Published On: Sat, Apr 11th, 2020

A coronavirus peak nears (ahead of time), the modelling is clearly wrong, and lockdown unjustified

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In March, FBEL covered the pronouncement by Neil Ferguson, the lead modeller of the Imperial College London (ICL) team which provided the pretext for the UK Government’s lockdown, as he revised a prediction (borne out of his modelling) so that “intensive care unit demand peak [would take place] in approximately two and half to three weeks’ time and then decline thereafter”. Previously, this was to take place around the 1st May, but the revision placed the peak at the Easter weekend, which meant it would happen nearly three weeks earlier than thought.

It was pointed out, in the FBEL article that covered this story, that the rethink had seemingly come about because of a change in the NHS’ own reckoning about how many deaths there would be due to “Covid-19”, or coronavirus-related illness, as it was beginning to be called. This significant detail has been lost in the fog of war; in fact, the requirement to make a revision was blamed on the effects of the lockdown, which was ludicrous given that the thing had just begun. This meme, that could have had no basis in reality when it started, continues today (when there is no testing outside of the NHS and retirement homes [palliative hospices] that can prove the existence of SARS-COV/SARS-COV-2 in the wider population), and this past week we have seen a government official give credit to lockdown measures as she talked about the approach of a peak – more on that to come, by and by.

Back in March, again in said article, it was pointed out that there could be leeway to downgrade the lockdown so that full suppression was not activated, and fewer measures for mitigation were deployed, and this was based on the idea that, given the revision of the date for the peak, the next least harsh set of measures in the ICL modelling would not now overburden the NHS. (A caveat must be added: this is after an assumption that the modelling could have been correct in the first place, and after an assumption that all supposed real time cases of “Covid-19” had anything to do with SARS-COV/SARS-COV-2, and after an assumption that the PCR test to detect the presence of SARS-COV/SARS-COV-2 works).

It’s very important to realise that, in the theory presented to the public, mitigation is intrinsically linked to controlling volume through the NHS. It isn’t about preventing people from dying, and daily death numbers are irrelevant. It is the figures for hospital admissions and for critical care bed occupancy that are all important (as reported to the FBEL readership before, naturally). These are the measure, the gauge, for implementing the lockdown.

The diagram below is taken from a document produced by the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, published 16th March (link below), and shows the peak for critical care bed occupancy at the start of May (the bottom graph is a detail of the top one). The big leap of numbers that follow in the autumn and winter are a rebound when whatever mitigation measures are in place at the time have been lifted (ICL says this should be in September). It represents the virus becoming unbound as the population mixes after being separated (and undoubtedly this part of the model will provide a pretext for vaccinations, or rolling lockdowns).

What the diagram reports is that full suppression now will create a big rebound later (the green line). However, this could be mitigated by downscaling the measures in place (the orange line) and doing it as early as possible. Again, because real events are defying the model,  there is a case to make for doing it.

On April 8th, the government’s deputy chief scientific adviser, Angela McLean, told the daily “war situation” press conference that the rate of hospitalisation of “coronavirus” patients was “definitely getting slower”. Information presumably presented at this press conference included the fact that…

Across England there were 16,563 hospitalised, against 93,000 total general and acute capacity in the third quarter of 2019-20.

This would mean that only 18% of England’s NHS capacity was taken up by “coronavirus” patients. As for London…

there were 4,689 covid-19 patients in hospital in London on 7 April. The capital had about 16,000 general and acute beds open at the end of last year, so the figure would normally account for about a quarter of capacity. Capacity has been expanded, more patients discharged, and elective work cancelled, however.

What this means is that even though the National Exhibition Centre has been converted into a movie set (with ventilators donated by BBC TV programme Holby City – yes, it’s a true story), and patients have been kicked out of hospital, and treatment cancelled, London’s NHS has 75% of its capacity free [of “coronavirus” patients], and the requirment for space has perhaps not been so urgent as to necessitate the extreme action. (In addition, London’s critical care bed occupancy has been falling, as the graph below shows).

For what it is worth, Angela McLean reports that “the spread of this virus is not accelerating”, but the key information is this:

The rate at which [hospital admissions are] rising is definitely getting slower and looks like we’re beginning to get towards a flat curve, which is what we’ve all wanted.

However, what McLean does not mention is that the flat curve is happening sooner than thought.

And while hospital admissions are looking to level out, critical care bed occupancy might even have started shrinking by the time of the next ICNARC† report (due 17th April). The most recent one, published yesterday, provided a fourth number for current critical bed occupancy in a series (published each week), which are 163, 609, 1524, and 2194. The percentage changes are becoming smaller week by week: 274%, 150%, and 44%.

In the model produced by the ICL (pdf), the assumed reproduction number (“the average number of secondary cases each case [of infection] generates”) of 2.4, with full suppression, when critical care beds are being occupied at a rate of increase of 400 per week (which they have been), would see a peak critical care bed surge maximum of 4900 (out of a possible capacity of 5000).

A section of Table 4 from the ICL document. Rₒ=2 is the lowest value for the reproduction number that the ICL modellers examine.

In fact, the actual real world numbers are more in line with the reproduction number being 2 (according to the tables produced in the ICL document), and the rate of increase for bed occupation being 300 per week (giving a maximum of 2200). So, one could infer from this that, in fact, the reproduction number is lower than anything the ICL has consideredǂ. The data is not available (in the tables), then, for us to be able to see the effect of withdrawal of mitigation measures. However, what is clear is that the ICL modelling has built-in trigger-off points that will indicate when social distancing and school and university closure can end. As such, if critical care bed occupancy does fall over April, and these trigger-off targets are hit, it will be hard to justify further full lockdown, even if extended suppression is exactly what the UK Government would like to see – which it is signalling that it would: please examine the following extract from a very recent BBC article, Coronavirus lockdown: How can we lift restrictions?

We cannot simply return to normal after cases peak or even after they are reduced to very low levels.

The best estimate of the proportion of people infected (and potentially immune) in the UK is just 4%. Or to put that another way – more than 63 million are still vulnerable to the infection.

If we just lift the lockdown, then another explosive outbreak is inevitable.

The fundamentals of the virus have not changed either – one person infected will, without a lockdown, pass it onto three others on average.

Cutting those infections by 60-70% is what it takes to keep cases down. At the moment that means cutting our human contact by that amount.

If we lift social distancing measures then something else has to come in to suppress the virus instead or at least to prevent people ending up in intensive care.

This seems to be saying that social distancing will end when a vaccine is invented – which, it must be stressed, doesn’t mean that there will be a vaccine. The use of the idea of the vaccine to end the lockdown is undoubtedly about making the lockdown open ended. In any case, this is not what the modelling says is necessary.

Moreover, assuming that SARS-COV-2 is real and can cause death by pneumonia (i.e. Covid-19), only a very small percentage of the population is going to be susceptible to that (and the next FBEL article will present some more truth about the real threat of Covid-19). Additionally, this BBC commentary uses data about reproduction that is likely redundant (and SARS-COV/SARS-COV-2 is not as contagious as reckoned) – as such, infections will not have to be cut by such a high rate as quickly.

The bottom line is this: if there is a peak in the next week – which, as discussed, it appears there might be – it means scope for altering the UK Government’s lockdown measures. For the UK Government to appear to be playing by the rules which it has asked the British to abide by, it can’t move the goalposts like the BBC article would have its audience believe is a necessity. If it does do that, then at that point, there will not be any excuse for anyone not to appreciate that Covid-19 is the cover for a crime perpetrated by UK Government upon the British people.

 

See also: Coronavirus deception now in plain view; UK Government imposes overt authoritarianism regardless (link).

[Added 15th April]; Follow up: The smaller, earlier peak; and the determined effort to maintain the lockdown regardless (link).

† Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre; which reports on critical bed occupancy in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. An article to examine the contents of the April 10th publication is planned.

ǂ Further to this, the point of suppression, or full lockdown, is to reduce the reproduction number to below 1. If the real world experience suggests that it is lower than 2, against ICL’s assumption that it is 2.4, then how low is it actually? Is suppression even a necessity based on the real value of Rₒ (whatever it is)?

 

 

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