The above is a link to an article by a front-line UK doctor who explains as clearly as possible why testing, tracing and quarantining is at the heart of a determined strategy to tackle an epidemic such as SARS-CoV-2.
UK government still has not grasped the basics. Their policy remains a disastrous mixture of social distancing – brought in purely under pressure – and a recklessly casualness to testing.
The WHO says test and trace and quarantine. A schoolchild knows this is how you beat a virus.
At one point there were going for the lunatic and unscientific “herd immunity” idea. Now UK policy is nothing in particular. Just a mess.
It is like the First World War; brave nurses and doctors being led by incompetent and reckless generals who themselves are far from the frontline.
As expected and predicted on this site  faced with rising numbers of deaths the interesting ‘concept’ of “herd immunity” (apparently a misunderstanding of a valid scientific concept; the idea is valid in the context of a vaccine not self-infection) has been hastily abandoned.
The government is now recommending social distancing measures. This categorically means they have given up on the idea of infecting 60% of the population (the percentage needed to achieve herd immunity).
This is half the battle. Now they need to stop the not-testing farce. They should test as per WHO guidelines. For example, the guidelines that health workers should self-isolate at home when they experience symptoms and not be tested misses what everyone else now accepts as the science. There is some degree of asymptomatic transmission of this virus. Only gov.uk is still living in a Victorian phantasy world where people who don’t show symptoms are assumed to be safe – for example to treat your granny. So, as WHO says: “test, test, test”. Not just health workers. Everyone who reports as symptomatic – everyone you possibly can.
I’m not vindictive but I really hope that when this is over the people responsible for the UK’s botched handling of this – including the Prime Minister, The Government’s Chief Scientific adviser, the Chief Medical Officer for England and those SPADS and others advising them not to follow WHO recommendations – are in some way required to answer to an inquiry of some kind. Let’s call it a post-mortem.
- https://newobs.wordpress.com/2020/03/13/the-latest-on-uk-gov-strategy-for-covid-19/ (OK. I said “let’s hope”; rather than predicted exactly!)
This is just a link to a Guardian article which lists the growing calls from scientists and professionals bodies in the UK to drop their lunatic (my word) herd immunity strategy and start (already far too late) the testing and quarantining strategies which the WHO recommends and which have been shown to help control the virus in other countries.
Notable in the long list of conscientious objectors to the government’s mass-sacrifice scheme is the British Society for Immunology – who one would have thought might be well-placed to comment on this topic. This group points out as other experts have that the idea of herd immunity is based around proven vaccinations – not mass exposure to an unknown virus. The government’s strategy increasingly looks like it has been informed by people who do not understand the science.
Let’s be clear. It is not that the UK has a “contentious” approach to coronavirus. Right now it is in total chaos. Completely rudderless. Continue reading “The UK is completely rudderless in the face of coronavirus”
The UK government has u-turned on the rules for large gatherings.
We predicted they would u-turn yesterday; but it has happened sooner than I thought. I assumed that the “let everyone get infected in order to build up immunity” strategy would be overturned once the mass casualties started coming in. However it is beginning to fall apart for a different reason (and with hindsight totally predictable). Organisations and individuals – faced with no direction from government – are beginning to take actions into their own hands. People can read what the WHO is saying and see what every other European country is doing. They can also see what is working in China. This is quarantine and self-isolation on a large scale. Continue reading “Critique of UK Government’s “herd-immunity” scheme.”
In their live feed on covid-19:
Trump, who initially called coronavirus a “hoax”, explicitly refuses to take responsibility for the “lag” in testing in the US, blaming what he says were outdated rules and regulations that he says were not designed for this sort of outbreak.
No. He didn’t. Trump commented that the Democrats were trying to use coronavirus as they had used the “Russiagate” affair to try to unfairly remove him from office. At no point did Trump call coronavirus a hoax. Not even slightly. Continue reading “Guardian goes into full-on fake news mode”
Sorry. Very short of time but check this:
Sir Patrick Vallance, said he thinks coronavirus is likely to become an annual virus.
The chief scientific adviser told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the government’s approach wass about lowering and extending the peak of the epidemic and developing immunity among the population.
“What we don’t want is everybody to end up getting it in a short period of time so we swamp and overwhelm NHS services – that’s the flattening of the peak,” he said.
“You can’t stop it, so you should end up with a broader peak during which time you’d anticipate that more people would get immunity to this. That in itself becomes a protective part of this process.
“This is quite likely, I think, to become an annual virus, an annual seasonal infection.” 
Continue reading “The latest on UK gov. strategy for covid-19 – Guinea Pig UK”