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Old 20th May 2020, 02:36 PM   #1921
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Better late than never - or at least that's what people say, but there are occasions where something can be so late, that it effectively becomes never.



https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52741331

As usual for this government, the wording is full of superlatives - IMO learning from hte Trump Administration.

I'm so glad the system is "world beating". I wonder if it will actually work and I wonder whether a slightly less "world beating" but available considerably earlier system wouldn't have been much better.

I fear that as usual the key driver is the need to generate positive headlines and deflect blame rather than to protect the British public.

IIRC, the contract tracers being recruited were being offered minimum wage - another clear indicator of how much the government values "essential" workers

But of course, the promised "world beating" system of 1 June will be nothing of the sort. According to the BBC's Health Correspondent:



I was a small cog in a number of large benefit systems developments in the late 80's and early 90's. I'm painfully aware of what a Version 0 deployment looks like - and this looks exactly like that. Instead of delaying launch by weeks or months, the government is going to plough ahead trying to sort out the problems on the fly. I expect a working system (both IT and people) will be in place much later than if they hadn't committed to the 1 June deadline .

And it is being reported that the contact checking app being tested on the Isle of ***** needs to be changed, again. Apparently the government keeps wanting something different or more, so it will have to go back a stage and be beta tested again once the new version is completed. This is one of the reasons why government IT projects keep failing.
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Old 20th May 2020, 11:24 PM   #1922
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Originally Posted by lomiller View Post
In terms of people over the age of 60 India and the US are surprisingly close. India also has far fewer people with pre-existing conditions and/or obesity problems. Per capita death rates in India will be much lower than the US, and while real deaths may be higher limitations in the infrastructure for counting these deaths will keep them below the US totals.
That depends on a whole lot of factors, the first of which is how dangerous Covid-19 is to people without preexisting conditions. Now, most attributed deaths were among those with preexisting conditions, BUT:

Excess deaths tell a different story.

The graph is of an italian commune, blue line are average deaths for a given day in a year, green line are deaths attributed to Covid-19 and red line are actual deaths in 2020. The actual death rate may well be four times higher and it might not be all people with preexisting conditions either. In particular, Covid-19 has been linked to severe blood clots, even among the younger patients and deaths due to strokes weren't counted under Covid-19 statistics.

Another issue is viral load. We do know, from Italy, that a higher viral load is heavily linked to more severe outcomes of the disease. This is fairly common among viral diseases, the more virus is flying around the more severe cases get. A major point of social distancing is just this, reduced viral load. That means people who get infected anyway are more likely to suffer only mild symptoms. This too was observed in Italy, once social distancing was entacted the number of severe cases dropped much faster than the number of total cases.

Social distancing in Mumbai slums is, well ... difficult.

USA also benefits from low population density, ~30 people per km2. India has over 460 people per km2, it's more densly populated than Germany or UK.

In all, I wouldn't say India totals will be better than USA, in absolute or relative terms. They might be, the death toll attributed to Covid-19 almost certainly will be, but that could be due to better testing available in the USA. The US response was shambolic, but it's still better than in impovrished India. It is possible the virus will ravage India less than it will the USA, but it's way, way too early to say so.

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Old 21st May 2020, 01:47 AM   #1923
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
And it is being reported that the contact checking app being tested on the Isle of ***** needs to be changed, again. Apparently the government keeps wanting something different or more, so it will have to go back a stage and be beta tested again once the new version is completed. This is one of the reasons why government IT projects keep failing.
Yup. One of the projects I was involved with back in the late 80's went from detailed design (when I joined the project) to scoping (when I left) having gone though two iterations which had got as far as integration testing before having the requirements fundamentally redefined due to changes in government policy.

This wasn't a small project either, the IT team was over 300, half of which were expensive consultants so the amount of wasted time and money was considerable.

In my own small part of the project I specified and coded the same payment suites twice. The poor souls who were involved in the decision making engine (CP-200 if memory serves) were in constant turmoil.
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Old 21st May 2020, 03:40 AM   #1924
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Henry Smith MP tweeted

@HenrySmithUK
Not that I should be surprised by the lazy left but interesting how work-shy socialist and nationalist MPs tried to keep the remote Parliament going beyond 2 June.
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Old 21st May 2020, 03:43 AM   #1925
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So people working from home who can work at home as per Government orders, are work shy layabouts now? Nothing to do with his glorious leader being an utter shambles then?
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Old 21st May 2020, 05:58 AM   #1926
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In the UK, and in particular in England, there's real pressure from the government for schools to re-open. Whilst it's being framed as a question about children's education IMO it's more about ensuring that more people can be forced encouraged back to work.

There's a real issue about how social distancing can be maintained. The government guidance says that there can be no more than 15 children in each classroom. Given that many schools have 35 or even 40 children per class, this means that twice or three times the number of rooms, teachers and teachers' assistants will be required.

This BBC article discusses the problem in primary schools but assumes (incorrectly IMO) that maximum class sizes of 30 are in place and so "only" twice as many classes will be required.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-52746870

It's a complete dog's breakfast

There aren't enough teachers or classrooms for all students to go back. Unless all students go back, parents cannot go out to work. Even if classrooms could be majiked out of thin air, there aren't enough teachers and beyond primary education teachers are specialists. A "spare" English teacher cannot effectively teach Physics and vice versa (a friend who is by all accounts an excellent secondary (high school) English teacher is barely numerate) and so IMO the issues grow exponentially.

Once again, the UK government has come up with a "solution" which not only hasn't been fully thought through (understandable at a time of national crisis), it doesn't appear to have been thought about superficially.
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Old 21st May 2020, 06:19 AM   #1927
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And why do MPs have to be there to get Parliament functioning?
It seems to be doing OK at the moment.

It's almost as if they realise that Johnson is utter crap without his baying mob.
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Old 21st May 2020, 06:54 AM   #1928
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
And why do MPs have to be there to get Parliament functioning?
It seems to be doing OK at the moment.

It's almost as if they realise that Johnson is utter crap without his baying mob.
Mogg was claiming that they only have a fraction of the debating time. I see no reason why that should be the case and considering the excessive commute that some MPs have to make (and hence for example the early finish on Fridays) they should have more time and fewer excuses for non attendance. Although that might get in the way of those nice little side jobs that pay a repectable full time wage for a couple of days 'work' a month.
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Old 21st May 2020, 06:56 AM   #1929
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Judging by the area I dog walk an awful lot of people have decided lockdown is over. I'm assuming the sunbathing teenagers were from different households, of course I may be wrong, guess we can either expect a surge of c19 cases in a couple of weeks or a lot of eleven fingered babies in nine months.
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Old 21st May 2020, 06:58 AM   #1930
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
And why do MPs have to be there to get Parliament functioning?
It seems to be doing OK at the moment.

It's almost as if they realise that Johnson is utter crap without his baying mob.
It doesn't play to Johnson's strengths if people can hear what's being said.
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Old 21st May 2020, 08:35 AM   #1931
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Scotland to start coming out of lockdown next Thursday.

https://news.stv.tv/politics/lockdow...t-outdoors?top
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Old 21st May 2020, 08:54 AM   #1932
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The Danish political parties met last night and negotiated a few more openings, following the news that the R number is down to 0.6.

As of today, cultural venues such as museums, theatres, and cinemas are permitted to reopen, as are public aquariums, zoos and botanical gardens.

As of the coming Monday, the list of worthy purposes required for permission to cross the Danish border will be expanded, permitting partners, grandparents, and owners of summer houses to enter Denmark.

Starting Wednesday, students in the remaining upper secondary educations will be permitted to return (those graduating this summer returned a little while ago), and public employees in parts of Denmark (basically everywhere except Zealand) will no longer have to work from home. Adult learning facilities and language schools will also be permitted to reopen, and so will outdoor amusement parks.

The ban on gathering more than 10 persons will remain in place, with a view to increase this limit to somewhere between 30 and 50 from June 8th, with further increases on July 8th and August 8th.
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Old 21st May 2020, 12:54 PM   #1933
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Originally Posted by Ulf Nereng View Post
It is worth noting that on tests per capita none of those countries are any good. Russia is the best of them, ranked as 25th in the world.
I trust the figures coming out of Russia as much as I trust India's.

https://nationalpost.com/health/two-...ritically-hurt

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...igh-death-toll

I made note in the science thread that Russia's early test numbers all finished with three zeroes - they were making the numbers up and probably still are.

Originally Posted by KDLarsen View Post
The Danish political parties met last night and negotiated a few more openings, following the news that the R number is down to 0.6.

As of today, cultural venues such as museums, theatres, and cinemas are permitted to reopen, as are public aquariums, zoos and botanical gardens.

As of the coming Monday, the list of worthy purposes required for permission to cross the Danish border will be expanded, permitting partners, grandparents, and owners of summer houses to enter Denmark.

Starting Wednesday, students in the remaining upper secondary educations will be permitted to return (those graduating this summer returned a little while ago), and public employees in parts of Denmark (basically everywhere except Zealand) will no longer have to work from home. Adult learning facilities and language schools will also be permitted to reopen, and so will outdoor amusement parks.

The ban on gathering more than 10 persons will remain in place, with a view to increase this limit to somewhere between 30 and 50 from June 8th, with further increases on July 8th and August 8th.
That really does emphasise how important it is to get rid of the virus entirely - we already have bars open, all schools back and pretty well everything will be back to normal in the next ten days.

Except travel & tourism.

We even re-opened with the bonus of very strong commodity prices for food & wood, our two mainstays of the economy now.
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Old 21st May 2020, 08:25 PM   #1934
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New cases in Norway was 28 yesterday, approximately a doubling from earlier in the week (12-8-10-14-28). I hope it's just a blip and not the beginning of an upwards trend.
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Old 21st May 2020, 10:56 PM   #1935
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
In the UK, and in particular in England, there's real pressure from the government for schools to re-open. Whilst it's being framed as a question about children's education IMO it's more about ensuring that more people can be forced encouraged back to work.

There's a real issue about how social distancing can be maintained. The government guidance says that there can be no more than 15 children in each classroom. Given that many schools have 35 or even 40 children per class, this means that twice or three times the number of rooms, teachers and teachers' assistants will be required.

This BBC article discusses the problem in primary schools but assumes (incorrectly IMO) that maximum class sizes of 30 are in place and so "only" twice as many classes will be required.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-52746870

It's a complete dog's breakfast

There aren't enough teachers or classrooms for all students to go back. Unless all students go back, parents cannot go out to work. Even if classrooms could be majiked out of thin air, there aren't enough teachers and beyond primary education teachers are specialists. A "spare" English teacher cannot effectively teach Physics and vice versa (a friend who is by all accounts an excellent secondary (high school) English teacher is barely numerate) and so IMO the issues grow exponentially.

Once again, the UK government has come up with a "solution" which not only hasn't been fully thought through (understandable at a time of national crisis), it doesn't appear to have been thought about superficially.
The Austrian solution was to divide the kids into two groups and have them attend school on alternating weeks. They also made it so the week runs from wednesday until the next tuesday (with a weekend in between) so it's there's little more variety. The actual phrasing was that one group attends classes on monday and tuesay, the other group from wednesday until friday and they switch places in the following week.

The other group follows the class online. It seems like a reasonable compromise to me and far more doable than doubling the number of teachers over a weekend.

The downside is, of course, that this makes it harder for parents to attend work. But the children are getting educated and reopening schools should aim for that, first and foremost.

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Old 21st May 2020, 10:58 PM   #1936
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Originally Posted by Ulf Nereng View Post
New cases in Norway was 28 yesterday, approximately a doubling from earlier in the week (12-8-10-14-28). I hope it's just a blip and not the beginning of an upwards trend.
Always adjust these for the number of tests carried out for each day. Most countries do fewer tests during the weekend, which could explain the two low results.

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Old 22nd May 2020, 01:10 AM   #1937
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In the latest in a series of post-horse-bolting stable door shutting exercises, the UK is planning to introduce a 14-day self-isolation process for arrivals from overseas (except Ireland).

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52765054

The one tiny flaw in this scheme IMO is that presumably the arrivals have to get to their place of self-isolation somehow which might very well involve using public transport.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 01:35 AM   #1938
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
In the latest in a series of post-horse-bolting stable door shutting exercises, the UK is planning to introduce a 14-day self-isolation process for arrivals from overseas (except Ireland).

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52765054

The one tiny flaw in this scheme IMO is that presumably the arrivals have to get to their place of self-isolation somehow which might very well involve using public transport.
And can you imagine how many "exceptions" will be legally allowed? 100% this will only affect the "little people".
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Old 22nd May 2020, 01:48 AM   #1939
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Originally Posted by McHrozni View Post
Always adjust these for the number of tests carried out for each day. Most countries do fewer tests during the weekend, which could explain the two low results.

McHrozni
True, but those five days in a row were the lowest we've seen since early march, so I was hoping it would stay that way, or lower. Next week will show the truth, I guess.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 02:14 AM   #1940
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Going by the worldometer, it looks like the UK will overtake Italy when it comes to per capita deaths very soon. That'll put us in 5th place, including the outliers of San Marino and Andorra.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 02:28 AM   #1941
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Once again the Government's "fire, ready, aim" approach to the Coronavirus yields predictably disappointing results. The grand plan to have schools open on June 1 in England (so as to get people back to work) seems to be in tatters.

Quote:
Only 20 of 99 councils to respond to a BBC Breakfast survey said they were advising schools to open more widely on Boris Johnson's target date.

Of the 99 who responded, two thirds (68), could not guarantee schools would reopen to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-52758363

It's almost as if the Government adhere to "The Secret". You merely have to want something badly enough for it to happen.

Personally I would have checked the science and canvassed local authorities before making such a grand announcement, but that's just me.

OTOH Scotland and Northern Ireland seem to be doing it in a sensible way, giving plenty of advance warning so that local authorities can start to put measures in place.

Quote:
On Thursday the governments of Scotland and Northern Ireland announced plans for a phased return to school for pupils, starting in August.
The government insist that the decision to open schools in England is led by the science, but so far have refused to make the science public.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 03:05 AM   #1942
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Originally Posted by Ulf Nereng View Post
True, but those five days in a row were the lowest we've seen since early march, so I was hoping it would stay that way, or lower. Next week will show the truth, I guess.
The lower you get with new cases the more random noise affects the results. There aways was some completely random variability, when you get into a few new cases per million per day it takes over day to day results and you can't tell anything from daily variability. You never could tell much, but at those numbers you shouldn't tell anything.

Follow week to week results for more accurate information. Yeah, it kind of sucks, but not really if you consider the reason why you have to do so is because the epidemic is nearly over

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Old 22nd May 2020, 03:09 AM   #1943
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Once again the Government's "fire, ready, aim" approach to the Coronavirus yields predictably disappointing results. The grand plan to have schools open on June 1 in England (so as to get people back to work) seems to be in tatters.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-52758363

It's almost as if the Government adhere to "The Secret". You merely have to want something badly enough for it to happen.

...snip...

I may have mentioned it once or 28 times but for the privileged citizens of the UK that is exactly how the world works as for as they are concerned and even more so because that is the sum total of their experience of the world.

Originally Posted by The Don View Post
....snip....

The government insist that the decision to open schools in England is led by the science, but so far have refused to make the science public.
It is either we need to give them time to find the science to support the opening of the schools as I'm sure they can cobble something together if we give them enough time or the dog ate it.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 04:13 AM   #1944
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Tens of thousands of coronavirus tests have been double-counted, officials admit
Two samples taken from the same patient are being recorded as two separate tests in the Government's official figures

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-h...ted-officials/
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Old 22nd May 2020, 07:24 AM   #1945
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
And can you imagine how many "exceptions" will be legally allowed? 100% this will only affect the "little people".
If are a farm labourer or NHS worker, you are exempt, so long you are also under 5'5".
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Old 22nd May 2020, 07:27 AM   #1946
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Tens of thousands of coronavirus tests have been double-counted, officials admit
Two samples taken from the same patient are being recorded as two separate tests in the Government's official figures

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-h...ted-officials/
And many are coming back uncertain, a friend booked her test on Monday, no problem getting a slot, on Tuesday she got a text saying it was uncertain, she had to get another test. I bet both her tests will be counted.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:05 PM   #1947
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Tens of thousands of coronavirus tests have been double-counted, officials admit
Two samples taken from the same patient are being recorded as two separate tests in the Government's official figures

<snip URL>
I think the BBC programme More or Less picked that one up last week. If memory serves they said a spoiled test (eg sample dropped) was still counted.

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Old 22nd May 2020, 12:48 PM   #1948
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Once again the Government's "fire, ready, aim" approach to the Coronavirus yields predictably disappointing results.
Ah, I see it now,

Johnson's government have used Blackadder Goes Forth as a blueprint.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 01:18 PM   #1949
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Boris Johnson’s top aide Dominic Cummings was investigated by police after breaking the Government’s own coronavirus lockdown rules.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politi...after-22072579
https://amp.theguardian.com/politics...virus-lockdown

I seem to remember Tories only a few weeks ago saying that Professor Neil Ferguson should resign because he broke the lockdown rules he was advising and he did ... in which case Dominic Cummings has to go too surely!
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Old 22nd May 2020, 01:59 PM   #1950
P.J. Denyer
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Boris Johnson’s top aide Dominic Cummings was investigated by police after breaking the Government’s own coronavirus lockdown rules.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politi...after-22072579
https://amp.theguardian.com/politics...virus-lockdown

I seem to remember Tories only a few weeks ago saying that Professor Neil Ferguson should resign because he broke the lockdown rules he was advising and he did ... in which case Dominic Cummings has to go too surely!
But all he was doing was travelling halfway across the country with symptoms to deliver a potentially infectious child to an elderly couple. It must be okay, his boss was allowed to travel from central London to his country second home after a positive diagnosis and import his girlfriend. They make the rules not follow them dagnabbit!
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Old 22nd May 2020, 02:01 PM   #1951
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Tens of thousands of coronavirus tests have been double-counted, officials admit
Two samples taken from the same patient are being recorded as two separate tests in the Government's official figures

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-h...ted-officials/
Odd that when they set the target it was 'people tested' when they quietly changed it to tests performed they potentially dropped the target by a factor of three, and still have had to fudge it 'on the day' then missed it.
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Old 22nd May 2020, 10:05 PM   #1952
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Typical Dom.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-52780561

Dominic Cummings either broke or severely bent the lockdown rules by going to stay with his parents while self isolating with Coronavirus symptoms.

I expect no censure from Boris Johnson.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 12:36 AM   #1953
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Typical Dom.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-52780561

Dominic Cummings either broke or severely bent the lockdown rules by going to stay with his parents while self isolating with Coronavirus symptoms.

I expect no censure from Boris Johnson.
Well you see apparently he didn't break any rules and everyone else who didn't drive 250 miles to visit grandparents just were just too dense to understand the Government advice

Although hopefully lots of other people didn't do this and contribute to the very high infection rates up there.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 01:02 AM   #1954
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
In the latest in a series of post-horse-bolting stable door shutting exercises, the UK is planning to introduce a 14-day self-isolation process for arrivals from overseas (except Ireland).

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52765054

The one tiny flaw in this scheme IMO is that presumably the arrivals have to get to their place of self-isolation somehow which might very well involve using public transport.
One thing to remember is that no policy is aimed to produce zero risk of transmission, just to reduce risk. If people are asymptomatic when they travel, there is a low but not zero risk of them being infectious when they arrive. The fourteen days is accounting for people who may have been infected and will develop symptoms within the next fourteen days, (a few cases make have a longer risk period so 14 days is not zero risk). So this policy will reduce risks as compared with not having a quarantine period. It will be higher risk than banning travel into the UK. This policy seems similar to South Korea that most people think is the exemplar which allows people to travel home to self quarantine. Travel risks on public transport could be reduced by asking for people to wear masks until arriving at their final destination and washing hands frequently for at least twenty seconds.

Modelling suggests that travel restrictions on asymptomatic persons will contribute little to infection control, I think this may be more an act so that the government cannot be criticised for not having introduced travel controls, a politically defensive act, rather than one based on health benefits.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 01:24 AM   #1955
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
But all he was doing was travelling halfway across the country with symptoms to deliver a potentially infectious child to an elderly couple. It must be okay, his boss was allowed to travel from central London to his country second home after a positive diagnosis and import his girlfriend. They make the rules not follow them dagnabbit!
Not true. At least judge the man on the facts. I have previously criticised the nature of 'Gotcha' news. I think this is another example. He certainly followed the letter and I think the spirit of social distancing. There were two parents with a young child who is defined as a vulnerable person. One parent then subsequently the other had developed symptoms. Guidance was a child in this situation should stay with other family members if possible, if not then social services should be contacted and the child placed in local authority care. The child's aunt offered to care for the child. The child's aunt was in Durham. If the aunt came to collect the child then that would involve a there and back journey. The parents took the child to the aunt then stayed in a separate building from the grandparents in the grandparents' garden also in Durham. This reduced travel to one journey. Allowed the child to be cared for by family as guidelines suggest and allowed family support for the unwell parents whilst maintaining isolation.

This is very different from other cases which have been for leisure, and were therefore in breach of isolating advice.

Also there is good evidence young children are not a vector for SARS-CoV-2 (unlike flu), so even if the grandparent's had cared for the child the risk would have been low.

To be clear, the parents concerned did not stay in the same house as their own parents (the grandparents), the child was not cared for by their grandparents, but by an aunt. So your assumptions are false.

The child placement was appropriate, this is something I do deal with, as a front line doctor when I admit a parent I have a responsibility to ensure any children are appropriately cared for, sometimes this involves contacting social services to ensure there are no child protection issues. I do not know if this was discussed with their doctor, but the doctor should have enquired and placing the child with an aunt would have been acceptable.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 01:43 AM   #1956
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It would surely be safer for one well person to travel, collect the child and return, rather than two unwell people who had the virus to travel and deliver the child.

Did they manage a 250 plus mile, 5 hour journey, unwell, with a child, without stopping?
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Old 23rd May 2020, 02:01 AM   #1957
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
It would surely be safer for one well person to travel, collect the child and return, rather than two unwell people who had the virus to travel and deliver the child.

Did they manage a 250 plus mile, 5 hour journey, unwell, with a child, without stopping?
I think the reality is there would be minimal difference in safety. Being in a car as opposed to public transport would be very low risk. We of course do not know if the aunt could drive or had a car. It might have required a journey there and back by public transport which would have been much higher risk. One might do a one way journey without stopping, a two way journey very unlikely. I am sure we can all come up with what ifs and argue some other course of action might have been slightly better or worse. The reality is this was not a breach of the rules in the particular circumstances and did not put other people at any significant risk. The truth is this is a political hatchet job. If it was anyone else this would not be an issue.

I think the father became unwell after travel up to Durham, not before, it was the mother who was unwell.

Last edited by Planigale; 23rd May 2020 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 02:23 AM   #1958
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Is there anything that the govt could do that you would criticise?
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Old 23rd May 2020, 02:43 AM   #1959
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Is there anything that the govt could do that you would criticise?
"Puppies like being kicked, deny it all you like but Boris is following the science that shows that kicking is good for them".
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Old 23rd May 2020, 02:49 AM   #1960
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Is it really government advice that, if one member of a household develops symptoms, the best thing for the other two (so far healthy) members of that household to do is to sit in a car with the sick one for 5 hours?
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