R51 – Ministerial Report from the SoS for Health and Social Care - Coronavirus Watch

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Andrew97
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R51 – Ministerial Report from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care - Coronavirus.

Mr Speaker, with permission I would like to make a Ministerial Report to the house on the Coronavirus outbreak.

It has been confirmed that the outbreak of Coronavirus is growing rapidly, has spread to other regions, and consequently cases of the infection are tripling. China has also confirmed 139 new cases overnight.

After careful consideration, I have instructed Public Health England and the Chief Medical Officer to bring together plans immediately to being the process of screening at Heathrow and Gatwick airport. The disease is limited from the Beijing, Shanghai and South Korea regions at this time and therefore this screening will only apply for passengers travelling from the Wuhan region.

All passengers travelling from Wuhan Tianhe International Airport (WUH) will be screened and asked the following questions:
- Where did you start your journey?
- Have you been in contact with anyone who is known to have the coronavirus disease?
- Have you visited or been near markets in the Wuhan region?
- Have you felt unwell, nauseous or have you been vomiting?
All passengers will also have their temperature checked and given advice should officials believe they have coronavirus. There is currently no recommended anti-viral or antibiotic treatment for Coronavirus.

The screening will take place for a trial period of 5 days, commencing at 00.00 on Tuesday 21st January and finishing at 00.00 on Sunday 26th January – this can be extended at the end of the period. This government will continue to liaise with Chinese officials on the matter and will monitor the situation closely.

I commend this Ministerial Report to the house.

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Jammy Duel
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Not quite sure why there are screenings at Gatwick, a quick Google suggests the only airport servicing Wuhan is Heathrow

What about cases outside Wuhan, are they being deemed irrelevant for this overreaction?

Why are they only being given advice should infection be suspected, they should be immediately quarantined
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Jammy Duel
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It gets better yet, according to Google flights there are a grand total of zero direct flights to the UK from Wuhan
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SankaraInBloom
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Screening for what is essentially viral pneumonia in an area with no direct flights to the UK? Seems like a dreadful waste of resources in my view.
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Bailey14
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(Original post by SankaraInBloom)
Screening for what is essentially viral pneumonia in an area with no direct flights to the UK? Seems like a dreadful waste of resources in my view.
There are direct flights from WUH to LHR with China Southern Airlines.
As for Gatwick, there are many flights with one layover that people take from WUH.
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Jammy Duel
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It is also worth noting that even with SARS nothing was really done in the UK, instead having faith in the Chinese controls

I did come across this rather interesting line in an old BBC news article though:
"Ministers are keen to ensure that as the virus continues to claim lives in Asia"
Something tells me that's not quite what they said, I suspect it is more that they are keen to ensure that the virus does not spread any further from Asia, as opposed to ensuring that it keeps killing in Asia
Last edited by Jammy Duel; 4 weeks ago
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SankaraInBloom
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(Original post by Bailey14)
There are direct flights from WUH to LHR with China Southern Airlines.
As for Gatwick, there are many flights with one layover that people take from WUH.
I think you're overestimating the freedoms that those in the Communist Republic of China "enjoy".
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Bailey14)
There are direct flights from WUH to LHR with China Southern Airlines.
As for Gatwick, there are many flights with one layover that people take from WUH.
Google disagrees, regardless this is a massive overreaction
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Bailey14
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
Google disagrees, regardless this is a massive overreaction
11.png
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Bailey14)
11.png
For some reason it wasn't showing that one last time I filtered. Point still stands, this is a bigger reaction than SARS and much earlier with China doing a lot more to control it themselves. Why such an extreme reaction? Given it has there are cases outside Wuhan why only screen from Wuhan? Why not screen at LCY too given with two layovers you can get from Wuhan to London City?
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SankaraInBloom
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(Original post by Bailey14)
11.png
That's a falsehood. https://www.google.com/flights?safe=strict&lite=0#flt=/m/04jpl./m/0l3cy.2020-01-21*/m/0l3cy./m/04jpl.2020-02-04;c:GBP;e:1;sd:1;t:f]Looking at Google[/url] there's no direct flights I can see!
Last edited by SankaraInBloom; 4 weeks ago
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Jammy Duel
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It appears sometimes it plays up, it didn't show for me first time round but did second time round
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LiberOfLondon
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Does seem like an overreaction.

The House will be amused to know that TSR has put an advert with the strapline ”Your holiday starts the moment you step on the plane” at the top of the page.
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by Bailey14)
There are direct flights from WUH to LHR with China Southern Airlines.
As for Gatwick, there are many flights with one layover that people take from WUH.
If layover flights are important why is it limited to Gatwick and Manchester? Newcastle, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Glasgow, Belfast, Luton, Liverpool, Southend, Stansted, Exeter, Southampton and Birmingham all have flights with one layover in from Wuhan. Should we be screening at all of these airports?
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Baron of Sealand
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
Not quite sure why there are screenings at Gatwick, a quick Google suggests the only airport servicing Wuhan is Heathrow

What about cases outside Wuhan, are they being deemed irrelevant for this overreaction?

Why are they only being given advice should infection be suspected, they should be immediately quarantined
Do you actually believe the Chinese government has been truthful about this? Also, all of a sudden, we now have 14 new cases in Shenzhen, and cases in Shanghai and Beijing. Between now and the last time I talked to the Health Secretary, South Korea has recorded its first case and China has announced another death.

In addition, there are now confirmed cases in Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, and suspected cases in Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
(Original post by Jammy Duel)
It is also worth noting that even with SARS nothing was really done in the UK, instead having faith in the Chinese controls

I did come across this rather interesting line in an old BBC news article though:
"Ministers are keen to ensure that as the virus continues to claim lives in Asia"
Something tells me that's not quite what they said, I suspect it is more that they are keen to ensure that the virus does not spread any further from Asia, as opposed to ensuring that it keeps killing in Asia
And it was lucky that it didn't reach the UK. Can't say the same about the US, Ireland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, and indeed Canada, where there was widespread panic and 44 deaths.

Do you have faith in Imperial College London? According to them, China is underreporting the cases by more than 10 times the actual number.

(Original post by Miss Maddie)
If layover flights are important why is it limited to Gatwick and Manchester? Newcastle, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Glasgow, Belfast, Luton, Liverpool, Southend, Stansted, Exeter, Southampton and Birmingham all have flights with one layover in from Wuhan. Should we be screening at all of these airports?
I would say the difference would be that outside London, there are relatively few immigrants from Oriental Asia (where the virus is from). If we look at the pattern of how SARS spread globally and how this virus is spreading internationally right now, it's mostly within Chinese communities overseas.
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04MR17
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What's amusing, is the idea that government statements to satisfy one opposition party also triggers the other. Keep up the good work folks! :lol:
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Baron of Sealand)
Do you actually believe the Chinese government has been truthful about this? Also, all of a sudden, we now have 14 new cases in Shenzhen, and cases in Shanghai and Beijing. Between now and the last time I talked to the Health Secretary, South Korea has recorded its first case and China has announced another death.

In addition, there are now confirmed cases in Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, and suspected cases in Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

And it was lucky that it didn't reach the UK. Can't say the same about the US, Ireland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, and indeed Canada, where there was widespread panic and 44 deaths.

Do you have faith in Imperial College London? According to them, China is underreporting the cases by more than 10 times the actual number.



I would say the difference would be that outside London, there are relatively few immigrants from Oriental Asia (where the virus is from). If we look at the pattern of how SARS spread globally and how this virus is spreading internationally right now, it's mostly within Chinese communities overseas.
Breaking News: diseases spread. How much do we know about this virus? Do we know that upon infection patients immediately present with fever? If not then existing measures to try to limit spread may not be sufficient. Do we know that all those affected have been screened before leaving the city? Well we can quite confidently say not given screening of everyone leaving has only very recently started. Even with screening can we know for certain that everybody leaving the city is screened? No, unless there is a wall around the city which I'm pretty sure there isn't.

If we want to take an alarmist approach to this should we not simply shut down the airports entirely? Maybe ban anybody that has visited an country that has known cases from flying to the UK? And we want to base our assumptions on SARS we should definitely be banning entry because it had an incubation period of 4-6 days and was observed to be as long as 14 and a mean incubation period of 5 days. Oh, wait, that is massively OTT, global cases in the initial outbreak 8273 of which only 612 were outside Greater China. If you want to take the line that China isn't being open would you like to remind us how many months it took for China to be open about SARS.

We also have the experts saying that their knowledge suggests it is not as serious as SARS and when you look in detail at the 1700 figure it is not contradicting the official figure, is the official figure confirmed cases only? If so you have that great big incubation period. When you look closer at the 1700 figure you see a 95% CI of 427-4471 and assumes that there is a total of a 10 day lag between infection and detection, in other words there were an estimated 1700 cases a week with the confirmed figure being only 200 because most cases haven't been confirmed yet, in fact most cases probably haven't even started developing symptoms yet

You also cite widespread panic and the actions presented in the statement are exactly the sort of things that cause panic given they give credibility to the idea that we are at any real risk
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by 04MR17)
What's amusing, is the idea that government statements to satisfy one opposition party also triggers the other. Keep up the good work folks! :lol:
It's to satisfy one member of one opposition party

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Aph how much attention would you pay to a statistical model that has a 95% CI with the limits being an entire order of magnitude apart?
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Aph
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
It's to satisfy one member of one opposition party

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Aph how much attention would you pay to a statistical model that has a 95% CI with the limits being an entire order of magnitude apart?
I've only done one stats module in my entire degree but basically none.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by Aph)
I've only done one stats module in my entire degree but basically none.
Not just me then (I avoided stats too)
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