A surge in Covid infections was always to be “expected” following the easing of Covid restrictions in England, Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said. MailOnline has more.
Sajid Javid said that the U.K. remains in a “very good position” – despite hospital admissions also starting to creep up in the last week – but he urged adults eligible for a booster vaccine to come forward and get the jab.
The latest data from the Office for National Statistics Covid Infections Survey showed an increase in cases across the whole of the U.K.
The surveillance report also found infections were rising in England before all Covid laws were lifted on Freedom Day, suggesting the transition towards ‘living with Covid’ is not solely to blame for the latest surge.
Meanwhile, Mr Javid said that a ‘handful’ of cases of the so-called Deltacron variant had been identified in the UK, but were “not of particular concern”. Roughly 99.9% of all infections in Britain are of the Omicron variant, he added.
Mr Javid told Sky News: “We keep the situation very carefully under review.”
As MailOnline points out, Sajid Javid’s claim that the rise is linked to the end of restrictions (mainly the requirement to self-isolate) on February 24th is contradicted by the ONS data, which show infections rebounding from around February 19th (see above).
Or perhaps Mr. Javid was referring to the end of Plan B restrictions (mask mandate and vaccine passports) on January 27th? However, Scotland still hasn’t lifted these measures, and its infection rate rose earlier and faster than England’s.
Or perhaps Mr. Javid was referring to “more social mixing” in recent weeks? However, as Michael Simmons points out:
There aren’t yet signs in the data that social mixing is increasing all that much: SAGE’s preferred survey for mixing (CoMix) shows us having on average three contacts per day, in line with the average at the end of lockdown. And Google mobility data for workplaces show travel is still around a quarter down on before the pandemic, whilst recreational travel is still 10% lower on a weekly average.
On rising hospital admissions, MailOnline states: “MailOnline‘s analysis of NHS figures suggests that a majority of newly occupied Covid beds are ‘incidental’ – when a person tests positive after being admitted for a different illness.”
Two years in and Government ministers still lazily assume that what make the difference in rising and falling infections are the measures they impose or lift – despite the data frequently contradicting these claims in the most blatant ways.
Isn’t it more likely that the recent rise is linked to the rise of the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron?
That explanation at least is consistent with the data, as opposed to the interventionist fantasies of politicians and their scientific advisers, which assume without evidence that it’s all about them and what they do and don’t do.
As infections rise again, it’s worth keeping in mind that deaths have been running below average all winter and remain so, meaning that actually we should stop worrying about what Covid infections are doing altogether as the disease is, to quote the Danish Government, not “socially critical”.