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We will move to stage 2 only if it is safe to do so

(55 Posts)
StealthPolarBear Mon 25-May-20 08:16:58

Genuine question as I may have missed it - have we had the explanation (presumably linked to the five tests) of how it is safe?
One of the five tests is "no risk of. A second peak that could overwhelm the NHS". How can they evidence that?

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StealthPolarBear Mon 25-May-20 08:26:10


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Hibbetyhob Mon 25-May-20 08:30:50

‘If it is safe to do so or if I’m desperately trying to distract you all from my poor judgement and the appalling actions of my advisor.’

Fixed it for you.

Greendayz Mon 25-May-20 08:31:14

I'd assume there's no risk of a second peak overwhelming the NHS if we're well within current NHS capacity. You can't ever know for sure what you do won't push infections up, but if there's some spare capacity then that won't overwhelm the NHS in the time it takes you to shut things down again.

We're dealing with something entirely new here - you can't really require scientific evidence of exactly what impact all possible measures will have. Ask they've got are models which are hugely dependent on the assumptions made behind them - its educated guesswork, not evidence.

BillywilliamV Mon 25-May-20 08:33:10

They just need to get on with it, this virus is a fact of life now. We have to live with it!

StealthPolarBear Mon 25-May-20 08:34:42

Green day that makes sense about the capacity.
I mostly agree with all of you. But back then they were very clear there would be an assessment of safety. That doesn't seem to have been referenced again. It's almost like they've forgotten they ever mentioned that caveat.

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Greendayz Mon 25-May-20 08:37:50

What are you thinking they should have done, that they've not done @stealth? The Sage report looks to have considered all the reasonable sources of evidence I think.

StealthPolarBear Mon 25-May-20 08:42:10

Set out the five tests and the evidence that they'd met each one as part of the announcement that stage two was definitely happening, in order to reassure the public that they are doing things properly.
Rather than just saying "we're moving o stage two" and leaving the public to assume that all the tests have been met.

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Greendayz Mon 25-May-20 08:49:12

Some if their tests are really vague though. It's easy enough to see that we've brought the rates of infection down. But how can you prove that that's sufficient to avoid a second peak? It's a judgement call, not hard scientific proof based on all the hundreds of times we've previously opened schools during pandemics.....

StealthPolarBear Mon 25-May-20 08:51:10

But they very clearly laid out the tests and said they had to be met in order to move between each stage. It was described as a managed process.
To ignore them now as we move between stages is just strange. It does not inspire confidence.

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StealthPolarBear Mon 25-May-20 08:51:54

And to now say the tests were a bit too vague to warrant measurement just doesn't cut it. In that case they should have picked better tests.

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Epigram Mon 25-May-20 08:52:40

Personally I think the best current evidence against a second peak is by looking at the other countries who are a few weeks ahead of us and have already relaxed lockdown and not suffered a second peak. I know every country is a bit different, but I still think that looking at real life trends in this virus are more realistic than the various pandemic models.

bathsh3ba Mon 25-May-20 08:53:28

They may do so at the formal review point later in the week - didn't Boris say they would be announcing some more changes?

Epigram Mon 25-May-20 08:54:11

So what I'm saying is that, although they didn't specifically mention a comparison with other countries in their tests, I do think that if that's what they're using it is probably the best method we have.

I agree with you the communication could be clearer though!

110APiccadilly Mon 25-May-20 08:56:26

When they set out the tests, I thought they were far too vague, making it very difficult to show whether they'd been met. If that's now coming back to bite them, it's not surprising.

StrawberryJam200 Mon 25-May-20 08:57:35

Better to look at the government document published last night rather than what Boris says at the Press Briefing. If you happen to stumble across it.....

It says:

"In line with our roadmap setting out how the UK will adjust its response to the virus, our approach to schools remains a cautious, phased one. It is also broadly in line with other European countries.
We continue to consider all the evidence, as we said we would, and will continue to work with schools, teachers and unions over the coming week before making a final decision.
It also remains the case that schools will only reopen to more children if the government’s five tests are met by Thursday 28 May.
In the coming days, the Prime Minister will set out the government’s progress in meeting these five tests, which are:
1Protect the NHS’s ability to cope. We must be confident that we are able to provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment right across the UK
2See a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rates from COVID-19 so we are confident that we have moved beyond the peak
3Reliable data from SAGE showing that the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board
4Be confident that the range of operational challenges, including testing capacity and PPE, are in hand, with supply able to meet future demand
5Be confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelms the NHS"

StrawberryJam200 Mon 25-May-20 08:58:19

StealthPolarBear Mon 25-May-20 08:59:10

Epigram good point but they're not telling us they've done that.

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StealthPolarBear Mon 25-May-20 09:00:18

So it looks as though Thursday will be the day when the evidence will be presented and assessed thanks.
In that case it seems a bit premature to state as fact yesterday that schools would reopen.

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StrawberryJam200 Mon 25-May-20 09:03:44

@StealthPolarBear yup.

StealthPolarBear Mon 25-May-20 09:04:46

I wonder if they'll make any other changes

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CallmeAngelina Mon 25-May-20 09:07:58

Did he state it as fact? Or did he say "we intend?"

Greendayz Mon 25-May-20 09:08:33

Schools to reopen is a press headline thing though. The Government press office simply says they're on track to reopen. Which seems fair enough. I do agree that they ought to set out how they've reached the conclusions they have in each of their tests, including looking at experiences abroad

StealthPolarBear Mon 25-May-20 09:09:33

I'm fairly sure he stated it as fact, which is what made me take notice as I wasn't expecting that.

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Drivingdownthe101 Mon 25-May-20 09:13:12

I think he said ‘we intend to continue with our plans to reopen schools’, so not a definite.

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