course of a year.

A lot of people are bored with Covid restrictions and our little monkey brains have had close to 2 years to come to terms with the new threat. 100 people a day dying seems bad, unless you've had periods of 1,000 people a day dying in which case it's relatively fine.

Personally I think this is dangerous, people will fail to take reasonable precautions like mask-wearing, hand washing and avoiding large groups in stuffy, confined places and if the NHS gets overwhelmed (as it often does) over the winter then things could get very bad in a hurry.
Yes, I had actually initially made a Facebook post, and my concern was that vaccinations had slowed down so much in the UK, and that people had decided that the pandemic was over, and then looking at the Covid-19 cases they were up to 45,000. Wow! I know that increased testing could account for a lot of that, but still... it is a lot. I pointed out that despite starting so late, Japan is now overtaking the UK and that the UK's vaccination numbers had stalled out over the last few months.

His point was it was deceptive to compare the two, because Japan's population is older, so more inclined to get the vaccine and it would be better to compare those eligible, and besides case numbers are not very meaningful because hospitalizations and deaths are relatively low, that I should listen to Tim Harford instead of "hype" and that I should stop "fingerpointing". My initial posts were written more out of concern than out of blame, but I did wonder if people had decided that Covid was basically over.

Then when I pointed out that deaths were also pretty high, he said that citing daily deaths figures is the "definition of hype" (huh? Yet that was his chosen metric!) after all in 2019, 200 people a day died of respiratory diseases.

I get it. Maybe he feels defensive and thinks I am being accusatory. Still, I don't know how else to say that I think the UK should try to get more vaccinated.

I think, though, that you are right that people are sick of the pandemic and are determined to live like it is not going on, which pretty much is what I had assumed.
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Old 18th October 2021, 02:00 AM   #1576
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It's almost as if he is channelling my walking buddy.

He also thinks it's over-hyped and his argument was that Covid was only the UK's 9th highest cause of death last year and the media should just stop reporting the numbers. My view is that if the 9th highest cause of death could be significantly reduced, then we should take steps to do so and the reporting of the number of deaths should be a continual reminder to do so.

Regarding UK vaccination rates, I was surprised at how much they vary by age group. In the over-50s close to 90% are vaccinated which, IMO, is about as many as you're going to get. OTOH take-up among the young is much lower at around 60% which is worrying.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55274833

The under-20s have only relatively recently become eligible.
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Old 18th October 2021, 03:45 AM   #1577
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
So this is "interesting". I expressed concern about the rising number of coronavirus cases in the UK to a friend there, and also the fact that deaths are bubbling along at around 100 or more a day. He dismissed it as hype and scaremongering.

What is the opinion in the UK? Has everyone decided that the number of deaths are just background noise now? That there are no significant increases? If excess deaths have not risen, should people just assume the pandemic is over?

OR is this dangerous thinking?
100 deaths a day is what we are prepared to go with it seems.
When I was shopping at the weekend I was the only person wearing a mask in Aldi. Just a couple of weeks ago the majority were wearing them.

Fewer mask wearers in Sainsbury too, probably less than half now even though the staff are still wearing them.
All the screens that the supermarkets put in place round the tills have been taken away in all stores now and Pubs are allowing standing shoulder to shoulder at the bar again.
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Old 18th October 2021, 03:48 AM   #1578
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
100 deaths a day is what we are prepared to go with it seems.
When I was shopping at the weekend I was the only person wearing a mask in Aldi. Just a couple of weeks ago the majority were wearing them.

Fewer mask wearers in Sainsbury too, probably less than half now even though the staff are still wearing them.
All the screens that the supermarkets put in place round the tills have been taken away in all stores now and Pubs are allowing standing shoulder to shoulder at the bar again.
Well, as Priti Patel says, "protective measures are in place and that's absolutely virus".

For all I know, she might not have even been making a Freudian slip.

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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 18th October 2021, 04:51 PM   #1579
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Oh look! Apparently some epidemiologist who works for SAGE has decided to "hype" the dangers of Covid and create a "moral panic" (I am pretty sure my friend has no idea what "moral panic" actually is):

Quote:
Epidemiologist and government adviser Professor Andrew Hayward said the situation was “concerning” and there was “huge potential for the NHS to come under a lot of pressure”.

...

Prof Hayward, a member of the Sage scientific advisory panel, told BBC Radio 4’s World At One: “I think it’s concerning that we’ve got very high rates of infection and higher rates of hospitalisation and mortality than many of our European counterparts.”

...

Prof Hayward added: “We shouldn’t be complacent because there is still huge potential for the NHS to come under a lot of pressure and for there to be a lot of unnecessary deaths.

So we need to get the vaccination rates up and we need to be prepared potentially to think about other measures if things do get out of control.”
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 19th October 2021, 12:27 AM   #1580
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A BBC article looking at why the UK's Covid rates are so high. The conclusions aren't too surprising.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-58954793

In summary:
  • People in the UK are much less likely to wear masks than in the rest of Europe
  • People are mixing a lot more, and more regularly mixing indoors
  • The UK's Covid response now relies almost entirely on herd immunity (either by vaccination (older people) or infection (younger people)), immunity by either path is now dropping
  • The one big success in the UK's Covid response, the vaccine rollout, has stalled

The good news is that hospitalisations and deaths are still comparatively low - about 25% of last year's with similar numbers of cases - but that could change if the NHS becomes overwhelmed. In that case even if the number of Covid deaths is managed, collateral deaths could rise.
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Old 19th October 2021, 01:04 AM   #1581
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
A BBC article looking at why the UK's Covid rates are so high. The conclusions aren't too surprising.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-58954793

In summary:
  • People in the UK are much less likely to wear masks than in the rest of Europe
  • People are mixing a lot more, and more regularly mixing indoors
  • The UK's Covid response now relies almost entirely on herd immunity (either by vaccination (older people) or infection (younger people)), immunity by either path is now dropping
  • The one big success in the UK's Covid response, the vaccine rollout, has stalled

The good news is that hospitalisations and deaths are still comparatively low - about 25% of last year's with similar numbers of cases - but that could change if the NHS becomes overwhelmed. In that case even if the number of Covid deaths is managed, collateral deaths could rise.
Yeah, so it seems totally reasonable to think that the best thing to do is increase the vaccination rate.

If that doesn't work then start introducing vaccine mandates. My sister in France tells me you cannot get into shops and restaurants without them there, so people who she knew who were of the "I can't be arsed to get vaccinated" persuasion immediately stood in line for one when these rules were brought in.

Is anything like that happening in the UK? It doesn't sound like it.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 19th October 2021, 01:27 AM   #1582
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Yeah, so it seems totally reasonable to think that the best thing to do is increase the vaccination rate.

If that doesn't work then start introducing vaccine mandates. My sister in France tells me you cannot get into shops and restaurants without them there, so people who she knew who were of the "I can't be arsed to get vaccinated" persuasion immediately stood in line for one when these rules were brought in.

Is anything like that happening in the UK? It doesn't sound like it.
Not in England.

Scotland's vaccine passport (to allow access to crowded entertainment venues) is described as "controversial", Wales' is due to be introduced soon.

It all makes sense when you realise (as Darat has repeatedly pointed out) that the UK government's Covid response isn't driven by a desire to protect the UK's populace or even their own convictions, but a desire for positive headlines.

When and if a vaccine mandate is less unpopular with the UK electorate and, more importantly with the right wing press, than the number of people dying then that will immediately change and a vaccine mandate will be implemented in a half-assed way so as to make it both unpopular and ineffective.
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Old 19th October 2021, 02:12 AM   #1583
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Not in England.

Scotland's vaccine passport (to allow access to crowded entertainment venues) is described as "controversial", Wales' is due to be introduced soon.

It all makes sense when you realise (as Darat has repeatedly pointed out) that the UK government's Covid response isn't driven by a desire to protect the UK's populace or even their own convictions, but a desire for positive headlines.

When and if a vaccine mandate is less unpopular with the UK electorate and, more importantly with the right wing press, than the number of people dying then that will immediately change and a vaccine mandate will be implemented in a half-assed way so as to make it both unpopular and ineffective.
Well, it still seems weird to me that the government is so determined just to roll the dice on this one. It can't really be a smart move, unless they believe their own propaganda, to just hope it all goes well. Of course, I agree fully with Professor Devi Sridhar, but the UK news being what it is have decided to balance sensible precautionary suggestions with a call for Leopards Eating Faces.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 19th October 2021, 04:09 AM   #1584
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Well, it still seems weird to me that the government is so determined just to roll the dice on this one. It can't really be a smart move, unless they believe their own propaganda, to just hope it all goes well. Of course, I agree fully with Professor Devi Sridhar, but the UK news being what it is have decided to balance sensible precautionary suggestions with a call for Leopards Eating Faces.
The government doesn't care whether it's a smart move - only whether it's a popular move. The right win press and a large chunk of the British English population are bored of the Covid precautions, may or may not have been vaccinated but can't be bothered to wear masks, wash their hands or do anything else proactive to protect themselves.

For youngish people and/or people who have been vaccinated, the risk of serious illness or death is low unless there are other health issues and that's lulled people into thinking the risk is nil.

My walking buddy is a good example. He's lost 20 or 30 kg during lock down but is still medically obese and in his mid-60's. He is fully vaccinated (and has just had his booster) but doesn't take any other precautions because he deems them unnecessary. As I've said upthread, he's annoyed that the BBC is still reporting case and death numbers because he thinks it's scaremongering. I suspect his views are typical for a middle aged, middle class Tory-voting Daily Whatever reader.
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Old 19th October 2021, 04:21 AM   #1585
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
As I've said upthread, he's annoyed that the BBC is still reporting case and death numbers because he thinks it's scaremongering. I suspect his views are typical for a middle aged, middle class Tory-voting Daily Whatever reader.
Yeah, the weird thing is that my friend is a Lib Dem, and hates the Tories and the right-wing press, but on this issue sounds pretty much like them.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 19th October 2021, 10:21 AM   #1586
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Downing Street says it is "keeping a very close eye" on rising Covid cases - but the cabinet has not yet discussed rolling out its Plan B to control coronavirus in England this winter.

Daily cases have been above 40,000 for seven days in a row, with 43,738 new Covid cases reported on Tuesday.
Another 223 deaths have been reported, the highest since March, but Tuesday figures are often bigger than others.
PM Boris Johnson has told the cabinet the UK faces "a difficult winter".

Under the government's winter plan, if the measures currently in place are not enough to prevent "unsustainable pressure" on the NHS, then steps like wearing face coverings in some settings and introducing vaccine passports could be considered as part of Plan B.
The prime minister told ministers the government had "a plan in place to steer the country through this period" and that people should "continue to follow the guidance and get their jabs when called upon".
Downing Street said Mr Johnson had stressed that the government's autumn and winter plan "continues to keep the virus under control".

No 10 said the government was "not complacent" about rising cases but said that, due to the vaccination programme, "the levels we are seeing in both patients admitted to hospital and deaths are far lower than we saw in previous peaks".


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-58973185
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Old 19th October 2021, 10:49 AM   #1587
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They'll wait until the Express, Mail, Telegraph and Sun start clamouring for action.

A couple of hundred deaths a day is what, 70,000 or so a year - just a little bit worse than a bad 'flu season (at least that's what they will say)

At least there's no new, more virulent version of the Delta variant accounting for an increasing proportion of cases.
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Old 19th October 2021, 11:04 AM   #1588
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
At least there's no new, more virulent version of the Delta variant accounting for an increasing proportion of cases.
Yet.
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Old 19th October 2021, 10:21 PM   #1589
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Yet.
Sorry, should have included some , there is a new Delta variant which is of concern.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-58965650
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Old 19th October 2021, 11:46 PM   #1590
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NHS senior management are asking the government to reintroduce some Covid restrictions to lower infection numbers and reduce the pressure on the NHS.

Quote:
Some Covid restrictions must immediately be reintroduced if England is to avoid "stumbling into a winter crisis", health leaders have warned.

The NHS Confederation said ministers' "Plan B" back-up strategy, including mandatory face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces, should be implemented.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-58976577

I'm pretty confident that the UK government will ignore these calls. It may be different in Scotland and Wales where it seems that the devolved governments are more prepared to listen to the science, protect the public and are slightly less worried about headlines.

Continuing on the theme:

Quote:
Matthew Taylor, head of the NHS Confederation, which represents health service organisations, is urging the government to roll out the extra measures in Plan B to avoid hospitals becoming overwhelmed.

"The NHS is preparing for what could be the most challenging winter on record," he said.

"It is time for the government to enact Plan B of its strategy without delay because without pre-emptive action, we risk stumbling into a winter crisis."

Ministers "should not wait for Covid infections to rocket and for NHS pressures to be sky high before the panic alarm is sounded", he added.
Sadly, the idea that Boris Johnson and his government would do anything proactive and in the public interest is completely laughable. Whatever is done is likely to be too little, too late and poorly implemented.
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Old 20th October 2021, 12:58 AM   #1591
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
NHS senior management are asking the government to reintroduce some Covid restrictions to lower infection numbers and reduce the pressure on the NHS.



https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-58976577

I'm pretty confident that the UK government will ignore these calls. It may be different in Scotland and Wales where it seems that the devolved governments are more prepared to listen to the science, protect the public and are slightly less worried about headlines.

Continuing on the theme:



Sadly, the idea that Boris Johnson and his government would do anything proactive and in the public interest is completely laughable. Whatever is done is likely to be too little, too late and poorly implemented.
Uh oh! He used the p-word. See, it’s just people panicking.

But seriously, they have to listen to Professor Sridhar!
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Old 20th October 2021, 01:00 AM   #1592
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Uh oh! He used the p-word. See, it’s just people panicking.

But seriously, they have to listen to Professor Sridhar!
But she's a girl, and a darkie, what could she possibly know ?
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Old 20th October 2021, 01:02 AM   #1593
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Downing Street says it is "keeping a very close eye" on rising Covid cases - but the cabinet has not yet discussed rolling out its Plan B to control coronavirus in England this winter.
I thought that the lifting of Covid restrictions earlier this year was irreversible ?

Should I be checking local ditches for the presence of dead Prime Ministers ?
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Old 20th October 2021, 01:02 AM   #1594
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Kwasi Kwarteng was doing the rounds this morning, ruling out any further lockdowns.

Quote:
No, I would rule that out. Clearly, throughout this process there have been people saying the lockdown was unnecessary, and there’s been other people saying we should continue to lock down. We’ve really plotted a path between those two extremes. I think it has worked. And that is one of the reasons we’ve got the fastest growing economy in the G7.
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Old 20th October 2021, 01:51 AM   #1595
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Look, there's nothing to worry about at all

Quote:
Prof Adam Finn, who is on the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation, which advises the government, has told BBC Breakfast there is no denying there has been a "real increase" in coronavirus cases.

For seven consecutive days in the UK, more than 40,000 cases have been recorded.

Finn says vaccines alone will not be enough to protect people against infection.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-5...ost_type=share

It's just a few so-called "experts" calling for restrictions to be re-imposed in order to save lives and to stop the NHS from being overwhelmed and if there's one thing that Brexit has taught us, it's that experts can be safely ignored.
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Old 20th October 2021, 12:34 PM   #1596
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What's that point of having a Plan B if you refuse to use it once Plan A goes to ****.
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Old 20th October 2021, 12:38 PM   #1597
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
What's that point of having a Plan B if you refuse to use it once Plan A goes to ****.
To generate headlines...
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Old 20th October 2021, 12:40 PM   #1598
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Sajid Javid thinks that over 100 Covid deaths a day is “mercifully low” that’s over 70,000 a year!!!
Back in 2020 they said that 50,000 deaths all together would be the worst case scenario.

We are already at 1000 new hospital admissions a day.
He's also OK with infections going up to 100,000 cases a day and that "We don't believe the pressures currently being faced by the NHS are unsustainable"

Nearly 1000 deaths a week is 'mercifully low' On who's scale?

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Old 20th October 2021, 01:03 PM   #1599
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Originally Posted by gypsyjackson View Post
The act got old, I guess.
Let's face it, The LOTR films, for a long time, were major source of Tourist Dollars for New Zealand.They even put the faces of charecters from the LOTR movies on Air New Zealand passenger jets for a while.
It's not the Christchurch conuncil thought the guy has magic powers, just thought a stage magician dressed like Gandalf was good for the tourist trade.
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Old 20th October 2021, 01:13 PM   #1600
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Wonder how long until it gets so bad Bojo has to do a turn about?
This,and the Anti Vax movement in the US are reminding me of the Miniseries "Chernobyl
where the Party officials kept ignoring, harrasing, and even arresting the scientest and technicians who were telling them they had a serous crisis at the Nuclear Power plant.....
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