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02 December 2021

Opinion from Adrian Leopard & Co

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If there were ever an admission that covid passports were useful, the government’s latest enquiry is it
Adrian Leopard 168

If there were ever an admission that covid passports were useful, the government’s latest enquiry is it

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Essential to keep checking at home so you contain the virus if you have it and keep your friends safe

As the UK weekly new cases hovers consistently and tantalisingly at just under a quarter of a million a week, today it is 243983, the government has launched a consultation requesting evidence on the proposal for mandatory covid passports for use in a Plan B scenario.

“Plan B” is envisaged as a possibility if the weight of cases becomes a crisis again for the NHS. Plan B appears in the government Autumn and Winter Plan 2021. If you would like to read this lengthy tome, you can find it here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-autumn-and-winter-plan-2021/covid-19-response-autumn-and-winter-plan-2021#contingency-planning

It is as long as its internet reference suggests and the reference to Plan B come about half way down.

Of course the compulsory use of passports has now come into force in Scotland in certain settings and also in Wales so it is England which is out of step with other parts of the union at the moment. Having said that, the Health Secretary stated adamantly on television today that vaccination would be compulsory in the care sector shortly and anyone who was not prepared to get vaccinated should get out and find another job – fairly firm talking.

The current course of the virus has become fairly established with new cases running at almost a quarter of a million per week and this has been the case largely since early September with daily new case cases running generally above 30000 a day.

Deaths happily have tailed off a little with the current seven day rate running at 800 – it was 1000 not long ago. Patients admitted to hospital have also gone down, now running at 5095 over seven days – at one point it exceed 6000 nearly a month ago.

Analysis of the figures suggests therefore that the rate of new cases continues unabated, generally rising at the moment though that might change, whilst admissions to hospitals and deaths have come down, suggesting perhaps that vaccinations are proving effective. The problem is that it is not just hospitalisation which is undesirable – it is the very fact of catching the disease which can make even double-vaxxers feel very ill.

And with long covid still to worry about, the idea of allowing the disease to become endemic is still most unattractive. Sadly the public is beginning to forget that this still remains a very serious condition. Perhaps when the third jab, the booster, has been received by the vulnerable, the ill effects of the virus may become less serious but with double-vaxxers still dying of the condition, how can it ever be justifiable to allow it to reign free in our society?

If you look at the government interactive maps, you can see the subtle changes there. The greens are slowly giving away to light blues, then darker blues and there is a lot more purple around at the moment than there was. You can see the interactive maps here – just put in your postcode:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/interactive-map/cases

If I were a betting man, and having observed the way the public is failing to maintain its own vigilance, I would put a bet on the fact that Plan B will come into operation eventually in England. Whether the criteria for compulsory passports will increase is uncertain but the government seems to have missed the point completely – the public is not very good at looking after itself.

Or have they?

In the meanwhile, check you are well by keeping on with the lateral flow home tests. It is the best defence against onward transmission.

Adrian Leopard      02-10-21

Photo Steve Nomax

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