Day: 25 December 2021

One in Three Covid Patients May Have Caught Virus in Hospital

Up to one in three Covid patients may have caught the illness in hospital, official figures show. That makes it hard to use the Covid hospitalisation data to justify new lockdown restrictions. The Telegraph has more.

At the peak this week, 31% of Covid patients included in the NHS’ daily admission figures for London had already been in the hospital for more than a week before testing positive, suggesting transmission occurred on the ward.

Separate figures show that of more than 6,000 patients in hospitals across England who have tested positive for coronavirus, 29% of them are primarily being treated by doctors for other conditions.

It comes as the figures for admissions in the capital edge towards the 400 a day mark, which the Government is said to be using as a threshold for introducing new lockdown measures.

Ministers have been carefully watching the picture in London’s hospitals before making any decisions, as its omicron outbreak is a few weeks ahead of the rest of the U.K.

But both scientists and MPs have called on the Government to consider the fact that many patients with Covid may actually be catching it in hospital. They have urged them to discount those being treated for other conditions from their calculations.

Ministers were warned that further restrictions would be “difficult to justify” if they did not look at the facts behind the data.

Worth reading in full.

Omicron Declining in London, Data Suggests

Despite the record reported infections in recent days, the latest data from the UKHSA suggests probable Omicron infections in London are already in decline.

The above chart has been created by Professor Anthony Brookes of Leicester University using the total number of probable Omicron infections (S-gene dropout, SGTF) reported each day by the UKHSA, applying a two-day smoothing and then plotting the daily increase as the day’s new reported infections. It gives an estimation of the number of Omicron infections reported for each English region each day. It shows reported Omicron infections in London peaking on December 18th and declining in the five days following it.

It’s worth noting that there was a data anomaly in Thursday’s report in which several thousand reported Omicron infections for London were retrospectively removed, resulting in a negative infection report on that day, which is why the last two days have dropped so low. This should resolve itself over the next few days, but even so there is no sign of continued growth in London.

The U.K. Covid dashboard shows London total reported infections initially peaking by specimen date on December 15th, which fits with a peak of Omicron by report date of December 18th. According to the UKHSA, Omicron infections were 80-90% of the (low-Ct) infections in London at that point.

Happy Christmas to All Our Readers

Just a quick message to wish all our readers a Happy Christmas.

It’s been a year of hopes raised, hopes dashed, then hopes raised again – and I’m praying they’re not smashed again. We’ll know in a few days whether Boris has been able to keep his nerve in the face of the latest onslaught of pro-lockdown propaganda. I put the chances of a happy ending to this particular drama no higher than 50:50.

The site recorded its second-highest number of page views in its history on Thursday, clocking in at 121,287. I want to say thank you to all those readers who’ve stuck with us, and a hearty welcome to all the new ones. We’ve done our best to keep an even keel in these turbulent seas, maintaining a healthy scepticism about the official Covid narrative, while not embracing the wilder claims of the anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine activists. Call it trying to stay between two Piers – Piers Morgan and Piers Corbyn.

A special thank you to all those readers who’ve donated to the site in the past 12 months. Without your generosity we wouldn’t have been able to keep it going. Many of you have told us that the site has helped to keep them sane. I think I speak for all of us when I say that maintaining this site and keeping up a steady flow of sceptical analysis – laced with humour, where appropriate – has kept us sane, too.

Please excuse a lower-than-average output over the next few days. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Stop Press: The above post and the two below were written on Christmas Day. The reason they’re included in the today’s daily update is because the site went down shortly after it appeared and didn’t go up again until around 6pm on Boxing Day.

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