Three tests to relax lockdown?

Each day we can witness some graphs of the  progress of the virus in the UK. Two of the series of numbers that are produced are likely to  be an important part of the decision this week about whether and to what extent the current strict controls on our work and lives are lifted.

The aim of saving the NHS is embodied in the graph of use of NHS Intensive Care beds and patient numbers. This graph has been coming down for some time, and is now well below NHS enhanced capacity to cope. So much so, we are told the emergency large hospitals built to handle more Covid 19 cases will be put on hold with no patients.  The government should state that short of a major upsurge in  cases way beyond the first surge, the NHS can now cope.

The aim to save lives is charted by the death rate. The graph of this is also now coming down, despite the changes to the numbers that boosted them. Given the decline in patients admitted with the disease to hospitals you would expect a fall in hospital deaths.

This leaves the third uncharted number that Ministers place great stress on – R or the rate of transmission. The absence of a regularly updated graph of R is disappointing, as we need to see how it changes over time. The verbal indications from the advisers is that it has fallen a lot and is now under 1, as it needs to be to slow the spread of the infection. Ministers should ask for more information on how R is calculated and how it has been trending, and tell the rest of us. It seems that much rests on the particular calculation and estimation of R and its trends.

I was pleased to read that they are now going to sample test the population for the presence of the virus, which should give a more reliable figure for R when you have several sampled tests over time. I trust this will help guide future changes to the controls on us but not delay getting  more people back to work safely as soon as possible. Our prosperity and liberty requires us to relax these controls and there is now the opportunity to do so.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    This drama, manufactured into a crisis for narrow and selfish ends, will have serious repercussions. People are not complaining now but, give it a few months when the number of businesses begin to fail and people start receiving their P45’s. Believe me, I was speaking to someone last night who is in the recruitment industry and he said that a large number of people are already being laid off. Who’s going to clap for them this Thursday ?

    The government need to relax restrictions of certain parts of the country. Parts with lower population density are less at risk than say the whole of London. City dwellers should all be tested but those in the emergency services and in local and national government tested first, and often ! These people are potentially the main spreaders of disease as the number of people they are in contact with is high.

    We need to get as much of the country back to work as soon as possible.

    Finally. I would like to thank our kind host for all his efforts. I am in no doubt that both he and others like him have played, and are continuing to play, an important role in convincing the government the need to return to as far normal as possible.

    • Horatio
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      John, thank you for your pragmatism. Just 332 people under 45 have died with Covid. 90% of them, like the rest of the population, with co morbidities. For an under 60, its statistically more dangerous to drive a car.

      We are destroying the economy and our future. Economist say that 40% of those on furlough wont have a job to go back to. The government and Mat Habcock especially need to change its tone. The rationale for lockdown was to protect The nhs. Its never reached capacity and now is operating way under capacity. That is the only test required.
      The now disgraced -for breaking his own advice- N Ferguson predicted 40k deaths in Sweden by 1st May if lockdown wasnt implemented, theyve had 2000. The government must project confidence and say job done. Take the scientists, who have such an interest in butressing their lockdown dogma off the screen. Peak desths were 2 days before lockdown.

      Protect the vulnerable and allow the over 70s to make sensible decisions based on the facts not media/ Ferguson modelling (wrong about Foot and mouth, CJD and SARS) driven hyperbole.

      We need some sanity, otherwise the future wont be worth living.

      • NickC
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Horatio, Yes the lockdown maniac, Prof Fergusson, who has a history of failed hysteria, has had his nemesis. Hopefully the lockdown fanatics on here such as Martin and Andy will pipe down now though unfortunately they will probably carry on as if nothing had happened.

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

          Ferguson had nothing to do with other countries who followed their own lockdown rules with varying success rates. We would have done better looking to countries like Germany and Korea who seemed to have got it right.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

            His recommendations for lockdowns were followed by many countries.
            His predictions were read world wide.

            So to say he had nothing to do with other countries is plainly wrong.

          • a-tracy
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

            Korea didn’t lock down?

          • hefner
            Posted May 13, 2020 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

            Edward2, how do you know that N.Ferguson’s recommendations were followed by many countries. Most developed countries have their own modelling facilities. At best, Ferguson’s results were used as one item among others for the decision made in other countries. Do not forget that Ferguson’s model was for the UK. Why would other countries put more consideration to a British model than to one specifically adapted to their particular environment?
            Your continued ethnocentrism amazes me.

        • Mark B
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 4:51 am | Permalink

          You can add, Narrow Shoulders to that list.


          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

            Wow – “if you’re not with me you’re against me”

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      This drama, manufactured into a crisis for narrow and selfish ends

      When lockdown ends you will be able to use your tin hat as a face mask Mark.

      The lockdown came about as HM Government knew it would be brought down quicker by pictures of overflowing hospitals than by a failing economy which could be propped up with printed money. Search the Bank of England site for details of a £41 billion slush fund for Britain’s (important) companies the Covid Corporate Financing Facility

      • NickC
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        Narrow Shoulders, It’s perfectly possible that the NHS would not have been overwhelmed even without lockdown (any more than it already has with incompetent NHS management). Especially since the inception of the Nightingale hospitals and the ICU preference for CPAP rather than traditional ventilators massively expanded capacity.

        Now the peak death rate and the rollover happened roughly in mid-April. Which means many of those deaths happened to patients mostly infected before the lockdown was started (for a c3 week infection/disease/ICU path). Therefore the lockdown probably did not reduce the peak, but may have contributed to the subsequent reductions. That makes the lockdown a terribly expensive exercise – as Sweden has demonstrated.

    • SM
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink


    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      So now they are testing people to find out R values, but will we hear the figures analysed for different environments, age groups, places? Or will it still be this glib approach of, well it’s coming down, it’s about this, won’t make much difference doing that etc.?
      Scientific this is not.

    • ukretired123
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      I agree with your observations. I think the govt relies too much on metropolitan thinking which is different from the rest of the country.
      Also folks have now got the message drilled into them about social distancing and need to trust us.
      There will be the adolescents as always and Political Correctness will be sorely tested in calling a spade a spade if folks misbehave.
      It appears most of the scientific advisers are in groupthink protective mode having got previous forecasts wrong. We need more transparency and more business advisors…

      • ukretired123
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        More proven achievers from business too.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      +1 to the last paragraph.

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Good morning,

    I would also like to see the ratio of deaths to hospital admissions for the virus come down; this would indicate that if you do become seriously ill, the hospitals have a better/improving technique to help you survive.

    What is the new estimate for government debt to gdp for year end?

    • nhsgp
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      On that ratio.

      Where are the following numbers reported in the debts?

      1. PFI
      2. EU ‘debt’ ?
      3. Public sector pensions
      4. Nuclear clean up
      5. Unpaid wages
      6. Unpaid invoices
      7. Losses on insurance
      8. State pension

      Or is it just the money owed to banks?

    • Old person
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately, we are only able to analyse the figures the government supplies.

      So, for the week numbers (starting on Mondays), here are the ratios for the additional deaths to active cases percentage.

      Week number 12 13839 +active cases 949 +deaths 6.86% +d/+a
      Week number 13 28284 +active cases 3706 +deaths 13.10% +d/+a
      Week number 14 36473 +active cases 5678 +deaths 15.57% +d/+a
      Week number 15 35788 +active cases 5448 +deaths 15.22% +d/+a
      Week number 16 32773 +active cases 4672 +deaths 14.26% +d/+a
      Week number 17 33759 +active cases 4090 +deaths 12.12% +d/+a

      For the non-survivors, it takes on average 7.5 days from admission to ICU to death.

      To compare with other countries the only real measure is the total number of deaths per million population.

      Belgium Feb 03 692.00 deaths/1M
      Andorra Mar 01 595.00 deaths/1M
      Spain Jan 30 548.00 deaths/1M
      Italy Jan 29 485.00 deaths/1M
      UK Jan 30 433.00 deaths/1M
      France Jan 23 391.00 deaths/1M
      Netherlands Feb 26 302.00 deaths/1M
      Sweden Jan 30 283.00 deaths/1M
      Ireland Feb 28 271.00 deaths/1M
      Isle of Man Mar 18 270.00 deaths/1M
      USA Jan 20 218.00 deaths/1M
      Switzerland Feb 24 207.00 deaths/1M
      Luxembourg Feb 28 153.00 deaths/1M
      Denmark Feb 26 87.00 deaths/1M
      Germany Jan 26 83.00 deaths/1M

      As the daily number of tests has not stabilised yet and different categories of people are being tested, to find exactly how the R value is to be calculated by the government defies reason.

      • rick hamilton
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        I am currently in Tokyo with no prospect of leaving for a long time, but that might not be a bad thing. The lockdown is light touch and not noticeably policed because the people are very sensible and hygiene conscious – and everybody wears masks.

        Japan, with twice the population of the UK, has so far only 555 deaths nationwide, which means 4 deaths per million. Strange these figures are never quoted by British media. Obviously they are doing something s lot better than we are. On your statistical comparison the UK is a hundred times more dangerous than Japan ! Will any lessons be learned ?

        • NickC
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

          Rick Hamilton, Oh, yes, lessons will be learned. Hahaha. But the not fit for purpose NHS management will roll on unscathed.

      • Sea Warrior
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        Yep – the deaths/million figure is one of the more useful metrics to look at, even though countries are using different methods to report CV deaths. At 0400 this morning, on BBC R4, the presenter droned on about how we had the worst death toll after America, ignoring the size of populations. Belgium, Spain and Italy weren’t mentioned. After 3 minutes I switched off, unable to listen to any more of her execrable ‘reporting’.

        Sir John, When will you and your fellow Conservative MPs correct this BBC bias?

        • NickC
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

          Sea Warrior, Yes, 3 minutes of R4 is about as much as Mrs C can stand. I’ve managed to avoid even a minute of the desperately biased BBC.

        • rose
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

          Another set of figures the BBC et al aren’t showing us, and it can’t be because they are too complicated:

          Deaths from or with the Wuhan virus up till yesterday:

          EU = 112,075
          USA = 74,799
          UK = 30,076

          • rose
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

            PS There is disagreement on the US figure which also comes in at c.30,000 in sources.

  3. oldtimer
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    We are still being kept in the dark on data available to the government. It took a long time for them to produce a seven day rolling average which helped smooth uneven reporting of daily deaths over the weekend. But they finally got there, even if they were slow to twig its significance.

    A continuing, glaring omission is the failure to stratify death data by age bands. All we have got is generalised comments about the very old, over 60, being more likely to be a victim. They must have the detail but the government declines to produce it. Why? Such data is now particularly relevant when considering the ending of the lock down. Just how many people of working age have died from C-19? How many of school age? How many over 60 and over retirement age?

    If their more generalised comments are to be believed, the deaths and death rates of those of working age are likely to be relatively low. That data should be published. If true it argues for a swifter return to work (with sensible precautions) to prevent the utter collapse of the economy.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      We also need a breakdown of the numbers in terms of occupation. My suspicion is that we would see nearly 100% registered as retired – suggesting it’s those whose age-related conditions are so severe they can no longer isolate themselves in their own home, with the remaining number largely composed of healthcare and care home workers who supply the care.
      I wonder what the public reaction would be if they were to discover their lives are on hold simply because the NHS and care home industry can’t control infection.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Not only age, but also workplace and environment. If it’s all care home workers, take action there. If it’s supermarket workers, ditto. If it’s folk arriving on planes, ditto. If it’s people taking underground trains, ditto. For goodness sake, we need to know where the root cause of this continuing pandemic is.

      We can’t be kept in the dark like this much longer.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      It doesn’t matter what numbers the govt give out. I’d never trust them. They – BOTH parties – have lied for years about immigration – even down to the bosses of the immigration offices threatening their staff with the sack if they told the truth about the numbers entering. TWO sources from TWO different offices, said the same thing.

      Recent figures given out on knife crime were up to December – For some reason it took FIVE months to get that figure – in the day of the computer !!! Yet other figures (covid deaths ) appear daily?
      The govt really are feeding us the mushroom diet.

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted May 8, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        When I hear from my friend, a nurse in a care home, that doctor’s ( who don’t now go to the home) are writing out death certificates (with coronovirus as cause of death) on the end of a telephone line after asking the nurse a few questions about a resident’d death I just shake my head in despair.

    • Mark
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      I started to produce my own seven day centred averages once it became clear that there was a weekend effect – probably about the time of the lockdown. I was surprised that the media took so long to cotton on, and often still fail to centre the average so that we can see the real timing of the peaks in the data. I wonder what they teach in statistics courses these days.

  4. Ian Wragg
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    There’s definitely mission creep
    We’ve saved the NHS and now it’s to stave off a second wave.
    We’re destroying the economy just to prevent a few extra deaths from seasonal flu.
    Every deaths is Covid related. No one is dying of old age, cancer or heart failure anymore

    I think we’re being conned.

    • jerry
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg, “I think we’re being conned.”

      Well we are certainly being miss informed, by some, if you still believe CV19 is just “seasonal Flu”…

      But I do agree, there is mission creep, especially when a “Stay at Home” lockdown has morphed into a message that is more akin to Stay Inside, even though data from southern Europe shows that death rates can actually increase in such a situation. Now the green blob here in the UK are following the EU27s lead, demanding that many restrictions remain so we ‘Save the Earth’…

      Is this the real agenda behind so much emphasis being placed on those daily graphs showing reduced motor vehicle use (or the wish for use to come down further), despite the fact that the private car allows people to travel in self or household group isolation unlike any other type of transport -even cycling and walking?

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      More like manipulated.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      There have been about 50,000 more deaths than normal so far. About half of these did not even reach hospital, the NHS has cancelled much normal activity and many operations and treatments. We have about the highest mortality rate for Covid (about five times worse than Germany). Hancock says the NHS has not denied people treatment but is very clearly not remotely true.

      We may have beds in mothballed studios but that is not staffing or capacity on its own. Why are such a high proportion of people dying? Why were people with Covid or suspected Covid being discharged to nursing homes to infect many other vulnerable people? When they could have been sent to a Covid only isolation facility?

      • Mark
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        So a similar order of numbers to the flu pandemic of 99/00.

        • jerry
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

          @Mark; There was no SARS or Convid pandemic in 99/00.

          Perhaps you are thinking of the SARS pandemic, between 2002-4, but that only resulted in about 8100 confirmed cases and only 774 deaths –Worldwide

    • Fred H
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      But the numbers of ‘natural’ deaths from cancer, heart failure etc will raise significantly in the months to come as lack of intervention hits the more untreated victims.

    • APL
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg: “We’re destroying the economy just to prevent a few extra deaths from seasonal flu.”

      Not even that. The explicit government goal was to ‘flatten the curve’ – and save the most inefficient health service in the World, but the area under the curve remains the same – the number of deaths hasn’t changed.

      But because of unemployment, financial ruin, depression, domestic violence and suicide will increase.

      We’re going to end up with more death and destruction than if we’d taken it ‘on the nose’ in April.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Correct, it will be a rare thing to find a politician with the bottle to be the first to say ‘’enough is enough… this lockdown needs to be cancelled today’’

      They’re all waiting for the scientific advisor, MSM, public opinion and other MPs

      They just haven’t got the bottle to make a decision

  5. Mick
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    What’s the point of lockdown when we’re still allowing illegals to enter our country, we have a moat around our great country but still they are getting through, the media and politicians keep using terminology to the last war well if that’s the case why aren’t we turning these illegals straight round and shipping them back to Europe , what’s the point of us making sacrifices to stop the virus when we are allowing it to come in by boat then distributed into our economy

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      People around the world, e.g. in South Korea and in Vietnam, are now far more worried about infected British people going to their countries than vice-versa.

      Do keep up.

      • Peter Wood
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        Fortunately for the World, it appears you have never traveled far from your bedsit in Cardiff if you believe the government statistics from such countries..

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink


          “if you believe the government statistics from such countries….”

          As opposed to those from our own government?

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Another episode of Martin Makes It Up.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Why would they be worried?
        They have locked down their borders and restricted flights.
        Unlike the UK.

        Do keep up.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

          Because they have exactly the concerns I mentioned, Ed.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

            But the concerns you claim are ones you just made up.
            Their borders are closed.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        And how you love it. He he he !

      • NickC
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        Never mind, Martin, your favourite Remains, Branson and O’Leary are being well and truly dished by the EU empire, so won’t be around to fly us to these places anyway. Unfortunately that means 1000s of Eire and UK workers will lose their jobs because of your EU. But you wanted it, and now you’ve got it.

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink


          Branson dished by the ‘EU empire’? Didn’t he asked OUR government to finance his company and they turned him down?

          And why this constant obsession with the EU? You brexiteers won yet continue to obsess about it. Strange.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

            National carriers of Germany and France have been bailed out.
            Yet nothing for the cut price independent airlines in Europe.
            That is what Nick was alluding to.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

          How that gobbledygook relates to my comment is beyond me.

    • Peter
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      Governments don’t care about illegals. They used to claim it was racist to mention them. Now that ploy is losing its impact they simply ignore the issue.

      There is probably a tacit agreement that the public don’t know about to do nothing. Various globalist assemblies, Bilderberg meetings and so on will reiterate the policy. Meanwhile a prominent Frenchman, Jean Renaud Camus, has been threatened with prison for challenging this lack of action.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      The lockdown is for everyone that is not in authority.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        some pigs are more equal than others.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      And Nigel Farage is desperately trying to highlight this by videoing in Hastings and Dover.

      You and he are not alone in wondering what is the point of us all being shut away when throughout lockdown people have been flying in unchecked from all parts of the world and others have been arriving daily on our beaches and many just disappearing into the countryside…..

      If the Covid-19 death figures are true (who knows if they are – all and sundry appear included) is it any wonder they’re so high?

      Some cynics might wonder if a high number of deaths are wanted….

      • Peter
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink


        Nothing done to properly defend our borders.

        Meanwhile the powers-that-be are delighted to be able to clamp down on the lives of its lawful citizens and micromanage how they behave.

        Anarcho-Tyranny again.

      • bill brown
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        Sharon Jagger

        Considiering the numbers involved you such really look yourself in teh mirror and ask if your concerns are really leveraged with the number of deaths of our country folks the highest in Europe

        • NickC
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

          Bill B, No they’re not, taking population size into account.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        No mention of the 1600 people who die on average every day
        We need total number of daily deaths to get an idea of the disparity.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink


        • NickC
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink


      • rose
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        700 also released from detention and only about 50 sent back.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Yes, we could all have been Wighters if the measures had been taken to prevent and test earlier.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      The British establishment are pathologically opposed to managing our borders in any half decent way, even when we sent them a message with Brexit about it they still manage to ignore it. They also ignore how other countries have got control of illegal migrants, like OZ, who refuse them entrance, so stopped it, our lot on the other hand run Priti Patel’s Channel taxi service, which just make matters worse.

      The Wuhan flu has also exposed other shortcomings of the British establishment’s over population policy , with overcrowding and poor accommodation likely to be one of the critical factors in our high mortality rate . Meanwhile our Government tosses fortunes to the WHO , Unesco, Aid and other virtue signalling projects, and Mrs May writes pleading for world government when all we want is a bit of competent Government here.

      • Peter
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink


      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        +1 we the British people have to make it better for illegal aliens to return home. It’s in our hands. We had to make the Brexit decision – every passing day proves it was the right one, and we must take control of who we allow into our ‘community’. It will take time to upgrade politicians – we have not had a Government for 47 years! With obvious exceptions, the quality of politicians is that which we would expect from Councillors. (Some councillors are superior to many MPs and ‘lords’).

    • Andy
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      More whining, still no solutions.

      Faragists love their moaning – particularly about illegals. “When we Brexit we can stop the illegals!” (Turns our ‘illegals’ were illegal before Brexit too. Who’d have thought the name would give it away?)

      But other than moaning about people come here none of you have any solutions. So what would you do to stop them?

      Under both international law – and good old common human decency – you can not sink them and are obligated to help.

      Good old Nigel – a man who has never correctly identified any solution to a real world problem – pretends it is easy. The grown up world is hard.

      So stop whining and come up with some solutions of your own.

      • NickC
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        Andy, You’ve been told what the remedy is. Many times. It’s what Australia did. Go and look it up.

        • Anonymous
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

          And his beloved New Zealand.

          We whinge because even when we win a vote nothing is done.

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:45 pm | Permalink


          Australia? But they are all recent immigrants.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

            Recent now means 200 years presumably Margaret

        • bill brown
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 3:03 am | Permalink


          you lecturing is really a funny joke, considering your control of facts is mostly lacking, however, this time you are right

    • jerry
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      @Mick; “What’s the point of lockdown when we’re still allowing illegals […]”

      Yawn. Always the same words, what ever the music;

      Deregulation – What’s the point if we still allow illegals
      Transport – What’s the point if we still allow…
      Economy – What’s the point if we still…
      Homes – What the point if we…
      Brexit – What’s the point if…
      NHS – What’s the point…
      Tax – What’s the…
      ?? – What’s…

      It is highly likely that CV19 was brought, not by illegals coming from France, to the UK by way of a business travel returning to the UK from China, or at least someone coming from china legitimately, this before CV19 was even thought of as a ‘different virus’ within in a Wuhan hospital. Your anger might be better targeted at the airlines, if you really must find scapegoats.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        The point is not illegals but to highlight the fact that any mention of shutting borders is anathema to our leaders – even in a national emergency.

        What do Australia and New Zealand have that we don’t ?

        Properly enforced borders.

        • jerry
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

          @Anonymous; Exactly! The UK govt doesn’t even require its own returning citizens to quarantine, but some must always try and frame every problem, what ever it is, so to highlight their unhealthy fixation upon illegal migration rather than the much wider problem – why?

          • rose
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

            What could be a bigger problem than out of control immigration?

          • jerry
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

            @rose; Thanks for proving my point! To give another example, the housing shortage is not being caused by a few illegals landing on a Kent beach, a far bigger problem has been the disconnect between the indigenous birth rate over the last 40 years and the number of houses being (re)built to provide accommodation, coupled to social & educational changes that mean far more single people leave home at a young age.

            I’m not asking, or even implying, the UK should have open boarders, just that we start to debate the wider issues, what ever the issue is, rather than someone always coming along to hijack the debate – I ask again, why?

    • nhsgp
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      What’s the betting they are not tested?

      What’s the betting they are not quarantined?

      What’s the betting they are caught and released?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      What is the point of a Government that can confine it’s entire population (apart from Ferguson) but can’t close the borders ‘in a crisis’?
      Time for Boris to end the EU fiasco talks and declare UDI and step down. He is a great salesman but has no judgement.

      • Peter
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:46 pm | Permalink


    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      They will keep coming until the government removes all financial support for them. Then they’ll stay in France.

    • bill brown
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink


      Thank you for your contribution, with more than nearly 30.000 deaths in the UK, your contribution to the debate about few dozens refugees is pathetic

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        bill brown

        Hear hear.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

        Actually bill it is over a thousand that have landed on the beaches and none have been tested.
        Some come from French camps where Covid is present.

        • bill brown
          Posted May 8, 2020 at 12:56 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          And so what we have 40.000 dead and the thousands you mentioned is over a much longer period, get your facts right again

          • Edward2
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

            My facts are correct.
            Over a thousand have come in and none have been quarantined nor tested.

  6. Bob Dixon
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    The Nightingale Hospitals must be used for new Covid patients asap so freeing up hospitals to treat patients who appointments have been cancelled.
    Every death has a death certificate signed off by a doctor. The current reporting of deaths ignores the death certificates produced so are subject to error. The death numbers are gathered in a haphazard manner.
    The NH Hospitals have and are doing an amazing job. Simon Stevens organisation has been a disaster.
    Come on Boris, sort it out and get us back to normal ASAP.

  7. Nigl
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Too little and too late and why are you having to prompt ministers anyway? We now have confirmed what we all guessed anyway, namely your ministers failure to act early enough in relation to testing generally but more specifically the vast numbers of people returning from abroad, particularly Spain and Italy who have infected people.

    You should also ask why the NHS with its history of IT failure is creating its own contact tracing app rather than using proven systems from elsewhere. We are already told that the data cannot be secure, it drains batteries so will not be left on permanently and as it won’t interface with what is used in the Continent will put our travel at risk.

    Sunak’s fast initial financial response and Boris’ illness created trust at the outset. Botched fragmented messaging plus the other issues emerging, non existent planning, centralisation and bureaucracy leading to slow responses, we know you knew about the China problem earlier, complete failure to manage the WHO despite being a large contributor etc and obvious questions that you are having to pose mean that trust has evaporated and is turning to anger. In fact I am bloody angry and frustrated

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

      Agree on the app, it is literally unbelievable the NHS chosen to re-invent the wheel and develop their own when they could have re-used one from another country who have already field-tested it. In the end it is probably academic because all those left-wing whiners who keep telling us we should have followed the South Korea approach will refuse to install it anyway.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      The blob does seem to be winning out, the centralising of testing wasted time and I am struck by the arrogance of an organisation who have wasted tens of billions in failed IT projects, should think its self to be just the people to design an app. I hope it works, for we can’t afford for the bureaucracy to burn up more time while the economy is being laid waste.

    • forthurst
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      On March 12th, Officials (ie no nothing civil servants with Arts degrees) announced that testing and tracing would be abandoned, at a time when there had been 500 confirmed cases and 10 deaths, in order to prepare the NHS for the consequences of not closing the borders and not testing and tracing as had caused the epidemic in Italy and filled their hospitals with more cases than they could treat. We have now surpassed the government of Italy’s incompetence in achieving a higher mortality than theirs despite having had notice from their experience.

      Anyone who has worked in private industry and exclusively focused on project work will know that sometimes it is essential to do more than one thing at once otherwise disaster will strike. Clearly the Arts graduates that run the country are either unaware of this or are two thick to be able to organise that even if they knew it was essential.

    • Frances Truscott
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      We didn’t have the capacity for more testing. Germany did because it was allowed to protect that sort of industry. Such capacities cannot be magicked out of thin air.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        What do you mean “allowed”?

        What authority bans the manufacture of PPE and of clinical material in some countries?

        Germany is run by intelligent, principled people, and by a world class leader, who recognise the importance of maintaining such provision.

        Now that is its main difference from the UK.

        • NickC
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

          No, Martin, Germany benefits from mercantilism from the average EU currency, the Euro. Even so Germany has been had up in your court 67 times for unfair competition practices even by your corrupt, German-controlled EU. The UK has been referred only 4 times.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

            Aw, there there.

        • Anonymous
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:00 pm | Permalink


        • margaret howard
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:49 pm | Permalink


          Couldn’t agree with you more.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        Not true
        We have plenty of capacity but PHE refuse to use the private sector.
        Hence the in house App which won’t work.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

          PHE do do not control purchasing for the NHS.

          • NickC
            Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

            Martin, Do you get anything right? Or do you just pinch other people’s ideas without attribution 4 weeks late? PHE refused to use about 120 private laboratories for testing. It was in the news a month ago. Forgotten already?

  8. Javelin
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Ferguson was clearly exaggerating the threat of this virus as part of a eco-activism campaign with (words left out ed)

    Are you really so naive as not to believe Neil Ferguson and Antonia Staats didn’t discuss the environment as part of their pillow talk? Do you really believe the conversation was all one way about the virus?

    Steve Backshall presents The Deadly 60 Animals on TV and when catching a python he said “when you control the head you control the snake”. etc ed

    This is a tale of vanity.

    The very naive Rishi Sunak has traded promotion for an ego massage to satisfy his parents ambitions. Boris’s narcissistic dreams of being another Churchill has made a bold decision to u-turn and shut the economy down. He is not even brave enough to be called a Macmillan.

    Still less deaths than the 80,000 who died of Hong Kong flu in 1968 and literally a handful of healthy workers have died. Yet the economy is going to make its biggest crash in history.

    The Conservative Government has made the biggest political miscalculation in the history of the UK, and it’s straight out of the psychotherapist text book. Sex, vanity, and narcissism crowning insecurity.

      Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      If only I had your way with the words I would have composed something similar but alas I am an illiterate oaf with the literary dexterity of a serf

      I am genuinely disturbed by contemporary politicians at Westminster. Indeed, I am genuinely fearful of the contemporary political landscape. The rejection of free speech should concern us all, deeply. The imposition of State control and the direction of travel is towards total monitoring. You can see the plan if only you step back and look for the subtle signs

      All State bodies have become unleashed to act as political animals with one aim, the promotion of control strategies. The NHS app is a sign of things to come but a sign that the NHS is now out of control that it thinks if can force a citizen to accept such impositions. This organisation is meant to be a provider of medical services not a tool of State monitoring

      We are heading for a dystopian catastrophe and the only way to halt its progress is to stop voting Tory and stop voting Labour

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      And the committee for climate change have appeared just in time to kick the country while it is down.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      Agreed, just smoke and mirrors to manipulate a political position that is beyond common sense

    • Christine
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Hear, hear. This Government has brought this country to its knees and we will all be paying a heavy price for years to come. A total disaster.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

        For every day of lockdown (currently 43 days) it will take a week to recover (currently 43 weeks)….and increasing daily

    • Fred H
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      again with lots of contributors on here, the last para strikes the main message.

    • piglet
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      I suspect this is the most accurate comment on the current situation we are ever likely to read.

    • Stred
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Firstly, political views do not have to correlate with scientific or numeric. Ferguson did not take a risk because he knew that he had tested positive and was now immune. The mistake was to think that the press would not find out when he was facing massive criticism and personal attack.
      It seems to have escaped the general view of the epidemic that the Imperial estimate of 20,000 deaths if we locked down immediately has been exceeded and that, although hospital deaths have reduced, care home deaths are continuing at a rate which is recorded two weeks later.

      Having failed to test or supply ppe to care homes or private homes which have quarantined and also having sent infected patients into the homes to infect staff and residents, the government is now trying to make as little of the numbers as possible. The message is that the numbers cannot be compared until the details are sorted out after the epidemic has passed. Then lessons will be learnt.

      However, these numbers have been meticulously worked out by our excellent ONS and even these numbers do not include the dead in care homes who were certified as having died from flu and pneumonia. A large proportion of the excess deaths are still not being recorded as from or with Covid.
      It is even being said that the proportion of women who have died is larger and that this does not follow the usual pattern and therefore itay not be Covid related. This ignores the fact that care homes have a disproportionate number of women with dementia, the second highest killer, and that women are twice as likely to have dementia as men and that they live longer. Also it has been found that Covid attacks the nervous and vascular system and that old people in homes die quickly when inflected.

      The total deaths for the whole UK, allowing for the ad yet unrecorded, may be at least 10,000 higher and to be reported. But will these later non hospital desths make any difference to the rest of society trying to get back to work? These poor people are not contributing to the economy and are not going to infect the test of us. They have been left isolated and with their own tragic epidemic, abandoned until too late.

      The government P R conferences are just covering the numbers as far as possible and putting off the obviously safe ways to return to work with precautions or stopping the precautions which make no sense.

    • Peter
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Ironically, Neil Ferguson is another who has been forced to resign for breaking the lockdown (to meet up with his mistress).

      Do as I say, not as I do?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      I have no idea where Prof. Ferguson stands on Eco Activism – do you have any?

      But the BBC and the absurd Climate Change Committee are certainly pushing this crisis to advance the cause of destroying the economy in a pointless war against CO2 plant food (which has many positive effects). Scrap this committee and the climate change act and the Paris Accord now. If we are to get the economy going and repay the huge government debts we need to be competitive we will need cheap reliable energy.

      Anyway renewables, electric cars and similar make little or no difference to world CO2 output at all. The might well actually increase it. Just exporting the emissions and the jobs.

      What is very clear is predicting the transmission of this virus for say 12 months is billions of times simpler than predicting the climate for 100 year time. They cannot even do the former reliably as we have seen. Was this Virus and population decrease in their climate projections? Or all the many other unknown events of the next 100 years?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        Given the much lower oil, gas and coal prices the intermittent and very expensive renewables make even less sense than they did before this crisis. When the technology works and is cost competitive people will use it from choice.

        Do not push it prematurely with tax payer subsidies it is idiotic to do so. R&D is fine but subsidised premature roll out is idiotic and economic lunacy. The people and government do not now have this money to waste.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      I think that the international criminal court needs to look at its definitions.

      In addition to atrocities committed during wars, I think that reckless conduct towards its population by a government in the face of disease should be categorised as a Crime Against Humanity too – if it is not already.

      Included in such recklessness would be to ignore flagrantly the advice of WHO, of respected scientific bodies, and, especially, of other countries, which already have harsh experience of what is involved.

      The UK appears to have the highest death rate in Europe, despite several weeks head start on countries such as Italy.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        Best of luck with that case.

      • NickC
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        Martin, You have been one of the main cheerleaders on here for the government’s policy of lockdown. Indeed you have even said (after the event, with your customary 20/20 hindsight) that the government should have locked down sooner.

        Now it is becoming clearer by the day that the full lockdown was a mistake, as I and many on here suggested. We should have carried on with the government’s original strategy of sensible precautions and herd immunity, like Sweden. But you, goaded by the hysterical MSM, wouldn’t have it.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        No it doesn’t have the highest death rate.

        Italy, Spain and Belgium do according to this

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Boris can still be a Churchillian and can win three+ elections too. All he has to do is cut all the green crap, cut the size of government, get people back to work, have a huge bonfire of red tape, go for cheap reliable energy, cancel the Paris accord and the climate change act, kill all subsidies for “renewables”, cancel HS2, cut and simplify taxes. We need a larger private sector and a smaller state. We need real freedom and choice and real and fair competition in education, health care, housing, broadcasting but alas not much sign as yet.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Much talk on the BBC and by the alarmists about the much “cleaner” air during this lock down and trying to confuse this issue with C02. The BBC do not seem to realise that the CO2 is a clean, colourless, non polluting, odourless gas that does not make the air remotely dirty. It is just 0.04% of the air and is vital for crop, tree and plant growth.

        Rather like the alarmists use pictures of steam coming out of power station cooling towers – as if this too was “pollution” rather than just the water vapour it is.

      • Sharon Jagger
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        Life logic

        I agree!

        At the moment government still seems to growing!

      • Longinus
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        He’s a wet globalist from a globalist family. Judge him by his previous (in)actions.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        Boris can still win 3 elections … 😂😂 been at the poteen?

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 10:00 pm | Permalink


        Sounds like a return to good old Victorian times and all the misery suffered by millions of underprivileged people labouring in the ‘dark satanic mills’ of filthy industrial towns.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

          But that is not what he said at all.
          LL was just pointing out that pollution and climate change are not the same thing.
          Despite greens always calling CO2 carbon to try to make it seem it is a polluter.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      AND what’s more there was no shut down in the US in 1968…even Woodstock “ happened”!

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        there was no lockdown in UK 2014 excess flu like deaths 44,000

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Easy peasey to criticise.
      Singapore, much of Europe, The UAE, Saudi, China, even USA have had lock-downs. China behaved badly at the start with a Nelson approach and look what happened!
      Iran didn’t act hard enough – and got hit badly.
      Sweden is more relaxed – with a tiny population stretched over a vast area of forests and perma frost.
      Even Mecca and Medina were shut down for the hadj!

      Our government has behaved normally – and at the moment – the disease seems to be contained.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        The population of Sweden is not spread out. Places like Stockholm and Malmo hold a large percentage of their people.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        85% of Swedes live in urban centres with a similar population density to London.

        My German relatives are all discussing why Germany is doing so much worse than Poland. Well, because Poland sealed their borders in mid-March I suppose. But their view is that countries like that with very few infected/recovered will suffer more when their lockdown is lifted and another wave comes. They expect all countries in Europe to end up, in a few years time, at the same level of deaths. In the absence of a vaccine that seems right b

    • Bob
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      An excellent assessment.

    • Ed Hirst
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Thank you Javelin for pointing out that the whole thing appears to have been a left wing political stunt which has conned the “Conservative government ” into abolishing freedoms we used to take for granted, trashing generations’ worth of wealth creation, condemning countless old people to a miserable, isolated death, and doing perhaps irrevocable damage to the structure of society. To be fair, most of the population have been conned too.

      • Sharon Jagger
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        Ed Hurst

        Hear, hear!

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      I think both Mr Hancock and Mr Sunak have failed. Having been very divisive and unfair with his patronage(so called furlough) scheme, reports are now that he aims to trim it slowly by focussing it based on need. So here we have a Tory encouraging competition based on need; how he cannot get that it is possible to support fairly by something like UBI, which then still allows the price mechanism for resources and individual freedom to work is beyond me. The lockdown is a tragic mistake, continuing the selective patronage has made it worse. I can’t help but wonder if number 10 hadn’t captured number 11 and the Treasury with the indirect removal of Mr Javid whether the creation of the furlough drug wouldn’t have happened. Mr Sunak needs to get the country off furlough and the encouragement of needs based competition.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Professor Fergusson explained that he though he was *immune* having already contracted CV-19 and been quarantined.


      So is there immunity or not ?

      And if yes (as Ferguson clearly thinks) then why not herd immunity by letting those at least risk catch it whilst keeping those at high risk quarantined ?

      Also why are we not seeing the catastrophic scenes we saw in Italy in the UK if our death rate is higher ? People suffocating in corridors, people unable to get their ill relatives in hospitals… coffins lined up in the streets ?

      Now we know that we have militant labour activists in the health service (exposed inadvertently by last week’s Panorama) how can we trust the figures ? That death certificates have been filled properly so as not to undermine the Tory government ?

      • NickC
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        Anon, Indeed.

      • Stred
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:06 am | Permalink

        The scenes in British ITU wards were like the Italian, with relatives unable to visit dying patients. Hospitals are now half full. The epidemic has transferred to care homes, which are not able to offer the treatment available in hospitals. This is where the chaotic scenes will be found.

    • APL
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Javelin: “The Conservative Government has made the biggest political miscalculation in the history of the UK … ”

      I think you might be right.

      Apart from their totalitarian tendencies we avoided voting Labour because we always thought, ‘If the Tory party does nothing else*, it is at least economically competent’. ( * And by the way it did nothing else. )

      Well little did we imagine that we’d get all Labour’s ‘totalitarian instincts’, Lockdown, house arrest, and Labour’s economic incompetence!

      Tell me John Redwood, What’s the difference between Labour and the Tories now?

  9. Jessica Hallom
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Only a fool places any faith in the numbers coming out when they can see tons of evidence that they are manipulated, biased and untested. Have they even isolated the virus? If not how can they test for it? Why are doctors being told to list every death as corona virus when it is plainly obvious that is false? If there is such a pandemic why are all the hospitals empty?

  10. Time Lord
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    I personally, myself, if he exists fully understand and appreciate you all did your best.
    But I am not human.

    • NickC
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Or rational.

  11. Annette Bates
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    It does appear that the Govt are clueless & are being led instead of leading & the people being deliberately kept in the dark whilst a tyrannical rule is being set up. There are very few public voices like yours calling for sanity & restoration of our liberty.
    Why is the MSM never challenged on their fearmongering?
    What exactly is this ‘magic’ test actually for? It can’t be for ‘the’ virus as it hasn’t yet been isolated. It appears to be for a particular genetic RNA sequence, not a virus. I certainly have not been reassured that the ‘test’ is not for a deeper, darker purpose.
    Why has draconian legislation been passed to enforce mandatory vaccination (& seizure of property)? Another seemingly permanent restriction of our freedoms.
    Boris had the ideal opportunity to inject some sanity & leadership into this farce but bottled it. Instead he appears to have joined the EU in spraying even more money at them & the discredited WHO via his Blair-clone Chancellor. They are now in a painted corner of ineptitude with no-one willing to admit that the Emporer has no clothes.
    Until the public sector is as affected as the private sector & subject to the same financial & security impacts, there is no incentive to change. Each day I see more & more people making the decision to revert to normal where they can & the Govt losing credence. Anyone spouting ‘this is the new normal’ is being seen for what they are – a puppet for a different & foreign agenda.

  12. BeebTax
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Amongst its other battles, the government must do more to counteract the doomsayers in the MSM, who have no interest in getting our country back to work. The bigger the economic crash, the more fun they will have attacking the government and undermining its efforts to raise living standards over years to come.

    It’s time for government to hammer home the connection between the economy and our future wellbeing, to put economic “experts” on a par with scientific “experts”. The population has been conditioned to think mostly about a single health issue, and to an extent, terrorised. We need to change the mindset so the country focuses on pulling itself out and up. With his communication flair, that’s something Boris might set his mind to.

  13. James Freeman
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    They were going to test a sample of the population two months ago. Where are the results?

    • rose
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      More interesting was the announcement that they were going to extend the tests to ordinary workers and people over 65. Now, having failed to hit the target for several days, they are wondering where the virus has gone. People aren’t turning up to be tested because they haven’t got the symptoms.

  14. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Is there a link to these graphs JR.

    Certainly there could have been better and more statistics published to show where we are at with CV cases and recoveries.
    The definition of CV deaths used is also confusing – We should be recording ‘DIED OF CV’ – not ‘DIED WITH CV’.

    One other useful statistic to publish, by month, would be a comparison of all deaths in the UK in a given month this year and last year.

    Rather than rushing to make a vaccine, we would have been much better off to find ways to trigger the body’s natural immune reactions, by finding out what helps the body to fight a given virus.

  15. Ian @Barkham
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Based on the so-called daily briefings, is any thing that is being presented true in the sense does it represent any sort of clarity on the situation.

    Each day it grows to be a briefing of over hyped scare stories to manipulate the population into believing the government has a handle on it. They just keep demonstrating how inept they are and they have lost the confidence of the people.

    It is not science being used to reinforce a position and that is a clear fact. It is stats dressed up as facts. We all know there are stats, stats and lies.

    So where is the true picture, the US which has a population roughly 5 times that of the UK and they have more people that have died…. Come on, what does that comparison show.

    Just 332 people under the age of 45 have died – those still alive in the same age bracket have been denied the opportunity to put food on the table…

    Care home deaths surprisingly jumped after the mass release of the old and infirm from their hospital beds back in to care homes, and that’s a surprise! No tests carried out, yet Hospitals themselves seem to be the biggest hub of transmission. So if they had the virus and we don’t truly know, it is just an idea like all the other ideas that they might have had it. Which, if were true would suggest it stems from the media attention being sort by NHS that demonstrate they have no need for social distancing they are there to spread disease.

    A Trace & Track App that is riddled with security and abuse holes introduced 100% purely as a vanity project. The only aim was to control the minds of the population.

    The stats show were as in other countries hospital admissions for Covid have survivors, yet in our NHS no one other than Boris gets to survive.

    I could go on, but the list of Government miscalculations is so massive. What it does seem to demonstrate it is pure an simply a proper gander mission to manipulate and control people minds as if it is maneuvering its self to be a totalitarian state.

    I am a free market one nation conservative that believes in democracy and the freedom of each individual in this country. That like a lot of voters I thought we would get – but boy how far of the mark were we.

  16. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    The fourth test is where are people catching it?

    This informs policy going forward and involves surveying the 5,000 each day who are testing positive.

    The fifth test is how are we going to move people around? That has not been answered to my knowledge.

  17. matthu
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    So is it pure coincidence that Mr Lockdown has been secretly seeing a senior campaigner of an organization described by The Guardian as “”the globe’s largest and most powerful online activist network”? A senior campaigner for an organization whose stated mission is to “close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want”, that supports causes such as global action on climate change? Someone who has also repeatedly slammed Boris Johnson and Brexit on social media?

    No wonder Mr Lockdown resigned – but I sincerely hope that will not be the end of it.

    • NickC
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      Matthu, Yes, it seems Prof Fergusson has a lot to answer for.

    Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Covid is ushering in a surveillance state that may never be dismantled, Philip Johnston – Daily Telegraph

    Oh, what have the British voting public done? They are voting for parties whose fundamental aim is the creation of a surveillance network

    I always knew both main parties could not be trusted. Dark times ahead

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      I think you’ll find the NHS app is so useless that surveillance will not be possible.

      • NickC
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        Roy G, I hope you’re right. But with number plate recognition cameras, the DVLA database, the passport database (already used for internal ID checks), and mobile phone tracking, the NHS contact app isn’t really needed for pure surveillance.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      When it comes to it, ‘the people will win’ said one E Powell. Keeps me going! He knew a bit. The elitists are in for a drubbing.

  19. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Sympathy for this situation is draining fast.

    We’re being tied to our homes, but somehow mysteriously thousands of new infections per day are appearing. We’re not told WHERE or HOW? Surely, once these are known, the situation can be addressed to return the remainder of the population to normality.

    Thousands of people have streamed in to the country through airports. It’s now admitted that arrivals brought this virus in (it clearly didn’t swim in itself) yet ports have been kept open to people throughout. WHY?

    Tests are clearly important. Promises are made about testing in the most vulnerable places, such as care homes and hospitals, but it’s not happening.

    This way of proceeding is NOT scientific! No deep analysis! No rapid remedial measures!

    Continental Europe is now starting to return to work, but we are at sixes and sevens with promises unfulfilled.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      The lockdown is being disrespected by millions of people.

      And staff in care homes do not have what is needed to stop the spread there.

      And nothing is done about requiring public face masks, etc. etc.

      If you want to know how to do things properly, then read about New Zealand, or about any of the many countries which have stamped on this menace decisively.

      • NickC
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        Martin, You didn’t think much of New Zealand when I used to point out it was independent of the EU. So why the sudden change? Isn’t your EU empire working to your satisfaction any more?

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

        Where I am the infection/death rate is way lower than the European average. Discipline is holding.

        Why ?

        It which places is discipline NOT holding ?

        Why ?

        New Zealand has a securable border. It is sparsely populated – a population 3million fewer than London’s in the landmass of England.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

          Ok, how about Germany, Greece, and China then?

      • Ginty
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

        Nothing to do with Britain not securing her borders then. Unlike nearly other nation.

        Some other reasons:

        – Heathrow Europe’s largest transport hub

        – UK Europe’s third most obese nation (an NHS success of sorts, keeping sick people alive)

        – Ageing population (another NHS success)

        – Highly multi-cultural (Another UK success, but BAMEs are at risk and we don’t know why, so don’t accuse us of racism before a trial)

        Please. Stop beating us up. Three EU countries have a worse death rate than ours – assuming all counting is the same.

    • Stred
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 4:55 am | Permalink

      Hospital and care home staff return to their families and use public transport. Patients are being cross contaminated in hospitals. NHS standards are inadequate. Staff travel and shop wearing the uniform used with Covid patients and are allowed to be priority customers before the rest. It’s almost as if the experts wanted to maximise infection to create as much herd immunity as possible.

  20. George Brooks.
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Until ‘ test, track and isolate’ is up and running throughout the whole UK we will not have a reliable R factor. It is a statistician’s best guesstimate at present

    With the numbers in hospital falling, free ICU beds increasing, plus the Nightingale hospital being put on standby the government needs to have the courage to get us back to work NOW and before the economy is permanently injured.

    Covid-19 statistics of patients and deaths are very similar to road deaths and serious injuries that have been recorded for years but no medic or scientist is advising us to shut all roads.

    Test and track will come into play right across the country but it will be a serious mistake to keep the economy on hold until it does. We have the spare capacity to withstand another spike and an increasing knowledge on how to treat this virus, so there is no excuse to delay our getting back to some degree of normality.

  21. Sakara Gold
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    So farewell then, Neil Ferguson – after a serious error of judgement involving a married woman with children ~ 15 years his junior.

    You probably couldn’t make it up and put it on TV as a soap opera, to amuse those counting their losses after the recent spectacular global market crash – or those just realising that they can’t rely on the divi’s from FTSE stalwarts to cover their next credit card payment.

    I would like to ask those parroting the demand to prematurely end the lockdown, what would be an acceptable number of daily fatalities should the government be persuaded to do so?

    • Mark B
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      There is no acceptable number, no matter what method(s) you use to control disease.

      And clearly you have not been following the debate and, if you have, clearly not understood what both ‘we’ and our kind host have been saying. I therefore suggest you go back and read our comments.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      You go first: how many millions of unemployed – with associated death through long-term poverty – are you prepared to accept to maintain the lockdown ? I’m guessing you don’t work in the private sector ?

  22. JimW
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    General hospital wards are infection hot spots. The greatest risk to the general public is infection from health workers going home via public transport. Care homes have been infected by moving 15,000 elderly patients from hospital wards to make way for non-existent new cv-19 patients.
    All the above is just blatant incompetence.
    Besides this there is no fearful epidemic, the death numbers per day are falling rapidly, this virus is following the bell shape curve every respiratory/coronavirus follows. It comes down as quickly as it went up. There is absolutely no need to any sort of lockdown. It was an unmitigated disaster.
    R does not need to be below 1. This is an oft repeated error.
    If the proportion of infected is about 20%, R can be 1.2 or so ; at every proportion of the population infected, R can be different to have the same effect. R=1 is only significant at the start of the infection when all the population is susceptable to infection.
    If the government ‘scientists’ are telling them that R has to be less than 1 , then they should be immediately sacked, they are wrong.

    • forthurst
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      If R is greater than one then, by definition more people are becoming infected; if the a significant proportion of the population has already been infected, this tends to reduce the value of R because the same amount of human interaction will lead to fewer new cases.

    • Stred
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 4:46 am | Permalink

      The lockdown has broadly worked to contain hospital deaths caused by Covid, although exceeding the 20,000 estimate. Unfortunately, the epidemic in care homes, which Boris said he bitterly regrets, is going to continue. The numbers are delayed and they show little sign of decreasing. The care staff still have inadequate ppe and they are finding testing difficult because the test centres are distant. The residents are trapped with infected patients still being sent from hospitals. However, the residents will not be a source of infection to the rest of the population. It is care home staff and hospitals that are a risk. Testing should be prioritised for these and then they need to be isolated in hotels, which are empty. Then the country could get back to work with careful measures and using the new reliable antibody tests.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      . . . this virus is following the bell shape curve every respiratory/coronavirus follows.

      Exactly ! Except that is for China 😉

      What is happening is the virus is burning itself out. It is running out of victims and those that survive are now immune. We had the right idea in the beginning but, a combination of ego (Churchill complex), stupidity, fear, threats (from Macron) and bad advice from people who should never have been allowed to be in that position, has caused economic mayhem.

  23. Nigl
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Ps forgot to mention the DTs piece Government policy dictated by guesswork. They do not understand the difference between observation and guesswork. Hence the subservience to Ferguson’s clearly idiotic numbers with Imperial now rapidly revising downwards. Their modelling contained assumptions that were clearly unchallenged and way out.

    The Treasury over Brexit springs to mind and the crude results from climate change, CO2 studies treated as coming from closely controlled climate change studies.

  24. DaveK
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    How is the R0 of a disease calculated?

    The following factors are taken into account to calculate the R0 of a disease:

    Infectious period

    Some diseases are contagious for longer periods than others.
    For example, adults with the flu are typically contagious for up to 8 days. Children can be contagious for longer than that.
    The longer the infectious period of a disease, the more likely a person who has it can transmit the disease to other people. A long period of infectiousness will contribute to a higher R0 value.

    Contact rate

    If a person who has with a contagious disease comes into contact with many people who aren’t infected or vaccinated, the disease will be transmitted more quickly.
    If that person remains at home, in a hospital, or otherwise quarantined while they’re contagious, the disease will be transmitted more slowly. A high contact rate will contribute to a higher R0 value.

    Mode of transmission

    The diseases that are transmitted the fastest and easiest are the ones that can travel through the air, such as the flu or measles.
    Physical contact with a person who has such a disease isn’t needed to transmit it. You can contract the flu from breathing near someone who has the flu, even if you never touch them.

    In contrast, diseases that are transmitted through bodily fluids, such as Ebola or HIV, aren’t as easy to contract or transmit. This is because you need to come into contact with infected blood, saliva, or other bodily fluids to contract them.
    Airborne illnesses tend to have a higher R0 value than those spread through direct contact.

    R0 = S * L * β

  25. Andy
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    January 31: Freedom! We’ll show those ghastly incompetent Europeans how to do it.

    May 5: Highest number of deaths in Europe.

    How’s this plucky little Englander thing going?

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      We are not free yet.

      Hopefully we have learnt a sharp lesson Andy in not relying on other EU nations to manufacture and store for us, for the EU to keep important testing centres to one key Country I hope will never be allowed to happen again, anything we ran short of tests, test centres, ppe stock, needs to be manufactured and controlled by the U.K., preferably in new centres of excellence in area of high unemployment.

      Reusable ppe must be more frequently used with five year stock cycles, but worn in icu more anyone to stop other transmissions.

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 10:10 pm | Permalink


        “… not relying on other EU nations to manufacture and store for us….?

        Why should they? What have we done for them?

        Seldom heard such selfish arrogant rubbish. Typical ‘little Englander’ syndrome.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

          Even you must see how poorly the leadership of the EU has been during this crisis.
          It has been left to individual nations to act on their own.
          And some have refused to share resources with their fellow members.

          • bill brown
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            and most of them wanted and ahve acted on their own so most of the criticism is fake news. Look at the facts Edward 2

        • a-tracy
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

          I don’t believe they should manufacture for us Margaret I think our labs should have had the same test capacity as Germany, I think we shouldn’t be reliant on PHE because they couldn’t cope.

          I don’t want to ever hear that France held up PPE that we’d purchased again. We are more than capable of making our own essential products and we shouldn’t rely on others for ESSENTIAL life saving and protecting products for the NHS or the Forces.

          We have seen plenty of selfish actions in early March, and not from the UK if the criticisms of our government sending off British stocks to China were true, surely that is something globalists among us would welcome as a good gesture, Boris pledged £744m to EU’s COVID-19 fight is another example of what “we have done for them” as you put it… but you never see anything good in the UK do you Margaret? Go on force yourself now tell us one good thing we have done?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      Since when did you start caring about deaths of old people Andy ? You were gloating how many had died since the referendum only a short time ago.

    • outsider
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Dear Andy,
      You raise an important and highly relevant point. The biggest difference between “plucky little England” and the 27 is the UK’s centralised state-run National Health Service . This difference would clearly be central to any significant difference between the performance of the UK against France, Spain and Italy. More importantly, it s the key difference between the UK and Germany, which seems to have outperformed in health as much as it outperforms economically.
      Thee only significnt difference between December 31 and now is that the NHS has been able to more or less complete its monopoly at the hospital level by taking over the small private units.
      So you are right. Little England exceptionalism is at the very heart of the UK’s relative performance in the pandemic.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        ‘You raise an important and highly relevant point’
        Is this a first?

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Doesn’t look like the EU’s going to survive COVID-19 either.

      PS, to be fair on us you need to look at the figures per million in which Spain, Italy and Belgium are still well ahead.

      PPS, this thing is likely to last at least two years. It will be interesting to see the death stats then.

      PPPS, This was the Chinese Communist Party’s fault. We are their victims.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Quite well.
      I see the EU is failing to agree any financial package.
      Independent nations are now arguing amongst themselves as Germany and Holland refuse to pay for the other 25.
      Your socialist empire is in decline.

      Look at deaths per million population.
      UK is not the highest.

      • bill brown
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        Edward 2

        so Germany and Holland is paying for Sweden, Denmark Belgium Austria, Finland, Lux, Slovenia Slovakia , Poland and a number of other countreis who d not need it , get real and get your facts right.
        you are factually wrong again

        • Edward2
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

          No I am not wrong.
          The recent arguments in Holland and Germany regarding their unwillingness to underwrite this latest ECB bail out of poorer nations is well documented.

          Get reading and get real yourself bill

          • Edward2
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

            Did you not read Sir John’s article today?
            Do you think that is factually wrong too?

          • bill brown
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 12:53 am | Permalink

            I am real because the nations I mentioned do not need a bail out and will be paying part of the bill, so the 25 you mentioned is factually wrong.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

            They do now.
            Bail outs are for after Covid.
            I wasn’t talking about previous bail outs.
            Get your own facts right.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

            And no reply to my question about Sir John’s later article I note.

          • bill brown
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            thay still do not need any bail outs look at the actual figures but you do not bother, they are all financially strong

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      The tragedy – and worse – is that no one in government here seems interested in how they, e.g. the Greeks and the Slovaks did it, that is, kept the deaths of their countryfolk to a very small fraction of the UK rate.

      • Andy
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        Of course they don’t. They believe in English exceptionalism. What can we learn from Slovakia?

        In a sense they are right. Tory Brexit England has been exceptional. Exceptionally bad.

        • Anonymous
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

          They’re not crowded international transport hubs for a start.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

            But the europhobics claim that immigration and refugees are what caused the epidemic.

            Greece has borne the brunt of that.

            So which is it?

          • Edward2
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

            And closed borders, quarantine for those few who do arrive, low population density, younger and healthier populations, little population and travel from China, lower obesity and diabetes levels and not sending elderly out of hospitals back to care homes without testing

          • Edward2
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

            18 million arrivals into the UK since January is not just a few, is it Martin.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        Lack of tourists, population density, large cities, boom economy meaning eating /drinking out most nights, using coffee shops huddled together daily. Open borders, hundreds of thousands of students, return from Chinses New Year, other religious festivals… many possibilities do you want?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

          No, Fred.

          No English, Tory, born-to-rule-however-inept-and-lazy government is the reason.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

            I realise you hate the Conservatives but don’t let that blind you.
            You think the only factor is political?

          • Fred H
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

            OK – so add that one to the list.

  26. Andy
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Ending the lockdown is easy.

    The virus has a low death toll among the young and health.

    So let younger people with no underlying health problems go about their business as normal.

    To protect over 70s ban them from going out at all.

    And ban over 60s from commuting on public transport.

    Apparently we can expect old people to revolt if these sensible measures are put in place.

    That’s okay, let them revolt.

    Everyone found to have broken the rules forfeits their entire state pension and all access to NHS treatment during the pandemic. We must stop appeasing these elderly snowflakes who are too selfish to put society first.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      I try not to be goaded by childish, gibbering rabid contributions.

    • ukretired123
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      Andy the joker wind up merchant, as usual, no comprehension of old folks – snowflakes ? Pathetic cynicism, ignorance and totally uncalled for.
      You didn’t see Capt Tom Moore 100 celebrated and revered by the nation.
      Your namesake St Andrew was a fisher of men…
      You discover compassion with age and wisdom – which takes time obviously.

    • NickC
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      Andy, I thought you wanted elderly Brexit voters to die off, rather than merely take their pension off them? Going soft in your old age, are you?

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      I wouldn’t have put it in such a confrontational way but I agree with Andy on this point.

      All other at risk groups should be assisted in self isolation.

      The Boomers had their fathers storm the beaches of Normandy for them. They can’t expect their sons and grandson’s to sacrifice their futures for them too.

      Worse than that would be to expect young people to have their healthy bodies injected with a rushed vaccine too.

  27. Lifelogic
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Lloyds have just turned down one of my companies CV loan applications – no reason given. The company is very solid, profitable with a sound balance sheet and has been trading well for 40+ years. I suspect they have just decided to push the company onto the simpler bounce back loan now that is available (but this will handicap the company as the £50k is not really quite enough to cover the Covid losses incurred leaving the company with less ability to compete going forwards).

    Lloyds Bank were bailed out by the taxpayer and then put their personal overdraft daily charges up to about 78% APR to reward tax payers when base rates were less than 1%. Where are the competition authorities in banking?

    • Mark B
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink


      It is not the authorities that need looking at, it is the system. What we need is more competition and less government.

  28. Richard1
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Off topic, the struggle between the German constitutional court on the one side and the ECB and ECJ on the other is interesting. The fundamental contradictions at the heart of the euro scheme are coming ever more sharply into focus. Not that you’d know it listening to the BBC, I don’t think it’s even got a mention! the EU now needs political action to legitimise the ECB’s QE – which clearly contradicts the treaties but is the only current means of holding the eurozone together – and to move to full fiscal and political union.

    It’s relevant for the U.K. for two reasons. One is it’s clear that sustaining the eurozone is becoming the central mission of the EU, putting our own clean Brexit vs EU-lite / rejoin debate into perspective, and other is we need to be prepared for the eurozone to break up. There would be huge dislocations with losses throughout the global banking system, concentrated in the euro countries but certainly impacting the U.K. markets will look for safe havens. Switzerland will be an obvious one, but the U.K. could be another. It will be messy.

  29. miami.mode
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    So many of the advisers and experts the government rely on seem to have left-wing leanings and as a consequence have no compunction in causing the government difficulties with the view that ultimately the mess and debt created will result in a socialist government.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      This was New Labour’s plan right from 1997. To leave enough of ‘their people’ in place so that any future Conservative government would implement their (New Labour) policies.

      Many here and elsewhere raised the alarm over many years. But the Tories carried on regardless. They really do need to wake up. The Socialists are at war with the Tories. They do not just want to have power, they want unopposed power – ie The destruction of ALL, including the Conservative Party, political opposition. These people do not serve the interests of government and the UK, they serve their failed and warped ideology.

      • NickC
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        Mark B, Just so.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      This is a Socialist Government.

  30. James Bertram
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    ‘ It seems that much rests on the particular calculation and estimation of R and its trends.’

    This, in particular, is discussed by Stanford professor and Nobel prize-winner, Michael Levitt (on the Unherd website I mentioned yesterday):
    ‘…His observation is a simple one: that in outbreak after outbreak of this disease, a similar mathematical pattern is observable regardless of government interventions. After around a two week exponential growth of cases (and, subsequently, deaths) some kind of break kicks in, and growth starts slowing down. The curve quickly becomes “sub-exponential”.

    This may seem like a technical distinction, but its implications are profound. The ‘unmitigated’ scenarios modelled by (among others) Imperial College, and which tilted governments across the world into drastic action, relied on a presumption of continued exponential growth — that with a consistent R number of significantly above 1 and a consistent death rate, very quickly the majority of the population would be infected and huge numbers of deaths would be recorded. But Professor Levitt’s point is that that hasn’t actually happened anywhere, even in countries that have been relatively lax in their responses….

    He believes that both some degree of prior immunity and large numbers of asymptomatic cases are important factors.
    He also observes that the total number of deaths we are seeing, in places as diverse as New York City, parts of England, parts of France and Northern Italy, all seem to level out at a very similar fraction of the total population….
    He believes the much-discussed R0 is a faulty number, as it is meaningless without the time infectious alongside.
    He describes indiscriminate lockdown measures as “a huge mistake,” and advocates a “smart lockdown” policy, focused on more effective measures, focused on protecting elderly people….

    “There is no doubt in my mind, that when we come to look back on this, the damage done by lockdown will exceed any saving of lives by a huge factor.”

  31. nhsgp
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    You’ve based the lock down on Neil Fergusson’s models.
    His model predicts 40,000 deaths today, in Sweden.
    There just over 2,000

    You’ve imposed the lock down on a fake model that doesn’t work.

    Why didn’t you follow NHS guide lines produced by NICE? They say you only go into lock down if the cost is below 13 bn

    You’ve spent 350 bn directly and trashed the economy.

    Remember that’s the same NHS that refuses to treat 1 in 8 cancer patients because of cost, yet spends money on Arts directors, 5 a day coordinators.

    Then we have the 650 deaths as Gosport and still no prosecutions.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      I agree with your comments, as I’ve said earlier ”there’s something rotten in the state of denmark”

      • Original Chris
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        There is indeed something rotten, gc, , and sadly I have cause to believe that Sir John is not keen on the true figures and data on the whole COVID-19 epidemic being published. I say this because the data I posted has been consigned to moderation in perpetuity 3 times. It is of vital importance that we have the facts out in the open. Only when we know the truth can we make informed decisions and actually solve the problems in front of us. It benefits noone, except the perpetrators of the original deception, to disallow truths being published.

      • Stred
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 4:27 am | Permalink

        Denmark, which locked down early and closed the border is way down in death per million chart. Sweden is currently number nine, way up. They have been operating a relaxed lockdown similar to the UK, which is now up with Spain and Italy. The 40,000 estimate for Sweden was for a do nothing policy. They did something.

  32. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Too much reliance has been put in mathematical models, the efficacy and accuracy of which are unknown. This is still the case for this magical R figure. In the meantime people have been allowed to enter the country every day without check or quarantine but we are told the advisers say this has no significant effect on the spread or control of the virus. How can that be correct when the majority of us with no symptoms have been told for weeks we must stay at home and not go out unless for limited reasons and only 1 hour a day for exercise. People with other illnesses have either been prevented or frightened from seeking treatment.
    At the outset there was a danger that the response to this virus would have far more deleterious consequences than the virus itself. That clearly seems to be the case.

  33. Stred
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Firstly, political views do not have to correlate with scientific or numeric. Ferguson did not take a risk because he knew that he had tested positive and was now immune. The mistake was to think that the press would not find out when he was facing massive criticism and personal attack.
    It seems to have escaped the general view of the epidemic that the Imperial estimate of 20,000 deaths if we locked down immediately has been exceeded and that, although hospital deaths have reduced, care home deaths are continuing at a rate which is recorded two weeks later.

    Having failed to test or supply ppe to care homes or private homes which have quarantined and also having sent infected patients into the homes to infect staff and residents, the government is now trying to make as little of the numbers as possible. The message is that the numbers cannot be compared until the details are sorted out after the epidemic has passed. Then lessons will be learnt.

    However, these numbers have been meticulously worked out by our excellent ONS and even these numbers do not include the dead in care homes who were certified as having died from flu and pneumonia. A large proportion of the excess deaths are still not being recorded as from or with Covid.
    It is even being said that the proportion of women who have died is larger and that this does not follow the usual pattern and therefore itay not be Covid related. This ignores the fact that care homes have a disproportionate number of women with dementia, the second highest killer, and that women are twice as likely to have dementia as men and that they live longer. Also it has been found that Covid attacks the nervous and vascular system and that old people in homes die quickly when inflected.

    The total deaths for the whole UK, allowing for the ad yet unrecorded, may be at least 10,000 higher and to be reported. But will these later non hospital desths make any difference to the rest of society trying to get back to work? These poor people are not contributing to the economy and are not going to infect the test of us. They have been left isolated and with their own tragic epidemic, abandoned until too late.

    The government P R conferences are just covering the numbers as far as possible and putting off the obviously safe ways to return to work with precautions or stopping the precautions which make no sense.

  34. Irene
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    We have been conned all the way through this shambles. Conned by a select few.

    The government has lied from the beginning, playing with language and statistics that it hoped would prop it up. The slogan-writers should be named and shamed. Probably the same bunch of clowns who invented “get it done” and “oven-ready”, not to mention “take back control”. (Control???) Now we’re lumbered with “Stay Home” – “Protect the NHS” – “Save Lives”.

    The NHS is there to protect us and to save as many lives as possible. We are here to do whatever we can not to jeopardise our own health and well-being, just as we’ve been encouraged to do for decades now.

    But it transpires that the NHS is there to protect weak and feeble government, the elite, the decision-makers, as those decision-makers facilitate the destruction of the most deprived sections of our so-called society. That’s unfair, unjust and unnecessary.

    Ministers, scientists and advisers insist that they are “following the science” without allowing Joe and Josephine Public to see the science they’re following, without following the rules/guidelines themselves, in some cases. One rule for them; a different rule for us.

    Is it any wonder people are now seeing the arrogant hypocrisy at work. Lies about tests, testing, capacity, the death toll, the care home scandal, PPE provision, the list is endless. But we’re expected to accept that logistics were too tricky for all those highly paid brains; that we will have to wait years for a proper analysis (if we survive that long) of this debacle. If you can’t even arrange for death registrations to give additional information about the circumstances surrounding each death at the time it occurred – what hope is there for the rest of us?

    No matter how the lockdown is unlocked, we will have no say whatsoever. Just do whatever and leave us to suffer the consequences. I’ve had more than enough of the incompetence displayed.

    How could so few people have created so much chaos?

    • Irene
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      Bounce aka Bump out of obscurity. Too difficult? Too tricky? Or just too …

  35. Chris B
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Graphs of the daily progression of R are published daily by Germany and Hong Kong and also I believe Sweden. It’s no coincidence that those that appear to be managing the crisis best are also best at collection and presentation of data.
    It is not widely reported that the calculation of R is problematic, as it depends directly on what is called the serial interval. This is the time between showing symptoms and the people you pass it on to displaying symptoms. By its nature this is difficult to estimate and can only be done by contact tracing. There appear to have been only a few studies worldwide with estimates vary between 4 days to over 5 days. From what I understand Germany uses 4 to calculate R whereas Sweden uses 4.8.
    The problem with the graphs the government show us is that they relate to people who got infected weeks ago and will grossly overestimate the current level of infection. New cases are typically up to 2 weeks after infection and deaths up to 3 weeks.

  36. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    What a joke the whole Corona thing has turned out to be. Illegals coming in their droves from camps where Covid is supposed to be rife. Why aren’t they towed back to France? The governments actions over this are pathetic and I am sorely disappointed in their reaction or should I say lack of it. Then we are shown planes coming in full to the brim from Ireland. No isolation or control over distance. They are then free to come and go as they please with no checks. What with people still coming in from all over the world it has to be the most ridiculous scenario of the decade. When you look at how other countries in Europe handled their lock down it was much more strict than ours. I was speaking to our local copper the other day and he said they had been told to be gentle with people and not give out fines. What a joke it all is.. There are some of us giving up our holiday in the Lake District to celebrate our anniversary while this government lets in all and sundry and doesn’t even bother to enforce a proper lockdown but stops our economy in its track for us all to suffer financially in the future. Oh dear Boris what a let down you are.

  37. Richard1
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    It is revealed that the hypocritical professor’s mistress is a left wing campaigner. The less highbrow media should perhaps permit debate on the relevance of this, as it seems elements of the left especially militant unions rather like lockdown.

  38. Jonah
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Now we have more data has Neil Ferguson’s model been recalibrated and if so what are the results? Also has his paper been peer reviewed yet? “Following the science” surely means that you use evidence based information. Why was this paper used to make such a huge decision.

    Boris’ initial plan to protect the vulnerable was surely manageable and common sense… following the U Turn we seem to have done the opposite – just look at care homes.

    Believe there is a spare place on “SAGE” maybe we should consider inviting a Swedish scientist!

  39. John Probert
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    The government must provide Testing at Ports & Airports
    This will become more important as the virus comes under control and will feed
    into contact tracing

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      They’ll do it John or the EU and places like the USA and NZ will not allow flights from the U.K.

  40. APL
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    JR: ” The aim to save lives is charted by the death rate.”

    In terms of the governments own information, the aim was never to save lives.

    The aim was to ‘flatten the curve’ and stop the NHS from collapsing. You flatten the curve just means the distribution of deaths is extended, not reduced. The area under the graph remains the same.

    • Original Chris
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Well said, APL.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      Yep !

  41. a-tracy
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    How many patients are there in the hospitals right now in total? what is that as a number per hospital?
    How many patients being treated for covid19? What is the initial current treatment given in the hospital?
    How many patients in ICU on ventilators being treated for covid19?

    Government is sending our businesses to the wall without giving us the facts of on-going justification. The UK closed down a majority of businesses compulsorily on Friday 20th March at midnight, with many others closing completely in the following two weeks.

    “I was pleased to read that they are now going to sample test the population for the presence of the virus” . The new patients rocking up at A&E in the past fortnight are their families being tested? Are we sample testing any potential contacts of theirs, surely there can’t be that many people with CV19 going in to hospital now? Can we know were they working since 20 March? What occupations?

    • Fred H
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      I think the UK has approx 1200 hospitals.

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        You can see the numbers here Fred

        “The actual number, correct as at September 2019, is that there are 1,257 hospitals in the UK. This number includes the NHS Trust-managed hospitals and the additional private hospitals that are currently in use. As of April 2020, there are also 5 temporary Nightingale Hospitals being set up in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Harrogate to provide more beds for Coronavirus patients – however, these will close once the pandemic is under control and the additional space is no longer required.

        Hospitals in each UK region
        Looking at the different regions, 68% of all hospitals are in England (854 hospitals) and Scotland has 22% of the hospitals at 279. Wales has 7% with 83 hospitals and Northern Ireland has just 3% with 41 hospitals.

        If there are currently 15000 patients how are they distributed as all private healthcare has been cancelled, appointments and operations cancelled?

    • Original Chris
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      A colleague of mine went into hospital after 10 dys of trying to look after himself at home with symptoms of the virus. He was extremely unwell and was then finally admitted to hospital after several attempts with 111. In hospital, he asked for a coronavirus test and was refused and was informed it was because they did not have enough of them. Frimley Park hospital apparently. How useless is that?

      • Mark B
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

        He should have immediately been sent to one of the Nightingale Hospitals and isolated from other patients and healthcare workers. This to limit the spread.

  42. ChrisS
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    We are being kept in the dark over the really important figure related to keeping the virus in check.

    The so-called R number is crucial but we need to know what it is in various parts of the country and that should be what is guiding the relaxation of the lockdown. The individual R numbers in the South West, for example, in the three counties of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset, must be a fraction of that in London or Manchester. A different rate of relaxation would therefore be in order in places where the R number is lowest.

    As for Germany, I fear that they are relaxing their lockdown with indecent haste. I strongly suspect that they will see a spike in cases and will have to rethink. Fortunately they nailed testing very early on and will be able to recognise an increasing trend very quickly and take appropriate action.

    I am sure that Boris will take a cautious approach and that will be both sensible and supported.

  43. Original Chris
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    There is highly significant information about highly effective treatment package for COVID-19 which is apparently being withheld knowingly from the public. There are a significant number of key new research papers (Jan to April) which have been published on the effectiveness of the HCQ treatment package and the key role it plays in bringing the pandemic under control. It also has prophylactic properties. (The Oxford University trials have also put health workers on HCQ as a preventive measure).

    I have tried to post this fundamentally important information (link to research papers and summary and opinion) twice already on this website, but to no avail. Also I have not been allowed to post the information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for COVID deaths in the USA which demonstrate parity with seasonal flu regarding death rates for COVID, a hugely significant fact. The correct provisional total as of May 5 is 30,000, and not over 70000 as the media are reporting. Also worth noting is that the total figures for all deaths from flu, pneumonia and COVID are also below the expected death figures for this year.

    The government has to come clean with the people on this in order to prevent deaths from COVID. There may well be grounds for taking legal action against those who deliberately deny patients the de facto recognised cure for COVID viz the HCQ/azithromycin/zinc package.

    Reply I have made clear this site cannot offer medical advice and I have not studied the complex medical papers needed to adjudicate. I have no wish to censor medical debate about treatments and have urged proper trials of any possible helpful treatment. There are medical sites to pursue this important matter if you have evidence or ideas the medics need to consider.

  44. Everhopeful
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    The initial tale was that we were being locked up to “save the NHS”.
    Well ok …it’s been saved.
    We know that because of all the vids of dancing baby elephants in “scrubs” and that disgusting take off of a religious painting. Staff had already had their knuckles rapped for “cultural appropriation”over sumo wrestling or some such. The mind boggles!
    So…when are we going to be released?
    What is it really all about?

    • Original Chris
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      I have tried to post on this matter, with statistics/data from reputable sources about true death rates and available cures, but my posts have been “moderated”. This sort to “moderation”, which others have referred, to happened some time ago when the topic was the European Defence Policy, and how much the UK had actually signed up to with regard to commitment to the EU. Apparently facts that go against the official narrative are not welcome. I expected far better of you, Sir John. People need to know the truth to make an informed decision, and also to see how much they have been misled by the politicians.

  45. Caterpillar
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    1. I have been a bit confused by the range of R given by Govt statements in not clearly separating out what is regional variational and what is due to different measurement techniques (assumptions about intergenerational time etc.). A clear presentational slide would have this and not group them; we want to know whether the number is going up or down, dashboarding each measure in each region will more clearly present any trend, quoting a range buries this.
    2. Yes it is good news that more population sampling for the virus is going ahead. It has been several weeks now since the Porton Down work was flagged. (In comments to Sir John’s diary 12th March it was noted that Singapore had done such an antibody test at the beginning of March). Have Govt released much on these studies? I couldn’t find it.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      This is what I was intimating right at the start of all this. Hard though this is for some to accept, it is better to get it over and done with. This virus has a butcher’s bill to be paid. We can pay it all at once, or over time ? But pay it we shall.

  46. villaking
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Sir John, thank your for your efforts, but the tests should be to maintain the lockdown not relax it. The default should be that we are all free to continue our lives unless the government can prove a genuine public health emergency which seems very unlikely given that the mortality rate is below 0.5% with those succumbing likely to already have underlying health conditions. This attack on personal liberty is by far the most horrifying consequence of this virus

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Wise words indeed

  47. Caterpillar
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Sir John, sorry about sites below but all official and I thought a quick summary might be handy (though I expect most of your readers probably read them);

    Govt press conference:
    Critical care beds in England used by CV19 patients 23/3 16%, 10/4 54%, 4/5 28%
    Daily hospital admissions England CV19 23/3 891, 2/4 3127, 3/5 906
    People in hospital England CV19 23/3 3144, 12/4 17142, 4/5 10,421

    NHS deaths in hospital England by actual date:

    Total daily deaths in hospital England 23/3 154 (7 day CMA 183), 8/4 871 (7 day CMA 761), 26/4 353 (7 day CMA 358), 29 Apr 297 [The 60-79 and 80+ age group hospital deaths both peak on about 8th April, the 40-59 group is 9th-11th April,there is interpretation to be made here].
    Underlying vs no underlying condition (upto 28th April) Total 18720 vs 1020, 40-59 age group 1401 vs 184, over 60 17195 vs 805
    Regional variation in time series of epidemic deaths – (if you plot CMA 7 and normalise each region for peak you can see this) – due to earliness and sharpness of London peak it as about 7 days ahead of rest of country and 10 days ahead of NE&Yorkshire in fall from peak.

    ONS weekly deaths England and Wales:
    Commentary here (worth going through)
    Actual data here

    Care home weekly updates:
    Outbreaks of Covid19: By PHE regions between 20% and 40% of care homes have reported outbreaks.

    SAGE releases:
    List of all papers is only until 16th April
    A few more of these were released on May 5th, but many not released, those that have been released have blacked out sections.
    12 strains of coronavirus identified in UK as of 23rd March indicating multiple entries.

    EU comparison of excess deaths z-score charts:

  48. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Some very trenchant questions:

    1. In a percentage, how reliable are the tests? I have read that some were just 55% or so accurate. In the Daily Mail we were assured they were 99.8% accurate.

    2. I am not at all sure how Mr Hancock’s tests help. I do not possess a mobile phone myself. And if I did, how would it help me to know if I were near someone who had tested negative when I was surrounded by other people who weren’t in possession of a mobile phone either? All of them might be carriers.

    3. It is very encouraging that there seem to be some cures on the horizon.

    4. The actual death rate seems to have doubled in this country compared with the same time last year. In a plague like the Flu Epidemic of 1918, it then was astronomically higher.

    5. Test me now – and in ten minutes I could be infected by someone without a mobile phone…

    6. Is it really fixed that someone who has had the disease and recovered is neither infectious nor able to have the disease again?

    Oh well – keep a troshin’

  49. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I hope the Test, Track, and Trace App System works out, I really do.

    But why did the NHS not build on the knowledge behind the Apple and Google platforms, instead of trying to develop their own stand alone system from scratch, surely it would have been quicker to develop with proven hardware and software experts, who already operate Worldwide, or were those Companies being difficult.

    Michael Gove’s response the other day that the NHS were looking for higher standards and security than some Country’s /Companies use, seems a little strange when any system has to use and interact with current hardware and software already in use.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      The NHS has very little to do, empty hospitals and time on its hands. ‘Developing an app’ seems like a better thing to be seen to be doing as opposed to developing a chorus line.

    • Stred
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 4:07 am | Permalink

      Probably for the same reason that they rejected any testing by other labs and requisitioned testing equipment for their own large central lab. That is until it failed to produce enough tests and the independent labs set up Lighthouse and dug them out of their hole.

  50. agricola
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Before we allow a return to work and accept that distancing becomes impractical once we are using trains, tubes, buses, and airliners; we need ongoing testing of the whole working and travelling population. We need to know who has Covid 19, has had Covid 19 and who is completely free of it. Those who have it need to be isolated and treated. Those who have had it, and those free of it need to be monitored at a frequency to be determined by the scientific and medical professionals.

    To ensure that airlines operate to near full capacity and fares remain affordable, anyone travelling should have a health visa stamped in their passport. This needs to be done with international agreement and only with countries that have a credible system for checking and issuing such documents. Like it or not I can remember when you could buy driving licences and certificates of compliance for a few rupees. In the former case without the challenge of having driven a vehicle let alone passed a test. We are in a situation that overrides any PC nonsense.

    All the above needs to come on stream until such time as we have a credible vaccination against Covid 19, evidence of which should show in the form of a visa in ones passport. It is not new. I can vaguely remember having to carry such evidence in the 60s/ 70s. covering yellow fever and other diseases. So there you have it a plan for a return to normality.

  51. The PrangWizard
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    ‘Professor Ferguson;

    ‘You have been both defended and criticized this morning. Your defenders say the advice, that people must at all costs stay at home, and wisely in your view and others acted upon by government, may have saved lives.

    ‘Your critics say your lack of moral decency and breach of those very guidelines and blatant hypocrisy may encourage people to follow your example and start leaving home.

    This they say may well result in deaths which can thus be laid directly at your door.

    What say you, Professor?’

    • Mark B
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:51 pm | Permalink


      I think he has rather a lot of other concerns right now mate 😉

    • hefner
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Another important question worth asking:
      The lady visited Mr Ferguson on 30/03 and 08/04. Why have the Daily Telegraph, Sun, Metro and Daily Mail all waited till the day when the UK was declared to be the European country with the most deaths to publish that story? Just a coincidence, I am sure.

  52. Bob
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Compare Hong Kong and UK corona stats

    Hong Kong
    • Pop per Sq Mile: 18,492
    • Covid-19 cases: 1,041
    • Covid deaths: 4

    • Pop per Sq Mile: 727
    • Covid-19 cases: 194,990
    • Covid deaths: 29,427

    The Hong Kong govt are now issuing reusable face masks free of charge to all its citizens.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink


      Many have probably been infected and have built an immunity to Cv19. Think of what happened to Inuit tribes people when they first encountered Westerners ? Many died from the Common Cold.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:38 pm | Permalink


        Sample testing has been done and only a very small percentage have been infected.

        There is no “herd immunity”.

        • Anonymous
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

          Prof Ferguson said he thought he was immune.

          Why can’t we release low risk people to restart the economy and keep high risk in isolation ?

          • Fred H
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

            Yes he thought he was immune to criticism.

        • Anonymous
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

          Herd immunity is how the human race has survived just about every plague on the planet.

          We get the vulnerable out of the way and the let the rest get mildly sick.

          This is not the Black Death.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

            No, survivor immunity, or didn’t need immunity because some missed it, is how humanity has survived.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      Yes, but they are actually capable of organising “a few beers for the lads” in a brewery.

      • Bob
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps it’s because the HK people protested to force their govt to close the borders as soon as they became aware of the threat.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        You do trample cultural norms ruthlessly. Chinese don’t drink beer! Tea is what cleanses their water.

        • hefner
          Posted May 8, 2020 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

          Tsingtao is obviously a British beer, isn’t it?
          Ever been to China, Lynn?

    Posted May 6, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    The UK Government is now the most repressive regime in the world.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      I actually disagree, to describe the UK as the most repressive regime in the world suggests that there is some strategic planning & forethought

      I don’t see any planning what so ever….we bumble along from one problem to another, we fight fires by creating bigger fires and we pray to the gods of technology & social media

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Untrue. Perhaps you should take a holiday in China, North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam …

        Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        Starbucks has reopened in China also shops selling the Apple gadgets, I think Apple owns the shops . So go for coffee in China , go three ,, four more times per day. Enjoy! You can go walk with friends who not related you Yes , really.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Yep ! Nice to know that all those CCTV Cameras they paid for with our tax money will not go to waste.


    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Give over will you.! I don’t believe it for an instant!

      When the lockdown is lifted, perhaps you should get out more.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      The Emergency Legislation certainly says so.

  54. a-tracy
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I don’t know why the government doesn’t just say we’ll be going back a week to school after France and Germany allow us to because we closed schools down a week after them, following the same pattern they have agreed i.e. re-open primary schools <15 children per class a week after 11 May so either 18 or 19 May, then from the following week older age groups stagger back in the UK they'll allow 25 May with all classes back from 1st June. To make out our government is making all the decisions for itself is just a crock.

    We know the threats Macron made out loud and Merkel wanted to break closedown earlier and get her Countries children back sooner especially in regions who weren't severely affected because Germany got a handle on the problem much quicker than the rest thanks to them having all the tests and private labs rather than relying on a socialist health model.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Doh “we’ll be going back a week to school after France and Germany allow us to”

      ….we’ll be going back to school a week after France and Germany allow us to….
      and we’ll be going back to work a week after the rest of Europe too

  55. Polly
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    So how will the UK’s new commitment to global ”collective decisions” and global ”equal access to treatment and vaccines” work in practice ?

    Gov UK’s press release…

    Does this mean that the UK has undertaken to allow the World Health Organization to determine which nations will take priority in receiving new treatments and vaccines even if the R and D takes place in Britain, which is likely as Britain, outside the US, is making one of the largest contributions.

    Does this mean that Britons might be placed in a line for treatment behind other nations, despite the drugs being researched and/or produced in Britain ?

    What mechanisms exist for rapidly resolving disputes arising from ”collective decisions” and ”equal access” ?

    Would it not have been far preferable for the UK to retain full control over her R and D and thereby provide at her own discretion and responsibility for the needs of UK citizens and others around the world instead of delegating these powers and responsibilities to the WHO ?

    What safeguards have been retained to protect the UK’s position ?


    • Mark B
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink


      Never underestimate a politician ego and desire to do a bit of global virtue signalling. And of course, at our expense.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        how very true

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        Yep! Politicians are always looking for a bigger stage to dance upon. (Our host excepted, he correctly thinks England is the greatest stage to dance upon and nearly uniquely understands value!)

    • Stred
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 3:57 am | Permalink

      Last week Prof John Bell said that the UK could have a vaccine for the vulnerable by September if they backed the production after testing. This week Boris joined the global collective to level up.

  56. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Ferguson thinks it’s OK to ‘socialise’ – not worried about the 6 ft rule! 😂😂
    Let’s do as he does not as he says and open Britain up tomorrow – throw away all the disgraceful emergency legislation and tracking schemes.
    Time for Government contrition.

  57. Nigl
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    The contact app was shredded yesterday and the Governments response seems to have made it look more stupid and has been shredded even more. How for instance can you have a contact app that needs to be on permanently actually turned off from time to time because it eats battery life. HMG denied that yesterday but have now accepted it.

    This needs your knowledge and cool head to intervene to save PHE/HMG from what looks like its own arrogance and stubbornness that could get very messy.

  58. Frances Truscott
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Its not just about who dies.
    Firstly many who survive will have long term consequences akin to Polio survivors. There are several vulnerable groups. Obesity, ethnicity, and being male are risk factors for severe illness.
    So it doesn’t make sense to insist that older people who are not spreaders because they are cautious have their quality of life sacrificed forever. Human company and touch is necessary
    I have a post grad qualification in mental health. 3.8 million people over 65 isolate alone.
    Its not OK to keep saying partners must stay apart and people may not see their children and or grandchildren.

  59. Anarchist
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    MPs need testing

  60. Libertarian
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Boris pushed the self-destruct button on everything he tries his best to represent.
    MPs are afraid to lift lockdown. Nothing to do with the Virus

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink


      He is pressing it again now by claiming unlocking would be even more of an economic disaster than what Govt has already created. Pumping up the fear, destroying the country, no calculation

      • Mark B
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        Someone on another forum said, just before, Alexander Johnson MP became PM, that with him in charge it will be a disaster but a good laugh. Or words to that effect. Whilst even at the time I agreed with the first part, I strongly disagreed with the second.

        I’d get a T-Shirt printed with; “I told you so !” on it, but the shops are all shut 🙂

        • Caterpillar
          Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          Yep. My tears aren’t from laughter.

          • Mark B
            Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:37 am | Permalink

            I am with you mate !

            Chin up 🙂

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink


      Correct they’re all afraid to lift the lockdown

      • Mark B
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:36 am | Permalink

        Because when they do and the deaths don’t rise, there is going to be an awful lot of explaining to do !

  61. Corbynista
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    We need a General Election, now!

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      No. We’ve had weak government for ten years. Let’s see how Conservatism does over the course of a full term.

      • Stay where you are!
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        Impossible we are running short of 70 to 80 years olds ordered to stay where they are and meet death full on.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

        We need a new PM, there is no alternative Government available –

    • BetterTimesAhead
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink


      So that a Government. fighting to save the Country, can be replaced by a mixed rabble of Left, and even further Left, Hindsight Experts.

      What a joke! Nice one!

  62. Rhoddas
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Whilst I know this pandemic is new to UK, some countries are/have done better than us… best practice has not been adopted in our early containment phases, specifically around travellers incoming nor care home protections. SAGE is a bit of misomer imho.

    Here are some tests to ensure we’re not importing more cases of C19 too:

    1) Test all arrivals, mandatory quarantining in designated hotels from the high risk countries where we still permit flights/entry. All travellers need to isolate for 14 days and carry contact app.
    2) Stop the illegal immigration – send them back to France as per the agreement. Mr Farage has repeated pointed out they are coming in on other coastlines not just around Dover.

    Priti needs to do more and obtain assistance from the Royal Navy to patrol and support Border Force, whilst the latter is beefed up. Illegal immigration isn’t going away, it will get larger as summer weather comes and is the new normal whatever C19 does.

    • Martyn G
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      You are quite right but what infuriates me is that the government has utterly failed to close our borders and control entry into the nation. It is the basic, primary responsibility of government to keep the country safe and yet they have failed to do so, with thousands of people entering the country each week – not excluding the illegal immigrants – who may or may not be carrying the virus.
      The PHE – an organisation with many people paid more than the PM to protect us, yet it has failed miserably to do so and proven to be an incompetent and utterly useless quango which should be disbanded at the earliest opportunity.
      The NHS, with more managers than doctors whose managers have also proven to be utterly incompetent at procuring and managing, for example PPE for all those dedicated from line staff who have put their lives on the block for their patients. And now, with a proven track record of failed and hugely expensive software projects are yet again going off down their own route and, if one can believe the reports, are destined to fail with another stand-alone in-house program for tracking the virus and set the UK apart from the rest of the world. One could not make it up – the management chains of NHE and NHS should be called to account for their manifest failures, since they clearly failed those whom they are supposed to serve.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      I don’t believe the Home Office is capable of monitoring and policing our borders. We need a dedicated Department with army/navy personnel whose sole duty is to safeguard our borders. I don’t mind being delayed for hours at immigration control if it means that non-citizens are returned to source.

  63. Ian @Barkham
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    ‘Ministers place great stress on – R’

    Data on R can only have meaning if the inputted data is sanitized and correct. At the moment the data used on all counts, is just an ‘idea’ along the line that it ‘could be’ , but it is possible for it to be something else. Or in precise terms it is just guesses.

    This Government insists on causing self harm on why we should believe anything they say.

  64. Ian @Barkham
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    From the media – “ONS figures ‘suggest’ the number of deaths is as high…. ”

    We are ruled by data that is a suggestion of maybe’s and perhaps.

    The ONS have a record of being wrong which why their T&C’s have the caveat the figures will change as their opinion does.

  65. Alexander Lukashenko
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    The British Government has made me a god

  66. BetterTimesAhead
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    And still no recovery information.

    Why not?

    It is another KPI that we are not given.

  67. Ian @Barkham
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    From the MsM – significant level’ of social distancing could have to be maintained indefinitely until a vaccine becomes available.

    Which vaccine are they working on. It is already reported that testing in the UK has found 12 strains/mutations of the virus. The UK virus is different to the one found in China, it is different to the one found on the West Coast of the US.

    The Virus in Arizona has already muted in the way SAR’s did, it is now missing the parts that cause the most damage.

    So asking the Question which version of the Vaccine is the quest for? Todays version, the 2nd wave(unknown, not seen) version. Every day we seem to be getting more hysterical hype to create fear and very little confirmed evidence to support the theories/ideas best guesses of those that want appear in charge.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:34 am | Permalink

      This is the thing. Just like flu and the common cold, you can never develop that silver bullet that does the job. The lack of that basic knowledge is the most worrying thing. I am no expert, but I know enough to know that the government hasn’t a clue what it is doing and the advice it has been receiving has been woeful.

  68. Das neue Normal
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Rory Stewart has withdrawn from the Mayor of London Election on the basis there isn’t one. Banned to beat the coronovirus, of course.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      Still at least the London elite will ensure London-SE survives (and perhaps the North for votes). Things are beginning to close permanently in the centre of Birmingham now, I expect the London elite will ensure that the second city now fails having slowly battled back from the laws restricting it in the post WW2 decades. After VE day the London elite decided to destroy Birmingham, after decades the second city recovered but coming to the 75th anniversary the London elite is going to make it stick this time.

  69. Edward Paxton
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink


    The Kings College App Covid-19 Tracker shows that R has been well below 1 for some time across most of the country. That’s based on daily data from over 2.5 million respondents.

  70. jerry
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    If the lockdown, opposed to social distancing, is not relaxed by the PM on Sunday, a certain Matt Hancock is going to look like a right old hypocrite (perhaps he should be following Mr Ferguson out the door….) – so its OK for him to carry out a non essential interview in person at 6ft distance across a studio set at the Sky News centre today, that could quite easily have been conducted via Skype or what what ever, but it is not OK for someone else to sit 6ft away from a friends/relative over a dining room table or in a garden, but the same people can spend hours in close proximity whilst at work!

  71. ian
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Worst Gov not only in living memory but of all time, just a bunch of fence-sitters spurting out propaganda while sitting around with their iPhone to see how their assets are doing.

    Not even free musks for the people or anything else of any use to help the people, it been never-ending agenda of clamping down on people and taking their rights away for the last 10 years while pouring more overseas people in at every chance they get for big companies benefit and themselves which has lead to crime running rampant in all big cities in the country along with sexual exportation of young girls and boys, this country has lowered into a cesspit of filth over the last 30 years and yet the people still vote for it, one can only assume that like it because read a diet of it every day and then vote for it.

  72. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    So much for expensive drugs and vaccines with gross side effects – We should be getting natural solutions…

    Madagascar, a poor country, with a population of 27,691,018 – has CV deaths of ZERO

    UK has a population of 67,886,011 – Deaths with CV: 29,710

    Madagascar uses an organic tea remedy, only.

    • jerry
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      @Bryan Harris; Very much like North Korea then, they have also self-declare zero deaths from CV19.

      I’m sure that their peer reviewed scientific/medical papers will be winging their way to the WHO and govts around the world post hast…

  73. The Prangwizard
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    What is the percentage of deaths of those going into intensive care here compared with other countries?

  74. Raymond
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    The resigning key Government scientist, who I understand has been behind the lock down, clearly thought socialising is wrong for me (who has no symptom), but that adultery is right for him (who has Covid-19).

    Would that I had a scintilla of the ability of Hilaire Belloc, I would have put the above in verse form, who wrote:
    “Pale Ebenezer thought it wrong to fight,
    But Roaring Bill (who killed him) thought it right.”

  75. Old chemist
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    The report of death count today said died with covid. Somewhat different to of covid.
    I think that says all we need to know about this scare. Lift the lockdown now!

    • Mark B
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:04 am | Permalink

      As others have pointed out. The problem is, the government, MSM and the science (sic) community have done such a great job of scaring people plus, the holiday pay and nice weather, people don’t want to go back to work.

  76. David Brown
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Im resigned to the UK being a much poorer country although I have never really considered so called GDP to be a very reliable measure and the UK has replaced the EU with WTO which is equally as bad.
    Any way on the point of easing the lock down
    Sir JR I hope that you can put some pressure on the GOV to allow Garden Centers to operate quickly yes Garden Centers that may not be high on the economic agenda however the benefits are:
    People can buy vegetable and salad plants along with summer flowering plants.
    Health and mental well being is improved especially among high rise residents who have a balcony they like to grow veg etc on. Reduce cost to NHS
    Families with children can work and tend the horticultural area together.
    It improves opportunities to work on the allotment
    Garden plants are mainly sold from open areas with the centers and social distancing is quite easy
    The economic value of the industry is quite large
    Ok you get the picture and I cannot understand why supermarkets and DIY centers sell plants yet open air garden centers are shut. This is my small contribution to getting the economy working

    • Mark B
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:01 am | Permalink

      Agreed. Social distancing can be easily kept. Why should they have to remain closed and large DIY Stores selling plants of all things (not DIY) stay open ?

      • Free range
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        Social distancing is practiced every day outside London and has been for years. That is why people outside London find it, though massively large, confining , suffocating on the mental level.
        Scotland and the North of England should never have have been in lockdown at all. But our rulers have their brains in central London.

  77. J Butties
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John, I respect you and your blog but;
    The tests for a return to normality count for zilch. What has happened in this fiasco is that Joe Norm now realises that he does not need to work with 80% furlough payments given on a plate, hey Joe will take 60% and be quite happy. Why? The blow back now is the “is it safe”, what about “PPE” and of course ISOLATION and distancing. Good luck convincing the Unions on the safety aspects. This country will not just return to normal because the gOVERNMENT (small g) aided and abetted by the MSM have created a mode of FEAR and TERROR and suddenly announce its OK. SAGE? There are so many on the published list to confirm that this camel has at least 3 humps. For Ferguson to resign over a little rumpy pumpy is ridiculous, the letter of resignation should be published together with the gOVERNMENTS (small g) response.
    A full independent Public Inquiry is required now and this should be unfettered.

    • J Butties
      Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      I volunteer to head such an Inquiry. No Chilcotts et al.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        So you have about 3 years to ruminate, call 3,000 ‘witnesses’, produce 3 tons of files, delay outcome 5 times and then admit ‘there is no case to answer’?

    Posted May 6, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    The Tories and Marxist Labour are the enemy of the private sector, of liberty and of freedom

    Public good, private bad is the Tories new mantra

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 4:49 am | Permalink

      Not that new really, we have had this agenda ever this John Major indeed even under Mrs Thatcher we had it in many ways. Education, the BBC, social housing and Heathcare are all set up to ensure the state is grossly unfair competition for provide providers. They the provide sector is often regulated to death too.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 4:58 am | Permalink

      Since the fall of Mrs.T the Marxists certainly haven’t been idle. They have infiltrated the Tory party, and the Civil Service and are proceeding to indoctrinate the rest of the country. Half of all those in employment work for the State ! No wonder there is no desire to return to work. We have created a nation of layabouts.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        Rubbish. The most recent ONS figures (for December 2019) are:

        Private sector employees: 27.55 million
        Public sector employees: 5.44 million

        That makes public sector employment just under 1/6th of the total.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          Does that include all in the Third Sector?
          Quangos Charities Agencies etc

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

            Charity employment in the UK is listed as 870,000.

          • a-tracy
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

            👍🏻 Edward2

            The Third Sector is massive. The government still takes the responsibility for it such as Doctors self-employed but who blame the government for their lack of ppe – do you think truly private businesses will get away with that when their ppe stocks run low?

            Dentists who get more than 50% of their turnover from the State.

            Care homes who get more than 50% of their turnover from the State and hold government responsible for them not being able to get ppe.

            Training organisations who provide nvq qualifications.

            Waste collection companies considered private but get all their income from rates.

            Catering companies who only provide schools, hospitals etc. And on and on

            For people and government to be so calm right now it must be 60% or more living on the public sector money tree because all private business owners I know are getting VERY worried right now.

            3rd sector dependents are another group coming back with their bowls ‘can I have some more!” They can’t feed their kids but they can teach them with brand new laptops and this government thinks it’s ok to blow hundreds of thousands on this rather than get books – you know those thing with pages they have in schools collected by them on their daily exercise that they seem to take meeting up in groups of 7 on their bikes!

            Etc ed

        • a-tracy
          Posted May 7, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

          The public sector has been disguising it’s true employment figures whilst the staff moved sideways keep access to the public sector pensions such as GPs and some teachers. Then there are staff that work for the BBC that are self-employed for the purpose of tax but are paid thousands and thousands of pounds.

          How many millions of people now have access to the public sector pension recourse such as those in Housing Associations that used to be Council employees? They don’t use their excess profits to build more homes for people they take it out in high wages and topped-up massive pension pots. The Councils’ pensions topped up with rate payers money, no choice in this for the people that employ them on NEST pensions and other robbed private pension pots.

          The Royal Mail private now but how are their pensions topped up and structured, same with the old BT and BA pension pots, they are still run by the Unions.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted May 8, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

            Do you advocate re-nationalising of all those entities?

            Having worked in both the public and private sectors, the overall packages on offer (salary+benefits) in the private sector are, in my personal experience, vastly superior to what I could or would earn in the public sector.

          • a-tracy
            Posted May 9, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

            Peter, I don’t think it makes much difference to be honest BUT only re-nationalise if the pension is NEST, private pension top ups can be organised and the % cost known instead of 25% employer contributions being unremarked on, endless holidays over 28 and full sick pay should go without paying in their own insurance for it and it is identified what the cost for that is expressed as a % of gross pay. To me the biggest problem with nationalised industry is eventually the service is run for the staff rather than the customer. Like housing associations who are none profit because all the profit is paid in staff pockets not to improving housing stock and building new homes. Signs on HAs don’t read best landlord in the Country they read Best Place to Work!

            The perfect example of this is the Library service in the past 8 weeks. Just closed, no attempt made at all to keep what we were told is an essential service and it must be paid collectively out of rates with top ups from central taxes whether we use it or not! You’ve all these poor children with no access to books, no attempt by schools or libraries to ensure they had work sheets after the Easter holidays (I believe some schools did but by no means all – C4 news told us how bored poor children were and they needed computers – what?), what about books to read, work sheets to complete to be marked by teachers on full pay right now, there could have been queue system outside like supermarkets, controlled numbers inside, book hire orders could be placed and collected at pre-booked slots- so thought not so essential after all.

  79. Fred H
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    So UK misses the target 100,000 tests per day 4 days in a row.
    Who believed it could be met using mostly a handful of centralised Labs, rather than those small private ones which began testing GP surgery staff and Care Homes really early on and showed the way?
    The Germans knew they had a fine large network of Labs and utilised them immediately which allowed track and trace.
    The politics of Saving the NHS using scare stories without doing anything urgently to stem the arrivals to the country, allowed the personal opinions of so-called data modelling experts to bring the country to its kness economically.
    When will the elected Government get a grip and take action without the micky-mouse closet activists used as Advisors?

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      If the Tories had used all the private labs that offered to do these tests in great numbers from the start, the Labour, Lib Dem and Green MP would have been shouting out for their heads – privatisation by the back door etc. ad Infinitum!!!

      Never again should we allow the public sector to hold back and say only PHE can do tests, lab capabilities and tell us to take what we’re given, ration services, steal private hospital capacity and expect private insurance to pay for it and applaud them for it. The only people I’m applauding are those heros in the nHS on the front line delivering care throughout the last couple of months and all those working in those hospitals to facilitate that from cleaners, porters and cooks etc.

  80. Richard
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    There will inevitably be a one-off increase in the R0 rate when Lockdown is eased, but the R0 rate will then continue to decline as the uninfected proportion continues to decrease.

    Prof Carl Heneghan (Oxford Uni CEBM) said UK infections peaked in mid-March – 21 days before the country recorded its worst day for deaths on April 8 and that infections then dropped by 50 per cent between March 16 and the lockdown on March 24 thanks to hand washing and social distancing.

    A Paris resident, Amirouche Hammar tested positive for Covid-19 on 27 December; with similar symptoms reported elsewhere in Europe late December onwards. This supports the CEBM model’s prediction that the virus had been circulating for some time.

    German government data shows that the Covid-19 reproduction rate had already fallen below 1 before Germany’s lockdown on 22 March, and there is similar evidence in Switzerland.
    In that article Will Jones also mentions 14-17% infection rates on the Diamond Princess cruise ship & the submarines evidences many people with strong immune systems (eg U40) seem to have innate immunity but few/no antibodies. This 2-tier model seems to fit the data, as discussed here:

  81. ukretired123
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Professor Neil Ferguson has shown contempt for Britain and has succeeded in setting in stone the hypocrisy of both “the expert” and the groupthink Liberal/Left bubble in London’s elite thinking.
    He would have been sacked for his seriously erroneous forecasts in the Private Sector and it is my guess a Class Action is a logical effect when do many folks have been adversely impacted by this.

  82. rose
    Posted May 6, 2020 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    If only we had Sir John instead of Sir Keir asking the questions and making the points.

    What a vacuous performance it was again today, asking shallow questions and making cheap points which anyone can make and does. What an opportunity he has to ask these serious questions and make these serious points, but he blows it every time with his failed QC act. I suppose he has a whole team thinking it all up for him too.

  83. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    The timing is about right. The latest figure for daily average deaths in hospitals by week is now available. The series is:

    Last week in March……..276
    First week in April……….676
    Second week in April……830
    Third week in April………737
    Fourth week in April…….583
    Late April/early May…….411

    The latest average is less than half the peak. Deaths in care homes now add more than 50% to deaths in hospitals. To some extent this is inevitable given the extreme age of care home residents, the shortage of PPE for care home staff and the fact that not all care homes have isolation facilities. I think that deaths in hospitals is the number we should focus on.

  84. Fred
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    In Scotland, a further 80 people have died in hospitals. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the lockdown should continue because “we are not confident enough that the virus has been suppressed sufficiently”.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Fred, don’t you wonder, with figures so small why we can’t be told more about those 80? Such as:
      1. How long were they in hospital or were they in a care home setting?
      2. What treatment were they given by the NHS?
      3. What have been their movements since the 20th March 2020 and who have they come into contact with?
      I appreciate this is harder to do in London, but I wouldn’t imagine it was too big a problem for Scotland.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      this is not me, I still have a working H.

    • APL
      Posted May 7, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Sturgeon: “has been suppressed sufficiently”

      Huh! She’s obviously one or two sandwiches short of a picnic.

      It was all about ‘saving the NHS’, that’s been achieved. Now it’s about suppressing the virus. We now have empty wards and staff producing Tic Tok videos. Talk about moving the goal posts.

      Just ‘flattening the curve’ doesn’t affect the area under the curve. That is, you still get the same number of deaths overall.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 7, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink


  85. Martin C
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Corrected version:

    Australia, being in the southern hemisphere, is now approaching autumn and the start of the flu season. It will be interesting to see what happens to the current (and extraordinarily low) levels of infection there as winter develops. This may portend what we can expect in November and it’s important the Government learns appropriate lessons from them.

    The recent downturn in CoVid19 deaths across Europe may be due, in part, to the increased temperatures and the glorious weather we’re having. While in lockdown, everyone has been encouraged to exercise outdoors for an hour, and for many, this may amount to more outdoor exposure (and sunshine) than they are commonly used to. It may also explain why Sweden’s policy has been so effective, as it permits their population as much sun exposure as they like.

    High levels of vitamin D have been found to reduce Covid19 symptoms and infection rate. Yet where are the Government’s recommendations for the population to expose themselves to sunshine, or, if they are indoors all day to supplement their diet with vitamin D3?

    It’s hardly surprising that Care Homes have such a high mortality rate, as their residents are, for the most part, kept indoors all day. I would suggest the Government recommend Care Home providers ensure all their residents are either exposed to the sun for a minimum period each day, or given appropriate D3 supplementation.

    I would also suggest that the Police recognise that sunbathing is inimical to Covid19 and not move sunbathers on.

    The seasonal nature of flu seems to have been forgotten. Relaxing lockdown and encouraging more sun exposure may well be the best medicine of all.

  86. Treacle
    Posted May 7, 2020 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    The aim isn’t now to save the NHS. Still less to save lives. It is purely and simply to allow the government and the country go on demonstrating its love for “our NHS”. The politicians, especially Boris, aided and abetted by Professor Ferguson (who says one thing and does the opposite), have frightened the people to such an extent that they cower behind their sofas, appearing at the window only once a week, to clap for the NHS. Meanwhile nurses and paramedics make dance videos in empty hospital wards while cancer patients go untreated. Needless to say this isn’t what I voted for in December.

  • About John Redwood

    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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