The UK is testing too much. But Slovakia is thrashing us. Let's look at the consequences for them of doing that.
The positivity rate has fallen to the floor.
Cases, which had been falling from 16th-23rd Jan, have plateaued since the rise in testing.
And deaths have just kept on climbing. The fall in cases should have been reflected in a fall in deaths from the first week of February but it's yet to happen.

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More from @ClareCraigPath

9 Feb
Patients with COVID produced a T-cell driven immune response to between 17 & 18 different regions of the virus. Antibody immunity only measures a fraction of this response. Concerns about single letter mutations enabling evasion of immunity are misplaced. cell.com/cell-reports-m…
Basing policy on antibody testing alone is foolish. Antibody positivity will not include all those who have developed immunity and deliberately excludes all those with prior immunity (because the test was designed such that pre-COVID blood samples would all test negative).
SARS-CoV-2 genetic sequence has ~30,000 letters. Alterations in a handful of letters will not change it's shape much - if it did it wouldn't function properly anyway. Fear mongering about immune escape is not needed and is irresponsible esp when no evidence to support the claims.
Read 4 tweets
7 Feb
What causes winter excess deaths?

Respiratory viruses are a key player but how many can really be attributed to them? How many can be attributed to influenza? How much a role does temperature play?
Even warmer places like California and Australia see a 30% rise in deaths in winter. Equatorial countries, with minimal seasonality to mortality, have year round influenza deaths. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P…
However, lower temperatures in the upper airways of the respiratory tract do favour replication of respiratory viruses. onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.10…
Read 12 tweets
23 Jan
Cases no longer reliably predict deaths in the way they did. So it *looks* like COVID got more deadly:
In London cases have overpredicted deaths so it looks like COVID is less deadly but when you account for age the pattern is the same as elsewhere.
Read 8 tweets
22 Jan
On Tuesday, @NeilDotObrien accused me of spreading disinformation and gave some specific examples. The vast majority of my tweets were factually correct based on publicly available data.
While Mr O’Brien is entitled to disagree with opinions that he thinks are wrong, doing so in this way as a member of the Government (in the Justice Dept) is inappropriate.
During a time like this, when there’s so much at stake, abandoning the central principle in a liberal democracy of using evidence rather than rhetoric to propose and refute ideas is dangerous and self-defeating.
Read 31 tweets
8 Jan
Latest ONS estimate is that 1 in 20 people in Croydon are infected.
This is a huge number to be infected simultaneously especially for a region that was hard hit in spring.
ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulati…
Many of these positive cases are either coming to hospital with a COVID label or acquiring one on arrival there. Croydon is hard hit in terms of COVID in hospitals compared with the rest of the country.
Yet the increase in COVID patients has been matched by a perfect decrease in non-COVID patients meaning the spare capacity is still present in the system. This is not to say that the staff aren't hugely stressed thanks to staff shortages, PPE, fear and treating some real COVID.
Read 4 tweets
12 Oct 20
What if we turned the question around? What would we see if students were all immune and we tested them through mass screening?
We would expect a small proportion to be symptomatic (after all the symptoms are common) but the majority would be asymptomatic.
We would not expect to see transmission to other age groups.
Read 6 tweets

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