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Boris is back

He is back. UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is back at the helm following his illness with COVID-19. At the media conference this evening, he seemed to have much of his old bounce.

He had at least some good news. The UK is now turning the corner in its struggle with COVID-19. The curve of deaths appears now in a downward direction. The UK has passed its peak of COVID-19 deaths, and this is all good news.

We now have a better idea of the numbers of COVID-19 deaths because we are no longer merely counting those in hospitals. Testing has undoubtedly gone up, even if it hasn't reached the target of 100,000 set by the Health Secretary.

The emphasis is now turning to reduce collateral deaths (from cancer, heart disease, etc.) due to patients not accessing vital health care. We still don't know how many may die as a result of this. This needs more effort and should be a key factor now and in coming out of lockdown. It would be wrong to sacrifice cancer patients and others. After all, one reason for the lockdown is to reduce the burden on vital NHS services.

The PM said at today's briefing that it would be wrong to make comparisons with other countries at this time. Yet, this is precisely what the Heath Secretary did on the 17th April when he boasted, incorrectly, that the UK had already gone past the number of tests done in Germany and South Korea

It seems it is ok for the government to make comparisons when it wishes to put a spin on statistics, but not if anyone else asks them about comparisons.

After all, if you asked why South Korea has been so much more successful in bringing numbers down, it is in large part due to a test, trace and treats strategy. No difficulty making the comparison there because we haven't done that.

We were also told today that, of course, we should learn lessons as we go along, but not act on them now, which is very odd. The government should consider that sometimes if you find you're going the wrong way, it is better to make adjustments in your direction. But certainly, there are longer-term lessons, like making sure you can supply sufficient PPE and testing. 






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