The UK government yesterday announced stronger “social distancing” measures to combat coronavirus – but its overall strategy is still unclear to medical specialists.
They have called for more transparency, as well as speedier implementation of “social distancing” and testing.
Until the end of last week, officials were suggesting that the government’s strategy aimed to allow the virus to spread through healthy sections of the population in order to build up “herd
immunity”. This was roundly denounced by epidemiologists – and on Sunday that produced some backpedalling by Matthew Hancock, the health secretary.
But still, today, the logic is opaque. Scientists’ requests to see the government’s data have fallen on deaf ears. And the UK’s “social distancing” measures are still far behind the Scottish and Irish governments, sports governing bodies and most of Europe.
Here I will try to summarise the way the rift between doctors and the government has deepened since I posted about it on Friday. I have no medical training; I am just trying to clarify what is going on.
Along with many thousands of others, I have joined a local Coronavirus mutual aid group – and to take matters into our own hands effectively, we need accurate information. If you think I have got something wrong, please say so in the comments.
■ The government is not sharing information with the country’s epidemiologists and other specialists.
This was the main point made in a letter to the Times on Saturday by six senior epidemiologists and public health specialists, and supported by 630 others and counting. The UK’s response to Read the rest of this entry »