The Government appears to lack much COVID understanding


Nadine Dorries appeared to ignore a meaningful response to a series of questions on Thursday and it was certainly clear why the MPs were asking the questions. One of the MPs was Caroline Lucas who is our MP and her question seemed to be very coherent and sensible, although sadly it did not get an answer so perhaps she can ask it again and let us hope that either a different Minister will respond or that some civil servants will help her Nadine Dorries to understand how to respond to the question or else she or another Minister will have the honesty to say that they don’t know the answer to the questions, rather than simply to ignore them. The questions and the response which is a lack of an answer can all be found here. However in an attempt to make them easier to read, here is a summary of the questions which come from Caroline along with Jon Tricket (Labour) from Hemsworth and Jane Stevenson (Conservative) from Wolverhampton. The response from Nadine is below and she clearly wanted to make the MPs aware of a number of websites and one PDF which of course we can all benefit from, but one would assume that the MPs are already aware of them?

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care:

JT: if he will publish the (a) advice and (b) guidance issued by (i) the Chief Medical Officer and (ii) Public Health England which informed the decision to: reopen gyms, pools and leisure centres across all covid-19 tiered areas; reopen all non-essential retail settings across all covid-19 tiered areas; to keep pubs and restaurants closed in those parts of the UK placed in tier 3 covid-19 restrictions; to allow pubs and restaurants to open only as a takeaway service under tier 2 covid-19 restrictions; to allow crowds of up to 4,000 and 2,000 in tier 1 and tier 2 areas respectively to return to sporting events from 3 December 2020.

JS: what the rate of transmission is of covid-19 in hospitality settings; what the scientific basis is for closing hospitality venues in areas with Tier 3 restrictions for covid-19.

CL: if he will publish the modelling his Department holds on the effect of the relaxation of covid-19 restrictions over Christmas on covid-19 transmission rates in each of the three local restriction tiers.

The response from Nadine Dorries was as follows

The Government is committed to publishing data that has informed its decision making, including the tier allocations. The Department publishes a weekly watchlist giving epidemiological COVID-19 data for each lower tier local authority in England. This is available at this link. Detailed data on hospital activity is available at this link. Our public dashboard on the progress of the virus across a range of metrics is updated every day at this link. The Contain framework sets out how national and local partners work with the public at a local level to prevent, contain and manage outbreaks, this includes through allocation of areas to the appropriate tier which is available at this link. Epidemiological data and projection models on local restriction tiers, including commentary on individual tier allocation decisions, which is available at this link. This provides further information and context beyond the headline metrics as to why areas are in particular tiers currently. We have also published supporting documents, to accompany the most recent regulations laid before Parliament. These are available at these following links (here and here).

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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