A self-proclaimed fact checking website run by a Conservative MP & Govt policy advisor still states “Cases were not falling before the January 2021 lockdown”. They refer to 3 pieces of evidence ...
... 1. Weekly positive test data:

Weekly data obscures the daily peak but even so, PHE surveillance show peak was in wk 53 (28 Dec-3 Jan), i.e. pre-national lockdown, consistent with the daily data. assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/upl…
2. "ONS infection survey ... rose to 1 in 50 by Jan 2 2021":

they don’t clarify this is prevalence (total currently infected) which will peak much later than incidence (new infections). As it happens, ONS daily estimates suggest even prevalence peaked pre-lockdown.
3. Differences in regional case rates:

They admit London cases were falling pre-lockdown. In fact, 7-day centred ave peak was 1 Jan for all regions except WM & NW which peaked 5 Jan. Given infection-test lag, this suggests infections falling pre-lockdown in *every* region
BTW, I haven’t linked to the website as this is the one targeting named journalists, scientists & academics, which I think is regrettable. @danielhowden expresses it well ...
"I don't really think the way democracy is supposed to work is that MPs - for the governing party, no less - maintain a list of private citizens who they disagree with and their statements on a major issue of social policy."

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More from @cricketwyvern

5 Feb
This is an interesting response by @cjsnowdon to @toadmeister but many of the examples he cites do not support his argument that infections start falling after lockdowns.

Here’s a closer look at 3 of them: France (31st Oct), Ireland (24th-31st Dec) & England (5th Nov)
1. France: 7-day cases were falling from 3rd Nov (not the 8th as @cjsnowdon states), positivity from 2nd, hospitalisations from the 5th. Given lag, these all show infections falling well before 31st October ... ImageImageImage
France's estimated R-rate started falling from 24 Oct & there is no indication lockdown accelerated the decrease.

The 31st October French lockdown is not a good example of lockdown effectiveness. Image
Read 13 tweets
31 Jan
Two things annoy me a little in the school debate. First, well-intentioned comments like "schools should be last to close & first to open".

We never debate when supermarkets should close. It is just accepted that they are essential & must stay open. So it should be with schools.
Second is the suggestion that there should be a trade off: if schools stay open something else has to close.

That reasoning assumes schools being open plays a significant role in infection spread. In fact, the evidence for that is, at best, weak. e.g.:
Read 8 tweets
21 Jan
In his recent article, @cjsnowdon claims that England's November lockdown was a good example of lockdown effectiveness. Let’s look at that claim using the ONS death-by-date registration data which have now been updated for the relevant period.
Although there is some uncertainty over the average lag between infections and death, we should expect any effect of lockdown to be visible in the deaths series after about three weeks.
If the 5th November lockdown had been effective, we might expect a beneficial effect on the deaths trend from about 26 Nov and an adverse effect from about 23 Dec, reflecting the relaxation on 2 Dec.

So what actually happened?
Read 10 tweets
19 Jan
Update to Sweden.

Now Christmas testing/reporting effects have worked through, we can see a decrease in positive tests of > 40% since peak just before Christmas.

ICUs also coming down steadily. We can expect deaths to follow though backdating means it is hard to be sure yet. ImageImageImage
Sweden has introduced some more measures over recent months, though nothing like those seen in UK & elsewhere, e.g.:

24 Nov: ban on more than 8 people gathering
7 Dec: schools for 16+ shut
18 Dec: mask guidance (not law) on public transport
24 Dec: some restrictions on bars
Taking account of the lag from infections, the positive test & ICU data suggest infections peaked around 16th December.

Definitely too late for gatherings to be the cause. Probably too late for schools. Clearly too early for the mask guidance or bar restrictions.
Read 5 tweets
18 Jan
Some people have been worried about high numbers of pupils attending schools since 4 Jan.

Children are (generally) not at risk of serious illness but concern was new variant wd cause fast spread in children, which cd then spill over to others.

We now some early data to look at.
First positive tests (7-day ave) for 5-9 & 10-14s. Allowing a 7-day lag to test, infections seem to increase during 1st part of holidays (but beware Christmas testing effects), then decrease from end of Dec. Early days, but so far looks like the decrease has continued since 4 Jan
Next NHS Covid-19 triage for U19s. Lag probably shorter than for tests.

7-day ave trend suggests infections leading to triage decrease before schools shut for Christmas, level off during holidays & then decrease again from about 4 Jan.

(Thanks to @dontbetyet for the chart)
Read 4 tweets
16 Jan
This is an interesting read by @cjsnowdon but not sure his examples necessarily support his case.

Take Ireland: Level 5 lockdown restrictions (pubs, cafes hairdressers shut) started on 24 Dec. The vertical rise in cases started 8 days after that on 2 Jan & continued to 8 Jan. Image
More restrictions were added up until 31st Dec & cases started dropping from the 9th. But you could just as easily claim the 24th Dec restrictions caused the vertical rise on the 2nd as to claim the extra restrictions caused the drop on the 9th.
I don't think Ireland reports by specimen date & also there were reporting lags. So probably pretty hard to be certain about any cause & effect, but it's not exactly a poster case for lockdown restrictions.
Read 7 tweets

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