Lockdown, Airport Testing and Dominic Cummings End: Your Covid Questions Answered | UK News


We asked readers what they wanted to know about the government’s response to the coronavirus. Our political correspondent, Peter Walker, has the answers.

What are the protocols for getting out of local lockdown?

As someone living in Nottingham – who could go into a local lockout – I am looking at the neighboring Leicester area, which was the first to have local restrictions imposed in July, and it still isn’t completely local got out. It feels like places with local restrictions are being forgotten, no communication about when they will be reviewed and what will happen next, and I can’t wait to see endless purgatory not knowing when i will be able to see my parents. Amy, graphic designer, Nottingham

That’s a good question, asked by a number of MPs, including Tories, who are concerned that the lockdowns are a “hotel California” situation – you can go in, but never go out. There are no defined criteria for every level of the new system, with a range of issues taken into account, including not only the incidence of Covid cases, but rates of change and local factors. So the way in which a region can exit the lock is also opaque. This is, of course, in part because in recent weeks infection rates have increased more or less everywhere, so early lockdown was not a particularly relevant issue.

Why is it not possible to test people at airports like Italy does for two months?

Why, since June 8, date of the introduction of the quarantine policy, has no alternative policy been proposed or evaluated by the government? Is there really no alternative but to force people to stay in their homes for two weeks simply because they come from a country which in many cases is safer than Great Britain? Brittany for the moment? Michel, London

One of the problems is that the government is still not convinced that testing at airports can correctly detect cases, given that people can test negative for the virus even days after being exposed to it. A compromise could involve a shorter quarantine period and two tests, which is under consideration. More generally, ministers are now politically attached to the idea of ​​quarantine, and abandoning it completely would be considered a big step.

Doesn’t the increase in the number of cases suggest that we need to temporarily return to e-learning?

Hundreds of British schools have experienced Covid outbreaks. Doesn’t the increase in the number of cases suggest that we need to temporarily return to e-learning? Conrad, health professional, London

Ministers cite evidence showing that, at least among children of primary school age, rates of Covid infection and transmission to others appear low. But more generally, Boris Johnson and his team have insisted over and over again that schools must remain open, and it would take a pretty dire situation for that to change. There is also a good argument about the wider social harm caused by long-term school closures and the growing education gap that this creates.

Are there plans to develop state-of-the-art testing and traceability facilities, ready to go from day one?

Given that Covid-19 is likely to be with us for some time, and many experts predict future pandemics of equal or greater severity, are there any plans to develop state-of-the-art testing and traceability facilities? technology, ready to go from day one and do not subject to budget cuts? Ian Skelly, retired, Cheshire,

There are a lot of people who would wonder why this was not in place before Covid, as part of broader pandemic planning. It’s fair to say that a lot has been learned since then, with testing and traceability seen as one of the defining failures of the pandemic in the UK – as well as other countries. One of the key elements of a future public inquiry will likely be how to put tests and traces in place in preparation, and whether it is to be based on the expertise of local public health teams rather than outsourced. .

When are they going to fire Cummings?

After the blind driving fiasco, with Dominic Cummings saying he went to Barnard Castle as an eye test, it’s no wonder the country has lost faith in just about everything that comes out from the mouth of the government. Ju Wilmot, bicycle mechanic, Brighton

The short answer to that is: never. So much political capital has been poured out to defend Boris Johnson’s chief adviser at the start of the pandemic that he will only leave for another reason. Future political stories from the UK’s coronavirus era will likely examine both why Johnson considered Cummings so irreplaceable and whether the infamous road to Durham and the day trips associated with eye testing began to erode public confidence in the foreclosure measures.

Why Boris is too dirtywill you admit he was wrong?

The Barrington Declaration and Sweden have shown the right way to deal with Covid-19, so why does Boris continue on the path to destruction? Roy Adams, retired, Harlow

Some Conservative MPs would agree with this sentiment. However, Matt Hanock – and, in fairness, public health consensus and epidemiological opinion – would be different. For Sweden, they indicate very different starting points, for example a population density of about a tenth that of the United Kingdom, and in particular more generous state payments for people to self-isolate. . Hancock this week criticized Great Barrington’s statement, stressing that “herd immunity” without a vaccine tends not to exist and asking vulnerable people to protect themselves indefinitely might not be realistic or fair. PW

Has the government now stocked more than sufficient of all PPE and vaccine-related items?

Has the government now acquired adequate stocks of coronavirus equipment such as needles, reagents, etc., to cover a severe Covid-19 outbreak throughout the winter, including for hospitals / general practitioners / dental offices and care homes / home care? And does it have an operational distribution network capable of handling a heavy workload? Karen, independent, Derbyshire

The government insists that there are. A Department of Health statement late last month said purchases of 32 billion items meant there was now a four-month stockpile of PPE, increasing amounts of which are being made in the UK . As winter progresses, we’ll see if that’s the case.

Why are we only told the number of people who have died within 28 days of being diagnosed with Covid-19?

There are surely many more deaths from the Covid contraction, and yet the government seems to want to hide the real number of deaths. Why? By, actor, london

To be fair to ministers, even in normal times, a reasonable proportion of the jobs of many epidemiologists involve debating the best classification of death numbers for particular diseases or other risks, and any system will be flawed. The government publishes both deaths within 28 days of a positive test and within 60 days. With so many Covid deaths from older groups, an open-ended system could risk deaths caused primarily by existing morbidities or conditions attributed to the virus. Given the debate, this is why the more general figure of deaths exceeding what would be expected for the period of time may be the best measure of the impact of the coronavirus.

If you would like to ask a question of our political, health or science teams, you can do so here.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here