A true measure. National survey shows Covid-19 is vanishing fast in England.

16 July 2020 By Paul Martin

At last we are getting the true measure of Covid-19 in England.

Until now, the figures have been artificially inflated by the government and its scientists, presumably so as to scare the public into greater compliance with the restrictions that are only slowly and haltingly being reduced.

Unlike previous figures, England’s biggest survey, conducted for the government, has not included infection or death figures for people living in care homes.

It also is thought that the survey will not include those presently in hospital with proven Covid-19 – again a sensible but way-overdue methodology.

This raises the question of why previous calculations (after a false start) did include care homes.

How to prevent deaths in care homes, tragic and even scandlous though provision in some of these may be, is a separate issue. And of course we know there are going to be deaths at hospitals (though this has declined to low double-digits daily).

But what is relevant to policies to reduce and eliminate the killer disease is how Covid-19 affects the rest of the British population – those out-and-about, or shielding, but actually in the community (not in care homes or hospitals).

We are about to be told the true figures, after a huge survey of 120 thousand people picked representatively or randomly across the country.

It is expected to show, in the massive sample of the survey, that in each successive week of May the number of people who tested positive for Covid-19 actually HALVED.

If that trend continued through June, July and Augst, there would be very little or no Covid left in most areas of the UK – as indeed is already the case in Scotland.

The figures, due for release at noon on July 17, are expected to show that the reproduction rate of the virus is 0.57 per cent. That is far lower than the figure regularly bandied about by the government of 0.7 to 0.9.

The fear that has kept on being expressed is that, if the death rate or infection rate goes over 1, a second wave of spiraling Covid cases and deaths would hit the nation.

Clearly though from the new figures, there is little chance of that.

This does of course not mean that all restrictions should immediately be removed. But it does show that we are winning the battle.

By the time winter comes there will be very few people with Covid-19.

Now that structures are in place to clamp down on any sudden upsurge in specific addresses or suburbs or town centres, we are safe to rely on local measures and better, stricter enforcement — or even, as was the case in Liecester, to a temporary lockdown.

That in turn should mean within a couple of months we can and must return to complete pre-Covid normality — albeit with medical researchers continuing to seek a vaccine and strongly effective anti-Covid drugs.

This is not the first time that the government has manipulated the Covid-19 figures for what appears to be a convenient ‘message’.

Correspondent.world was the first to uncover that, at first. the daily figures were far from comprehensive, because they had only been for confirmed cases in hospitals. Trying not to panick the nation at that time, they provided figures that (without explaining this to the public) had conveniently ignored deaths in people’s homes and in care homes. In those locations, medical tests for Covid had not been done (either before or after deaths).

Correspondent.world only discovered this when it spoke personally to the head of the mortality statistics at the government’s Office for National Statistics, and also to funeral directors.

It is time the government promised to provide the real, relevant figures, no matter how inconventient these might be for their ‘message’. Instead of statistical manipulation, it shoudl rely on openness and on treating the public as intelligent adults.

The flip-flopping it has indulged in only adds to distrust and therefore may increase the degree of non-compliance, so endangering us all.

NOTE: The COVID-19 Infection Survey is being delivered, at noon on July 17, in partnership with the University of Oxford, the University of Manchester and the Government’s Public Health England.

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