From Reality Check Team
Former Chief Special Adviser to the Prime Minister Dominic Cummings spent seven hours providing evidence of the government’s response to the pandemic to parliamentary committees.
Mr. Cummings has been extremely critical of policies and individuals – including Secretary of Health Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson.
We looked at the context of some of his claims.
“In March, we were categorically told that people would be tested before returning to nursing homes. We only found out later that this had not happened.”
Mr Cummings claimed Matt Hancock had told him and the Prime Minister that people would be tested before being sent back from hospitals to nursing homes.
He is right that this did not happen until well into April, but we cannot verify what Mr Hancock said to Mr Cummings and Mr Johnson at that point. A spokesman for the health minister has denied the claims.
On March 19, the NHS guidelines stated, “Patients are not allowed to stay in an NHS bed unless they have to be in the hospital.”
This policy has been implemented to release beds before an expected surge in coronavirus patients.
On April 2, the rules for discharge to nursing homes were specified and rated as “negative” [coronavirus] Tests are not required prior to transfer / admission to the nursing home. “
It wasn’t until April 15 that the government announced that all patients discharged from hospitals would be tested for coronavirus.
At that point, an estimated 25,000 patients had been discharged to nursing homes. In July, Panorama collected data Out of 39 hospital trusts that showed three-quarters of those discharged had not been tested.
As of April 2, 2021, there had been more than 40,000 deaths among nursing home residents involving Covid-19 in England and Wales.
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“I got calls and number 10 got calls that said, ‘Hancock is interfering with the test and trace setup because he is telling everyone what to do to maximize his chances of achieving his stupid goal by the end of the month . ‘”
Last year, the Minister of Health set herself the goal of performing 100,000 tests per day by the end of April 2020.
The government announced on May 1st but that this had been achieved as we pointed out That number included 40,000 tests in the mail to people (who hadn’t really used them because of that). This led to Criticism from the official statistics watchdog.
The number of tests was under 20,000 a day for most of April, but accelerated rapidly into the last week of the month. On April 29th it was about 50,000, on April 30th 80,000 and on May 1st over 120,000.
Mr Cummings also claims that Matt Hancock called people to get to the 100,000 and told them to “hold back tests so I can reach my goal”.
Mr. Hancock’s spokesman says he rejects Mr. Cummings’ allegations.
“One of the critical things that was totally wrong in all official thinking … from February to March was: First, the UK public will not accept a lockdown. Second, the UK public will not accept what has been thought to be an East Asian track & Trace system “
Mr. Cummings responded to a question about his previous criticism of advice from behaviorists.
But Minutes from a behavioral counselor meetingSPI-B on March 12 suggested that people would accept restrictions.
They note: “Expectations of how the government will respond are set by media reports of public health strategies in other countries. This increases the risk of public concern if interventions that are believed to be effective are not used.”
According to YouGov pollOn March 27, 2020, one day after a national lockdown was imposed, 74% of the public agreed to quarantine those who have “had contact with a contaminated patient.”
The same poll found 67% agreement in Singapore but over 80% in Malaysia. UK public support for major event cancellations was higher than before European countries like France, Italy and Germany, as well as East Asian countries like Hong Kong and Malaysia
The proportion of people who stated that they followed the blocking rules was also high. According to University College London, running Covid social studyCompliance with government guidelines peaked in January this year when a third national lockdown was reintroduced.
However, examining the number of people following self-isolation instructions tells a different story. A Audit Committee Report In March, concerns about “non-compliance” with the self-isolation rules for Test and Trace were raised, citing “estimates of the proportion of people who fully meet the requirements between 10% and 59%”.
“Of course we should have closed the borders in January ””
Between January and March 2020, the UK put some measures in place to protect itself from the new virus.
273 arrivals from Wuhan, China have been quarantined while travelers from other parts of China, Iran and northern Italy have been asked to voluntarily isolate for 14 days.
These requests were withdrawn on March 13, 10 days before the first lockdown began. Mr Cummings said the advice to the government was that closing the borders “would have essentially no effect”.
A study by Imperial College later found that a third of Covid transmission came from Spain and 29% from France (none of which were subject to restrictions), with hardly any from China.
Mr Cummings said there was “no proper border policy” after April 2020 because he claimed the Prime Minister did not want one.
The UK only tightened its border policy significantly relatively recently – it introduced quarantine hotels for people coming to the UK from high-risk countries in February 2021.
“”[Taiwan] the borders closed immediately, very strict quarantine systems introduced, a whole series of things done straight away in January “
Dominic Cummings repeatedly felt that Taiwan was determined to act early in the pandemic.
Taiwan closed its borders to all visitors from China on January 23, 2020 – as soon as China said there was evidence of human-to-human transmission of Covid-19.
Quarantine was also required for all Taiwanese citizens returning home. These measures are still in place.
Most of the island’s 23 million people also wore face masks even before they were asked to.
This month, however In Taiwan, the number of cases has suddenly increased.