We see countries like China & New Zealand succeed by implementing border controls and wonder why our government didn’t do the same. Unfortunately, it’s been following the 2011 influenza pandemic plan, which says...

2. China & New Zealand have international travel (limited in the case of New Zealand) and freight, and rather than delay their peaks, their border controls have helped keep cases to a minimum. Border controls might not work in a flu pandemic, but they worked for #COVID19.
3. Countries that have done well against #COVID19 have high adherence to mask wearing. The pandemic plan tells us the British people won’t bother wearing masks over time so let’s no bother asking them to, eh.
4. Mass super spreading events have been shown to play a significant role in the transmission of #COVID19.

But the pandemic plan tells us they don’t play a role (perhaps the source of Jenny Harries’ comments about Cheltenham?) and therefore the government will not restrict them
5. I call this the white flag clause. Surrender was built into the assumptions behind our pandemic response. The success of other countries has proved this clause completely wrong.
6. And the optimist’s clause. The worst of the pandemic will be over in 3 to 5 months.
7. Rather than push for eradication (which the plan says is impossible), the presumption is a return to normality at the earliest opportunity.
8. The government has been following a plan for the wrong virus. In light of the way flu has been suppressed this year, it may want to consider a rewrite even for influenza, but in the case of a coronavirus pandemic this plan has led us to a bad place.
9. The underlying assumption that the virus could not be contained has been shown to be flawed by countries that have done it. Other flawed assumptions have impacted everything from mask wearing, mass events and when and how to open up.
10. It’s one reason why the government got its response so wrong. Refusal to adapt, innovate and learn from others are other reasons we are where we are.

What’s going to change? When is the government going to start implementing measures appropriate to this pandemic?
11. Boris Johnson looks determined to keep the country in some sort of semi-permanent lockdown. He doesn’t seem to understand how we can get back to normality before mass vaccination. 2020 has been gruelling. We need a change of strategy to give us a better 2021.
12. If you want to read the full plan, you can find it here


More from Adam Hamdy

1. I believe the government is about to make another huge mistake. Where is @UKLabour in all this? I have some questions @Keir_Starmer should be asking urgently. Please RT to raise awareness.

2. Where is the modelling or evidence to support a focused protection vaccination strategy? The government has chosen it as its preferred strategy but it must have considered other options. Will the government publish the data and the alternative options considered?

3. A responsible government will have modelling for 20%, 50% and 80% vaccine coverage, and projections for the number of infections, Long Covid and deaths in each scenario. Where are those models? On what basis has the government opted for the 20% scenario?

4. The government should also have modelled each of these scenarios against a backdrop of low, medium and high community transmission. What is the impact of each vaccination scenario against varying levels of community transmission?

5. There should also be some assessment of incidence of reinfection and likely evolution of variants given different levels of community transmission. What does this assessment tell us?
1. I find it remarkable that some medics and scientists aren’t raising their voices to make children as safe as possible. The comment about children being less infectious than adults is unsupported by evidence.

2. @c_drosten has talked about this extensively and @dgurdasani1 and @DrZoeHyde have repeatedly pointed out flaws in the studies which have purported to show this. Now for the other assertion: children are very rarely ill with COVID19.

3. Children seem to suffer less with acute illness, but we have no idea of the long-term impact of infection. We do know #LongCovid affects some children. @LongCovidKids now speaks for 1,500 children struggling with a wide range of long-term symptoms.

4. 1,500 children whose parents found a small campaign group. How many more are out there? We don’t know. ONS data suggests there might be many, but the issue hasn’t been studied sufficiently well or long enough for a definitive answer.

5. Some people have talked about #COVID19 being this generation’s Polio. According to US CDC, Polio resulted in inapparent infection in more than 99% of people. Severe disease occurred in a tiny fraction of those infected. Source:
1. This thread has been given a new lease of life today. People keep saying, "We can't do #ZeroCovid, it doesn't fit with our way of life."

Look around.

What way of life?

The one we used to have?

The UK has been under varying degrees of restriction since March 23rd 2020.

2. Nearly a year of having our social and economic freedoms curtailed in one way or another. Nearly a year of muted economic activity. Nearly a year of mass death and disease.

#ZeroCovid doesn't fit with a way of life that doesn't exist anymore.

3. The question isn't whether it fits with our old freewheeling ways, but whether it would lead to better outcomes than the UK's current (poorly defined) strategy? Experiences in New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, China, Taiwan and elsewhere very much suggest it would.

4. #ZeroCovid isn't about what's possible. It's about what's necessary. Decide what's necessary and figure out a way to make it possible. We can't force travellers to quarantine in hotels for two weeks? Why not? Taiwan does. And if that's what's necessary, why aren't we doing it?

5. I've heard some odd things said about #ZeroCovid

Simple-minded clod Matt Hancock said Zero Covid is impossible because no country has had zero cases.

Zero Covid sets out an ambition. It signals a country treats any infections as serious
1. The problem facing Europe & the US isn't a scientific one. Scientists have been clear for months: public health and economic & social wellbeing are best served by policies that supress the virus. The #JohnSnowMemo cites evidence that makes this

2. Some media commentators seek to present the issue of how to respond to the virus in simplistic terms: Lockdown vs Herd Immunity. This a mischaracterisation. The countries that have tackled #COVID-19 best have used a range of public health

3. Almost every scientist acknowledges lockdown equals failure. It is a sign governments have failed to implement the measures needed to allow life to be lived more or less as normal, without risking exponential growth in transmission.

4. There is an active misinformation campaign that is being aided and abetted by certain sections of the media and some politicians. The campaign would have us believe that if we open up and shield the vulnerable, all will be well. This approach has been derided as inhumane...

5. ...by the WHO, and ridiculous by Dr Fauci for many reasons. It is based on faulty logic, and the proponents of this approach have submitted no evidence that it can be achieved nor any practical examples of how they would do so.

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