“No Sign of Second Wave”: Experts Rubbish Matt Hancock’s “Alarmist” Claims

September 3, 2020 in News by RBN Staff


Source: LockdownSceptics.com


The Mail has been doing a good job of late, countering the Government’s narrative of fear and doom (and social control) by giving a platform to some solid sceptical scientific voices. Here it is again today:

Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday warned that the UK ‘must do everything in our power’ to stop a second surge of people going into hospital with the coronavirus, which he said was starting to happen in Europe.

But experts told MailOnline Mr Hancock’s comments were ‘alarmist’ and that there is currently ‘no sign’ of a second wave coming over the horizon. The data shows hospital cases are also not rising by much in Europe, contrary to the Health Secretary’s claim.

As of yesterday there were only 764 people in hospital with COVID-19 in the UK, just 60 of whom are in intensive care. This is a sharp drop from a peak of 19,872 hospitalised patients on April 12.

The falling number of hospital cases comes despite infections having been on the rise since lockdown restrictions were lifted at the start of July. Experts say this is because the groups getting infected and diagnosed now are completely different to those at the start of the pandemic.

Scientists say it is younger people driving up infections and they are less likely to get seriously ill and end up in hospital. For that reason, hospital cases and deaths will not necessarily follow higher cases, and there may not be a deadly wave like the first.

Another 1,295 people were diagnosed with the virus in Britain yesterday, following 1,406 the day before, and the seven-day average number of daily cases is now 1,339 – a 27 per cent increase on last Tuesday and the highest since June 11.

Professor Carl Heneghan, a medicine expert at the University of Oxford, said: ‘There is currently no second wave. What we are seeing is a sharp rise in the number of healthy people who are carrying the virus, but exhibiting no symptoms. Almost all of them are young. They are being spotted because – finally – a comprehensive system of national test and trace is in place.’

Mr Hancock said in the Commons yesterday that he feared this rise in infections in healthy people would creep into vulnerable groups if allowed to continue, saying it was a pattern seen in the US where cases are out of control again.

His comments followed that of Dr Hans Kluge, the WHO’s Europe chief, who said he ‘wouldn’t be surprised’ if hospital admissions surged this November to levels seen during the worst days of the pandemic.

But scientists have shot down Mr Hancock’s doomsayer comments, pointing out that deaths have not risen in France or Spain, and the reason hospital admissions have not risen in the UK with diagnosed cases ‘simply reflects increased testing’.

Testing has increased vastly from no more than 13,000 tests per day at the start of April to around 150,000 in July and 200,000 in August

Official data from the continent shows Europe’s hospitals are not filling up with coronavirus patients despite a surge in positive tests – hospitalisations have been falling in France, Spain and Germany while cases have risen.

Open University statistician Professor Kevin McConway told MailOnline: ‘An important point is that numbers of Covid deaths in France have shown very little evidence of a rise recently. There has been something of a rise in deaths Spain, but not very marked at all.’

Statisticians say expansion of testing capacity means infections are being found more easily than at the start of the pandemic. In the UK alone, the number of tests being carried out has increased by 20% from the start of July to now. But the number of positive results has gone up by only 0.3 per cent in the same period, suggesting new cases are a combination of more tests, and only a slight rise in infections in hotspots.

Worth reading in full.


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