Business Secretary Alok Sharma set out five key tests, he said
- “We must protect the NHS’ ability to cope. We must be confident we are able to provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment right across the UK.”
We may have met this criteria already as far as covid19 is concerned, but when we put back in all of the other things that have been postponed the position is not so clear.
Due to the governments lack of spending, the NHS was already beyond maximum capacity before the virus (as seen by waiting times). We have more capacity now due to the Nightingale centres, and more staff due to those re-entering the profession but will the government continue to fund this capacity?
- “We need to see a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rate from coronavirus so we can be confident we have moved beyond the peak.”
What is a sustained and consistent fall?
Sustained for how long? One week? Six months?
How consistent? Over few days? A few months?
How great a fall? 0.01%? 50%?
Not exactly a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant,Trackable)
It’s measurable, certainly relevant, and easily trackable, but with no specific goal, the attainability cannot be estimated.
- Reliable data from SAGE showing the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board.
So we need the information to determine 2. above – obviously.
- “We need to be confident that the range of operational challenges including testing capacity and PPE are in hand with supply able to meet future demand.”
This is very critical, and is the main area of government failure so far.
- “We need to be confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelm the NHS.”
Hopefully this confidence will be achieved by watching and learning from the successes and failures in other countries, instead of the “suck it and see” approach used at the beginning of the epidemic.
The government makes announcements every day. They are usually saying how hard they are working and congratulating themselves on doing a great job, while assuring the public that failure areas (currently care homes) which should have been addressed weeks ago are now top priority.
IF we can get a sustained growth rate of 95% which will be good achievement, and the government could be congratulated on this, then the death rate should be down to below 10 a day by late July, and the total death toll be then will be between 40,000 and 45,000.
By ignoring events in other countries, the government has made this epidemic tens or hundreds of times worse than it should have been. Now will they watch other countries as they start the lockdown exit process?
We can get some idea of the still lay back approach of the government by Grant Shapps announcement that the tracking app will be available in a few weeks! A few weeks appears to mean the end of the month – so around four weeks.
Australia’s is in operation NOW.
When should the lock down end really?
If say, 1 in 10,000 people have the virus then most people would not worry too much about catching it. The population of the UK is about 66 million, so the implies 6600 people are infected. Mortality is about 1.3% so that implies the death rate would be around 85 per day.
In addition death rate must be reducing and most of those with the virus identified..
If we can achieve a 95% growth, this will happen by mid July.
Italy is beginning to exit the lockdown now. They are averaging 2600 deaths per week (Or about 370 per day. Growth is about 96%. 14 days ago they must have had around 28,000 new infections. At 96% growth, new cases today will be around 16,000. The number of new cases reported is 1,389. This indicates lack of testing and tracking. So around 15,000 people or one in 4000 inhabitants have the virus, probably without knowing.