I.C.H.C. office | Station Approach | Comberton Hill | Kidderminster | Worcs.|  DY10 1QX
Independent Community & Health Concern Caring for the Community in Wyre Forest

News

“The Virus” .. .. Who’s To Blame ?

Ohh, goodie; let’s play that favourite British game of “Apportioning Blame” ! Should we blame the impoverished (and that’s questionable in modern Chinese mega-cities) Chinese who sold and ate contaminated Bats (risking rabies and other unmentionable diseases and conditions) but who live and trade in a culture so different from our own ? Should we blame Bernhard Zangl, the owner of ‘Kitzloch Apres-Ski bar’ (which seems to have been the petri-dish of Europe) & Werner Kurz, his mate, the Mayor of Ischgl (who took on-board the role of Larry Vaughn, Mayor of Amity, in such magnificent fashion) - as the Austrian authorities might well do, for turning a ‘blind-eye’ for short-term profit ? or Do we blame the NHS ‘Fat-Cats’ on their Boards and Trusts who have presided over the design and construction of hospitals with too few beds for even ‘routine’ winter illnesses .. without flexibility .. with insufficient ventilators and vital equipment with which to meet the inevitable, eventual ‘train wreck’ of an epidemic / pandemic .. ‘planners’ who showed a total lack of foresight ? “Oh no; we don’t want to have equipment ‘lying around, idle’ waiting for something which may never happen (on ‘my’ watch .. ie. before I’ve moved-on to an even more ludicrous salary).” Yes .. but Germany DOES have that extra provision. Whereas we have fewer than 8,000 ITU beds in the entire country, Deutschland counts them in tens of thousands. So … Chinese peasants … Austrian petty-officials … or home-grown British bureaucrats ? What we need’s a decent lamp-post - to shine a light on some murky dealings !

“All Scientists are Right .. until they’re proven Wrong !”

Prof Andrew Cunningham, the deputy director of science at the Zoological Society of London says Covid-19 was .. ..“Not only predictable, but predicted ! The frequency of occurrence of zoonotic spillover is increasing in recent decades and other zoonotic diseases, such as the Nipah virus, can be far more deadly than Covid-19.” The World Health Organization's Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom, warned .. ..“Not to compare coronavirus directly with previous outbreaks. It is a unique virus with unique characteristics. Globally about 3.4 per cent of Covid-19 cases have died. By comparison seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1 per cent of those affected. Dr Gail Carson, a consultant in infectious diseases at the University of Oxford, did draw comparisons .. ..“One lesson of the 1918 Spanish Flu is clearly apparent in the government’s action plan. It is possible that an outbreak or pandemic of Covid-19 could occur in multiple waves and therefore… it may be necessary to ensure readiness for a future wave of activity. This is what happened with Spanish Flu. Three successive waves, each one worse than the last.”
“Don’t you find it slightly ironic that we’re fighting CORONA-virus .. .. with hand Sani-TIZER ?”
Listen to

GRAHAM BALLINGER

Leader of Wyre Forest District Council being interviewed on BBC News At One on the subject of the recent River Severn floods

So .. too few .. or too many ?

The take-up of ‘Nightingale’ hospital beds (and what a beautifully-derived name that is - historic, re-assuring and clinical, all at the same time) is falling far behind the ‘worst-case’ prognosis that our statisticians dreamt-up. Rather than coping with a deluge of ‘dead and dying’ they are scantily occupied by a trickle of young patients , all with rapidly improving health and soon to be returned to their homes. The London ‘Nightingale’ (no, not the one in Berkley Square) of some 87,000 sq. metres, equiped with 4,000 beds (2,900 of them capable of ITU treatment) has just 19 sick people being accommodated. Why is this ? Probably because the ‘normal’ London hospitals have ignored the planners and have doubled their ITU capacity from 770 to 1,555 beds; and, of those, they have just 1,245 patients filling them - at a occupancy rate of 67%. So, beds all round .. and, adding to this over-capaciy (but rather that than the reverse) are the similar ‘Nightingales’ coming on-line in Birmingham, Bristol, Harrogate and Exeter. This means that even more ‘Nightingales’ which are slightly behind in schedule (ready by end of April) - Sunderland / Tyne & Wear and Manchester - will be ‘held ready’ (mothballed) or used exclusively for the ‘nearly-well’ in transition to home facilities. Over-kill ? .. or proper efficiency ? Well, isn’t that what you’d expect when the Army get involved ?

Sage words from the public.

From Lyrchett Matravers (the place, rather than the person) comes the reminder that .. “.. the idea of “lockdown” was to create time so that the capacity of the NHS could be expanded to meet the expected initial peak of infections. Since the NHS capacity has now reached its target and there seem to be spare beds in general hospitals, and with the Nightingale hospitals barely in use, the NHS is as ready as it is going to be. In which case why are we persisting with the lockdown ?” Which is a very moot point. Anyone in government care to answer it ? ______________________ Then, from the august pen of ‘His Honour R****** S****** QC’, comes the very reasoned argument (as one would expect from a Senior Circuit and deputy High Court Judge - retired) on whether “lockdown” will continue to apply to people over 70 after it ends for younger people .. “The answers can be found in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020. By Regulation 3 the Secretary of State for Health personally (and only he, not the Cabinet nor the Prime Minister) is under a statutory duty to keep constantly under review the need for the restrictions, and to conduct a formal review at least every 21 days, the current period expiring on May 7. As soon as the Secretary of State considers that any restrictions or requirements in the Regulations are no longer necessary as a public-health response to coronavirus, he must publish a direction terminating them. To “protect the NHS” is not a permissible reason to maintain a restriction in place. The powers of the Secretary of State are to maintain a restriction or to terminate it. He has no power to modify a restriction or to impose new ones. So he cannot direct that some restriction apply only to those over 70. The statutory duty of the Secretary of State is enforceable by judicial review in the High Court. The Regulations themselves expire on September 26, whereupon lockdown will simply cease.” _____________________ So, fellow septuagenarian and octogenarians, all we have to do is ‘sit it out’ until Saturday 26th September, and then it’s “Party - party - party !” ___________________________________________________________________________________________

Virus Infection Statistics for the West Midlands

As published - 20th May Infection rates Figures published by Public Health England show 15,864 people in the West Midlands region have tested positive for coronavirus, equating to 268.8 people testing positive for every 100,000 people living in the area. This infection rate is lower than in many other parts of the country. In the North East it is 358.8 per 100,000 people. In the North West it is 326.2. In Birmingham, 3,303 people have tested positive - an infection rate of 289.4 - a figure much lower than in many other cities and towns, with Sunderland having the highest infection rate out of any “upper tier” local authority in England (that is councils that are not part of larger councils). How many people have had it? Separate figures published by Public Health England and Cambridge University (now a week old) show that 11% of people in the West Midlands are believed to have had Covid-19 - similar to many other parts of the country. The rate of infection in the South West appears to be low, at just 5% - in stark contrast to London’s one-in-five = 20% of the population. The 'R' number The “R” figure - the rate at which the virus reproduces. If R is 1.2 then it means every 10 people who have Covid-19 are passing it on to 12 people between them, meaning that the virus will spread exponentially. The most recent estimate for R in the West Midlands is 0.68. __________________________________________________________________________________________

Latest lockdown rules - what you can and can't do

(24th May revision) Unlimited outside exercise is now allowed, which has changed from the original limit restricting this to once a day. Day trips to open and accessible public spaces such as parks are permitted, regardless of how far away they are from someone’s home. This includes sites such as National Parks, as long as they are open and “appropriately prepared for visitors.” Derbyshire Police have warned that not all beauty spots in the county are currently open. People can exercise or meet up with one other person from outside their household, as long as a two-metre distance is maintained between them at all times. Gatherings of groups from different households remain prohibited. Restaurants and other outlets are allowed to offer food and drink on a takeaway or delivery basis if they comply with government guidelines, but sitting in cafés and restaurants is prohibited. The two-metre social distancing rule for people who live in different households should still be followed at all times, including in outdoor spaces. Spending nights away from home and visits to second homes, a particular concern in areas such as Cornwall, are forbidden. “Leaving your home - the place you live - to stay at another home is not allowed.” Visits to campsites and caravan parks, for isolation or leisure purposes, are also banned. Travel from England to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland is banned due to the laws that have been passed by their devolved administrations; they will continue to enforce “stay at home” messaging.