This morning, @BBCr4today had a piece on how badly Brazil had managed the pandemic, featuring a doctor bemoaning that they had never had a national lockdown "like you did in the UK". No challenge from the presenter of course …
… Brazil has seen a big increase in deaths in recent weeks, but no mention of the fact that their cumulative rate is still below hard-lockdown Peru and way lower than lockdown UK ...
… and no mention that the 7-day average of new reported cases in Brazil have been decreasing since 27 March, whilst the estimated R rate has been decreasing since mid-March ...
... The @BBCr4today piece also criticised the slow vaccine roll out in Brazil. Yes, much lower than UK or Chile but no mention of the fact that Brazil is at the same level as Argentina and way ahead of some other South American countries like Peru ...
... and no mention of the fact that Chile have just introduced yet *more* lockdown measures due to their fast-growing cases (though not deaths, yet at least).…
Lots of interesting data to report from South America & no doubt some criticisms of Brazilian policy are valid (as with every other country).

But why did @BBCr4today give us such a one-dimensional piece, pushing the pro-lockdown agenda yet again?

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More from @cricketwyvern

25 Mar
Lots to enjoy in this thread about the end of the Texas mask mandate on 10 March. See also @ianmSC 's other thread on Mississippi which removed the mask mandate earlier on 3 March.
What stands out is how it is a matter of blind faith for so many commentators, including leading health experts, that these sort of restrictions must be effective. Evidence and data just have no impact on them.
In the UK, getting rid of the mask mandate should be first on the list for the road map, not relegated to a "review" in June. The risk of any impact on infection rates is very low, whilst the benefits would be very high ...
Read 7 tweets
24 Mar
Yes, disgraceful for the PM to signal support for such unjust discrimination. However, if it is genuinely up to the business, I suspect the free market will soon consign the suggestion to the dustbin ...
... Given the costs of checking & risk of legal challenges on grounds of discrimination, the only reason a pub would deliberately turn unvaccinated away is if there is really big demand from the public for vaccinated-only pubs ...
... people may well say they like the idea in response to an opinion poll but I would be surprised if there was much demand in practice. ...
Read 6 tweets
24 Mar
Update to various Covid-19 indicators for England.

Another big drop in deaths, hospitalisations down too.

Positive tests down & good to see no further rise in school age: data to 19 Mar, last day of in-school testing.

Zoe has been up & down: down a bit today (data to 20 Mar).
Positive tests for school ages by specimen date will be even harder to interpret over next few days due to start of at home mass LFD testing on Sun 21 March. This is meant to be followed up by a confirmatory PCR test so bear in mind ...
... an LFD positive followed by a PCR positive will only count as 1 new positive but:

1. The case will be allocated to the LFD specimen date but when the PCR test is in, that will be deleted & the case added to the PCR specimen date ...
Read 4 tweets
18 Mar
Update to various Covid-19 indicators for England:

• Another big drop in deaths.
• No further rise in Triage whilst Zoe down again.
• Positive tests down (just) overall, no change in school ages

A few other points to note …
1. Daily admissions drops back to 72 for Midlands (16 Mar), making me more suspicious that the leap to 116 on the 15th may have been a data problem.

2. 7-day ave for positive tests goes up to last Sat. Not a “school mass testing” day so not surprising no further increase ...
3. I've switched back to reporting 4-19 for school ages (rather than 10-19) as testing has also ramped up in primaries (though not as much as secondaries).

In any case, 4-19 more relevant going forward in seeing any impact of school opening itself (rather than mass testing) ...
Read 4 tweets
27 Feb
This slide from yesterday’s press conference is a bit naughty in my opinion.

It is clearly trying to imply that infections only fell after the start of 5 Jan national lockdown.

The problem is ...
... the graph does not show new infections (incidence) but the total number who would test positive at any one time (prevalence).

Incidence of new positive tests will have peaked earlier than prevalence & the peak of new infections will have been earlier still.
ONS modelled estimates actually place the prevalence peak at 1st Jan implying an infection peak probably even before Christmas.

That's a bit earlier than implied by other indicators (Zoe, actual positive tests etc.) but all show infections falling well before national lockdown.
Read 5 tweets
21 Feb
Although cases have plummeted worldwide since Christmas, most countries in Europe have started to see increases (small so far) in past couple of weeks.

This is true in places with few restrictions (Sweden/Finland) as well as those with strict lockdowns (Denmark/Belgium/Austria).
Czechia is a good example: more or less in lockdown since mid-October though with quite a few specific tightening & relaxations at different times.

Restrictions ramped up even more on 30 Jan, yet cases are rising faster than in most countries. Here is the comparison with Sweden.
Not all countries have seen an increase, e.g.:

Portugal (lockdown) & Spain (no lockdown, varying regional restrictions): still seeing decreases.

Italy (restrictions but no lockdown & some recent relaxing) & France (significant restrictions, no lockdown): fairly stable for now.
Read 10 tweets

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