Covid-19 Archive

Daily Newsletter Sunday 7th June 2020


The Sunday Times this morning is suggesting that Boris Johnson has now all but abandoned lock down, as the scale of the economic damage has become clear. It is not yet clear how this will be briefed to the Country, given that there is no briefing tonight. It has been suggested that even the Church can be re-opened for private prayer from the 15th June. Frankly this is ridiculous. You cannot make up policy on the hoof and leak it to the press. The Church had no advanced notice of this, I cannot see that it is practical or safe yet.

You've probably realised by now that I am not overly impressed by the Government's handling of the crisis so far. However, I did applaud the change in tack when they finally launched the track and trace system. I even forgave them the initial teething troubles. I was desperate for us to get a sound testing programme in place.

However, on my way back from Lincoln yesterday, I listened to one of my favourite podcasts "More or less" on BBC Radio 4. This podcast does a rigorous statistical analysis of claims made in the media.

Two problems were highlighted which chilled me to the bone. Firstly, they debunked the much vaunted claim that the Government had suddenly reached a capacity of 200,000 tests per day by the end of May. Almost overnight on the 30th May, Matt Hancock announced that testing capacity leapt by 40,000. It turns out that the Government had just acquired the capacity to do 40,000 antibody tests per day. These tests can only tell whether someone has already had Covid-19 and not whether they have it now. This is completely irrelevant to the track and trace programme. What's worse, is that at the time of broadcast on the 3rd June, the Government had not used a single unit of capacity from this new capability. To put it bluntly, we are being deceived.

The second problem highlighted was the accuracy of swab tests. Even in a clinical setting, the accuracy at the moment seems to be no better than 70% for the standard nasal swab test. 30% of people who clearly have symptomatic Covid-19 are testing negative on their first test. The track and trace system is allowing these people to re-enter society once they test negative.

However, in a clinical setting, doctors are being more cautious. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and sounds like a duck, it is probably a duck. Doctors have been sending off second samples which have come back positive, justifying their clinical judgement to keep these patients on a Covid-19 ward.

This epidemic is a medical science problem, as well as a national disaster. I want people in charge who can think, people who can understand and and people who question. I don't want people who are chasing the news cycle. The numpties really are in charge.


None that we know of!


204 deaths were reported by the Government yesterday taking us to 40,465 across the UK. The numbers of new daily infections decreased to 1,557.


In Northamptonshire another 10 cases were reported yesterday with the specimen dates being spread back over the last few days. The total number of cases is now 1,566.This is a big jump.

1 new infection was reported in East Northamptonshire yesterday. However, look at the data from Northampton and Bedford.

Local Authority Cases per 100,000 population Daily increase
Bedford 695 405.0 10
Kettering 251 247.9 1
Northampton 524 232.7 7
East Northamptonshire 206 219.4 1
Wellingborough 168 211.4 1
Corby 128 180.7 -1

Daily links (all verified):

Daily Podcast
Daily newsletter
Service for Trinity Sunday

Parish History
Puzzle Library
Making masks from socks
(click not now when it asks you to sign up to FaceBook)

Advice on breathing with Covid-19 Symptoms
Vulnerable Household registration
Northamptonshire County Council Support Line Call 0300 126 1000 and select Option 5 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)
Longhurst Housing Association Support Line Call 0300 123 1745
Village support line Call 07850 570007 in the first instance and Iíll find you help
ASDA Volunteer Card
Covid-19 Symptom Tracker
Live UK Covid-19 Tracker
(Public Health England)
Parish Council Walking Leaflet

And finally . . .

Almost everyone needs to wear masks in public ...

Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives