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Coronavirus: The Thread

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Coronavirus: The Thread

Old 29th May 2020, 02:43
  #7261 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 965
I cannot vouch for how safe/ effective the NHS tracing app is.

The Australian variant is for tracing contact only, via Bluetooth handshake. Every device is de-identified as such.

Recording of Bluetooth handshakes to be forwarded to health authorities in the event of a positive.

I downloaded it. Name was optional. In the event of a positive, a text message to get tested and a request to forward recorded handshakes is received.

As I do not possess a tin foil hat and feel that scrutiny of my private life would probably illicit sympathy more than anything else, I have no problem with it.

Would help in the following situation....

"Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the woman's "story has changed so many times".

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-...union/12293598

Last edited by currawong; 29th May 2020 at 05:14.
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Old 29th May 2020, 07:49
  #7262 (permalink)  
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Lockdown appears to be breaking down amongst teenagers in the UK, at least in Brighton & Hove, now that summer is here. What’s happening elsewhere?

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/1848...-hove-seaside/
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Old 29th May 2020, 08:00
  #7263 (permalink)  
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/s...toms-qms2vd9mx

Seven in ten testing positive for virus show no symptoms

More than two thirds of those who tested positive for coronavirus had no symptoms, in the first nationally representative sample.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the figure underlined the importance of social distancing to avoid catching the virus from those who felt well, amid warnings that the scale of infection without symptoms could make the NHS contact tracing system much less effective.......

Seventy-nine per cent of those who tested positive reported no symptoms on the day, and 70 per cent reported no symptoms at all in the weeks before and after being swabbed. Peter Benton, of the ONS, said: “If 70 per cent of people are asymptomatic that probably means there are people who are infectious and don’t know it, and therefore continuing with social distancing is important.”

The study cannot tell if these people were infectious but Mr Benton said: “I could be positive and not know and I don’t want to pass it on to others. If I was asymptomatic I may not be very infectious but I don’t want to take the chance. We don’t know for sure what’s going on but I would rather be cautious.”

Only 87 people out of 19,000 tested positive overall and Mr Benton acknowledged that the results were preliminary. Even with tests that are more than 95 per cent accurate, testing at random is known to be likely to produce false positives when few people have the disease, which is why the NHS is cautious about screening for ilnesses such as dementia and cancer.

Sarah Walker of Oxford University, who worked with the ONS on the survey, argued that even with so many people tested “we’ve only had 87 who have ever tested positive. So that does give some confidence that the test is pretty good on the false positives.”

She said the findings were consistent with studies from other countries, with a sample in pregnant women in New York finding that 89 per cent testing positive had no symptoms and 81 per cent on a cruise ship in Uruguay. Professor Walker aims to see whether those who tested positive without symptoms go on to develop antibodies, which would be a sign that they really had the disease......

Carl Heneghan, of Oxford University, said of the asymptomatic figures: “If this is a true phenomenon it is hugely important. But you have to ask, is it a false positive problem? When someone says ‘I didn’t have any symptoms’ is that true or is that a false positive? Right now they are both equally likely.”

He said that if most infected people did not have symptoms “this could be hugely important in the test-and-trace strategy. The asymptomatic spread is the most significant thing about this virus.”
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Old 29th May 2020, 08:06
  #7264 (permalink)  
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Quite a few teenagers round here have been flouting Lockdown for weeks - since before Easter probably.
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Old 29th May 2020, 08:10
  #7265 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: England
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Lockdown appears to be breaking down amongst teenagers in the UK, at least in Brighton & Hove, now that summer is here. What’s happening elsewhere?

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/1848...-hove-seaside/
The problem across the country is that there is no leadership. There is no example for kids, or adults, to follow.
Why should they behave properly when they see those at the top doing whatever they like and not taking responsibility for it?
It's useless to blame the police for not correcting social problems: that's not their job.
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Old 29th May 2020, 08:14
  #7266 (permalink)  
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Is it even possible to come out of lockdown until either a vaccine is available or herd immunity is reached? Perhaps Sweden has been right all along....

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/s...ases-gnjgm70nd

Seoul shuts theatres and parks after rise in coronavirus cases

South Korea is bringing back some lockdown measures after its biggest jump in coronavirus cases in more than 50 days, a resurgence health officials warned was getting harder to track. The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said 67 of the 79 new cases reported were from the Seoul metropolitan area, where about half of the country’s 51 million people live.

After an emergency meeting yesterday, the government decided to shut public facilities such as parks, museums and state-run theatres in the metropolitan area over the next two weeks. Officials also advised private tutorial schools and computer gaming lounges to close during the period or otherwise enforce anti-virus measures.

Park Neung-hoo, the health minister, said the next two weeks would be crucial and urged residents in the metropolitan area to avoid unnecessary gatherings.

At least 82 infections so far have been linked to workers at a warehouse operated by Coupang, an ecommerce company. Health authorities were testing more than 4,000 workers and visitors at the warehouse yesterday....... Hundreds of other infections have been linked to nightclubs and entertainment venues, which attracted huge crowds this month after social distancing guidelines were eased.

The surge in infections could set back a phased reopening of schools. The education ministry said this week that class openings were delayed at 561 schools nationwide because of growing concerns a rise in cases.

South Korea was reporting about 500 new cases per day in early March before managing to stabilise its outbreak with aggressive tracking and testing, which allowed officials to relax social distancing guidelines.

Seoul and nearby cities have restored some of the controls in recent weeks by shutting thousands of bars and other entertainment venues. The country also began requiring masks on public transport and flights this week.
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Old 29th May 2020, 08:23
  #7267 (permalink)  
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Meanwhile, in France....

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/f...ased-tc2q9jqbw

French bistros turn on their stoves as lockdown eased

France was promised a return to an “almost normal life” yesterday as the prime minister authorised restaurants to reopen and city dwellers to start planning trips to the seaside. Édouard Philippe unveiled a battery of decisions to ensure “freedom will become the rule and restrictions the exception” in the second phase of the government’s lockdown exit strategy.

Chefs will be able to turn on their stoves again, the Mona Lisa will once more greet visitors to the Louvre and tourists will be able to return to the Eiffel Tower......

From Tuesday cafés and restaurants in the provinces will be allowed to open but with a minimum of one metre between each table. Bars in the provinces will open too, but will be expected to ban customers from drinking while standing up to ensure social distancing. In the Paris area, where there have been higher rates of infection over the past two months, bars, cafés and restaurants will also start trading but more gradually. Initially, only their terraces will be open.

He went on to announce that campsites, holiday centres, museums, monuments and theatres could open across the country from Tuesday. Concert halls, swimming pools, gyms and children’s summer camps would open in the provinces on Tuesday and in Paris on June 22, he added. Cinemas would open nationwide on June 22.......


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Old 29th May 2020, 08:48
  #7268 (permalink)  
 
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All these numbers being bandied about are enough to make us giddy!
One that jumped out during yesterday's waffle session from Downing St was a slide (or was it two?) which showed some ONS data. Patrick Vallance referred to this data a couple of times which included an estimate from ONS that we should be/probably are seeing 54,000 cases per week.
The figures released by government are wildly off that number. Take a week from 24th to 30th May and the government daily totals add up to 18,219. Pick another week, May 10th to May 16th and the total for these 10 days is 24,901.
How can there be such a huge discrepancy between the ONS figures, which I believe were gathered via surveys, and the "official" numbers? A couple of hundred difference I could understand but these are so wildly far apart it is hard to believe they relate to the same statistics!
As for the possible argument that the ONS data comes from a survey and so may be inaccurate, the value of R quoted day in and day out is also calculated from surveys and estimates. So, if one set of data is fit to be disregarded, then so is the other
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Old 29th May 2020, 08:53
  #7269 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
All these numbers being bandied about are enough to make us giddy!
One that jumped out during yesterday's waffle session from Downing St was a slide (or was it two?) which showed some ONS data. Patrick Vallance referred to this data a couple of times which included an estimate from ONS that we should be/probably are seeing 54,000 cases per week.
The figures released by government are wildly off that number. Take a week from 24th to 30th May and the government daily totals add up to 18,219. Pick another week, May 10th to May 16th and the total for these 10 days is 24,901.
How can there be such a huge discrepancy between the ONS figures, which I believe were gathered via surveys, and the "official" numbers? A couple of hundred difference I could understand but these are so wildly far apart it is hard to believe they relate to the same statistics!
As for the possible argument that the ONS data comes from a survey and so may be inaccurate, the value of R quoted day in and day out is also calculated from surveys and estimates. So, if one set of data is fit to be disregarded, then so is the other
You can imagine the conversation just before each day's report. "Which are the best figures to show today?"
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Old 29th May 2020, 09:17
  #7270 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 2
I understand from yesterday's briefing that I may visit gardens of other households, limited to 6 people at a time, however I am to avoid "visiting lots of different households in quick succession"

That is a phrase that could be open to interpretation - using one's instinct, to coin a phrase - if ever there was one. For clarity, after visiting my sister and family in their garden, how long should I leave it before visiting my mother and father in their garden? Would 15 minutes be OK? Or should I wait 1 hour? Presumably 2 hours is fine?

And what if I went on to visit my brother? Is that too many visits? What if I paced myself and spread the 3 visits over 3 hours; would that be 'more legal'? Would the local police find me possibly in minor breach of regulations, but nevertheless decide to take no further action?

If I was spotted by a member of the public and had my registration taken, I doubt I would receive the full support of Boris and be granted access to the garden of No10 to do a 90 minute broadcast in defence of my actions, so I'd be on my own to defend my actions based on my instinct.

I think we should be told, to avoid any confusion. Can any learned legal eagles on this forum help me out of this conundrum? Ideas, anyone?
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Old 29th May 2020, 10:19
  #7271 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
All these numbers being bandied about are enough to make us giddy!
One that jumped out during yesterday's waffle session from Downing St was a slide (or was it two?) which showed some ONS data. Patrick Vallance referred to this data a couple of times which included an estimate from ONS that we should be/probably are seeing 54,000 cases per week.
The figures released by government are wildly off that number. Take a week from 24th to 30th May and the government daily totals add up to 18,219. Pick another week, May 10th to May 16th and the total for these 10 days is 24,901.
How can there be such a huge discrepancy between the ONS figures, which I believe were gathered via surveys, and the "official" numbers? A couple of hundred difference I could understand but these are so wildly far apart it is hard to believe they relate to the same statistics!
As for the possible argument that the ONS data comes from a survey and so may be inaccurate, the value of R quoted day in and day out is also calculated from surveys and estimates. So, if one set of data is fit to be disregarded, then so is the other

The absolutely massive problem with numbers is that only a relatively small proportion of those who contract Covid-19 are ever confirmed as having actually had it. The figures from the briefing each day are just fo those tested, and that's just a small subset of those who actually have the disease at any time. It's estimated that maybe 30% or more of cases may be partially or totally asymptomatic, yet still infectious, plus there will be a large number of cases that are suspected to be Covid-19 but which are never verified to be by testing. There are very good reasons for that - if mildly ill with this it's complete madness to drive somewhere to get tested, no matter what the government may say. It's on a par with the gross irresponsibility of Cummings actions. Far and away the safest thing to do is stay at home and wait for the illness to subside, rather than risk accidental transmission outside your home.

CSA was referring, I believe, to the estimated number of people with the disease, rather than the confirmed cases of it from testing. That will be a very much larger number every day, for the reasons above. Until such time that there is a reliable home test, that's very quickly available, such that someone who feels they have the disease can have the test kit delivered very quickly to determine if they have it or not, then we will always have a large proportion of unrecorded cases. Even with such a test, with 100% of those with symptoms using it, it seems likely that there will be 30% or more cases than recorded, due to the high numbers of mild or asymptomatic cases.
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Old 29th May 2020, 10:21
  #7272 (permalink)  
 
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A bit too serious for Rumours & News but still a rumour ; does Hancock have a financial interest in a Contact & Tracing company ? E a s e y , just asking ?

And, previous post asks about Lock-down two fingers. My previous shows Brighton & Hove giving firm Churchillian salutes after Cousin Dom's considered and caring response to his own rules. Thanks also to two Brighton Belles, Tessa & Lena, two furloughed VS popsies who were certainly NOT teenagers.
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Old 29th May 2020, 10:28
  #7273 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Still a suspicious lack of news regarding the trial of the NHS app. Rumours abound that a large proportion of the population of the Isle of Wight have been told to self isolate as a consequence of its use.

Also, if concerns about its privacy were going to deter some people from using it, the Cummings effect is going to deter even more.
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Old 29th May 2020, 10:30
  #7274 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/s...toms-qms2vd9mx

Seven in ten testing positive for virus show no symptoms

More than two thirds of those who tested positive for coronavirus had no symptoms, in the first nationally representative sample.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the figure underlined the importance of social distancing to avoid catching the virus from those who felt well, amid warnings that the scale of infection without symptoms could make the NHS contact tracing system much less effective.......

Seventy-nine per cent of those who tested positive reported no symptoms on the day, and 70 per cent reported no symptoms at all in the weeks before and after being swabbed. Peter Benton, of the ONS, said: “If 70 per cent of people are asymptomatic that probably means there are people who are infectious and don’t know it, and therefore continuing with social distancing is important.”

The study cannot tell if these people were infectious but Mr Benton said: “I could be positive and not know and I don’t want to pass it on to others. If I was asymptomatic I may not be very infectious but I don’t want to take the chance. We don’t know for sure what’s going on but I would rather be cautious.”

Only 87 people out of 19,000 tested positive overall and Mr Benton acknowledged that the results were preliminary. Even with tests that are more than 95 per cent accurate, testing at random is known to be likely to produce false positives when few people have the disease, which is why the NHS is cautious about screening for ilnesses such as dementia and cancer.

Sarah Walker of Oxford University, who worked with the ONS on the survey, argued that even with so many people tested “we’ve only had 87 who have ever tested positive. So that does give some confidence that the test is pretty good on the false positives.”

She said the findings were consistent with studies from other countries, with a sample in pregnant women in New York finding that 89 per cent testing positive had no symptoms and 81 per cent on a cruise ship in Uruguay. Professor Walker aims to see whether those who tested positive without symptoms go on to develop antibodies, which would be a sign that they really had the disease......

Carl Heneghan, of Oxford University, said of the asymptomatic figures: “If this is a true phenomenon it is hugely important. But you have to ask, is it a false positive problem? When someone says ‘I didn’t have any symptoms’ is that true or is that a false positive? Right now they are both equally likely.”

He said that if most infected people did not have symptoms “this could be hugely important in the test-and-trace strategy. The asymptomatic spread is the most significant thing about this virus.”
Only 87 out of 19000 tested positive?? Either the test has also given a whole load of false negatives, or we are a light year away from herd immunity.
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Old 29th May 2020, 11:14
  #7275 (permalink)  
 
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Did it test for antibodies? (i.e evidence of previous exposure.)
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Old 29th May 2020, 11:58
  #7276 (permalink)  
 
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Does this statistic, even assuming it’s correct, really justify the conclusion regarding social distancing? Alternatively we could conclude that only a tiny proportion are infected and we should be cautiously resuming normal life.
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Old 29th May 2020, 12:35
  #7277 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by dead_pan View Post
Only 87 out of 19000 tested positive?? Either the test has also given a whole load of false negatives, or we are a light year away from herd immunity.
These people hadn't asked for a test because they felt ill, they are a cohort of people chosen at random to take part in testing, and it is a self test. Swabbing one's throat isn't a pleasant thing to do, and is required, in addition to swabbing from both nostrils. I fear that people may not be swabbing far enough back in their mouths to get a proper swab (who wants to make themselves gag?) and were it that more virus is lodged in the throat than up the nostril then the results may be misleading, rather than producing false negatives due to a faulty test.

If I were to feel the need for a test I'd go for a testing station rather than a DIY kit.

The antibody test is a separate blood test, and I don't believe is included in this ONS report.

ShotOne

I still don't understand the rationale for 2m separation, the widest separation worldwide. When the WHO recommends 1.0m minimum, and most countries using 1.5m I wonder why SAGE recommended 2m; perhaps another case of UK belt and braces, and an unrealistic aversion to risk. Whatever, given the continuing high numbers of new infections being recorded daily the 2m doesn't appear to be any more effective than 1.5m in the real world.
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Old 29th May 2020, 12:51
  #7278 (permalink)  
 
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Crucially, Ms Walkers comment that with only 87 positives so “we’re pretty good on false positives”. At the billed degree of test accuracy, they could ALL have been false positives. In summary, test evidence of a very low level of infection, possibly zero, is being billed as yet another shock horror.

Last edited by ShotOne; 29th May 2020 at 13:03.
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Old 29th May 2020, 13:33
  #7279 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: England
Posts: 349
Any spacing distance is arbitrary and meaningless.
Indoors, airborne droplets will circulate around the room. Outdoors they will blow around. If you can smell particles of tobacco smoke drifting many metres away, why wouldn't the virus be travelling just as far?
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Old 29th May 2020, 13:39
  #7280 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
I still don't understand the rationale for 2m separation, the widest separation worldwide. When the WHO recommends 1.0m minimum, and most countries using 1.5m I wonder why SAGE recommended 2m; perhaps another case of UK belt and braces, and an unrealistic aversion to risk. Whatever, given the continuing high numbers of new infections being recorded daily the 2m doesn't appear to be any more effective than 1.5m in the real world.
Pure guesswork, but I suspect that the thinking is that people will be pretty rubbish at estimating distance, so they doubled the WHO number to be safe. From what I've seen since this was introduced, it's pretty clear that many people are rubbish at estimating distance, so perhaps their caution was well founded.

The other concern is that research shows that 2m separation isn't really enough if someone happens to cough, as it seems that droplets can spread further than this. Separating people by more than 2m would create more practical problems, especially indoors, where separation is more critical than outside.

The time factor seems to have been ignored in all the guidance, too. The risk of transmission is proportional to time as well as distance, as the longer someone spends in reasonably close proximity to an infected person, the more likely they are to get infected. Someone quickly passing another infected person just a few inches away would have to be pretty unfortunate to become infected, as they would need to be breathing in just a fraction of a second after the infected person has breathed out infectious droplets, as well as have their nose in the rapidly dispersing cloud of them.
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