Why lockdown isn’t working fast enough and what we should do next: a thread..... Not just borders and monitoring new strains, but time to fix the biggest flaw in our current strategy, namely that three quarters of those with symptoms do not self-isolate.
6.3 million have had their first jab, infections are down 22% (7 day avg) & hospital patients 4% below Jan 18 peak. So why should we be cautious? hsj.co.uk/coronavirus/25…
The answer is uncertainty over new strains: whilst vaccine seems to work as well against UK/Kent strain, this may not be the case with the S African strain (already here) and the Brazilian strains (one of which is already here but not yet the Manaus one): reuters.com/article/uk-hea…
Whilst the new strains are unlikely to render the vaccine ineffective, they may reduce its efficiency at keeping people out of hospitals. Because viruses are good at mutating, sooner or later there may well be a strain that is fully immune to the vaccine (not necessarily soon).
Efficiently isolating people who are infectious will therefore remain a key part of our strategy for some time. Yet Cabinet Office surveys show an extraordinary THREE QUARTERS of those with symptoms do not fully self-isolate. 15% of them even go to work.
Or in absolute numbers, if Cab Office survey is accurate & translated onto the latest T&T data, last week around 427,000 people who were asked to self isolate did not & 85,000 of them went to work. That’s a LOT of people spreading a dangerous infection. gov.uk/government/col…
Closing borders & quarantine hotels is a sensible step…but we won’t address heart of the problem unless we deal with domestic transmission. We need to raise compliance with isolation to 95%+ rates achieved in Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. That means a range of measures including:
1. Guaranteeing salary backfill for those who lose wages as a result of self-isolating. Expensive…but loss of earnings seems to be the biggest cause of non-compliance and the overall cost is much cheaper than another lockdown.
Daily contact with those asked to self-isolate - using GPS tracking to monitor compliance if necessary as happens in Taiwan and Poland. People need to know how much this matters and if we cannot persuade them to comply at the outset we should keep trying.
3. Equipping and funding local councils to monitor compliance - as this cannot possibly be done from national call-centres.

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More from @Jeremy_Hunt

4 Jan
Time to act: thread on why we need to close schools, borders, and ban all household mixing RIGHT AWAY.
To those arguing winter is always like this in the NHS: you are wrong. I faced four serious winter crises as Health Sec and the situation now is off-the-scale worse than any of those.
It’s true that we often had to cancel elective care in Jan to protect emergency care but that too is under severe pressure with record trolley waits for the very sickest patients
Read 11 tweets
9 Mar 20
As soon as the government officially moves us to the ‘delay’ stage, it is effectively confirming that an epidemic IS coming. So on the basis of the information we currently have, what's the outlook?
Yesterday was the first day confirmed new cases in the UK exceeded those in China (67 in the UK vs 40 in China). Last week Chris Whitty told the select committee he saw ‘no reason in theory why the UK would go higher than China.’ So how bad did it get in China?
Chris Whitty used a figure of 20% of population in Wuhan province when he came in front of the select committee, but says those with symptoms are likely to be 5% or less. WHO figures are lower - only 0.1% of population - but there is likely to be significant under-reporting.
Read 9 tweets
24 Jul 19
1/4 I would have been honoured to carry on my work at the FCO but understand the need for a new PM to choose his team. BJ kindly offered me another role but after 9 yrs in Cabinet & over 300 cab mtgs now is the time to return 2 backbenches from where PM will have my full support
2/4 I've been a cabinet minister for every hour my 3 gorgeous children have been alive. So whilst it may seem strange for someone who just tried to become PM (& is a terrible cliche) I have decided now is the time for the biggest challenge of all - to be a GOOD DAD!
3/4 It has been a huge honour 2 be responsible 4 the finest diplomatic service in the world & 2 see the courage & wisdom of our diplomats & intelligence services. Thanks 4 guiding me with such patience & professionalism! Proud to have stood up alongside you for British values.
Read 4 tweets
1 Jul 19
Team takeover for speech on No Deal preparations @Policy_Exchange: Since the start of this leadership campaign I’ve travelled more than 3,000 miles across the United Kingdom. #HastobeHunt
I’ve had fish and chips on a Scottish trawler, a balti in Birmingham and a cream tea in Devon.

Most of all I have enjoyed talking and debating with members of the public about the changes I want to make if I become Prime Minister. #HastobeHunt
As an entrepreneur I want to fire up our economy, cut corporation tax and scrap business rates for thousands of high street companies up and down the country. #HastobeHunt
Read 33 tweets
10 Jun 19
Handing over to my team now for live updates from my launch event
.@PennyMordaunt: My name will be on Jeremy Hunt's nomination papers today. Because I believe he has the experience, values and a plan.
Our failure to deliver Brexit has put our country and our party in grave peril. The leadership I offer is based on one simple truth: without Brexit there will be no Conservative government and maybe no Conservative Party.
Read 22 tweets
20 Nov 17
(1) Let’s get to the bottom of this issue shall we @RalfLittle? I talked about the biggest expansion of mental health provision in Europe which you described as
‘knowingly lying’
2) Now I know you are a funny bloke and in politics a lot of insults are traded but the question is can you back up what is a very strong claim?
3) Parity of esteem for mental health became law in 2012, so here are the tables that show the 4,300 increase in staff at mental health trusts since 2013…
Read 26 tweets

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