Treating the virus

I am not a doctor and am not about to propose how to treat this virus. I am however willing to give a day and a blog to inviting comments from those who are or those who think they understand the medical issues sufficiently to comment on what is happening. It would be useful if qualified contributors would mention their qualification.  The true  end of the crisis comes  by finding a cure or a vaccine or both. Nothing on this site is medical advice for any individual and anyone needing treatment should of course seek professional advice.

Buying time by restricting the  spread of the virus is a very good strategy if we use that time to find a cure or vaccine. Clearly much resource is going into just that all round the world. Some argue  that there are already treatments and preventative measures that can help.

Some say Chloroquine or Remdesivir could play a role. Others favour Ritonavir and lopinavir with or without interferon beta.  Some urge the case of azithromycin.  President Trump recently did more than send best wishes to Boris, by instructing two US companies to contact the PM’s doctors to recommend treatments they think could help.

Some say bigger doses of Vitamin C help build resistance and fight back against the virus.

The official treatment seems to include doses of oxygen when impaired lung functions leave the patients with low oxygen levels in the blood, and the capacity to operate organs as well as the lungs in intensive care if fighting the disease causes too many strains on them. 

Questions it would be good to have answered include

  1. How many placed on a ventilator subsequently recover?
  2. What trials have now been completed of existing drugs that might help? 
  3. How do doctors work out whether a death was the result of Covid 19 or some other condition the patient suffered from?
  4. Which if any of the named drugs do show potential? Do they have to be administered from first discovering the presence of the virus?


  1. agricola
    April 9, 2020

    From a position of unqualified ignorance I await enlightenment. As it appears man born rather than air born, isolation has merit.

    1. jerry
      April 9, 2020

      @agricola; “I await enlightenment.”

      As Indeed many are, including myself, but I fear all our host is doing today is cueing the Quacks, “trust me, I’m a doctor”…

      1. NickC
        April 9, 2020

        Jerry, Since I am the only one (as far as I know) on here who has declared that one of my children is a doctor – and you, without any knowledge, declared I was a liar – I wonder if you think I am one of your cued Quacks?

        I have never given medical advice, here or elsewhere: I’m not a doctor. Neither would a doctor anyway – being rational, scientific, and trained, a doctor will only treat one of his own patients directly.

        However, the situation with Covid19 is that we don’t have a cure. Consequently what we do about the pandemic becomes a matter of judgement as both doctors and management (including the government) must make decisions on incomplete knowledge. By definition those decisions cannot be (strictly) only clinical.

        Your strawman “Quack” has fallen over.

        1. jerry
          April 10, 2020

          @NickC; “one of my children is a doctor”

          So you keep asserting…

          “I’m not a doctor. Neither would a doctor anyway – being rational, scientific, and trained, a doctor will only treat one of his own patients directly.”

          But there is no patient confidentiality in talking about the theory of medicine or science!

          “By definition those decisions cannot be (strictly) only clinical.”

          Sorry but how the world deals with a pandemic that has no drug based cure nor any apparent natural anti-bodies is purely clinical, by definition, in the same way as keeping remote native tribes free of common modern day illnesses being transported into the area by anthropologist, film crews and others (but so often ignored by commercial loggers and the such) who could wipe out an entire tribe, where even the common (western) cold is deadly.

          You do not need to be a medical doctor to understand the science of infection, any scientist (such as a microbiologist working in food production for example) will have such knowledge, the cure (if we had one) is a different matter, so until then…

          ….as I said, cue the Quacks with their quick fixes!

          1. NickC
            April 11, 2020

            No, Jerry, what I was asserting was that you have called me a liar when I said one of my children is a doctor. Despite the fact you have no knowledge about it at all. Actually I get my facts directly from a number of NHS professionals. Not the BBC.

            What has patient confidentiality got to do with what I said? You’ve wandered off again.

            Sorry, but how the world deals with the Covid19 pandemic does not involve only clinical (“relating to the observation and treatment of actual patients”) decisions. You are the only person I have heard say otherwise. Congratulations, you are unique.

          2. Edward2
            April 11, 2020

            Well said Nick.

          3. jerry
            April 12, 2020

            @NickC; What ever, your claim is still nothing but an (unproven) assertion, The way in which you take offence to such a fact suggests you are the one actually calling yourself the liar, sometimes one can protest to much. 😳

            “What has patient confidentiality got to do with what I said? You’ve wandered off again.”

            The point you missed in your hast to construct another straw-man is, the only reason any Doctor would not discus the CV19 pandemic would be patient confidentiality, otherwise how come you claim “I get my facts directly from a number of NHS professionals”, thus surely contradicting yourself, unless of course your son and unnamed others have broken the BMA’s professional rules you in effect claim exist. read your original comments again…

            You are also getting awfully mixed up about virology, it is very obvious that your understanding of such matters is very low, even though you claim to have discussed this with “NHS professionals”.

            [re only clinical care] “You are the only person I have heard say otherwise.”

            Perhaps you are simply talking to the wrong people then!

            But I’ll relent and allow you to have it your way, ones word has to be taken as gospel fact, you claim to have a doctor as a son, can I trump that by claiming to have a microbiologists (of which virology is a subcategory) in my family. 💡

      2. Hope
        April 9, 2020

        Suggest you read the science in Germany behind Will Jones article in Con Woman today.

        I also suggest the issue is not purely medical, but economic, social and mathematical.

  2. Lifelogic
    April 9, 2020

    Buying time by restricting the spread of the virus is indeed good strategy if we use that time to find ways to improve survival rates or to find suitable vaccines. Or simply use the time ensure that the appallingly ill prepared and poorly managed NHS has sufficient staff, oxygen systems, ventilators, ECMO machines and ICU beds.

    It is my understanding that NHS doctors are under strict instructions to treat the condition using only paracetamol and oxygen where needed. We will surely not learn very much or discover better treatment if we stick to this policy. It would be interesting to know if other drugs and treatments are actually being tried out by the NHS. What did these US companies recommend I wonder?

    It seems clear (from many reports) that many people who need to be hospitalised are are simply not being and are being left to die either in nursing homes or at home. Or being told they are not yet bad enough and to call 999 later. Perhaps earlier oxygen and other treatments might help survival rates rather than leaving it until they are in a very bad way?

    1. Mark B
      April 9, 2020

      I read a story that many of the deaths in Italy could be attributed to Eastern European care workers fleeing and going back home, leaving many, mostly old and infirm, without sufficient care and lowering the chances of their survival.

      With the EU’s chief scientific adviser resigning and losing faith in the Project, to the above and the greed and selfishness of the hoarders and nation states, it has shown humanity in an unfavourable light.

      1. Lifelogic
        April 9, 2020

        Perhaps true. Though the high UK mortality rate (12%) per case is about the same as the dire Italian one. Though this is perhaps just due to low testing rates underestimating the real number of cases I hope.

      2. rose
        April 9, 2020

        Same in Spain.

        1. Hope
          April 9, 2020

          You do not have to be a doctor to see or realise why South Korea, Taiwan and Clare countries are doing fR better then here. First they banned Chinese people,enetwring their country then and now. Secondly, they tested people in and out and tracked others inside their country.

          Raab says today the U.K. Has tested 244,000 people of 66.5 million population, borders remain open. Pathetic.

          67 illegal economic migrants cross the channel and are tested and welcomed.

          4,000 prisoners allowed out to see their families, to infect them or them to infect prisoners, against Chief Medical officer Harries advice.

          The country of law abiding citizens remain under house arrest. Wearing very thin Raab, very thin.

      3. bill brown
        April 9, 2020

        absolutely nonsense on the EU

        1. Edward2
          April 10, 2020

          Was that typo bill.
          Did you mean to say in the EU?

      4. steve
        April 9, 2020

        Cant offer any medical advice JR, as I’m not qualified. Moreover I’m the type who is his own doctor.

        What I can do is emphasise how important personal hygiene is. I honestly don’t believe this is an issue of keeping one’s distance from others.

        The virus spreads via exhalation as a medium. So it’s quite simple – do not sneeze, cough, or breathe on someone else.

        However, given the mode of transmission you can see why the government has no choice but to impose distancing restrictions.

        I have a differing opinion with government concerning strategy to beat this virus. I think the borders should have been firmly closed in the beginning. Doing so would have meant any cases already here would be vastly fewer in number and therefore easier to deal with.

        But, we are where we are and we must do what government asks of us.

        I hope there will not be hoards of idiots heading down the M4 to Wales this weekend.

        I would also hope the left wing BBC will put that wooden spoon away and stop trying to question Dominic Raab’s authority.

        As far as I’m concerned Mr Raab has stepped up to the mark and done a pretty good job so far. The press should lay off and let the man get on with things. Now is not the time for political subversiveness, and if I see or hear the BBC making further politically motivated snipes at Mr Raab I will likely consider withholding my licence fee out of disgust.

        1. Martin in Cardiff
          April 9, 2020

          An eminent American epidemiologist emphasised the significance of speech in possibly spreading the virus.

          Every single consonant enunciated is a small explosion, creating a mist of droplets.

          We still do not know how much of this virus one needs to inhale to be infected either.

          If his theory were correct, then it could explain why so many politicians, whose work involves a great deal of spoken communication, have been so heavily affected.

        2. Data Please
          April 9, 2020

          I think the problem once again with this Govt is mixed messages.

          When Raab had to step up to the plate, it should have been made very clear that he is now calling the shots.

          Instead we got wooly stuff about Boris still being in charge even though he was in a terrible condition.

          I doubt that Raab knew where he stood, I feel sorry for him and wouldn’t accept the role (somehow they never asked, maybe its the letter in my hallway) unless it was clear I had assumed command.

          OK for now, that may be a holding pattern, but at least everyone knows its Raab calling the shots.

          I’m afraid this Govt is showing every sign its never run anything bigger than the Eton Tuck Shop.

    2. Stephen Priest
      April 9, 2020

      While large numbers of people are self isolation large number of journalists have self qualified as doctors.

      Even though these people had never heard of a coronavirus before Christmas they now impart their views daily. They know exactly what the Government should have done at the start of the crisis, even though they did say at the time.

      They know exactly what the Government should do now and exactly what it should do in the future.

      They analyse random statistics which may not be accurate and they know exactly what countries are “getting it right”. However whatever the statistics in their eyes Trump’s America is always “getting it wrong”.

      1. Stephen Priest
        April 9, 2020

        i meant to say :

        “They know exactly what the Government should have done at the start of the crisis, even though they did not say at the time.”

    3. M Neumann
      April 9, 2020

      I know of someone personally at a known north London hospital on ventilation who has been transferred to a central London hospital for a new (or perhaps newish) viral drug treatment hence NHS do seem to be considering alternatives to paracetamol and O2.

      1. NickC
        April 11, 2020

        MN, Yes the NHS is now belatedly conducting trials of various drugs. But the NHS management had to be dragged to it, kicking and screaming. And at least a month late.

    4. a-tracy
      April 9, 2020

      I thought I read that our government had asked for drug test patients to agree to trials.

      1. Mark
        April 9, 2020

        Indeed so – there are allegedly already some 2,000 patients involved. My concern is that they are only talking of releasing results and conclusions in several months time, whereas we ought to be looking at faster track procedures.

        1. a-tracy
          April 10, 2020

          Ridiculous they should be given 3 weeks maximum.

  3. Lifelogic
    April 9, 2020

    I understand some university medical departments are asking young medical students to volunteer to help the NHS out. Surely if these students (who are already paying for their training) are expected to risk their lives (with often inadequate PPE gear available) they should at least be paid for it at the minimum wage? Or does the minimum wage law (which is clearly an idiotic law) not apply to the NHS?

    1. a-tracy
      April 9, 2020

      They should be paid full pay at the commensurate grade rate for their training and capabilities, none degree nurses are band 1 to band 4 with different levels and increases within those bands.

  4. Lifelogic
    April 9, 2020

    The BBC (Today and Newsnight) all going on and on about how the virus discriminates against poorer people and ethnic minorities. As one would expect of the dire BBC.

    The main clear discriminations by the virus is against men and older people. This with about two times as many men as women dying from it. Only 3% of deaths in Italy were of people below 60. But of course this “discrimination” was not of much interest to the BBC.
    Older people actually tend to be richer not poorer on average.

    Surely the main reason for more ethnic minorities in the deaths (if this is true) is that it has mainly hit the larger cities (due to better transmission/public transport/less space etc.) and these cities tend to have much higher proportions of ethnic minorities than rural areas. But then they are usually a younger population on average too.

    1. DOMINIC
      April 9, 2020

      A ‘discriminating’ virus. Only the leftist BBC and the Marxist left could contrive such sociological crap.

      The victim narrative has impose incalculable damage upon this nation. This devious political strategy is responsible for the destruction of freedom of expression in the UK and underpins the poison of feminism, identity politics and liberal left fascism.

      The Tory government’s embrace of the above is one of the centuries pivotal political moments in that it reveals the victory of the progressive left and how they succeeded in capturing the heart and soul of the Parliamentary Tory party

      Eton educated PM’s agreeing to laws that destroy freedom of expression and the nuclear family.

      How a moral conservative can put a cross next to a Tory party candidate is beyond me

      1. Lifelogic
        April 9, 2020

        Indeed the victim narrative, the evil politics of envy and the way some appalling politicians try to buy votes – using money they steal off the productive and hard working to augment their client state voters.

      2. Mike Stallard
        April 9, 2020

        Jonathan Sacks in his excellent book on terrorism: “Not in God’s Name” dissects victimhood. Self pity – victimhood – blamed on wicked people – revenge justified. Victims are angry people and they all have targets.
        Strong, sophisticated people can live with most points of view – even the angry and very silly lefties.

      3. Anonymous
        April 9, 2020

        It appears to disciminate heavily against males over 50. 75% of fatalities it seems.

        BBC didn’t mention that unless I missed it.

        1. APL
          April 10, 2020

          Anon: “It appears to disciminate heavily against males over 50. 75% of fatalities it seems. ”

          Yes. Feminists outraged, and demand covid-19 treats woman equally.

      4. Pragmatist
        April 9, 2020

        From speeches by senior Tories they seem quite unaware they are never going to be elected again. They may know this and feel their actions are for their country and not their party. So they may not be without any discernible honour and intelligence

      5. M Davis
        April 9, 2020

        DOMINIC, absolutely agree!

    2. Dave Andrews
      April 9, 2020

      It also discriminates against prime ministers, health secretaries and chief medical officers. So is the advice not adequate or were they simply not following it?
      Have you notices how the “stay at home” advice is given by people who think it applies to everyone except themselves? It’s everyone else who has to stop working and lose their income whilst they continue doing their job at full pay.

      1. Lifelogic
        April 9, 2020

        Do as I say not as I do. As we see endlessly with the celebrity Climate Alarmists – In the Prince Charles, Emma Thompson, Harry and Megan, Greta, Richard Branson mode.

      2. a-tracy
        April 9, 2020

        Yes Dave I have noticed that.

      3. rose
        April 9, 2020

        Gordon Brown of all people explained why nos 10 and 11 are a particular hazard. He said there over a hundred people in those two terraced houses and it is impossible for them to keep their distance, just as it is for doctors and nurses. The government are essential workers, whether we like it or not. But the media most definitely aren’t and should not have been classed as such. The sight of them roaming around freely, filming lesser mortals breaking the rules, and not breaking the rules, has been nauseating. Especially when one considers the media have rather large salaries and houses with gardens, while the lesser mortals may be living in one room or several to a room.

        1. rose
          April 9, 2020

          Imperial College seems to have gone down first, and may have infected no 10. This is unsurprising as they are medical professors.

          1. rose
            April 9, 2020

            My explanation is that the Wuhan virus hit London first and the population of London is no longer mostly caucasian.

            It hit Manhattan first too.

            The South West and Northern Ireland are the two most neglected parts of the country and they have the flattest, lowest rates – at the moment.

            So it looks as if it is a jet setters’ disease which then spreads out to the rest.

      4. bigneil(newercomp)
        April 9, 2020

        Not only do they have the “Do as I say, not do as I do” attitude – they – and anyone appearing live on tv – also appear to all be very conveniently married to people with hairdressing skills, while the rest of us are made to look like Worzel Gummidge.

    3. Mark B
      April 9, 2020


      If they could link it to Climate Change and CO2 levels, complete with a Polar Bear on a block of ice, they would. They’re just an unfunny joke.

      1. Lifelogic
        April 9, 2020

        Indeed well they do (sort of) link them (as does Greta and the rather idiotic article in Economist this week).

        We have to trust in “The” Science and the “experts” for both we are told. People like the experts who abjectly failed totally to plan competently for a pandemic.

        The corona virus is a real problem that is killing quite a lot of people now. Catastrophic climate change is a hugely exaggerate and a largely imaginary problem for perhaps 100 year time. The real catastrophe from global warming is the harm being done by the expensive energy agenda, the zero carbon agenda, Ed Miliband’s insane climate change act and all the deluded alarmist loons.

        Tomb Stone Ed Miliband (and would be landlord thief to buy votes of tenants) is now back in the shadow Cabinet I see. Let us hope he is never ever in Government.

      2. Ian Wragg
        April 9, 2020

        St Greta of Thunberg is already claiming a link between CO2 and the virus.
        She is happy that her chosen method of destroying the economy is lowering CO2 output.
        She predicts that China will save the world after we are all subsumed into their communist model.

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          April 9, 2020

          She should be forced to go and live in Peking! They have been wearing masks for decades!

        2. bill brown
          April 10, 2020


          Please kindly inform us, where exactly, she has said this ?

      3. Data Please
        April 9, 2020

        Sorry I keep replying to myself today.

        I forgot to add their other demands of:

        -) “provide universal basic income”

        -) “full statutory sick pay for all people”
        akin to 80% furlough ?

        -) “pause all mortgages and rents”

        Ring any bells everyone ?

    4. Stred
      April 9, 2020

      Also, living together with a family including older and ill relatives and attending religious meetings before the clampdown could mean that these groups had a headstart and more opportunities for infection. It’s not the virus discriminating but the people against themselves.

    5. Leslie Singleton
      April 9, 2020

      Dear Lifelogic–Perhaps men and women are not as identical as especially the BBC would have us believe.

      1. Lifelogic
        April 9, 2020

        Well clearly they are not. On average they have different heights, shapes and strengths, read different magazines and books, study different subjects at A levels and universities, do different jobs, get different diseases, have different life expectancies, tend not to play chess at high level very much, play different sports ….. best not to point this out though as you can get fired for telling the truth in a private memo as James Damore found out.

    6. Nig l
      April 9, 2020

      And smoking? My experience is that Spain and Italy smoke more than we do, certainly later than us in stopping it in bars.restos etc?

    7. NickC
      April 9, 2020

      Lifelogic, I go out of my way to avoid any output from the BBC. Listening to the BBC rots your brain because their world-view permeates everything they do – it’s not just what they say, it’s how they say it, and what they leave out.

      Anyone who doesn’t believe me can try the experiment for themselves. Stop watching/listening to any BBC content for a fortnight; then go back to it. It’s like suddenly realising the lipstick is on a pig.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        April 9, 2020

        I’m a very much happier person since we turned the TV off. Once you turn it off there is no desire to turn it on again. We do watch dvd of the golden era, comics were funny and educational programmes were interesting and informative. And there was an R for Repeat! Different world, even Wilson seems no so bad!

      2. Lifelogic
        April 10, 2020

        I do quite like to listen, just to monitor the endless one sided propaganda they come out with and the endless scientific, economic and numerical ignorance or BBC reporters. The slant they put on almost every report.

    8. ed2
      April 9, 2020

      The main clear discriminations by the virus is against men and older people. T

      Which is identical to NATURAL morbity rates. Go take a look.

      1. Everhopeful
        April 9, 2020

        I keep looking…and wondering.

    9. Sea Warrior
      April 9, 2020

      I was a little surprised to see my home, Portsmouth, featuring prominently in a list of the worst affected areas. Portsmouth is – and very few people know this – the most densely-populated city in the UK, after London.

    10. Sea Warrior
      April 9, 2020

      Door poorer people tend to smoke more? I suspect they do – and that means their lungs won’t be equipped to survive this assault.

      1. Lifelogic
        April 10, 2020

        Well given the price of cigarettes they will certainly become poorer if they smoke much.

    11. jane4brexit
      April 10, 2020

      Surely the BBC knows the answer to men being worse hit and should have broadcast it for any of us still less woke than they are, all men must identify as women to ensure a cut of one third (on the 75%/25% estimate) immediately from the minute they decide they are female!

      1. jane4brexit
        April 10, 2020

        Sorry I should have said two thirds of course!

  5. Nig l
    April 9, 2020

    Yes. Maybe if the political journalists whose contribution has been zero, still looking for gotcha moments, rifts, inactivity etc, would step aside, maybe some one can ask those questions that are far more pertinent . What is the point of Laura Kauzenberg and similar. To me zero.

    As for questions, Hancock sayS 100000 tests, PHE are intimating that is la la land. We are getting too much BS and buck passing. What is the truth?

    1. Lifelogic
      April 9, 2020

      And Laura Kauzenberg is, I think, rather better than most reporters at the BBC. Lots of diversity is demanded at the there – but not of opinions. All reporters there clearly have to be left wing, viscerally pro NHS, pro climate alarmism, pro ever more government, taxes and red tape, pro more enforced “equality” of outcome, insufferably PC and preferably with zero understanding science, business, economics or numeracy.

      Above all they all must be pro funding the BBC in the hugely anti-competitive way with the TV poll tax (rather like the anti-competitive state monopoly NHS is).

    2. Andy
      April 9, 2020

      Ironic. Man who dismisses journalists – many of whom are literally putting their lives on the line – asks ‘what is the truth’?

      Genuinely. I would like someone to take you to an ICU unit in London or New York or Lombardy. Spend a couple of hours there like many brave journalists have done in the last days.

      Perhaps as you watch people die you realise that what they have been telling you is not fake, while the stuff you share on Facebook actually is.

      1. Anonymous
        April 9, 2020

        I watched my father die of pneumonia. It’s a horrible way to go.

        I’m bang in the middle of the age range and male and a key worker.

        I do take this disease seriously and dread getting it but surely to God more are going to die in the coming depression if we don’t get back to work, including of pneumonia.

      2. Edward2
        April 9, 2020

        You’ve got confused between journalists who report honestly and those who risk their lives whilst reporting.
        Two completely different things.

      3. Roy Grainger
        April 10, 2020

        Andy – Journalists are not allowed in ICU units with coronavirus patients. Confine yourself to the truth in future please.

    3. NickC
      April 9, 2020

      Nig1, I understand the tests for Covid 19 are only about 70% accurate. And they’re in such short supply that only patients who are already suspected of having Covid19 are tested, and then only if they are sent to hospital.

      How many of the severely hospitalised patients are being treated with Chloroquine? Or is that is such short supply too, courtesy of NHS wonder-managers? Perhaps JR can ask the question?

      1. Everhopeful
        April 9, 2020

        Whatever is the point of testing?
        Nasal and throat swabs might indicate who has actually got the virus but what can an infected person do other than self isolate ( which most are doing).
        An antigen test might reveal how far we have gone in achieving herd immunity but had the govt not locked everyone down we might have been some way to achieving that. Especially if schools had not closed.
        Probably the only treatment is antibiotics for the pneumonia which can hit after someone ( usually vulnerable) appears to have recovered.
        The second wave ..if it comes… will have been caused by this disastrous lockdown.
        Do we resign ourselves to doing all this every flu season?

        1. NickC
          April 11, 2020

          Everhopeful, The point of testing for Covid19 is to know how to treat the patient, and to put the Cv19 patients in wards separate from those not infected.

  6. Lifelogic
    April 9, 2020

    The circa 13% increase in corona virus deaths (hospital ones only) yesterday is not encouraging at all. We still seem to be on the Italian trajectory but 14 days behind. Let us hope the NHS will somehow cope with this large deluge of demand (and all the other demands on it).

    I still think the government was slightly late (perhaps a week late) in clamping down to stop the spread of the virus with things like the Cheltenham Festival and schools, masks being discouraged and the foolish Sadiq Kahn telling people how “very safe” the tube was.

    1. BOF
      April 9, 2020

      And the planes kept coming with unchecked passengers getting on tubes, trains and buses.

    2. NeverCrushedBrexit
      April 9, 2020

      Please stop trying to score political points against the Government, who are doing an excellent job, in “uncharted waters”.

      20/20 hindsight is a 100% exact science.

      BTW:- It would be useful if qualified contributors would mention their qualification.

      How are you qualified LL?

      1. Lifelogic
        April 10, 2020

        An excellent job? Look at the appalling pandemic planning and the burying of the report into the 2016 pandemic exercise. Why too do we have only 1/6 of the ventilators that Germany have and 1/500 of the ECMO machines that Japan has per head? Why can they not even distribute PPE properly. Not to mention the outrages at care homes who are left on their own.

        1. NeverCrushedBrexit
          April 10, 2020

          “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

      2. Lifelogic
        April 10, 2020

        Not medically I read Math/Physics/Electronic Engineering Cambridge and Manchester – though my son is reading medicine.

    3. Bob
      April 9, 2020

      “…the foolish Sadiq Khan telling people how “very safe” the tube was.”

      Yes he did and when the number of commuters dropped he reduced the frequency of service in order to maintain the overcrowding.
      He should be prosecuted for reckless endangerment.

    4. Everhopeful
      April 9, 2020

      They did exactly what WHO told them to do.
      There are now calls for head of WHO to resign and Trump is ( sensibly) defunding them.
      To even think that the West abrogated responsibility for its own healthcare in such a way!!!!

    5. a-tracy
      April 9, 2020

      Do you know how many people have died that went to the Cheltenham Races?
      We don’t know the home circumstances of say the bus workers, I.e. were they married, or living with people working in hospitals and care homes?
      I told my adult children in London to wear masks from March they were laughed at and generally it was seen as a bad thing to do.

    6. rose
      April 9, 2020

      Did you hear what the Italian PM said this morning when asked by an impudent reptile whether he had left it too late? He said Italy is not China and if he had gone to soon people would have thought him stark staring mad. The medical experts here kept saying the same thing. If you want it to work, don’t go too soon.

      On deaths, they will still be the ones in the pipeline from before the curfew, because this disease takes such a long time to kill.

      Quite right on Khan but the public were making up their own minds on this, as they did when they witheld their children from school. For example now, 20% of children are still supposed to be at school, but they aren’t.

      1. Lifelogic
        April 10, 2020

        If you go too early you can still relax rule later. If you go to late you are too late and little can then be done to avoid the NHS being overwhelmed.

    7. Data Please
      April 9, 2020

      I’ve been following these PHE graphs:

      My Humanity Withstanding.

      My understanding is that by the nature of the deaths following a wide range of days after positive testing, they exhibit an undefined lag.

      Cross-correlation techniques can be used to assess such indicators as a crude average lag, (please let that be true amongst official circles).

      Hence, it could be that the recent jumps in deaths are correlated to previous jumps in positive cases, rather than any fundamental loss of control, I emphasise could be.

      One problem I think, is that the Scottish figures have been erratic due to reported issues, hence “muddy the water” when trying to compare days and determine general trends and correlations.

      I’m not comparing our figures to any other country as I think there’s too many disparities between a plethora of stuff regarding timings, response methodologies and data representation etc.

      I’m just hoping that unseen data acqusition and analysis of the U.K. is ongoing, despite the lack of any visible evidence otherwise, as far as I can see.

      However, there’s a very strong chance that I’m talking utter, complete rubbish.

      1. SecretPeople
        April 10, 2020

        A very interesting post, thank you.

    April 9, 2020

    Company Has Filed Patent Application in Support of Treatment of COVID-19 Utilizing Anti-IL6R Via Inhaled Delivery

    New York/London — April 9, 2020 – Tiziana Life Sciences plc (Nasdaq: TLSA) (“Tiziana” or the “Company”), a biotechnology company focused on innovative therapeutics for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, announced today that it has developed investigational new technology to treat COVID-19 infections, which consists of direct delivery of anti-IL-6 receptor (anti-IL-6R) monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) into the lungs using a handheld inhaler or nebulizer. Development of this novel technology is a step forward toward expediting development of TZLS-501, a fully-human anti-interleukin-6 receptor (anti-IL6R) monoclonal antibody (mAb) for treatment of patients infected with COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) coronavirus. The Company believes the technology could also be applicable for use with other FDA approved mAbs and drugs. The Company has submitted a provisional patent application for the delivery technology.

    “Direct delivery of anti-IL-6R mAb to the lungs using a portable handheld inhaler or nebulizer is a rapid and immediate therapy for children and adults infected with COVID-19. Importantly, this treatment with our fully human anti-IL-6R mAb (TZLS-501) has the potential to be a long-term therapy to halt progression and reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19, as a portion of the population may not opt to utilize a vaccine,” said Gabriele Cerrone, Chairman of Tiziana Lifesciences.

  8. Mark B
    April 9, 2020

    Good morning.

    It would indeed be interesting to hear from those in the medical professions who could give a balanced non-sensationalised view. We have data from other sources and we know those in society who are at greatest of risk. They are self isolating and are so lowering the burden to the NHS. We also need clear data as to whether they died as a result of the virus or, because the virus made them more susceptible due their poor condition ?

    1. Lifelogic
      April 9, 2020

      This is not a distinction that you can make very easily. If they had the virus it almost certainly contributed and hastened the death in almost all cases I would have thought.

      1. Lifelogic
        April 9, 2020

        Though clearly often it is not the only cause Often many conditions contribute to the final death.

    2. NickC
      April 9, 2020

      Mark B, NHS managers threaten the careers of doctors who step out of line. The NHS is effectively a monopoly employer so has monopoly power over individual nurses, technicians, and doctors.

    3. APL
      April 9, 2020

      Mark B: “It would indeed be interesting to hear from those in the medical professions”

      Who in the British Medical profession can say anything that runs counter to the official government line, identify themselves in public, and keep their job?

      And odd, how the BBC can find any number of people who are prepared to leak confidential information, or publish false images of children sleeping on the floor. But no one comes forward to counter the official government civil service line.

      With the honorable exception of Hitchens and that Judge fellow. But the BBC, which has stirred up the panic, gave them three minutes and a headline on page ten.

    April 9, 2020

    Synairgen PLC’s SNG001 CV-19 treatment could prove a cure. Now in clinical trials

  10. oldtimer
    April 9, 2020

    These are more good questions. IIRC Mr Hancock or the CMO have previously said that volunteers have been recruited to conduct trials on possible treatments but did not disclose what they were. At the moment Ministers are not so much in charge as in thrall to NHS medical staff and scientists (“guided by the science”) and must take what they are told on trust. Yet we also know they everyone has started from a point of total ignorance. Your pressure on Ministers for full disclosure of what they (the medics and scientists) are up to and with what success or failure would be most helpful. It would be unfortunate if much of the public came to distrust official numbers in the way they lost confidence in Treasury forecasts in the recent past.

  11. M Hopkins
    April 9, 2020

    Dr Knut Wittkowski, who worked at Rockefeller University for 20 years as Head of Department of Biostatistics Epidemiology and Research Design and before that for 15 years with Klaus Dietz, one of the leading epidemiologists in the world, offers his perspectives on the pandemic on YouTube. His view is that social distancing and lockdown are counterproductive. Flattening the curve prolongs and widens it.

    1. Anonymous
      April 9, 2020

      They had enough trouble pronouncing ‘Jeremy Hunt’. Let’s hope Dr Wittkowski doesn’t end up being interviewed by the BBC.

  12. Ian @Barkham
    April 9, 2020

    Anecdotal evidence from the physicians that have cured patient in the US, Canada and Germany suggest ventilators are as much the cause of irreversible damage as they are a cure. Prolonged use damages lung tissues in a way that is difficult to remedy.

    Current thinking is that a CT scan gives more insight of the situation that needs addressing. Covid testing is only an indication that something is amiss and that it may not be the flu.

    I have no real medical insight and I am only repeating the results of interviews reported in the MsM.

    I have no idea as to whether it is intentional or not but the daily briefing by the Government are now just clouding the issue as apposed providing insight. Too many contradictory bits of guess work dressed up as facts. The bits that could be seen as real are in actual out of context in a daily scenario. All this is further muddied by some seriously dumb questioning by the mainstream media, that the Government is being too polite to slap them down.

    We still don’t know if people have died as a result of Corvid or have just died with Corvid present in their body. There is a massive difference between the 2.

    The result of these briefing is the Government is laying themselves open to the rational charge of ineptitude which unless some magic happens they have just lost the next election and handed the country to Starmer on a plate.

    1. Ian @Barkham
      April 9, 2020

      The BBC’s Emily Maitlis has been praised as she slammed “misleading” language surrounding the coronavirus crisis.

      She was able to do this by taking sound-bites out of context and making people belive the Government said something entirely different. Banking on the fact that most people never heard the original in its proper context.

      The Government in its muddled endevour to be transparent is opening its self up to ridicule and traps by those that telling a ‘story’ to sell themselves is more important than just ‘news’

      1. a-tracy
        April 9, 2020

        I agree Ian.

        The constant undermining of government Ministers is aggravating. It’s a good thing they weren’t the news presenters in WW1 or WW2 the men would never have fought, they wouldn’t have got off the beach they’d have thought it was all over.

        There is no balance, it’s just sensationalised. Where are the positives the things that give people hope.

        By far I was most impressed with a home carer on the news tonight on £13 per hour, she was so close to coughing patients having to take a gent to the toilet with inadequate ppe because the hospitals were so loud and vocal they’ve now hogged it all, the news crew gave her their hand gel because they felt so sorry for her being unable to refresh her personal store. She was so worried about passing the virus on to the other people she cared for and about and if the hospitals don’t share out their ppe with other workers in the field they’ll end up with more patients and they’ve only themselves and their loud representatives to blame!

        Concentrate on stopping people getting into hospital in the first place, from care homes and carers in the home moving from vulnerable elderly patient to vulnerable elderly patient in the community!

  13. Martyn G
    April 9, 2020

    Your questions should be answered by the authorities (whoever that may be deemed to be), as the basis of proper risk evaluation and mitigating action. The trouble is that we, the great unwashed, are being fed so much contradictory information (e.g. masks are essential. No they’re not, O yes they are) and so on, that one cannot rely on anything being the actual case.
    I would have thought that by now the hugely expensive PHE would be a long way into knowing the answers to your questions but we are told that their minds were closed to the early use of the huge range of commercial and other talents available, had they but asked. PHE could and should have mobilised the nations’ technical, chemical and medical resources but it seems that they did not do so, perhaps because of a ‘not invented here’ mindset.

  14. Annette Bates
    April 9, 2020

    One might have expected our MSM to be asking such questions, but they appear to be following and driving a different agenda.

    To your questions, I would add one relating to our ‘measurement’ statistics…
    Why isn’t the number of ICU beds required/in use a key statistic?
    Surely that is the key question, along with those hospitalised, that demonstrates how pressured the NHS is. It’s verifiable & not subjective, so is a good measure. The whole purpose of the suspension of our liberty & freedom is to ‘save the NHS’ (seemingly above lives).
    The existing published figures have become a laughable joke. The ‘recovered’ figure, 135, hasn’t moved in weeks despite public figures (notably Prince Charles & MPs) publicly reported as recovered. The number does not move. That brings into question the ‘Active cases’ figure, as it is the simple sum of Total cases – Deaths – Recovered.

  15. Bryan Harris
    April 9, 2020

    Excellent summary – We would all like to know the answers to those 4 questions … and these should form part of the daily update from the government.
    The main point I’d like to emphasise is that medical solutions include more than drugs – There’s a whole world of verifiable alternative treatments to keep bodies in better shape. At the end of the day it is our ability to shrug off this virus if we come into contact with it it that will determine our survival.
    This can only be done by building up the immune system – There’s plenty of data on the web to support taking Vitamin A, D, and zinc – Let’s not allow heads to be buried in the proverbial sand because of establishment prejudice against supplements.

  16. Bryan Harris
    April 9, 2020

    There have been reports on the web – not the sort of thing MSM would cover – that ventilators have caused damaged lungs to collapse, causing death, so their use needs to be controlled.

    Given that several USA democrat state governors banned the use of Chloroquine I’d say that Trump was right to agree with his advisors and recommend it’s use alongside zinc and antibiotics.
    We should be making use of good advice.

  17. Sakara Gold
    April 9, 2020

    It is said that clouds have a silver lining. I speak as a person who has somehow retained his sense of smell, qualified by right of living close to the M25, polluted by years – decades – of diesel and petrol engines spewing forth a toxic mix of pollutants that can make your eyes sting on sunny summer days and which chokes the airways in the winter.

    Have you noticed how clear the air is currently? After nearly a month of the nationwide lockdown the ubiquitous blue haze seems to have blown away and my sense of smell detects a lovely odour of tree blossom, wild flowers and cleaner air

    When this is over, let’s invest in grid-sized energy storage facilities, more wind turbines, more solar power farms and nationwide electric vehicle recharging infrastructure so that we may continue to enjoy breathing this lovely clean air!

    I wonder how many people affected by the Chinese plague virus and now struggling to breathe on respirators had their lungs damaged by inner city pollution before all this started?

    1. Stred
      April 10, 2020

      I spend most of my time near the M25 or on it and my lungs were damaged by flu and bacteria. Currently the air smells the same and my coughing and wheezing must be caused by high pollen levels from flipping plants and trees. Grid sized energy storage would be extremely expensive and only last for hours at the most. Solar and wind will require 100% backup for over a week.

      1. Sakara Gold
        April 10, 2020

        Grid sized energy storage would most efficiently be used to provide for instant demand of the sort currently provided by gas fired power stations. If more was needed, the power could be provided by the interconnectors with Europe. I envisage baseline power requirements being provided by new nuclear.

        The wind blows fairly constantly over the UK, last summer for weeks at a time the UK ran on renewable solar and wind power with the occasional power surge requirement being provided by the interconnector.

        1. Edward2
          April 10, 2020

          Your last paragraph is wrong, last summer the UK did not run on solar and wind power alone.

          And as far as I am aware grid sized energy storage is still just a theory that is yet to be put into practice.

  18. Stred
    April 9, 2020

    I had a chat with my bird about this. She’s a scientist dealing and a highly qualified pharmacologist in a teaching hospital. I said, having read about the various successful small trials using hydroxychlorozine and the decision of the FDA to allow its use, that if I thought that I was in a high risk situation and was in intensive care then, given the lack of success using ventilators, I would like to be offered this option and to take the risk of side effects myself.

    She said that in the UK it would not be possible to offer any choice unless thorough trials had been done, allowing for a placebo group not being given the drug. If it worked, then the lucky half would recover but the unlucky half would probably not. Such a trial would take until the epidemic peak had passed and the opportunity for many would have passed.
    That’s why the ultra cautious FDA allowed the drug to be tried if doctors decided to. This does not mean that these doctors will take the risk and use it because in the US there is an army of lawyers who will sue if anything went wrong but defensive medicine allows no risk if the patient dies using conventional treatment.

    In the UK, defensive medicine is the norm and all of the doctors and scientists who get onto committees and high up in the civil service and quangos will stick together. The relative death tolls between countries using various drugs will be interesting but for those that missed the successful treatment and died or were left damaged, this will not be much consolation.

    1. Stred
      April 9, 2020

      dealing with medication

  19. Richard1
    April 9, 2020

    We should also get a clear daily update on the number of hospital beds available and occupied, likewise ICUs. Across the whole Country as people could potentially be moved around if needed.

  20. Cheshire Girl
    April 9, 2020

    I thought this thread was for those who understand the medical issues.

  21. SM
    April 9, 2020

    I have no medical training; however I would like to recommend an article in STAT (online), date 8/4/20, by Sharon Begley, about the fact that the covid19 symptom of very low blood oxygen does not correlate (as it usually does) with cardiac and brain problems.

    Some US critical care physicians are beginning to think that less invasive and harmful support may be better, such as using the breathing masks customary in sleep apnoea care. It notes – as other specialists have done very recently – that putting patients, particularly the elderly and those with underlying conditions – on mechanical ventilators, are at serious risk of long-term cognitive and physical effects, because of the heavy sedation and intubation required. Of course, it should also be noted that there is a poor survival rate for those placed on ventilators, a fact dangerously and foolishly ignored by certain posters on this site.

    1. SM
      April 9, 2020

      Further explanation is now available in an article (not behind the paywall) in the Daily Telegraph by its medical correspondent, published at 9pm on 9/4/20/.

  22. glen cullen
    April 9, 2020

    No better or worse than seasonal flu

    I prescribe paracetamol and two weeks in bed

    I hold a masters degree (non-medical) and once held the queens commission (so I’ve met a few Quacks)

    It doesn’t take a scientist, a doctor or a politician to know the difference between a cold, flu, virus or a lead swinger

    If we’re waiting for a cure to this and any other virus we’ll be waiting a very long time, the only know cure is our own body

  23. Ed M
    April 9, 2020

    @Sir John,

    SO MUCH can be done in preventive care – and CHEAP and EASY but people need directives. In addition to your excellent points:

    A lot of exercise in green spaces and near water.
    Exercise builds up immunity and helps people sleep better (lack of sleep weakens immunity). Green spaces have positive chemical effect on brain, destressing mind and body (stress weakens immunity).
    Exercise reduces weight – being over-weight increases risk against coronavirus. Lot of sources on this – too many to mention here.

    We should always be well-hydrated. But in particular now as connection between being well-hydrated and stronger immune system. Lot of sources on this.

    Yoghurt (and the effect of this on your gut) builds up immunity. Possible to buy cheap, non-branded but very healthy yoghurt. Lot of sources on this.

    In addition to obviously healthy fruit and veg, certain foods help build up immunity and help lose weight in a natural way – jasmine green tea (lose not in bags), porridge, brown rice etc – and all cheap. Lot of sources on this.

    De-stressing boosts immunity. Do whatever it takes to avoid unnecessary stress. Lot of sources on this.

    Being overweight increases risk with coronavirus. So lose weight by cutting down on unhealthy food, by exercising more, eating healthy foods that fill you up (porride etc), drinking lots of water. Lot of sources on this.

    Good sleep boosts immunity. We must do what we can to get good nights sleep. Avoid conflicts with others. Unnecessary stress.Watching TV late at night. And so on. Lot of sources on this.

    People should pray (believer) or meditate (non-believer) – these are proven to de-stress the mind and body. Lot of sources on this – too many to mention here.

    1. Ed M
      April 9, 2020

      ‘Watching TV late at night’ – avoid this, i meant, obviously, as well as computer screens. No electronic screens at least an hour before sleep.

  24. Roy Grainger
    April 9, 2020

    No medical qualifications here but I have had some passing contact with specialist doctors treating cases – so just anecdotal chit-chat which may be wrong.

    “The official treatment seems to include doses of oxygen when impaired lung functions leave the patients with low oxygen levels in the blood,”

    I am not sure that is entirely true. There is a view that the virus directly attacks red blood cells meaning they cannot bind to oxygen. This would explain the fact that a patient can be diagnosed without pneumonia but still need to be given oxygen. One disease that acts on the red blood cells in this way is malaria, this may be why anti-malarial drugs show some promise because they protect the red blood cells against attack by these (quite different) diseases. There is a mounting amount of data on the use of anti-malarials, South Korea used them early, one would hope this data could reduce the time needed for clinical trials in UK.

  25. Richard1
    April 9, 2020

    Every day more and more evidence emerges of the lethal incompetence of centralised bureaucracy. Today we hear that PHE prevented private sector operators from conducting tests for the virus due to concerns over them using NHS property. The Contrast with the US where the private sector has seen massive mobilisation is startling. People ask why Germany and South Korea test so many more people. Because the private sector is involved and they don’t rely on some central bureaucracy to authorise it all. Our left leaning media are constantly on the watch for gotcha questions to ministers on this – and the distribution of PPE, of which apparently we have enough but it still isn’t in the right place. They should be focusing on the real issue – the structures which have led to this underperformance.

  26. Ed M
    April 9, 2020

    @Sir John,

    Now would also be a great opportunity to really encourage people to think about the great benefits of being healthy in general (not just as this time – pressing as that is of course). For their personal happiness as well as making them more productive, and less of a burden on the NHS.

    Horrible as the virus is, there are also many things that we can do to improve ourselves and our country because of it. Staying more healthy is just one.

    Be good to see the government work with creative media agencies to come up with interesting (and cheap) ways to engage the public to live more healthy lives in general – as well as of course to help defeat the coronavirus.

  27. Le libertarian
    April 9, 2020

    In other news on the gradual collapse of the EU

    Yanis Varoufakis
    The Bank of England just announced it will finance the gvt directly. Meanwhile in the eurozone the tragi-comedy of errors, also known as the Eurogroup, will reconvene tonight to proclaim that the crisis is SO urgent that it will do NOTHING of macroeconomic significance.

    The UK was right to Brexit ( for wrong reasons) says Yanis

    Meanwhile here in France after the biggest quarterly fall ( 6% ) France enters recession

    On the virus, no one knows what, how, why or where. Most of the science models have proved inaccurate, South Korea announced that 50 patients who recovered from the virus have been readmitted having shown signs of catching it a second time . There doesn’t appear to be much difference in outcome no matter which cause of action countries took. Outlier being South Korea and Tiawan ( who banned flights from Wuhan very early on ) . Sweden who have gone for herd immunity and NO lockdown have a very low death rate….. so far

    1. bill brown
      April 10, 2020

      Wrong again the EU package was agreed and it is significant size as well

      1. Edward2
        April 10, 2020

        Are you sure bill?
        I’ve been trying to check that and can’t find anything that says the EU package is agreed and ready.

        1. bill brown
          April 10, 2020

          yes I am sure but then you do have a bit of a very imaginary approach to facts and the EU. Like we all have to join the EURO. HaHA

          1. Edward2
            April 10, 2020

            I have never said we all have to join the Euro.
            In fact I don’t care if other nations decide join the EU
            In fact I don’t care if they decide to adopt the Euro as their currency.
            It doesn’t concern me what they do.

            I am baffled as to what you are on about bill.

          2. NickC
            April 11, 2020

            Bill B, If we had voted to Remain, there was a risk we would have been forced into EMU sooner or later.

  28. agricola
    April 9, 2020

    I imagine we are unlikely to get many definitive responses from the medical or medical research people because they are to occupied with containing and finding answers to the disease. Additionally at present all the advice amounts to avoiding exposing oneself to it. The drugs you list as possible symptom curers are no more than that. When someone can come forward and say, backed by evidence, that 75% of my patients with severe CV have responded possitively to taking drug “X” at 200 mg every eight hours, we are then getting somewhere. Until that time we can only talk avoidance. The medical profession are currently fighting the symptoms in whatever way they judge best. The medical research establishment are no doubt working flat out to find better controls and in time a vaccination. No doubt they are between a rock, a preventive and cure, and the hard place, another thalidomide disaster. The task provides sufficient pressure, they do not need us or politicians breathing down their necks.

  29. Glenn Vaughan
    April 9, 2020

    How anyone imagines that qualified medical professionals have the time to read the daily crap on this website defeats me.

    They certainly don’t or shouldn’t be wasting their valuable time writing on it.

  30. NeverCrushedBrexit
    April 9, 2020

    Another question Sir John for the experts on here.

    What trials have now been completed on blood transfusions of antibodies, from recovered CV patients, and how succesful is that treatment?
    (A procedure used during the 1919 Flu Pandemic?).

    Matt Hancock and Nadine Dorries to the rescue????

  31. Fred H
    April 9, 2020

    from BBC news website.
    Greater Manchester Police has warned people not to breach lockdown rules over Easter after it had to break up 660 parties last weekend. Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said “each and every one of us need take this seriously”. There were 1,132 coronavirus-related breaches reported between Saturday and Tuesday, the force said. That included 494 house parties – some with DJs, fireworks and bouncy castles – and 166 street parties. One woman in Bury became the first person in Greater Manchester to be charged under the Coronavirus Act 2020 after police had to repeatedly shut down one of the parties.
    Greater Manchester Police also had to deal with 122 different groups gathering to play sports, 173 more gatherings in parks and 112 incidents of anti-social behaviour and public disorder.

    No doubt these people will be outraged when there is nowhere for them or their loved ones to be treated later on. Sometimes you have to wonder about the dilution of the gene pool.

  32. Mike Stallard
    April 9, 2020

    1. Final solution: The cure to the disease.
    2. Final solution: Vaccine for all.
    3. Lockdown – except for lots and lots of people. This may cut it back, but no more than that.
    3. Testing for positive/negative then tracing the positive contacts and isolating all of them. Problem: this moment has now passed. Singapore and Abu Dhabi are testing still – but you can be negative and then get infected ten minutes later so it is not a solution.
    4. Once you have had it, are you either infectious or immune? This would help.

  33. Lynn Atkinson
    April 9, 2020

    Not medical.
    The answers to the questions that JR poses are very important. It is critical that politicians do NOT collude in the obfuscation of facts like death stats. It is impossible to believe that someone is running around hospitals to get ‘Hospital Deaths’ rather than getting all deaths from the Coroner. I know it’s so that they cannot pull out of the air ‘the postal ballot boxes’ (like the Welsh Assembly Referendum) and skew the figures to save their skins.
    If Doctors don’t know the cause of death, there is an inquest to establish same. The total number of deaths and the causes must be disclosed. Imperial College must take the hit else the politicians go down as liars too!

  34. Ed M
    April 9, 2020

    Lastly, there are also really effective breathing methods if anyone gets the virus – including lying on your front, as most of your lungs is in your back so you can breath easier / get more air into your lungs lying on your front – in general, unless not for some specific reason.

  35. clive lester
    April 9, 2020

    With regret until we have a vaccine /cure for this virus its not going to go away . As we all now live in a global society , travel by air , rail ,boat, etc will just keep the virus going around and around . Bleak I know , but its not rocket science .
    The hunt for a cure must be , should be ,the all out quest . We all know it kills , we all know the basics , the government has rammed it down our throats for long enough .
    Shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic springs to mind with the BBC spouting stats left right and center . Charts and death rates just ramp up the hysteria and feeling of impending doom & gloom.
    Find a vaccine/cure , the rest is bordering on irreverent . Oh, and be quick about it!
    No frantic rush , but can we say no later than close of business tomorrow .
    Thank you .

  36. Data Please
    April 9, 2020

    From experience I’m well aware that you have to sign highly detailed consent forms that leave you (scarily) aware of the consequences of intervention when you’re facing serious health issues.

    As such, would it be possible / legal for medical staff to offer anecdotal treatments to someone in a serious condition, provided they gain written consent from the patient or next of kin, etc. ?

    My guess is that you are essentially offering yourself as a guinea pig for scientific advancement, is that an acceptable legal position ?

    If I was choking to death on my own fluids, I would be grasping at any straw offered and not impressed if none were forthcoming.

    Ultimately, we are the final arbiter on our life (or so I like to think), hence how can anyone else have an ability to choose (without my consent), whether I am given a particular treatment, anecdotally proven or not.

  37. Nig l
    April 9, 2020

    And for Red Andy who was crowing about the success of the German system. Thanks, a good model to follow. A large amount of private/not for profit input, indeed the majority driven by competition and patient choice.

    If only….!! So much for your beloved stalinists centrist NHS. Off to Specsavers for you. Get the other eye sorted out.

  38. Stred
    April 9, 2020

    The Danes have gotten their fingers out and bought enough masks and protection suits for health workers and carers. The equipment was airfreighted in one giant cargo planes and met by their prince. There doesn’t seem to be any likelihood of anyone doing the same in the UK. They seem to be using the same masks as used to be sold to builders in B and Q.

  39. Everhopeful
    April 9, 2020

    Not an expert but new figures out show that in Scotland more people with OTHER diseases are dying by staying away from hospital!!!
    And again…though no expert, I can see that the collateral damage from all this hysteria is going to be HUGE.

  40. Pat
    April 9, 2020

    We may need neither. May. We live with many viruses for which there is neither cute not vaccine. It is possible that once this disease is no longer new it will be one amongst many others.
    In the meantime treatment will improve with experience, allowing patients to be more comfortable and have a better chance of fighting the disease themselves.

  41. Nigel
    April 9, 2020

    Covid 19 is a disease that has to be reported, so we receive daily numbers of deaths etc.
    It would be helpful if we received the numbers of deaths from earlier years (from all diseases) on a daily , weekly or year to date basis, so that we could compare the numbers, and perhaps put things into context.

  42. cornishstu
    April 9, 2020

    I read an article last night that which says that the Cov-19 virus mode of operation is to enter the red blood cells destroying the haemoglobin allowing the Iron ion part to become free in such vast numbers that eventually the body cannot cope, kidneys, liver fail and you get the lung damage that is seen. This is why people are short of breath as the virus reproduces there is less and less haemoglobin to carry oxygen.

    They go onto say that malaria works similar being able to enter the red blood cells which is why Hydroxychloroquine is effective, but they are not sure of exactly how.

    It sounded plausible, there does seem to be a lot of references to Hydroxychloroquine being used with success along with Azithromycin and zinc, from various doctors around the world though I get the feeling our NHS is dismissive. They say also the sooner treatment is started the better to minimise the reproduction of the virus and so reduce the number of damaged red blood cells enabling the body to stay oxygenated and the immune system to fight the virus itself.

  43. Lindsay McDougall
    April 9, 2020

    I too don’t know the effectiveness of existing drugs and vitamins in counteracting Coronavirus. What I do know is what is needed for relaxation of the lockdown:

    – Deaths per day to have plateaued
    – Enough beds in isolated wards
    – Sufficient of these beds to be critical care beds
    – Sufficient trained staff
    – Adequate ventilators and PPE

    Once those conditions are filled, we can begin to remove restrictions. We should start with sending children back to school and allowing travel to work in low density work places. Our aim should be to build up resistance to the virus in the community as rapidly as possible, subject to health services being able to cope.

    Why is the Secretary of State for Health not briefing us every couple of days on progress towards achieving those five goals?

    1. Caterpillar
      April 9, 2020


      The first of these seems to be the rhetoric of Govt. It just tells us the progression of the epidemic. It does not tell us the additional lives/years of life saved by the strategy compared with those lost elsewhere or elsewhen. I don’t think we should fall for this.

  44. Everhopeful
    April 9, 2020

    Just got a letter from 10 Downing Street.
    Begging me not to overburden the NHS ( whence my NI contributions?).
    As if I would EVER go anywhere NEAR it unless in dire need.
    Let us hope that the virus can not in fact persist on post?

  45. zorro
    April 9, 2020

    JR, you are highlighting the key factors which the authorities have only recently started reporting on (slightly) more transparently with regards to relevant data. Previously that was not happening at 5 pm broadcasts.

    The data and analysis are crucial and we must be vigilant in ensuring that it isn’t fudged or skewed. The well-published easing on restrictions in the Coronavirus Bill on how to classify deaths, mental illnesses and coroners inquests are worrying.

    I was wondering how long it would take the BBC to pick up on who was actually being affected by the virus and it does appear that it is discriminating against BME patients in comparative numbers. We will need to see verifiable and official figures on this though.

    The questions you raise are also important. There is a lot of research in articles being posted online on various potential treatments which need to be properly considered

    1. How many placed on a ventilator subsequently recover? – At the moment the survival rate once put on ventilators does not appear to be good, with reports of 50+% mortality rates. And particularly higher in a lot of older patients and those with existing conditions.

    2. How do doctors work out whether a death was the result of COVID 19 or some other condition the patient suffered from? – This is a very important point as again there appears to be evidence that the COVID 19 stats are being used to cover a lot of other deaths from what would normally be produced from other diseases. There has apparently been a 50% drop in heart-related conditions being reported. In the UK, we have had the changes with reporting deaths in the Coronavirus Bill, but I have not seen guidance to other officials on how this should operate in practice with the signing of death certificates….. However, some information has come to light from the USA on how doctors are being instructed to report deaths in respect of existing conditions.

    A March 24, 2020, NVSS (National Vital Statistics System memo states….

    “The rules for coding and selection of the underlying cause of death are expected to result in COVID-19 being the underlying cause more often than not.” …

    Stephen Schwartz, national director of the division of vital statistics, said in answer to the question as stated in the organization’s COVID-19 alert, “Should COVID-19 be reported on the death certificate only with a confirmed test”

    “COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death. Certifiers should include as much detail as possible based on their knowledge of the case, medical records, laboratory testing…..”

    If a patient is positive for COVID-19 and dies from another cause such as pneumococcal sepsis, it may be considered accurate to say that person died with COVID-19, not from COVID-19.

    However, the CDC guideline lists this case as one more COVID-19 death and they go to the next questionable death, which they label as COVID-19 and it goes on and on.

    It is easy to see how figures could be manipulated with little verification or challenge. This is inaccurate data, which would suggest that the real number of COVID-19 deaths are not what most people are told and what they then think. The number of people who actually died from COVID-19 is clearly a moveable feast…..

    Fear of numbers is slowly but slowly enabling the extension of ‘protection’ whilst rolling back our fundamental protections of liberty.


  46. Max
    April 9, 2020

    Dear Sir John, why not medically trained I am from a scientific background, the analysis of ONS data published on Hector Drummond web site strongly suggests the problems and deaths are over stated. Clearly I would like further investigate the data behind this but I’m strongly of the opinion that the government medical view is significantly floored – with huge consequential damage to our economy

    summary of

    The 2020 total up to the end of week 13: 22 877 respiratory deaths.

    The 5-year average at the end of week 13: 26 161 respiratory deaths.

    This means that up to 27 March there have been 3284 less respiratory deaths in 2020 than the five-year average.

    Even I am astonished by these graphs. I was expecting to see something in the graphs by week 13, even if I wasn’t expecting anything scary. But there’s just nothing. And you can’t say the lockdown caused this, because the UK lockdown had only been going for four days by this time. We’ve locked down the country for a supposed mass killer that still isn’t visible in the stats even after the lockdown was declared. We locked the country down for something that at the time only existed in Neil Ferguson’s dodgy computer models.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      April 9, 2020

      @Max – there had been very few deaths due with Covid-19 by week 13. They have come after so I am interested to see the figures at weeks 16 and 20.

      1. Max
        April 10, 2020


        cerainly will be interesting to track, with daily death rate at 7-800 that 3k delta on 5 year average would quickly disappear – equally tracking will give an indication if as data from Italy suggests deaths are being reported as
        caused by COVID rather than COVID present

  47. P.H.Crawford
    April 9, 2020

    Under the Coronavirus Act, in relation to the certifying of causes of death: “For example,if before death the patient had symptoms typical of Covid-19 infection, but the test result has not been received, it would be satisfactory to give Covid-19 as the cause of death,….., and then share the test result when it becomes available”.
    Presumably this would have a bearing on the accuracy of the numbers of deaths due to Coronavirus. I am not a medic, but it would be useful, as you suggest Sir John, to have an informed opinion about the implications of this.

  48. bigneil(newercomp)
    April 9, 2020

    On the radio this morning someone said that equipment that had been handed out to Barnsley hospital staff was nearly 20 years out of date, had had a sticker put over the expiry date, and that people had been warned about speaking out about it. If true . . WOW. It is reported on BBC news for Sheffield and S. Yorks.

    Yet there is always cash and houses for more and more dangerous freeloaders from Calais.

  49. BillM
    April 9, 2020

    I’m not so sure that just any Doctor has sufficient specialist knowledge to advise any treatment for this new virus strain. I have written before about the successes in the Far East in combatting this lethal disease and I maintain using their proven methods is the only way to proceed right now.
    Of course, an antidote must be found but that will take months if not years before it has been proven viable. The priority for the UK must be in saving lives whatever methods are introduced. Better to have methods that are proven in the field than to even consider new ones.
    “If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it”!

  50. Iain Gill
    April 9, 2020

    Oh and Trump offered 4 companies to help Boris not 2, and they are Amgen, Genetech, Gilead and Regeneron


  51. David_Kent
    April 9, 2020

    I spent many years designing and running clinical trials of new medicines.
    Assuming the FDA and other responsible agencies cut away the huge amounts of redundant bureaucracy it should certainly be possible to re-purpose existing drugs to help with Covid19 and make them available by year end. I can’t see a vaccine created de novo being ready in quantity before 12-18 months. However vaccine development remains a pretty primitive business, not having received much investment as it’s so hard to make money with them, so better things may be possible.
    A big gain from this pandemic maybe that the anti-vax lunatics and purveyors of essential oils etc will be induced to keep their mouths shut in future.

  52. BOF
    April 9, 2020

    As we languish at leisure under house arrest so that we can isolate in order not to catch this Chinese virus, it occurs to me that much the same could be done in hospitals.

    As part of hospital emergency planning, they could be required to have a plan in place to separate a section of the hospital off (and some staff) as a means of preventing contamination to the rest of the premises.

    As things stand, everything has come to a standstill with patients not getting treatment for other conditions. Undoubtedly many will die or have their life expectancy shortened as a result. Yet another consequence of lack of adequate preparation by (our) NHS, and Government.

    1. Lifelogic
      April 11, 2020

      Indeed. Hospital are often a bit cause of infections. Especially now that’s the medical staff seem to now be being told to use the same PPE all day while attending to many patients. Due to PPE rationing.

  53. Know-Dice
    April 9, 2020

    The question to ask is “What is Germany doing right and the UK & France wrong?”.

    Figures from here – that I put into a spreadsheet show Germany not only has less deaths but the trajectory of daily increase of deaths is much much lower than the UK.

    UK doubling on an average of 4 days and Germany almost 9 days…

    1. Christine
      April 9, 2020

      The total number of cases is meaningless. In Germany they have done lots of testing so their figures include the asymptomatic. It could just be that a lower percentage of the German population has contracted the virus compared with countries like Italy and Spain. Modelling needs to be done on the total number of deaths using countries with similar health care systems. This gives a better idea of the percentage of the population that has contracted the virus. I follow the American Dr Chris Martenson (Ph.D. in pathology) who pulls the information from all over the world and explains it in his daily videos.

      1. Know-Dice
        April 9, 2020

        I’m only looking at deaths not invected cases.
        Certainly the more you test the more accurate your mortality rate figures could be.

        But what is Germany doing with those test results to apparently keep their rate of increase of deaths on a much lower trajectory than other countries?

    2. John E
      April 9, 2020

      Germany conducted vastly more tests. They still have an industry in their country that was able to ramp up quickly whereas we are trying to create a testing industry from next to nothing.
      Because we can always buy services like that. Except when we really really need them.

    3. Lifelogic
      April 9, 2020

      Yes but if you look at the UK on about 1st April we were roughly the same as Germany are now with a similar rate of increase. They are testing more (so mortality rates relative to number of proven cases looks lower but might not be in reality). They have more hospital ICU capacity too.

      They do seem to have reduced new infections slightly better. But in just 8 days time they might still have numbers of deaths that are not that much lower than the UK’s are now. In 14 days time the UK will probably be about where Italy are now.

      1. Know-Dice
        April 9, 2020

        Looking at the daily death figure from the web site I posted above, yes before 29th March we were on a similar rate of increase to Germany, after that Germany has remained fairly flat whereas the rate here had a step change at that date (could be delayed figures or a change in the way figures were presented) then almost exponential increase…

  54. Freeborn John
    April 9, 2020

    Why isn’t the UK conducting free trade talks with the USA? Not doing so makes the EU think we are bluffing about having an independent trade policy and encourages them to think the U.K. will ask for an extension to the standstill transition and they can exert a price for what they want anyway.

    1. Data Please
      April 9, 2020

      I think that video conferencing type systems used by major worldwide corporations on their intranets in the 1990’s to the modern day, appear to have been an anathema to our Political and Public institutions and apparently still regarded as non-existant by the EU.

      Such systems allow not only “face to face” communication but also someone say in London to control another persons spreadsheet, document, drawing device etc, anywhere else around the world.

      As such they are part of an intergrated approach that facilitates the sharing and updating of information, amongst multiple teams in multiple locations.

      However, shuttling around between various locations appears to have remained the norm for our superiors.

      Talk of such excursions being used as “jollies” or boosting salaries via expenses on the Public Purse is an outrageous lie.

      1. Know-Dice
        April 9, 2020

        Civil Service “jollies” they used to be able to charge expenses for themselves and a partner travelling in business class even though they actually paid and travelled economy….that’s our “Rolls Royce” civil service for you…all in this together NOT…

    2. Martin in Cardiff
      April 9, 2020

      My understanding is the Friends Of Ireland in the US would block any US-UK deal, until they were certain that the UK’s arrangements – or lack of them – with the European Union would not harm Ireland.

      And quite right too.

      Whatever, best hopes are, that it would only account for a fraction of the commerce that the UK currently has with the European Union anyway.

      1. Martin in Cardiff
        April 9, 2020

        Apologies, John.

        Neither my previous post nor the one to which I replied fall into the category of responses for which you asked – I momentarily mistook this thread for another.

        I’m not really the proper type of respondent for the topic either.

      2. NickC
        April 11, 2020

        Martin, It is the EU that harms Eire. The UK has made plain over and over that we would not set up a “hard” border – only the EU as a protectionist bloc would do that.

        1. bill brown
          April 13, 2020


          Both Denmark and UK are exempt by treaty to join the EURO, get your facts right, I know you find it difficult

  55. glen cullen
    April 9, 2020

    MSM informing us that the lockdown will be extended even before the COBRA meeting is finished… MSM making policy?

    1. zorro
      April 9, 2020

      It is clearly driving it along with promoting the ‘science’ viewpoint which suits their purposes and shutting down most other scientific viewpoints….


    2. miami.mode
      April 9, 2020

      glen, both Scotland and Wales said yesterday that the lockdown would be extended and as the UK could not have different rules for different parts of it, the UK government will have been bounced into it. Probably quite a row going on behind the scenes.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        April 9, 2020

        Oh right! So we have the Scottish local ‘assembly’ and the Welsh local ‘assembly’ governing the U.K.!
        If different parts of the U.K. can’t live under different laws, and I agree with you, the Scottish and Welsh ‘assemblies’ must be disbanded.

    3. Caterpillar
      April 9, 2020

      It is bound to be extended. There was no rational assessment made or given, it about seizing the opportunity of total power. The joys of dictatorship and police threatening to check supermarket trolleys are too great for those in power to stop. Democracy, freedom and a working economy will not be returned to us, why would those who now have this opportunity of ultimate power wish to give it up? As a country we will continue to lead the way in destroying the world economy and spreading poverty and fear, support and reliance. The fear of threat of this and other viruses allows a common enemy to be used to put down the individual. There is no need to name a country as an enemy, this is much more effective as peaceful negotiation cannot breakout, fear of the next epidemic will always be available.

      Hopefully I am wrong and the lockdown will be ended in the next few days, freedom restored and the police returned to a traditional role. But I do not think this will happen, the power grab has happened and people will position within it. The U.K. has fallen.

    4. Roy Grainger
      April 9, 2020

      They screamed for a lockdown and when it happened they waited 2 weeks and started screaming for it to be lifted. Luckily the daily press conferences show them up to be partisan sensationalist hacks only interested in selling a few newspapers and their approval ratings are plummeting.

    5. APL
      April 10, 2020

      glen Cullen: “… MSM making policy?”

      That’s been obvious since the end of January.

  56. John Probert
    April 9, 2020

    Ultimately it is your own immune system that provides the best defence
    against the virus.
    Anything you can do to strengthen your immune system will give you
    a greater chance of survival whilst they find the answers to your questions.
    The immune system is driven by the gut.

    1. gregory martin
      April 9, 2020

      Consideration must also be given as to whether patients whose immune system has been ‘readied’ for flu with the flu jab,sequential differing strains on a forecast by ‘experts’, have fared better or worse when exposed to the covid19 virus. There may be a ‘trojan horse’ issue here, the wilder theories of the true source have not been satisfactorily discounted. It is a question as to whether honest investigation can be made, despite the ‘fog of war’, and honest answers published.

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      April 9, 2020

      Spot on. I fear you know more than the medical profession.

    3. Lifelogic
      April 9, 2020

      So are you better with a big gut or a small one?

    4. Ed M
      April 9, 2020

      ‘The immune system is driven by the gut.’

      – Yes. Which is why eating yoghurt in the morning can be so beneficial.

    5. John E
      April 9, 2020

      Perhaps it’s the sauerkraut that is helping the Germans? I haven’t seen anyone else cotton on to that yet.

  57. Mark
    April 9, 2020

    I have no medical qualifications, but I have studied enough science and statistics at degree level to be able to appreciate that the drug therapies under study have reasoned biochemical explanations for how they work to tackle the virus, and some are well backed by in vitro studies that show effectiveness in the test tube. I have read a number of pre-print papers from researchers with their early trial results, often on very limited numbers of patients, and also some of the criticisms of the limitations of their studies.

    Clearly any treatment that is found to have some success in reducing the severity and duration of the illness, particularly if it also reduces the need for ICU and lowers death rates and poor outcomes, will immediately come under enormous supply pressure. Likewuse for anything that is identified as a prophylactic that prevents you from catching the disease, as with anti-malarial drugs and malaria.
    It is all very well progressing clinical trials, but there will be a need to ramp up production massively of anything that succeeds. Alongside clinical trials there needs to be planning to make this happen, sorting out manufacturing, sourcing of ingredients, patent issues where relevant, and distribution internationally. Indeed, as clinical trials proceed, it would make sense to increase production of the more promising drugs as early as possible, with a guarantee that manufacturers will be insured against the consequences of the drug ultimately failing the clinical trials. There are already shortages of promising candidates like chloroquine.

    It took WHO until 22nd March to announce its simplified trials of large international samples of patients. By now there ought to be some early results emerging, yet there is nothing public. The UK seems to be going for elaborate double blind trials that will take many months to produce results. We have to speed the process up, and use interim statistics. It is after all exactly what Dr Edward Jenner did when he devised the smallpox vaccination.

    Also lacking are updated statistics on the typical progress of the disease which inform epidemiological models and forecasts of load on hospitals and ICU and provide a baseline for evaluating therapies. Perhaps there is a fear that independent modellers might question official thinking authoritatively. It is time they were allowed to try.

  58. John McDonald
    April 9, 2020

    We oldies, and not so old, remember the BCG vaccination against tuberculosis.
    Seems the Dutch and the Australians are seriously investigating this. Not so much as a complete prevention but more if you catch the virus it won’t be too bad.
    It stimulates the immune system and this is how it worked against tuberculosis.
    I am just a retired Chartered Electrical Engineer no expert in the medical field.

    April 9, 2020

    “I am not a doctor and am not about to propose how to treat this virus.”

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      April 9, 2020

      Because you can’t interpret stats? Ferguson of Imperial is an historian but he is dictating the conduct of this destruction of the U.K.

      1. forthurst
        April 9, 2020

        According to Linkedin, Ferguson is a physicist by training like Francis Crick. I find the conduct of the government extremely concerning. Why are the two most senior advisors to the government having their time wasted in daily PR broadcasts? Why has the government not appointed an Expert Group to advise them instead of listening to one individual expert who might be wrong? I would have thought that modelling this disease was extremely difficult because of the asymptomatic cases; however, only by reducing the reproduction number to substantially below one and keeping it there can this epidemic be brought under control as has been achieved in China and S. Korea.

      2. Percy Flage
        April 10, 2020

        Niall F historian, Neil F epidemiologist.

  60. Original Chris
    April 9, 2020

    Re Question 3 regarding filling in Death Certificates:

    this videoclip of Dr Birx, who is on the White House Task Force, shows that she wants doctors to record CV as the cause of death even if the patient has very serious underlying conditions which mean that he/she cannot fight the virus. This advice is coming under attack because it gives rise to misleading for COVID-19 deaths. It also means that US figures cannot be compared like for like with some other countries as they record deaths differently. The distinction is critical between dying OF the virus, and dying WITH the virus, and her advice runs counter to this.

    This link goes straight to the videoclip of Dr Birx.

    ‘At Tuesday’s White House coronavirus press conference, task force member Dr. Deborah Birx said that while some countries are reporting coronavirus fatality numbers differently, in the U.S. you are counted as a victim of the pandemic if you die while testing positive for the virus, even if something else causes your death.

    Transcript: DR. DEBORAH BIRX: So, I think in this country we’ve taken a very liberal approach to mortality. And I think the reporting here has been pretty straightforward over the last five to six weeks. Prior to that when there wasn’t testing in January and February that’s a very different situation and unknown.

    There are other countries that if you had a preexisting condition and let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU and then have a heart or kidney problem some countries are recording as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death. Right now we are still recording it and we will I mean the great thing about having forms that come in and a form that has the ability to market as COVID-19 infection the intent is right now that those if someone dies with COVID-19 we are counting that as a COVID-19 death”.

  61. Caterpillar
    April 9, 2020

    [No medical education. I have mostly followed the statistical methodology issues.]

    Sir John,

    I agree I would like to see your questions answered by Govt. The general culture of fear and people’s feeling of helplessness that has grown over the past quarter of century is now being exacerbated by the response to the Covid19 epidemics. I think answering your questions, together with much more transparency about broader evaluation is important in moving us (at least me) away from fear and helplessness – both specific to the current situation and the general state that the UK/world has lapsed into.

    Alongside your questions I would like to add;

    2b/4b. Are the drugs also being tested for the prophylactic benefits to reduce risk for workers (e.g. bus drivers, nurses etc.) that may be at risk of high viral load in future outbreaks?
    4c. Is there a picture forming (beyond breathing inadequacies) of when to undertake specific interventions (e.g. eosinophil count, other)?
    5. Are potential vaccines being tested in both young and aged animal models? Presumably this knowledge will be needed in developing a vaccination strategy. (Development attempts for previous coronaviruses ran into problems for the aged with potential vaccinations making symptoms worse.).
    6. What would be the benefits/costs of immediately banning smoking and increased intervention on obesity prior to a second peak? (i.e. how possible is it to reduce the vulnerable population?)
    7. How important are vitamin C and vitamin D for upper and lower respiratory tract illnesses, and is this more relevant now?


    Past warnings have been made about the world’s bat populations (a coronavirus reservoir) increasingly overlapping with the world’s human and domesticated animal populations, so I would also like to know the U.K.’s international approach to this.

  62. John McDonald
    April 9, 2020

    Some of us Oldies remember the BCG vaccinations against Tuberculosis.
    Seems the Dutch and Australians are looking into this not as a preventive, but to reduce severity if you catch the virus. It works by stimulating the immune system when attacked I think.
    I am not a medical expert, just a retired Chartered Electrical Engineer, but there is some logic here.

    1. Know-Dice
      April 9, 2020

      That was widely mentioned a few days ago, now seems to have gone quiet.

      Apparently given to everyone on the Indian Subcontinent and also children born here to Indian parents, so will be interesting to see how India fares with this pandemic…

  63. everyone knows
    April 9, 2020

    I just read you are being bribed 10k to stay away from Parliament. While we all go the dogs.
    Is this true?

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      April 9, 2020

      Yes I’ve just read this too. Oh to be an MP. They certainly know how to make the most of a bad situation.

  64. Fred H
    April 9, 2020

    PHE have ignored the specifications of experts and WHO, and designed testing without controls that allow a positive to be released back into the population.
    Why? Well, it is cheap (inadequate) and might allow more thousands of tests to be performed than thorough methods.
    Positive indicators have still been found 20 days after initial positive. So, this idea that we all go back into population after 7 days is extremely risky, just because the person feels recovered is not sufficient isolation.

    1. Fred H
      April 9, 2020

      Sir John,
      You will find out shortly that what I have written is true. The problem we are having in too many aspects of life and Estabishment authority is that truth is covered up, the inadequacy is not disclosed. In this case errors mean a difference between life or death for some.

    April 9, 2020

    JR If you were a welder, say an oxy acetylene welder and I asked you to give your professional advice on what to do with a person who was gasping for breath and in pain you might very well answer
    “Give him oxygen and paracetamol”

    Is your opinion of less worth JR than that of the Chief Medical Officer and a Welder?

    1. John E
      April 9, 2020

      At least the welder would have some oxygen to offer.

      1. APL
        April 10, 2020

        “At least the welder would have some oxygen to offer.”

        And his opinion might just lead to a better outcome that the advice solicited from Imperial College and offered by Nail Ferguson.

        Who, was also implicated in the Food and Mouth disaster.

        And here we are again, Farmers having to throw milk away because they can’t sell their produce because the weaklings in the government listened to the hysterical advice from Nail Ferguson and closed all the restaurants and bars.

        Can we have some individual liability applied here please?

  66. The End
    April 9, 2020

    6.6, million Americans applied for unemployment benefit last week

    This is the end.

    1. Odd
      April 9, 2020

      A State enforced strike against itself including capitalists.
      America is First, first, first.

  67. Original Chris
    April 9, 2020

    Re Question 3, Death Certificate entries, plus other important issues:
    Dr Malcolm Kendrick discusses in this article the importance of making the distinction between dying with COVID and dying of COVID.

    He also makes another hugely important point:
    “if you spend all your healthcare resources trying to treat one thing, everything else will suffer, because resources are not infinite. AT PRESENT WE HAVE VIRTUALLY SHUT DOWN THE NHS TO DEAL WITH COVID.”

    Also this: (I have seen reported by some people that their local hospitals are not under stress at all, and that they are virtually empty).

    “Our local hospital now has MORE EMPTY BEDS than at any time in history. Elective surgery has stopped, to free up resources. There is enormous managerial pressure to clear more and more people out of hospital, out of Intermediate Care beds, back home with little support available. Some of them will die because of this”.

    Apologies, cant seem to do bold, so resorted to capitals.

  68. Iain Moore
    April 9, 2020

    The best way of treating the Wuhan Flu is to not catch it , unfortunately the British state’s obsession with secrecy and not giving the public information is making it very hard for people to take preventative measures.

    As I mentioned a few days ago, South Korea was informing people via an app, to the post code, where the latest infections were occuring, this allowed people to avoid areas where there was a high incidence of the virus. Our Government’s idea of informing us is to give us regional information, which is close to useless.

    But its not just the lack of information which is the problem for the information they do supply is worthless. Yesterday it was revealed that 900 odd people had died, which one might have presumed was in the last 24 hours, but not according to the (I think ) Government’s Scientific advisor in the No 10 news conference, who suggested that some of these deaths might have been a week ago. What ? When information is key to setting policy it would seem the Government is clueless because they can’t be bothered to collate uptodate information. We aren’t widely testing, so don’t have a sample size to work off. Hospital admissions aren’t reliable for we don’t know how many people are asymptomatic, so the only hard data are deaths, but now it seems that data is pretty rubbish as well.

  69. an appeal to John
    April 9, 2020

    John, will you support the self employed now ignoring government cruelty and allowing us back to work?

  70. Prigger
    April 9, 2020

    What is your opinion JR? You are not a doctor , you are not a welder, you are not a food server. So, perhaps you feel unqualified to sport an answer.But you could be right in your opinion nevertheless. Do you have some insight via your own qualifications and worldly experience of what to do?

    My most humble opinion Mr Copperfield is ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness”. I had to learn it by rote as so many in schools every morning at assembly and in religious education classes throughout the whole of my schooling. More than the length of hours of a University course
    The NHS were not clean and tested, they are still not clean and tested. They are a great danger and are highly likely to have distributed the virus far and wide. They must be stopped!

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      April 9, 2020

      In fact anything further from the original Nightingale than the NHS is hard to conceive.

      1. rose
        April 9, 2020

        Except that she was exasperated by the lack of hygiene too. She gave instructions for windows to be open, doors to be shut, and WC lids to be down. Each time she arrived, the windows would be shut, the doors would be open, and the WC lids would be up.

  71. BOF
    April 9, 2020

    Why is every death with Coronavirus being attributed to the virus when that can clearly not be the case.

    Is this creative accounting or are we being softened up to accept weeks, or even months more of lockdown?

    1. Tipped
      April 9, 2020

      Deaths being said to be by smoking went out of fashion.

  72. Rot starts at Top
    April 9, 2020

    First. How did the Chief Medical Officer contract the virus? Any ideas?

  73. English Seaman
    April 9, 2020

    I am not a doctor so I do not have a recent history of complete and utter failure in stopping, curing or preventing the Virus from gaining first base.
    So my unqualified but purely clean opinion is
    Take the opinion of Losers with a pinch of salt.
    btw Can the Virus live in the sea? One notices people washing their whole bodies in seawater and are fined heavily and banned from so doing?
    Just a thought.

  74. Sea Warrior
    April 9, 2020

    Don’t we have NICE to pronounce on the effectiveness of competing medical treatments? I see no role for political involvement in such matters.

  75. bigneil(newercomp)
    April 9, 2020

    Well, at least my Boris letter has just arrived. Hope the postman hasn’t been transferring the virus onto all the letters he’s delivered.

    1. Lifelogic
      April 11, 2020

      Best to read it through binoculars perhaps or just on line?

  76. APL
    April 9, 2020

    I asked a while ago how the government was proposing to cover the cost of the shutdown. John Redwood MP & Privy councillor chose not to reply.

    Well now we know.

    1. APL
      April 10, 2020

      So those businesses the government has put out of business, that were generating cash flow and creating value.

      They’ve been destroyed, and the government might compensate you with bits of paper it ran off the press this morning.

      So instead of a business creating value – the government will destroy the value of it’s currency, to pay obligations it should never have incurred in the first place.

  77. forthurst
    April 9, 2020

    According to NICE, they are actively reviewing the safety of Ibuproven, ACE Inhitors and ARBs

    According to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, there is no evidence of harm from Ibuproven, but there actually no ongoing research either!

    On the issue of ACE inhibitors and ARBs, we are back again to no evidence
    but there does not seem to be any active studies being undertaken anywhere:

    There do seem to be a large number of clinical trials on antivirals, anti-malarials etc although there appear to be only 7 classified as Active.

    The government should stop making claims of there being no evidence when there has been no attempt to find any. It would be helpful if the government would admit that a panacea for COVID-19 is not around the corner and that therefore other interventions such as putting high incidence areas into total lockdown, eliminating clusters elsewhere by testing, tracing and quarantining, preventing the creation of new clusters by closing the borders and restricting internal movement is the only way of reducing the mortality and harm from this disease. It can be done; it is being done elsewhere but not without people who understand the concept of creating a comprehensive plan and implementing it.
    Unfortunately, my experience of working with Arts graduates is that they will start on a project with no clear plan and hope that by throwing enough resources on the project they will eventually muddle through, thereby extending the timescale and cost dramatically.

  78. Ed M
    April 9, 2020

    ‘How many placed on a ventilator subsequently recover?’

    – ‘Many COVID-19 patients who need a ventilator never recover. Although survival rates vary across studies and countries, a report from London’s Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre found that 67% of reported COVID-19 patients from England, Wales, and Northern Ireland receiving “advanced respiratory support” died.’ – (8 April 2020)

    1. Lifelogic
      April 11, 2020

      This all depend on the types of people and cases being put onto ventilators and those they decide it is not worth doing. The medical decisions take clear affect these survival rates considerable.

  79. Ed M
    April 9, 2020


    Look out also for EIDD-2801, Japanese Flu Drug (called Favipiravir or Avigan), Hydroxychloroquine, Actemra, Tocilizumab, and Losartan.

    All at different stages of development and / or used in different ways to treat the different medical problems coronavirus throws up for different patients as coronavirus can cause issues in lungs, kidney, heart etc as well as causing dangerous levels of inflammation, and so on.

    1. Ed M
      April 9, 2020

      Coronavirus not ‘Corona-virus’

      1. A Sister
        April 9, 2020

        Excuse me!!!¬ MR Coronavirus

  80. everyone knows
    April 9, 2020

    I only say the things I do (in the hope) that Sir John, (an elder statesman) and a Christian can knock some sense into the rest of the MPs?

  81. NickC
    April 9, 2020

    JR, responses to your questions:
    1. Ventilator survivors: In one area, none; all have died.
    2. Trials of other drugs: Proper trials cannot take place because of the rapid spread; at least some of the drugs are not freely available for doctors or pharmacists to prescribe; NHS management and PHE seem to be obstructing their use; if I was dying I would want to try them.
    3. Reason for death: Figures are hospital deaths only; it is any patient that dies in a hospital with Covid19. Community deaths (ie at home) are not recorded in the daily death toll – usually because the patient is near death anyway, due to old age and other serious pre-existing problems.
    4. Other drugs: Chloroqine facilitates zinc absorption, and zinc helps to slow down virus replication; the other drugs are anti-virals (azithromycin is an antibiotic) – I do not have data on those. Anyone taking vitamin C should take zinc (with copper) and vitamin D with it.

  82. glen cullen
    April 9, 2020

    To save time I don’t know why MSM just don’t give the notes to the panel to read out at the covid19 daily briefing

  83. Lifelogic
    April 9, 2020

    You ask:- How many placed on a ventilator subsequently recover? This seems to be about 50% according to most reports from different countries. You clearly get a better rate here if you do not provide ventilators to people they think have little change anyway.

    How do doctors work out whether a death was the result of Covid 19 or some other condition the patient suffered from? Clearly in many patients this is often not very clear. They die of a combination of many conditions and interactions between these. But in most cases if they have Covid 19 – it will probably be rather significant in pushing them over the edge. The doctors therefore have some flexibility (and perhaps can be politically manipulated in some countries) doubtless why China has reported almost no CV19 deaths recently.

    I would also like to know how many people are dying before getting to hospital or are being denied prompt treatment. The NHS, 111 and even 999 are heavily deterring (or indeed just refusing) to take some people into hospital and some are certainly dying before they get there or dying in nursing homes. Some are arriving too late for anything to be done. Would earlier oxygen etc. not have helped some of them?

    How many ICU bed and mechanical ventilators are currently free? How many, if any, do they expect to be free over the next 14 days?

    1. Richard
      April 9, 2020

      John – Dr Matt Strauss, critical care physician and assistant professor of medicine in Canada wrote in The Spectator (referencing a Lancet article where 31/32 died): “Sadly, preliminary (and limited) data suggests that up to 90 per cent of Covid-19 patients who go on life support will die. So ‘more ventilators’ does not seem like the game-changer we seek. As a life support specialist, myself, I am greatly chagrined to admit this.”
      Later softened to: “at least two-thirds of attempts to stave off death with their use will fail in the short term. Of the remaining third, we do not know how many will be successful in the medium or long term.” Dr Mayo a NY critical care doctor describes “increasing pressure from hospital administrators, throughout the city, to put Covid-19 patients on ventilators earlier than would otherwise be recommended” and warns of ventilator-induced lung injury.

      Dr Strauss & Dr Mayo’s warnings about ventilator over use and are echoed by others:
      Not medically qualified, just sharing what I’ve read.

    2. APL
      April 10, 2020

      Lifelogic: “This seems to be about 50% according to most reports from different countries. ”


      The 50% figure is for all causes of ventilator use, including a car crash or serious trauma.

      When you are put on a ventilator as a result of Covid-19 your chances of surviving drop to between 0% and 10%

      If you understand how Covid-19 attacks the lungs you would understand why this is so.

      The BBC ( what does the BBC know about anything ) lead scream-fest that we were subjected to during February and early March, was as devoid of the facts as it was possible to be.

  84. Fedupsoutherner
    April 9, 2020

    John why are MPS being given an extra £10k to work from home during the Corona virus? I thought we were all in it together? This is apparently on top of the £26k they can claim on expenses. Ludicrous.

  85. Iain Moore
    April 9, 2020

    To add to my previous post these are the figures released by English NHS today

    ” 765 patients have died in England after contracting coronavirus – bringing the total to 7,248.”

    ” 140 of those deaths took place on Wednesday, while 568 happened within the previous week and the remaining 57 were from March.’”

    In these circumstances as data goes this is pretty useless. We are led to believe that there were 881 deaths from Coronavirus yesterday, but that is rubbish, they are adding figures in from last week and incredibly from last month. It gives us no indication of peaks or flattening curve or anything. They seem to make it up as they go along. If they can’t get current data then they should at least attribute the deaths to the correct day.

    1. Caterpillar
      April 9, 2020

      Iain Moore,

      The only data we see that may have meaning (who knows if manipulation of this has started) is the delayed ONS data. Therein, one should also ignore the deaths extracted as coronavirus and simply look at total deaths registered, then compare these numbers cumulatively through the year with 2018 and 2019 for reference.

      It is becoming more and more clear that the Govt has played us for chumps, but we are now leaving the grace period so can be put down completely. Govt’s use of data has not been for rational choice or transparency, it is for fear and control. We are helpless in several ways.

      1. DOMINIC
        April 9, 2020

        ‘fear and control’. Without question. We are being played. Social conditioning techniques. NHS acting as some 1984 circus master with the assistance of scurrilous politicians and bureaucrats especially at the BBC, Labour and from government

        I genuinely believe we are being exposed to conditioning and triggering ala Pavlovian conditioning

        And the public sector is squeezing as much political capital they can from this exaggerated crisis as they can to protect themselves from reform and up their influence over government

        Labour and the Marxist unions will be dancing and singing with joy for years to come

        We don’t need CARERS. We aren’t invalids, we aren’t dependents and we don’t need our backsides wiped like babies

        An appalling attempt to inculcate state dependency to assert control over the population

        No wonder the British State hated Margaret and her attempt to create a culture of self-reliance and independence

        1. Caterpillar
          April 10, 2020


      2. APL
        April 9, 2020

        Caterpillar: “It is becoming more and more clear that the Govt has played us for chumps, .. ”

        I don’t think it was the government especially. Every government in the Western world bar one seems to have behaved in the same hysterical manner.

        The British government started out on the right foot, there was Boris’s speech. But then he got the screws put on him somehow. EU, UN? Who knows, but there was a big reversal of direction.

        Now the economy is trashed, the finances of the government have been trashed, the Bank of England is going to print like never before in an attempt to bridge the gap between plummeting tax revenue , and rocketing government expenditure.

        1. Caterpillar
          April 10, 2020


          O.K. even if the Govt is ‘excused’, having come under international pressure it can surely put together data and calculation to show the world that the lockdown is worse than the virus, so allowing another big reversal.

          As you say the economy has been trashed and yet we see no effort at reversal.

      3. Lynn Atkinson
        April 9, 2020

        Sadly this is so. Politicians need to stand clear. Claim they acted in good faith. Else they go down too.

  86. Helen Smith
    April 9, 2020

    I would dearly love to know the number of patients the UK has cured, and I would dearly love to know what medications we are using and how effective they have proved.

    Journalists never ask these questions at the press conferences, can you please Sir John?

    1. glen cullen
      April 10, 2020

      Yeah I think that is an important question

  87. D Note
    April 9, 2020

    They are receiving Potassium iodine for radiation pneumonia.

  88. Grateful
    April 9, 2020

    A £6 Billion Special Dividend,Tesco. We owe them so much

  89. formula57
    April 9, 2020

    I should have made clear the Dr. Seheult video discusses Remdesivir and Chloroquine in the context of Covid-19. He notes in vitro trials showed them to be effective but not so in vivo.

  90. Mr Flat Curve
    April 9, 2020

    The UK has almost twice the death rate for the Virus as Sweden which has only in the last few days been pressed by the oddly named “International Community” to increase measures to curb freedom.
    There can be no excuse for the measures taken by the UK which obviously has increased deaths dramatically, hence the numbers, subject to them being honestly reported in the UK which.admittedly is debatable.
    So which is it? Self-destruction of our economy with repercussions on lives and deaths here and throughout the world, with a state led strike of workers or, dishonest reporting of causes of death? Or both?

  91. Martin R
    April 10, 2020

    The current situation is that the NHS does not offer treatment for the virus. It only offers a palliative, paracetomol. However in other countries actual treatment has been used by specialists with considerable success. That treatment is the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in conjunction with an antibiotic, frequently azithromycin if tolerated by the patient or if not another suitable substitute. The side effects of these are well known and not unusually onerous. Both of these are inexpensive. HCQ has been available for six or seven decades and is out of patent. It may even possibly be manufactured in the UK.

    A number of very recent studies show this combination giving very good results with patients being returned to health in less than six days. Moreover they appear not to be contagious after that time, one of the problems with COVID-19 being generally after recovery patients remain infectious for as much as week or more yet asymptomatic. Clearly clinical trials in the accepted sense have not taken place but patients, doctors and nurses are dying by the thousand according to the criteria applied by the government. In that situation how can it be possible to argue against providing treatment (as opposed to palliatives) which is demonstrably safe, not costly, and recommended by many doctors who have used it abroad? People are dying, at the very least there is the possibility of helping them. However small it is argued that possibility is how can that chance of life be denied to them when nothing else is available?

  92. MeSET
    April 10, 2020

    If the promotional advertisements for the coronavirus are true and it has the ability to reactivate within a person and or reinfect a person who has been cured and, its lifespan as a virus is even slightly underestimated then the USA is going to suffer its worst economic and health tragedy it has probably ever experienced. It will be like the Blitz. May God be with them!
    As for us, I’m still not in love with the Chief Medical Officer and our national strike.

  93. M. Moss
    April 10, 2020

    Dear Sir John,

    Once again, I ask you, or rather beg you, on behalf of everyone in this country who is observing the Government’s restrictions on movement, to reassure us that the Government is doing their bit too.

    I learnt this morning that the Foreign Office is bringing around 5,000 stranded UK nationals back from India over the next few days. I understand that many of these people are also being helped by the Indian Government to change flights within India (thereby increasing the number of possible Covid-19 entry points).

    No mention of testing or of placing these people in quarantine.

    It is essential we hear from the Foreign Secretary that reliable testing and tracing is in place for these returning Brits. I can’t be the only one who feels that the privations Dominic Raab daily exhorts us to practise have all been to no avail.

  94. Original Chris
    April 10, 2020

    With reference to my comment above, Dr Oskoui writes in his article “Hydroxy hysteria” about how and why hydroxychloroquine can be used to treat COVID-19, and he gives insight into the politics involved in the opposition being mounted against President Trump: (Source The Hill. Link at end).

    “…So why is President Trump being ridiculed or condemned for at least spreading a ray of hope against a disease so new it would be impossible for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to have its own officially approved treatment yet? Is the president promoting quackery, or worse?

    Nothing of the sort…..”

    “…What, then, is really going on with this debate? Sad to say, it appears that at least some of the president’s critics are being influenced by what might otherwise be rational disagreements with him on other issues, a legitimate rivalry between political parties, or even a purely personal dislike for Trump. This, despite the potential for needless deaths of thousands of Americans who contract COVID-19, long before the FDA can finish the typical multi-year process of approving a drug for any one disease.

    If any example shows us that partisan politics generally has gotten out of hand, it would be this. But it is more than this, too. In truth, President Trump has a different view of “expertise” than most liberals, progressives, academics or Washington insiders. He has shown a willingness to listen to the results of scientific research, but he does not automatically “defer to the experts” on the policy implications of that research. As his record of regulatory reform has demonstrated, he is willing to cut bureaucratic red tape in order to get results”.

  95. Original Chris
    April 10, 2020

    More information on Professor Didier Raoult’s study on the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine with azithromycin in D Tel article. Rather typical of the D Tel to give the title of “controversial” to a well respected doctor:
    Controversial French virologist claims chloroquine breakthrough for coronavirus as Macron visits

    Didier Raoult says the treatment removed all traces of the virus in 10 days, but previous research has been questioned.

    Controversial French virologist Didier Raoult has unveiled a study he said showed that an antimalarial and antibiotic treatment of more than 1,000 coronavirus patients successfully removed the virus in 10 days in almost 92 per cent of cases.

    Prof Raoult presented the findings of the study, which have not been independently verified, to President Emmanuel Macron who paid a surprise visit to his institute in Marseille, southern France.

    The iconoclastic virologist was initially criticised for insisting that a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromicyne (HCQ-AZ) all but kills off the virus within just over a week.

    He has been administering the treatment to hundreds who have turned up to his IHU Méditerranée Infection institute in the southern port city testing positive for the virus….”

    Link to further article on this:
    Chloroquine: is a 70-year-old treatment for malaria the key to beating coronavirus?
    Doctors in France offer glimmer of hope as they reveal a positive result from treatment

  96. alastair harris
    April 10, 2020

    you don’t have to be a doctor to read the papers, and you don’t have to be a doctor to realise that in amongst the normal media dross there are some interesting articles from doctors and medical scientists of a variety of flavours who do offer some interesting views on relevant matters. On top of which we should all be familiar with virus’s, including covid as it is from a large family, including the little fellow who causes the common cold.
    As far as anyone can tell the medical treatments available treat the symptoms. It is your body that deals with the virus itself, but it sometimes needs help. It also seems fairly clear that is is the complications that cause the most problem. Hence the questions over whether Boris had developed pneumonia.
    The most interesting medical opinion I have heard is that in fact for the majority the infection is likely to be asymptomatic, and for many more, only mild syptoms will emerge. Along with a statement that there is no evidence of anyone catching it outdoors.
    The challenge for the government is not medical however. It is how to emerge from the lockdown they created. Which given the panic this has engendered will be difficult.

Comments are closed.