Science-led (not PR-led) Covid strategy please

Posted on: 17th December 2021

Top scientists offered an unvarnished and sobering appraisal of the current state of the Covid pandemic. Government ministers should take note.

“…There is no evidence that Omicron is less severe than Delta”!
Prof Christina Pagel commenting on Imperial research published 17.12.21. The brilliant scientists of IndieSAGE chart the state of the pandemic (at their last weekly webinar this year).

If ministers don’t adopt additional measures now – to circuit-break this explosion in Covid caseload, protect the vulnerable and to avoid our NHS becoming overwhelmed – they will continue prevaricating and then act too late.

“In a week when the Chief Scientist has been criticised (by Conservative MPs) for answering a question honestly” said Prof. Alice Roberts in her introduction… IndieSAGE urged Government ministers to adopt “a circuit-breaker” to protect the vulnerable and to avoid our NHS becoming overwhelmed. Meanwhile, the hard-right of the Conservative Party, Covid-deniers and anti-vaxxers have been barking their “learn to live with it” mantra.

Omicron is now the dominant Covid variant but has not YET resulted in a significant increase in hospitalisation. BUT it only emerged 3 weeks ago, so you wouldn’t expect it to, …YET.
What’s also worrying is that infection rates amongst school children – especially primary age – is exceptionally high. “This will be a very vulnerable population when schools go back in the new year”, said Prof. Pagal

A further concern, given Omnicron’s significant greater infectiousness, is the high risk of it spreading through Hospital wards and causing a significant wave of staff absences; in a service which is already struggling.

Further “the most deprived are the least protected”. So it’s not appropriate for better-off MPs to say we “should learn to live with” it, said Prof. Pagel

IndieSAGE again reminded Ministers that this is a PANdemic. It is world-wide. What we do has impacts on others and vice-versa.
Therefore they again call on the Government and G7 to support poorer countries struggling with Covid – for Patent waivers and technology transfer to empower developing countries to ensure they have the capacity to effectively combat the pandemic, to vaccinate and to protect their populations.

I urge you to follow their advice. You can follow it here. Watch the first 25 mins if you can.