Some notes about the UK’s lack of preparedness and proactivity that will likely contribute to a sustained and costly epidemic in the region. Note that many of these factors are applicable the USA and various other European regions.
Nb. This is intended to be informational for people within the UK so please comment if I have missed anything or if you feel any corrections are warranted.
- No social distancing measures.
- Telling the general public that masks are not effective. In Taiwan, HK and Korea the official line is that wearing a simple surgical mask will make you 5 times less likely to become infected from exposure and significantly decrease the likelihood of the wearer infecting others. TVBS, SCMP etc.
- Daily UK TV news spots claiming “This is just a Flu” whilst WHO have reported that Covid19 fatality rate is 34 times higher and the hospitalisation rate is 10 times higher for severe cases and 25 times higher for critical cases. BBC News, Sky News etc.
- UK media reporting a 1% CFR even though the WHO has explicitly stated 3.4% CFR numerous times. BBC, Guardian, Sky News, Daily Mail, Telegraph etc.
- Number of positive cases in the UK being portrayed by local media as the “Total number of infections” and not qualified as being the “Total number of known infections” which is a considerable difference. BBC, Guardian, Sky News, Express, Daily Mail etc.
- UK govt building projections re: hospital demand around a 4% hospitalisation rate whilst the WHO have stated this is a steady 20% (and worse in Italy) with 25% of hospitalised cases requiring ventilators which are already in short supply in UK hospitals.
- UK quarantine guidelines are still based around the 2 week incubation model which we now know to be incorrect as of latest official figures from WHO. UK media still publishing incorrect information with regards to incubation periods. Guardian, BBC etc.
- In the UK, the rate of hospital beds per person is very low compared to China where most epidemiological data has been collected on Covid19/SARS-Cov-2 thus far. Per WHO figures, China has hospital capacity for 0.42% of the population whilst the UK has capacity for only 0.24%, most of which is already in use year round.
- UK media and Govt. are repeatedly leaning on the talking point that “..many mild cases are being missed” even though the WHO has stated officially that they do not believe such cases were missed and the majority of “mild” cases were still pneumonic to some degree. So much so that chest CT was still effective in identifying mild cases.
- Massive local shortages of masks and hand sanitizer.
- Steady proliferation of disinformation re: the Covid19/SARS-Cov-2 on UK social media. Eg. “Masks not effective, hand sanitizer only kills bacteria etc.”
- Already high demand for existing hospital beds. Eg. Very sick non-Covd19 patients already unable to get a bed in an appropriate ward much of the time.
- Existing staffing issues in NHS hospitals will likely be compounded as the epidemic progresses.
- Indirect non-Covid19 deaths will likely occur due to lack of hospital beds / risk of contagion prohibiting hospitalisation of the elderly and infirm.
- Higher prevalence of pre-existing conditions in the middle age to elderly risk group compared to China where most of the epidemiological data has been collected with regards to SARS-Cov-2/Covid19.
- Limited capacity to provide chest CT scanning in UK hospitals. Chest x-ray, for which most UK hospitals have some capacity is not effective in detecting signs of Covid19 as shown in Chinese and Italian data.
Disclaimer: This is a guest post and it doesn’t represent the views of IWB.