The numbers from April 10th

Now I have been sent the published  back up data for the Friday graphs shown at the news conference, I thought I should just highlight the current situation.

Yesterday’s figures for hospital beds occupied by CV19 patients showed a small decline, thanks to London’s graph falling a bit where the most cases are still concentrated. Current patient numbers at 20 204 remain high. 3335 patients are in intensive care.

These are high numbers which we all want to come down. They do  impose a big strain on the staff having to handle this unpleasant disease, which is unrelenting at this level. They do, however, show the UK  is still currently well within the enhanced capacity of the NHS to cope with the crisis. As part of the aim of policy was to avoid an unsustainable peak demand on the NHS, it is encouraging so far to see these numbers and to see the recent levelling off. Of course we  hope to see this being maintained with no dangerous relapse to a steep climb in hospital cases. The NHS handling these volumes will inevitably limit other non urgent work taking place.

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62 Comments

  1. Lear's Fool
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Nuncle – we need stricter measures. The stricter the lockdown, the shorter its duration. See for example China, where restrictions are being lifted and factory output has substantially recovered.

    • Ed M
      Posted April 11, 2020 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      The Chinese have got their social distancing down to a fine art (cheap technology / apps / strict rules to follow in specific scenarios, lots of materials to prevent the spread of infection in restaurants, shops etc .. Standing 2 metres away isn’t enough if we want to get people back to work. Although I don’t agree with the Chinese over masks outside – just adds a sense of panic (there are more benefits to masks indoors though i.e. in offices).

  2. steve
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    All I can say is people need to stick to gov’t instructions / stick to the plan.

    • Lenin
      Posted April 11, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      It always works

  3. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    We need to extinguish the fire.

    Damping it down so that it only burns down the house slowly, needing just one fireman to control it, might satisfy some bean counter’s tick list for the fire service, but the owner occupier couldn’t care less about that.

    We need to put out the blaze, as New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, S.Korea, and others, have either done or are doing.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 11, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      Belgium ? The country with double the number of deaths per million of the population than U.K ? Why do you want that ? Incredible.

      • rose
        Posted April 11, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        There is still an any-country-but-mine-own brigade.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 11, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        Just wait.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted April 11, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      Martin, would you care to comment on the situation in France?
      Over 1000 dead per day for the most of last week.

      I guess hijacking French IPA has helped them

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        According to Le Monde, 353 people died in hospital there between Fri and Sat.

        As in the UK, figures for deaths elsewhere are less reliable. I don’t think that the UK is even trying to count them.

        What is your source, KD?

        • Edward2
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          You can’t hide death certificate ates.
          Or are your feverish conspiracy theories now onto doctors falsifying these?

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

            Translation, please.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

            You claimed the numbers of deaths were unreliable saying the UK is not trying to count them.
            I said death certificates cannot be hidden.
            There is a very strict process for certification and recording of deaths.
            I was therefore wondering what your new conspiracy theory was.

    • Le Libertarian
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Martin

      Get real

      Here in France we have martial law, anyone venturing outside is stopped and asked for a pass and permission documents to be outside . Where I am a tiny hamlet in the middle of nowhere Army trucks are patrolling the roads.

      France had the first recorded Coronavirus death in Europe on 15th February

      French lockdown commenced on March 17th , on March 24th France recorded its first 1000 per day deaths

      So far 13832 people have died in France and still counting ( hopefully the peak has passed though ) France is already in recession with a 6% fall in GDP in the last quarter .

      Socialism & authoritarianism isn’t the solution . Take a look at Sweden no lockdown at all , deaths in total so far 887 ( 87.8 per million population )

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        Seems to be working now in France, Italy, and Spain though.

        Sweden will indeed be very interesting to follow. The medical and scientific community are generally alarmed at their government’s policy, however.

        As Germany have shown, it is the testing, tracing and quarantine which are more important than total lockdown.

        Pity that the UK and US are not doing those.

        • Le Libertarian
          Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

          Martin

          Do you really not follow and comprehend what the scientists and medics are telling you? You could even have worked it out from the dates I gave you.

          France , Italy & Spain appear to hopefully have passed the peak rate. As has been stated ALL ALONG by medics we are 2 to 3 weeks behind them, our curve starting to flatten now.

          French deaths now sadly 14393

          I agree re Germany, its the massive benefit of having a private health system. Lots of testing facilities and labs for a start . However the German numbers are rising , now 3,022

  4. Caterpillar
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for these positive points.

    Inevitably one is still left wondering where are the Portion Down antibody results, how is the Govt comparing harm with benefit, what are the ultimate downside risks of economic shutdown vs unchecked virus? Despite your best efforts to prod Govt, Sir John, it still feels like either a complete lack of transparency or a complete lack of understanding/competence.

    (If we are to live with coronaviruses in perpetuity one does wonder whether we should be building permanent separated Nightingales)

    • rose
      Posted April 11, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      9 companies have been dealt with and so far the antibody tests are no good. Porton Down are cracking on, like all the other research teams. No-one is wasting time or hanging about on this but you would never think so to listen to the media.

  5. a-tracy
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    When Matt Hancock talks in large numbers of ppe delivered it’s all too fluffy. The BME Union are still saying today on the bbc front line staff don’t have kit. Please someone at the bbc ask exactly, precisely which hospital? What exactly precisely are they short of? How many staff does that hospital have on the front line care each day and how many pieces of ppe does each of them go through every day?

    If you’ve an overstock of ppe in another hospital or in a warehouse elsewhere in the Country where they aren’t treating so many cv19 patient I will collect the stock and move it for you.

    • ian terry
      Posted April 11, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      a-tracy

      If and when they have a full investigation into the whole matter hopefully not fronted by WHO who seem from some officials have too closer relationship with China which excuse the pun is not healthy for all of us.
      There is an article on the web by UnRedacted on how China misled the world while secretly buying up medical supplies..
      They used a Government backed property giant Greenland Group to put all normal work on hold to purchase bulk supplies of essential medical items and ship them back to China. This went on through January and February and the company has a major present in the UK via its London office. They purchased everything that countries could possibly need to fight the virus. Supplies were even purchased across Europe including the Czech Republic according to Respekt.
      If this is found to be even half true is it any wonder that all affected countries have struggled to get the right essential medical items.
      The whole relationship between WHO and CCC has to be fully investigated especially before we try to hang our experts out to dry especially on medical equipment availability.

    • Mark
      Posted April 11, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      You have to hope that the BME Union is ensuring its members do everything possible to get supplies through to the right place. It is not encouraging that the Army have had to be brought in to do the job. Clearly the existing workforce was some combination of too small, badly organised or even obstructive/trying to make a political point out of failure.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        The Army didn’t need to be brought in to do the Sameday and next day deliveries. We have a fantastic logistics and transport system in the U.K. that is being under utilised at the moment it has spare capacity. With Amazon you can order something at 10pm at night and often it’s delivered the next day and sometimes by 10am the next day. I watched the army loading goods! Walking to cages placed too far away from the pallet, passing boxes to each other and by not using experts it became more complicated than it needed to.

        Just deliver the ppe into an experienced logistics warehouse and ask for 9am delivery the next day or tell them where to collect it they’d have a 40ft truck there that evening.

  6. Ian Wragg
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    If large numbers are still catching the disease then the lockdown isn’t working.
    It looks like the death toll is probably going to be less than 1% people catching the virus. This is going to make the saving of a handful of lives ruinously expensive. How about giving us last years weekly and monthly death rates for flu and associated infections.

    • Zorro
      Posted April 11, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      That would be helpful but not necessarily So to the official narrative….

      Zorro

    • Ed M
      Posted April 11, 2020 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      ‘It looks like the death toll is probably going to be less than 1% people catching the virus.’

      – According to German study on the German town of Gangelt, it’s 1 in a 1,000. Let’s follow the stats (1 in 1000 might be wrong / very wrong – let’s wait for more studies and more detailed ones – but so far, the Gangelt study is the best we have).

  7. ed2
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    They do, however, show the UK is still currently well within the enhanced capacity of the NHS to cope

    >
    Great, can I go back to work now then?

    • Zorro
      Posted April 11, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      No apparently you must stay at home until there are no further cases according to some, and then when another one pops up stay in isolation again.

      Zorro

      • glen cullen
        Posted April 11, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        Forever and ever amen

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 11, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Oh no! First the economy must be well and truly crashed.
      Plenty of cheap shares and broken businesses to hoover up.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted April 11, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        And the socialists and BBC can blame ‘the Conservative Government and the private sector’. It’s almost funny!

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    It is indeed encouraging, the death figures for today are also slightly down on yesterdays. There are however still quite a lot of people who are not making it to hospital or to intensive care and who are dying. Do we know how many of the 3,335 in ICU beds are on mechanical ventilation? Also are many people dying in hospital before they getting an ICU bed. Is there much evidence on the best timings for giving people oxygen and/or mechanical ventilation/or other lung treatments for the best outcomes?

    It would be interesting to see the excess death rates over normal ones for this time of year. We could however expect a decline in other deaths as many operation have been cancelled. It is almost always the case that when doctors go on strike (in most countries) you actually get a decline in deaths as many operations are cancelled and a rise when they return to work.

    Normal A & E activity is it seems 30% down. Hopefully people will not put off attending if they really need to.

    Reply The last three months total deaths below the five year average.

    • Zorro
      Posted April 11, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      The interesting figure will be in 12 months time when you may be allowed to see that there was no spike in death rates but a lot of people died with COVID 19 and there was an astonishing drop in death rates for other diseases, but by then it will be too late and the deed will be done.

      Zorro

      • Mark
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        I think we can already see that there will be a spike in death rates. The question is how will it compare with recent bad winter flu seasons, such as 2014/15, which produced around 50,000 excess deaths in the UK and an excess mortality across the population monitored by EuroMOMO of 888 per million. It is looking as though Spain and Italy might reach those sorts of figures this time, but it is doubtful that they will be significantly exceeded in the present epidemic.

    • rose
      Posted April 11, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      Crime is also down – 21%. That fact and the fact that Friday and Saturday night drinking has stopped will also ease the numbers of admissions.

      As I understand it, no-one is having to wait for an ICU at the moment. Ditto for ventilators.

      • zorro
        Posted April 11, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        The crime figures surprise me. I am sure that they are a lot further down than that. There are so many vectors in play which will be stopping crime taking place….

        zorro

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted April 12, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

          Not if you include all the park walking and sunbathing in backyards…

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 11, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      If the death rate drops when the Drs are on strike and not doling out chemicals perhaps we should have a think about that.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

        It usual does drop when doctors go on strike (this have been seen in various countries and goes up again once the strike is finished). Some of it is due to dangerous operations being delayed. Sometimes doctors are also easing (accelerating) the passage of terminally ill patients.

  9. kzb
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    There seems to be no intention of actually eliminating this virus. Just to slow down its progress so the NHS can cope. It just seems to be accepted that eventually, 60-80% of the population will catch it. Unless by some miracle a vaccine appears first. Yet, scientifically, it is possible to drive the virus to extinction on the island of Britain. It need only take a few weeks, but it needs the political will to succeed.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Yes, absolutely – and that will exists elsewhere, such as in New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, S.Korea, Germany and Denmark etc.

      When will people wake up and ask “why not here?”?

  10. Everhopeful
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    I wonder what the figures are for seasonal flu?
    Can they tell the difference?

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Now that would be interesting

  11. Iain Gill
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    We need to get to a position where we can do mass testing of the whole population and repeat it frequently. That with contact tracing can then be used to quarantine the virus down with aggressive measures wherever it is found.

    Thats the only existing tech we have which will allow things to start opening up again.

    Question John should be asking ministers is how long to get to a position where we can do that? And lets make the test kits in this country so that we are self sufficient.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Apparently there is something called the Sentinel Swabbing Scheme which GPS have been using for years to diagnose flu….swabs taken and sent to labs.
      How come screening is such an unknown unknown now??
      Do they actually HAVE a test.

  12. Iago
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Pity the policy could not have been to try to keep the disease out of the country. After the Chinese locked down Wuhan, you had plenty of warning that there was something horrible out there.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      And, according to someone I know who was in the vicinity….the first reported ( apparently) case in the UK travelled from a distant, hot spot to the airport and then to an hotel!

  13. mancunius
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    “will inevitably limit other non urgent work taking place.”

    Cancer tests are being postponed for months. They are not non-urgent.

  14. Butties
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    “As part of the aim of policy was to avoid an unsustainable peak demand on the NHS,”
    At what cost to our society? How did we cope during foot and mouth with the predictions and advice? This is a farce and you know it Sir John.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      The most damaging, terrifying, totalitarian farce in history.
      I thought I’d lost faith in the system during all the Brexit stuff but this tops that fiasco.
      If you plan for a pandemic….and are DESPERATE to have one ( look at all the frenetic simulations and modelling and statistic gathering since the early 2000s) then PREPARATION is required! It cuts both ways.
      You can’t ( well this govt can and does with help from previously non existent bobbies…sudden cessation of “austerity”) shut an entire population in its homes and then starve it into submission.
      At the same time making the supermarkets into attack dogs.
      Lovely!

  15. sok
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    USA opening up tomorrow, do keep up at the back)

    • MeSET
      Posted April 11, 2020 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

      ? The Czechs started rolling back social distancing April 9th and some opening of travel .Austria is thinking about opening up next week. and Denmark with schools April 15th.
      Sweden is pretty open and all work needed to be done at a place of work is continuing with success so far. The USA is still in lockdown but some states are wishing to reopen some things, as leaving them closed adds to the problem
      The UK cannot see the big picture. I blame the education system. Very poor indeed.
      It is a “closed-ended” pattern of education. I do not know if this term is one I have this second invented or someone else uttered it first. I am right anyway. Our system is not even up to Plato’s standard and everything was all greek to him.

  16. Richard1
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    This is encouraging let’s hope we are near the peak.

    Do you have numbers for percentage usage of beds, ICUs and ventilators on a national basis?

    Is it also clear all the reported deaths are of and not just with COVID19? Sweden now draws this distinction. I think their number for yesterday was just 17. And plenty of ICU spare capacity.

  17. MeSET
    Posted April 11, 2020 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Since there is absolutely no evidence that this additional form of social interaction coupled with the partial shut down on jobs with its own renewed interaction on the back of its previous one (THREE sets of interactions instead of ones) leading to anything but a very much increased number of deaths which, I SAID IT WOULD repeatedly on many other comments then start the return to work immediately.
    It actually does not take a computer to work out roughly as a “Picture” in ones mind, for its too complicated for a computer to work out, that the ‘additional’ interactions and the other two would be far more than the original number and complexity of interaction.
    One would expect Medical Experts and government advisors to know this or be able to think it. To PICTURE it or am I unique in being able to do this? I doubt it. They must never have tried. They should be instructed to sit down at do it.Then, they will know!

  18. MeSET
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    I sense….Trump would like to Open the USA on May Ist
    I feel this too for no end of reason.

    Maybe our government will wish to make a political decision. Man cannot live by NHS alone.

  19. ed2
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    If you add up the total deaths for the first quarter of the year from respiratory diseases, the figure so far for 2020 (22,877) is less than those for 2013 (25,495), 2015 (28,969), 2017 (25,800), 2018 (29,898) and 2019 (23,336). Again, is this event as exceptional as we are being told? If not, why the shutdown?

    >
    John, when are you going to say the Emperor has no clothes? After our family business has gone under?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      And I’d like to know exactly what these measures were meant to prevent.
      Is the cure worse than the disease?

    • glen cullen
      Posted April 12, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      There is no reason nor logic to this (economic) lockdown

  20. ed2
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    Why be so timid? Look at what is at stake here.

  21. ed2
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    Thanks for helping John
    please stay on our side

  22. John McDonald
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John.
    I wish you and your Family as Happy Easter, as best it can be at this time.
    You stress the importance of accurate data, but you have missed the most important one.
    How many people in the UK have died from the virus in April, what is the daily death rate? Is this parameter going up or down? This is the only yardstick we need to know to take action on. The detailed investigation of those who have died and background etc. will help us get a better understanding of the virus and who it attacks and causes death.

  23. Sandra Zuccaro
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Are you aware that Death Registrations have a new protocol for this pandemic. This is why the COVID19 deaths are so high. It appears that dying with now is more serious than dying from a heart attack, cancer or any other major condition. The dice is loaded in favour of Covid19 in every death. People are unaware of how many thousands of people die every week in the U.K. even now they are still none the wiser but believe all this disinformation given out. So far this year the week of 10th January was higher than any other for deaths. . The MSN have been using social engineering in their films and photos to continue the lie but people in USA, UK, Ireland have been filming empty hospitals where it is said were war zones and doctors are beginning to speak out. People are beginning to wake up to the fact the King is actually stark naked.

    • John McDonald
      Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Not sure if addressed to me but only 723 people died of the flu in 2019.
      This “what’s a few more deaths to add to the yearly total matter” attitude is really disgraceful.
      We all die in the end but nice to hang on in there for as long as possible.
      Why do with bother to protect a few people who may get blown up by terrorists. The total killed/would be killed maybe less than last years flu deaths.
      So why do me make the effort to save a single life ?

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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