Author Topic: The Government's mishandling of the Covid-19 epidemic.  (Read 7688 times)

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Offline Carana

Re: The Government's mishandling of the Covid-19 epidemic.
« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2020, 01:58:01 PM »
You could just miss those bits out.

LOL That could end up with missing rather a lot of contacts and contacts of contacts, depending on hidden lifestyles.

Offline Carana

Re: The Government's mishandling of the Covid-19 epidemic.
« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2020, 04:34:25 PM »
Good point from Sam Coates

So a contact tracer phones you up, and tells you that someone infected they cannot name might have been near you.

And you and your household must then isolate for 14 days.

And asks for the mobile numbers of everyone you’ve met


Hmm.

Offline mrswah

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Re: The Government's mishandling of the Covid-19 epidemic.
« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2020, 05:32:00 PM »
Good point from Sam Coates

So a contact tracer phones you up, and tells you that someone infected they cannot name might have been near you.

And you and your household must then isolate for 14 days.

And asks for the mobile numbers of everyone you’ve met


Hmm.


No point in me doing this at the moment, then.

I take the dog out and go to the supermarket. Oh, and occasionally, go to the chemist to collect my meds.

I pass people, say hello to them, etc, but I don't know who they are, unless thy are my neighbours.

I can't see any point in doing this, unless you go to work, or meet people you know.

« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 07:44:33 PM by John »

Offline Robittybob1

Re: The Government's mishandling of the Covid-19 epidemic.
« Reply #33 on: May 22, 2020, 05:37:57 PM »
LOL That could end up with missing rather a lot of contacts and contacts of contacts, depending on hidden lifestyles.
I mean you can admit to having contacts but only in the private interview situation so that it stays out of your diary.
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Offline Robittybob1

Re: The Government's mishandling of the Covid-19 epidemic.
« Reply #34 on: May 22, 2020, 05:39:13 PM »
Good point from Sam Coates

So a contact tracer phones you up, and tells you that someone infected they cannot name might have been near you.

And you and your household must then isolate for 14 days.

And asks for the mobile numbers of everyone you’ve met


Hmm.
I'm sure they won't do that unless you test positive.
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Offline mrswah

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Re: The Government's mishandling of the Covid-19 epidemic.
« Reply #35 on: May 22, 2020, 05:41:12 PM »
I think the TTI concept needs a bit of, erm, refining.

People who have no symptoms of coronavirus must be prepared from June 1 to “do their bit” by self-isolating for 14 days if told they could be a carrier, the Health Secretary warned today.

Writing exclusively in the Evening Standard , Matt Hancock revealed the move to “test and trace” will impose a new social responsibility on the public to stay at home for two weeks even if they feel well.


https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/matt-hancock-healthy-people-isolate-tracked-a4448376.html

There's no way in hell you can expect people just out of months of confinement to agree to 2 more weeks, extended according to however many more alerts crop up. And how will people get back to work?

IMO:

1. "Soft" tracking will inevitably miss some, but it's better than nothing at this stage.

- Even then, tracers MUST ask the right questions re known / potential symptoms (not always starting with fever & cough); tracking needs to cover realistic pre-symptomatic phase (not necessarily just tracking contacts from a "couple of days" prior to onset; and further quarantine needs to be based on latest info as to continued infectious state post-symptomatic phase (can be more than a few days).

- If a contact gets an alert, they could be anywhere at the time. Trackers need to trace the contacts until they can get home (commuting, picking up kids, shopping...).

2. Testing needs to be ramped up: getting tests to the potential patient when the result is most likely to show positive (seemingly testing too soon can lead to false negatives;, ramping up the lab capabilities to get test results back as soon as possible; and ditto for contacts.

That means a massive amount of tests that can be turned around as quickly as possible to reduce the number of people who may need to self-isolate and how long for.


I agree that , after being locked down for two months (at least), the last thing people will want is self isolation.

Mind you, it's people who have been working who are the most likely to be traced. The rest of us haven't been meeting anyone. if we have, we have just passed them in the street or in the supermarket, and we wont have their mobile phone numbers.

I can't help thinking that our government doesn't think enough about the practicalities of what they propose. It's good in theory----but are people going to do it? 

Same with social distancing.  If they reduced it from 2 metres to 1 metre, many more businesses would be able to open. I bet they will do that in the end!

Offline Carana

Re: The Government's mishandling of the Covid-19 epidemic.
« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2020, 06:15:51 PM »
I'm sure they won't do that unless you test positive.

If you ring up with a hacking cough, or any other suspicious symptom, the household will have to isolate (ideally Mr /Ms cough self isolates, unless it's a small kid, and the others self-quarantine)... but if the test result takes a week to process? And if negative, everyone can go back to "normal" life... then there's another alert a few days later, and you start all over again.

That seems likely to happen, but if the turnaround time is fast, less time will be spent in pointless quarantine.

Offline Robittybob1

Re: The Government's mishandling of the Covid-19 epidemic.
« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2020, 08:38:23 PM »
If you ring up with a hacking cough, or any other suspicious symptom, the household will have to isolate (ideally Mr /Ms cough self isolates, unless it's a small kid, and the others self-quarantine)... but if the test result takes a week to process? And if negative, everyone can go back to "normal" life... then there's another alert a few days later, and you start all over again.

That seems likely to happen, but if the turnaround time is fast, less time will be spent in pointless quarantine.
In NZ they were saying the incidence of the seasonal flu was right down because people were isolating themselves.
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Offline Carana

Re: The Government's mishandling of the Covid-19 epidemic.
« Reply #38 on: May 22, 2020, 09:07:59 PM »
In NZ they were saying the incidence of the seasonal flu was right down because people were isolating themselves.

Where? In NZ?

Offline Robittybob1

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Offline Carana

Re: The Government's mishandling of the Covid-19 epidemic.
« Reply #40 on: May 26, 2020, 06:18:31 PM »

Offline Carana

Re: The Government's mishandling of the Covid-19 epidemic.
« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2020, 06:20:35 PM »
The UK’s public health response to covid-19
BMJ 2020; 369 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1932 (Published 15 May 2020)

https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1932


Offline Carana

Re: The Government's mishandling of the Covid-19 epidemic.
« Reply #42 on: June 02, 2020, 05:36:38 PM »
Although the UK briefly dipped behind Spain in the excess death rate, it seems to have regained ground as the worst hit in Europe.

https://www.ft.com/content/a26fbf7e-48f8-11ea-aeb3-955839e06441

Chris Giles' latest:

Update: Following today's official excess deaths figures and hospital data, a cautious estimate for the total UK excess deaths during the coronavirus pandemic up to 2 June is

64,500

Of these 61,920 have happened, the rest are estimates. 1/
https://twitter.com/ChrisGiles_/status/1267833182902259712


Update:
https://www.ft.com/content/6b4c784e-c259-4ca4-9a82-648ffde71bf0
« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 05:53:20 PM by Carana »

Offline Carana

Re: The Government's mishandling of the Covid-19 epidemic.
« Reply #43 on: June 02, 2020, 05:47:59 PM »
The UK Statistics Authority doesn't seem overly impressed by Matt Hancock's "figures".



Sir David Norgrove response to Matt Hancock regarding the Government’s COVID-19 testing data

Dear Secretary of State,

Thank you for your letter of 27 May, in which you described some welcome, though limited, additions to the official data on COVID-19 tests, including a proposed note on methods (not yet published at the time of writing). I am afraid though that the figures are still far from complete and comprehensible.

Statistics on testing perhaps serve two main purposes.

The first is to help us understand the epidemic, alongside the ONS survey, showing us how many people are infected, or not, and their relevant characteristics.

The second purpose is to help manage the test programme, to ensure there are enough tests, that they are carried out or sent where they are needed and that they are being used as effectively as possible. The data should tell the public how effectively the testing programme is being managed.

The way the data are analysed and presented currently gives them limited value for the first purpose. The aim seems to be to show the largest possible number of tests, even at the expense of understanding. It is also hard to believe the statistics work to support the testing programme itself. The statistics and analysis serve neither purpose well.

To mention just a few issues in relation to the data as currently presented:

    the headline total of tests adds together tests carried out with tests posted out. This distinction is too often elided during the presentation at the daily press conference, where the relevant figure may misleadingly be described simply as the number of tests carried out. There are no data on how many of the tests posted out are in fact then successfully completed. The slides used in the daily press conference do not show the date when the tests were carried out;
    the notes to the daily slides rightly say that some people may be tested more than once and it has been widely reported that swabs carried out simultaneously on a single patient are counted as multiple tests. But it is not clear from the published data how often that is the case. Figures for the overall number of people being tested have previously been published but are not available in the published time series;
    the top summary presents the number of positive results from diagnostic tests (pillars 1 and 2) alongside the total number of tests across all pillars. This presentation gives an artificially low impression of the proportion of tests returning a positive diagnosis;
    more generally the testing figures are presented in a way that is difficult to understand. Many of the key numbers make little sense without recourse to the technical notes which are themselves sometimes hard to follow. This includes the supporting spreadsheets, which, while welcome, make it difficult to extract even basic trends.

With regard to new data that are not currently made available:

    test results should include for example key types of employment (e.g. medical staff, care staff), age, sex and location (by geography and place, such as care homes). How many people in what circumstances are infected? Where do they live?
    for Test and Trace it is important that a statement of the key metrics to measure its success should be developed systematically, and published, to avoid the situation that has arisen in relation to the testing programme. The statistics will need to be capable of being related to the wider testing data and readily understood by the public, through for example population adjusted maps of hotspots.

I warmly welcome of course your support for the Code of Practice for Statistics. But the testing statistics still fall well short of its expectations. It is not surprising that given their inadequacy data on testing are so widely criticised and often mistrusted.

I also welcome the Department’s willingness to work with colleagues from the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) and I know they have been in touch to discuss how the data and their presentation could be improved and gaps addressed. OSR will be happy to help further in any way they can.

It would be useful to develop a published timetable for the changes that need to be made and for the development of the metrics for the vital new programme of Test and Trace.

I do understand the pressures that those concerned have faced and still face. But I am sure you would agree that good evidence, trusted by the public, is essential to success in containing the virus.

Yours sincerely,

Sir David Norgrove

Related Links:

Sir David Norgrove to Matt Hancock (11 May 2020)

Matt Hancock to Sir David Norgrove ( 27 May 2020)

COVID-19 and the UK Statistical System
https://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/correspondence/sir-david-norgrove-response-to-matt-hancock-regarding-the-governments-covid-19-testing-data/

Offline Carana

Re: The Government's mishandling of the Covid-19 epidemic.
« Reply #44 on: June 02, 2020, 07:27:04 PM »
Any info on why there hasn't been any info on testing recently?