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Scientists continue to undermine the need for a national lockdown, saying the second wave has already peaked


The second wave of coronavirus in the UK has already peaked. Top scholars have proposed after Downing Street turned down calls to end or cut England's national lockdown, insisting that it would last 26 days.

One scientist said there were "positive signs" that the peak of the second wave had passed while another praised the tiered system that "knocked down" the virus in "tier three areas like Liverpool". A third added that the latest data indicated that the second wave had been "stabilized".

A plethora of data released yesterday showed that Covid-19 infection rates were already falling across the country before ministers lost their nerve and ordered the shutters to be pulled down again.

Estimates by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), which runs a massive government surveillance system that randomly swabs tens of thousands of people to determine the size of the outbreak, found the number of infections dropped from 51,900 in a week by 12 Percent Down This is the same day Boris Johnson said England was facing a second shutdown.

MailOnline's analysis of Public Health England (PHE) statistics yesterday also showed that more than half of local authorities saw their infection rates decline in late October. And rates fell even in areas that didn't have level 2 or 3 bans, suggesting national rules like the 10 p.m. curfew and the six rule helped.

Even SAGE – the number 10 advisory body that led ministers to take tougher action based on "imprecise" models – admitted today that there are signs in "some parts" of England that outbreaks are slowing.

And the group of top scientists announced that the UK's R-rate stayed between 1.1 and 1.3 for the second straight week. It has fallen in five out of seven regions of England, including the North West, North East and the Midlands, where 10 million people have already lived under the toughest third-tier curbs.

Health Department numbers confirmed yesterday that an additional 355 people have died from Covid-19 across the UK. That's nearly a third increase from last Friday, while another 23,287 tested positive, which means a five percent decrease for the week, infections have stopped rising.

Professor Tim Spector of King & # 39; s College London said there was

Sir David Spiegelhalter, a Cambridge University statistician, said the data showed that the second wave is on the way

Professor Tim Spector of King & # 39; s College London said there were "positive signs" that the peak of the second wave of coronavirus was already over. Sir David Spiegelhalter, a Cambridge University statistician, said the data showed that the second wave had "stabilized" and was declining in Tier 3 areas

BRITON CAN BE SAID TO THE QUARANTINE FOR TWO WEEKS WHEN THEY SEE THE FAMILY AT CHRISTMAS

Anyone who spends time with family members outside of their own household at Christmas may have to self-isolate for two weeks, as newly released official documents suggest.

The advice on "self-quarantine" could be given if festive gatherings of the larger family are allowed, warns a paper from the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage).

The experts advising the government warn that contact with multiple people increases the risk of catching and spreading Covid for up to a fortnight.

The paper states: “After a period of high exposure to multiple contacts or different networks (such as a social meeting), the risk of the infection spreading to other people can be reduced by keeping the contact as low as possible for two weeks is avoided (e.g. until physical distancing within the house and self-quarantine, as far as this is feasible). "

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has used the festive season as an incentive for people to abide by the rules during England's four-week lockdown.

Speaking at the government press conference earlier this week, he said, “If we follow this package of measures the way we can, and we have done it before, then no doubt people will be able to have the most normal Christmas possible, and so will we Can open Christmas. & # 39;

However, various experts have warned that more infections and deaths will follow if people can get together.

Professor Tim Spector, head of the UK outbreak's Covid symptom studies app, said there was "positive" evidence that "we have passed the peak of this second wave".

"While the number of new symptomatic cases is still high, over 40,000 daily, cases over the past week are a step in the right direction," he said.

& # 39; The worst hit areas have improved the most, but wide regional differences persist.

"Our data are a leading indicator of the future NHS situation as we are two weeks ahead of hospital data and four weeks ahead of most deaths."

He added, "We are calling on everyone to comply with restrictions and reduce the number of cases as soon as possible to help the NHS end the lockdown and get us in shape for December."

Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, statistician at Cambridge University, told BBC Radio 4's Today program this morning that the second wave has become "stable" and "is actually drowning in some of the higher-risk Tier 3 areas like Liverpool ".

But he warned it was "rising" in other areas too.

"It looks like the steps were slow," he said. "It looks like (they haven't worked enough) to get the R well below one and to significantly decrease the number of people who actually have it."

He added that while the UK looked like the UK had passed the peak of the first wave before the lockdown went into effect, it was clearly infections if they "went down, it would go down very slowly if no dramatic action was taken would ".

“The point is, we get about 20,000 to 25,000 positive tests every day, which translates to about 1,500 hospital stays per day and about 350 deaths per day. These tests are broadly stable and are increasing a little but slowly – and we're getting into winter, ”he said.

“These kinds of levels, even if they stay very stable, below the peak of the first virus, if they don't drop, we stay at these for months.

"And it seems to me and others that this is going to be unsustainable when it comes to health, so that health as a health service remains open to everyone else, and that seems to be the absolutely crucial issue."

Oxford University Professor James Naismith said yesterday the latest data suggests that the second wave has become "stable".

"Should next week's data show a similar stabilization or decrease, we can be sure that the second wave has stabilized for now," he said.

"The national lockdown won't show up in the ONS numbers for another two weeks, but we would expect the number of new infections to drop rapidly."

Despite the apparent peak in the second wave, a number 10 spokesman declined the call to get the nation out of the toughest rules since spring, saying: The blocking period is four weeks until December 2nd. As we said earlier, the trend in hospital admissions is increasing. & # 39;

The coronavirus R-rate fell in five regions of England this week - with the exception of London and the South East, where it didn't change - and remained stable between 1.1 and 1.3 across the UK and the UK. Last week was down from 1.2 to 1.4 the week before

The coronavirus R-rate fell in five regions of England this week – with the exception of London and the South East, where it didn't change – and remained stable between 1.1 and 1.3 across the UK and the UK. Last week was down from 1.2 to 1.4 the week before

The rate is falling in five out of seven regions of England

SAGE's official estimate of the coronavirus reproduction rate was released today and has declined in five of England's seven regions.

The UK and England headline rates were flat at 1.1-1.3, after falling from 1.2-1.4 two weeks ago.

This week rates fell in the east of England, the Midlands, the North East, the North West and the South West, while rates in London and the South East remained unchanged. They were not resurrected in any part of the country.

The highest rates are 1.2-1.4 in the southwest and southeast, while the lowest in the northwest are 1.0-1.1.

SAGE said: & # 39; SAGE is confident that the epidemic in England has continued to worsen over the past few weeks.

“Although there are signs that the rate of growth is slowing in some parts of the country, disease levels in these areas are very high and significant health care demand and mortality will persist until R is lowered to 1 and remains well below for a longer period. & # 39;

region

England

United Kingdom

East england

London

Midlands

NE & Yorkshire

northwest

South east

southwest

R rate this week

1.1 – 1.3 (=)

1.1 – 1.3 (=)

1.1 – 1.4 (down)

1.1 – 1.3 (=)

1.1 – 1.3 (down)

1.1 – 1.2 (down)

1.0 -1.1 (down)

1.2 – 1.4 (=)

1.2 – 1.4 (down)

R rate last week

1.1 – 1.3

1.1 – 1.3

1.2 – 1.4

1.1 – 1.3

1.2 – 1.4

1.1 – 1.3

1.0-1.2

1.2 – 1.4

1.2-1.5

It can take several weeks for coronavirus patients to become seriously ill, which means admissions and deaths continue to rise as cases are still high. But eminent doctors and scientists argue that the wards are no busier than usual for this time of year and that there is still enough space across the country to treat the infected.

The graphics SAGE used to justify the November lockdown were torn apart by experts who showed that a flawed projection, which predicted up to 4,000 deaths per day in particular, was several weeks out of date and unnecessarily terrifying the public.

MPs have told MailOnline that the use of the data reflects the "shady dossier" that led the country to war against Iraq in 2003, calling it "propaganda" in favor of the lockdown. Critics of the blanket intervention even demanded that experts behind the "flawed modeling" "be held accountable for the economic catastrophe that follows".

Experts said yesterday that the ONS 'numbers, believed to be the most accurate in estimating the true size of the UK outbreak, are "welcome" and promising.

Professor James Naismith, who heads the Rosalind Franklin Scientific Institute at Oxford University, said: & # 39; Today's release of ONS data for the week of October 31st brings welcome news.

& # 39; Although the virus is still growing, it seems to have stabilized … The important thing is that these data provide a picture that is consistent with the data (Covid Symptom Study) that the virus is more likely to be at a constant than spreading at an increasing rate. This is evidence that the social restrictions before the lockdown had a real impact. & # 39;

He said that when this was the height of the second wave, he would not expect deaths to rise above 1,000 a day "for an extended period", but rather that it was "very likely" to be above 500 a day would for a while.

Professor Naismith added, "Should next week's data show a similar stabilization or reduction, we can be sure that the second wave has stabilized for now."

Scientists warned that while the infection numbers seemed to be going in the right direction, one week of data was not enough to be sure of a trend. And the number of cases is still very high and will put pressure on hospitals.

Dr. Paul Hunter of the University of East Anglia added, “Whether this turns out to be a temporary decline or a longer-term trend, possibly due to the introduction of the three tier system, is too early to say.

"Nonetheless, these observations are very welcome and hopefully after the current lockdown ends we will continue to see a sustained decline later this year and through 2021."

The ONS estimates are based on tests performed over a two week period and then compared to those performed over a further month earlier.

Because of this, positive test rates are still described as increasing, as the last two week period increased from the previous two weeks, although there was a decrease in the last seven days.

"The infection rate has increased in the past few weeks, but the rate of increase is less high compared to the previous weeks," said yesterday's report.

It added, “Positivity rates have increased in all age groups, except for older teenagers and young adults, where rates are now apparently flattening out. However, the highest rates are still in this group.

& # 39; In the past two weeks there has been an increase in positivity rates in all regions except one (the North East) in England. The highest rates of Covid-19 infection remain in the Northwest, Yorkshire and The Humber.

Paul McNamee of Verdant Seafood Bar serves take-away to a customer visiting the former restaurant's delivery window in Falmouth on November 6th

Paul McNamee of Verdant Seafood Bar serves take-away to a customer visiting the former restaurant's delivery window in Falmouth on November 6th

Paul McNamee takes a pick-up order at his restaurant in Falmouth. England is currently in its second national coronavirus lockdown, including Cornwall. The Chief Executive of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust only reported three patients in the intensive care unit related to Covid-19

Paul McNamee takes a pick-up order at his restaurant in Falmouth. England is currently in its second national coronavirus lockdown, including Cornwall. The Chief Executive of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust only reported three patients in the intensive care unit related to Covid-19

Prime Minister Boris Johnson does a coronavirus test during a visit to a testing center at De Montfort University in Leicester

Prime Minister Boris Johnson does a coronavirus test during a visit to a testing center at De Montfort University in Leicester

TORY MPs WARN & # 39; DODGY COVID DATA & # 39; ECHOES-DOSSIER THAT USED UK TO WAR WITH IRAQ

The government and its scientific advisors were accused today of using "seedy coronavirus data" to justify a devastating second lockdown.

Tory MPs warned SAGE's Doomsday predictions, which Boris Johnson released on Saturday night to announce the draconian measures, and reverberated on the controversial dossier Britain sent to war on Iraq.

A chart was released yesterday evening claiming England could have up to 1,500 deaths a day through December. The data was secretly weakened "after an error was found".

The prediction sparked widespread concern as, if applicable, it would dwarf the 1,000 daily deaths recorded during the peak of the first wave in April.

SAGE's forecast for hospital admissions has also been tacitly revised to 6,190 from 9,000 by early December.

Tory MPs Marcus Fysh and Peter Bone warned that public confidence would be undermined because "such poor quality" data was used to initiate such harmful action.

They compared it to the "seedy dossier" on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that led the country to war in the Middle East. All of the claims made in the 2003 document have since been proven false.

Mr. Fysh told MailOnline, “I was concerned for a while about the quality of the data and the quality of the analysis by the medical advisory team.

“Obviously the trends are serious, especially in some areas in the North West and North East, London and the Midlands, and we have to respect that.

“Trust is everything in this … we need to build trust in the system. That's why we don't have to produce shady charts like the Iraq war. A shady dossier does not create public trust. The opposite is true. & # 39;

Tory MP Peter Bone also complained that the lockdown decision appeared to be justified with a "seedy dossier on Covid charts".

"It feels to me like we're getting propaganda," he said. “We only got things that proved the fall of the government.

& # 39; These numbers now appear to be based on incorrect assumptions or incorrectly calculated.

& # 39; Others pointing in a different direction were not disclosed. So it's really a seedy dossier.

“I wasn't there when the Iraq decision was made, but apparently this dossier was created to support politics rather than providing neutral information for people to choose. Perhaps all of the information we've seen is made to aid a decision already made. & # 39;

& # 39; In the last week (October 25-31, 2020) there were an estimated 8.38 new Covid-19 infections per 10,000 people per day in the community population in England, which equates to around 45,700 new cases per day. The incidence seems to have stabilized at around 50,000 new infections per day. & # 39;

The numbers are based on 209,554 tests taken in the last 14 days, of which 2,173 were positive. The positive came from 1,900 people in 1,494 homes.

Top scholars have insisted that England's outbreak "could look a lot worse," praising the tiered system that forbade socializing among the toughest of measures. But they admitted that stricter curbs were likely needed in the south, arguing that health chiefs are too slow to drag areas into higher brackets.

Infection rates also fell in more than three-quarters of London's 32 boroughs – including two of the worst-hit boroughs in Ealing and Hammersmith and Fulham – the data said.

At the other end of the scale, however, a handful of authorities saw increases of over 40 percent, including in a corner of Kent, part of East Yorkshire, Swindon in the southwest and Dudley in the West Midlands.

It comes after Boris Johnson unveiled a chart this week showing how NHS England hospitals could be overwhelmed with Covid-19 in weeks. At a press conference on Downing Street officially admitting the nation into the second national lockdown misery, Prime Minister and NHS England chief Sir Simon Stevens referred to the graphic as evidence to justify months of intervention.

Top pundits feared, however, that No10 just hit the lockdown panic button because he was cornered by his "dark" scientific advisors who refuse to deal with the same test that was thrown at them during the first wave.

And yesterday there was an official prediction that coronavirus deaths would soon surpass those recorded in the first wave, which the government tacitly corrected for being too high. The projections were used to drive the British nation into a second lock.

Conservative MPs condemned the data as an Iraqi-style "shady dossier on the Covid graph", marking its resemblance to Tony Blair's controversial document leading the country into war in the Middle East. Angry economists said those responsible for the "flawed modeling should be held accountable for the economic disaster that follows."

82 of England's 149 municipalities saw their infection rates decline in the week leading up to November 1, the latest snapshot from Public Health England suggests.

The biggest drop was in Rutland in the East Midlands, where infections fell by nearly 40 percent from 107.7 to 65.12 cases per 100,000 people.

In the third stage, infections in Liverpool and Lancashire decreased by more than ten percent in all local authorities. It was the biggest sign yet that the toughest restrictions – forcing restaurants to only offer takeout meals, banning household mixing, and closing pubs – were lowering infections.

Both were under the restrictions for about two weeks, which experts say is roughly the length of time it will take for the interventions to take effect.

This is because anyone infected by the time the measures are taken will usually get rid of the virus in a week or two.

In the Greater Manchester metropolitan area third tier, infections decreased in seven out of ten local authorities, while infections did not rise above seven percent in any area.

Data on the city's infection rates are only available for the first ten days. Tier three measures have been implemented so the effects of the restrictions are not yet clear. However, the declines signal that the highest level has reached its goal of suppressing escalating infections.

WORK POLLS OVER TORIES

Sir Keir Starmer's Labor Party is five points ahead of Boris Johnson and the Tories in a new general election poll.

A YouGov poll released today found Labor received 40 percent of the vote, while the Conservative Party received 35 percent of the vote.

This means Labor gained two points in the past week while the Tories went backwards and lost three points after the two parties were stuck at 38 percent each. The poll also found that Sir Keir continues to be seen by more voters as a better option for the Prime Minister than Mr Johnson.

A new YouGov poll gives the Labor Party a five point lead over the Tories, with the Lib Dems far behind in third place

A new YouGov poll gives the Labor Party a five point lead over the Tories, with the Lib Dems far behind in third place

YouGov poll shows that UK national politics continue to be dominated by Labor and the Tories.

The Liberal Democrats took a distant third place in the poll, at seven percent, after people were asked how they would vote if parliamentary elections were held tomorrow.

The Brexit party took fourth place with six percent, closely followed by the SNP with five percent and the Greens with four percent.

At the other end of the scale, the data showed that the rate of infections was still higher in some areas: The largest surge in infections was seen in Medway, Kent, where infections rose 55 percent from 88.31 to 136.42 per 100,000.

It was followed by Hull, where infections rose 52 percent from 300.3 to 457.3 per 100,000.

Kevin McConway, professor emeritus of applied statistics at the Open University, told MailOnline the data suggests the tiered system is working, especially in the north.

"(That drop) is good, and many of those that have gone up are in the south of England, where rates are particularly low," he said. "Things could look a lot worse, but it's reasonably positive."

He added that the climbs in the south required further action: “You can think of the country in two parts; In the north, before this new lockdown began today, there were these rather strict measures in place in many places.

“But when you go south the rates were lower, but then they tend to rise faster. Perhaps something more was needed in the south than in the north because the infection rates have not yet fallen far enough. & # 39;

Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease expert at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline the data suggests that infections across England have "slowed down" over the past week.

"Tier three appears to be reducing the number on average, while Tier 1 cases have continued to increase on average," he said. "Tier Two has a small drop, but way too soon to be sure."

“I think that while the tier system has had a good impact, it may not have as much as it did due to delays in moving local authorities to higher levels, even when it was required. Too early to be confident. & # 39;

In London, infection rates fell in 26 out of 32 boroughs, showing that Tier 2 restrictions – banning pubs and restaurants with other households from visiting – also stuck transmission.

The biggest drops were in Kensington and Chelsea, where the infection rate fell nearly 30 percent from 157.56 to 112.73 per 100,000. The capital's hotspot, Ealing, also saw infections decline by 26 percent, from 231.71 to 171.15 per 100,000.

Above are the Covid-19 infection rates in the London boroughs for the week ending October 24, according to official figures

Above are the Covid-19 infection rates in the London boroughs for the week ending October 24, according to official figures

WHICH AREAS HAVE THE BIGGEST DROPS IN INFECTION RATES?

space

Rutland

Knowsley

Blackpool

Liverpool

Sefton

Kensington

York

Barnet

Southwark

Kingston

% Change

-39.5%

-35.2%

-33.2%

-32%

-31.5%

-28.5%

-28.2%

-27.1%

-27.1%

-26.7%

Infection rate

65.1

360.6

338.5

324.1

276

112.7

185.2

114.4

103.2

144.2

* These data refer to the week ending November 1st over the half-year period

Havering saw the biggest surge in infections, however, increasing 16.7 percent from 171 to 199.6 per 100,000.

No local authority in the capital has an infection rate below 100 per 100,000, and no authority in England has an infection rate below 20 per 100,000 – the level at which the government is considering quarantine measures for travel to a foreign country.

Dr. Simon Clarke, associate professor of cell biology at the University of Reading, told MailOnline that it was not surprising that the third tier areas were showing large dips.

"I think it's fair to say that when you look at the top drops they are either in places like Merseyside, Lancashire or Manchester," he said.

"Es scheint eine Art Korrelation zu geben, je nachdem, wann die Orte strengeren Beschränkungen unterworfen waren."

Er fügte hinzu, dass die zweite Sperre verhängt wurde, weil "Ereignisse uns überholten".

„Ich denke, die Plätze in den Ebenen wurden vielleicht nicht so aggressiv nach oben geschoben, wie sie an einigen Orten hätten sein sollen.

"Ich denke, es gibt den Vorschlag, dass einige Orte schneller aufgestiegen sein könnten."

Professor Anthony Brookes von der University of Leicester erklärte gegenüber MailOnline, der Ausbruch des Coronavirus sei ein "Plateau".

Als Antwort auf die Daten sagte er, der Rückgang der Infektionen sei "keine Überraschung".

'Es stimmt voll und ganz mit dem Trend überein, der sich in den letzten Wochen in verschiedenen Datensätzen gezeigt hat, was es noch überraschender macht, dass die Regierung behauptet, dies nicht gewusst zu haben oder dies bei der Planung der aktuellen Sperrung und Vermarktung zu berücksichtigen die Öffentlichkeit.

'Ein ähnliches Plateau und ein zerstreuter Rückgang der Sterblichkeitsraten bei Covid-19 sind gleich oder sogar offensichtlicher als die eigenen Daten der Regierung.

'Nichts davon kann auf die aktuelle Sperre zurückzuführen sein (die gerade erst begonnen hat), aber ob oder in welchem ​​Ausmaß dies auf das Tier-System zurückzuführen ist, ist unklar.

Covid-19-Fälle sind in England bei unter 40-Jährigen rückläufig, bei älteren Menschen jedoch immer noch

Die Infektionsraten mit Coronaviren gingen letzte Woche unter den unter 40-Jährigen zurück, stiegen jedoch bei älteren Menschen weiter an, wie die Zahlen von Public Health England heute zeigten.

In seinem wöchentlichen Bericht behauptete PHE, dass die Fälle pro Person bei Teenagern während des Halbjahres um ein Fünftel (21 Prozent) gesunken seien, während die Infektionen auch bei Schulkindern und Menschen im Alter von 20 Jahren zurückgingen.

Die Infektionen nahmen jedoch bei Erwachsenen mittleren und älteren Alters weiter zu, wobei der größte Anstieg bei Menschen in den Sechzigern zu verzeichnen war, deren Fälle um sechs Prozent zunahmen.

Menschen über 60 sind am meisten vom Sterben bedroht, wenn sie Covid-19 bekommen. Daher ist es für die Regierung von entscheidender Bedeutung, die Raten in dieser Altersgruppe niedrig zu halten.

Daten von Public Health England zeigen, dass die Infektionsraten in jüngeren Altersgruppen in der letzten Woche - Woche 44 - zurückgegangen sind, obwohl sie nach wie vor signifikant höher sind als in älteren Bevölkerungsgruppen

Daten von Public Health England zeigen, dass die Infektionsraten in jüngeren Altersgruppen in der letzten Woche – Woche 44 – zurückgegangen sind, obwohl sie nach wie vor signifikant höher sind als in älteren Bevölkerungsgruppen

Obwohl die zweite Welle mit den meisten Infektionen bei Kindern und Studenten begann, ist sie inzwischen in ältere Gruppen eingedrungen und hat zu einem Anstieg der Krankenhauseinweisungen und Todesfälle geführt.

In dem Bericht von PHE wurde auch festgestellt, dass die Testpositivität – der Anteil der Tests mit positiven Ergebnissen – letzte Woche auf fast einen von zehn gestiegen ist.

Dies kann jedoch daran liegen, dass die Tests während des halben Semesters nachgelassen haben, weil sich die Leute während der Schulferien nicht so oft melden, sagten die Beamten, was bedeutet, dass selbst wenn der Ausbruch gleich groß geblieben oder leicht geschrumpft wäre, die Positivität immer noch gestiegen wäre.

Die Anzahl der getesteten Personen ist in der letzten Woche gesunken, da es sich um ein halbes Semester handelte, was laut PHE ein normaler Effekt der Schulferien war. Infolgedessen stieg die Positivität auf etwa einen von zehn Tests, was Experten betraf

Die Anzahl der getesteten Personen ist in der letzten Woche zurückgegangen, da es sich um ein halbes Semester handelte, was laut PHE ein normaler Effekt der Schulferien war. Infolgedessen stieg die Positivität auf etwa einen von zehn Tests, was Experten betraf

In Großbritannien gab es in der Woche zum 1. November 96.000 weniger Tests als in der Woche zuvor, obwohl der Trend zu Tupfern im Oktober um 100.000 pro Woche zunahm. Infolgedessen sanken auch die wöchentlichen positiven Fälle von 153.000 auf 150.000.

"Andere Erklärungen, wie etwa die freiwillige soziale Distanzierung von Menschen im Oktober, als sie feststellten, dass das Virus in ganz Großbritannien zunimmt, und die Etablierung einer Herdenimmunität sind mindestens genauso wahrscheinlich wie Erklärungen."

Die Daten basieren auf bestätigten Fällen von Coronavirus nach Probendatum, dh dem Datum, an dem der Tupfer entnommen wurde, und nicht dem Datum, an dem er von den Laboratorien verarbeitet wurde.

There is a delay of around five days between swabs being taken and tested for the virus, leaving statisticians unable to calculate the infection rates until all swabs have been processed.

Scientists have warned that the coronavirus infection rates may have been artificially suppressed by the half-term break, during which around 20,000 fewer swabs were completed every day across England when the number dropped from 172,000 to 150,000.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said the number of tests completed dipped because fewer people asked for them over the half-term break.

They said this was down to a change in people's routines, meaning fewer were booking swabs.

The figure for the drop in tests completed is based on the first three days of half-term – 26 to 28 October – the latest dates for which data is available.

But the number completed varies by region.

In Greater Manchester slightly more tests are thought to have been completed over the time period, remaining at almost 13,000 swabs done a day.

In Lancashire the number completed dropped by 16 per cent, from 6,341 to 5,343-a-day, in Lancashire by 13 per cent, from 7,207 to 6,280-a-day, and in London by 18 per cent, from 19646 to 16126-a-day.

Although there was a drop in the numbers, which impacts the infection rates, experts pointed out that in many areas where testing had been increased the number of infections identified had also decreased.

In Hounslow, the only borough of London where total swabs completed did not drop, the number of infections found declined by 18.5 per cent from 196 to 159.8 per 100,000.

This adds further weight to the suggestion that coronavirus cases were already in decline, and the UK's first wave had peaked, before the second lockdown was imposed.

Economists and politicians lined up yesterday to slam the Government's decision to impose a second lockdown in England, saying the data already clearly showed cases were declining in many areas.

Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute for Economic Affairs, said: 'Declining rates of infection in many parts of England were apparent before the Prime Minister made his announcement on Saturday and yet he seems to have been more persuaded by theoretical models passed around in secret.

'The experience of places such as Nottingham and Newcastle shows that the tide can be turned without resorting to the nuclear option of lockdown.'

He added: 'No attempt was made to predict the 'reasonable worst case scenario' for people's livelihoods, incomes and mental health. Nor have we been given any explanation for why people in Penzance have to lose their jobs to reduce infections in Salford. The people responsible for the flawed modelling should be held accountable for the economic disaster that will follow.'

Conservative MP Peter Bone told MailOnline that the PHE report 'bore out' what he was seeing in Northamptonshire and suggested the Tiers had been working before the blanket lockdown.

He also complained that the lockdown decision appeared to have been justified with an Iraq-style 'dodgy dossier of Covid graphs'.

'This is why I found it difficult to understand why we abandoned the Tier approach. And we now know by their own admission that the modelling was wrong,' he said.

'There are lies, damn lies and Covid statistics. Nobody has explained why we abandoned the Tier approach, unless it was they saw this dreadful model from scientists saying you're going to get 4,000 people dying every day. At the moment there doesn't seem to be any evidence we're moving in that direction.'

Mr Bone added: 'It feels to me like we were getting propaganda. We were only getting things that proved the Government's case.

'Those figures now seem to have been based on false assumptions or been incorrectly calculated. Other ones that point in a different direction haven't been disclosed. So it is a bit of a dodgy dossier really.'

Another Conservative MP, Marcus Fysh, told MailOnline: 'I have been concerned a while about the quality of the data and the quality of the analysis by the medical advisory team.

'Obviously the trends are serious, particularly in some areas in the North West and north East, London and the Midlands and we need to respect that.

'Confidence is everything in this… we need to build the confidence in the system. That is why we also need to not have dodgy charts produced like the Iraq war. A dodgy dossier is not something that builds public confidence. The opposite is true.'

REVEALED: CHILLING GOVERNMENT GRAPH SHOWING SECOND WAVE DEATHS SOARING ABOVE MAY'S PEAK IN WEEKS 'WAS WRONG' AND WAS SECRETLY TONED DOWN

An official prediction that coronavirus deaths would soon pass those registered in the first wave has been quietly corrected by the government, it emerged last night, because they were too high.

The projections led to the country being hit with a second national lockdown and were shown at a Downing Street press conference last Saturday.

They claimed that England would see up to 1,500 deaths a day by early December, far higher than the peaks of deaths recorded in the first wave.

But the figures, which caused alarm across the country, have now been amended 'after an error was found'.

The revised figures now suggest the second peak is likely to be on par with the first with the worst-case scenario at 1,010 deaths a day by December 8 – a similar figure to that seen in April.

Predictions for hospital admissions were also revised from 9,000 by early December to 6,190.

The UK Statistics Authority said the Government and devolved administrations must make clear the source of data used in public briefings and the full figures behind it. It added: 'The use of data has not consistently been supported by transparent information being provided in a timely manner.

'As a result, there is potential to confuse the public and undermine confidence in the statistics.

'It is important that data are shared in a way that promotes transparency and clarity. It should be published in a clear and accessible form with appropriate explanations of context and sources. It should be made available to all at the time the information is referenced publicly.'

The watchdog added: 'It is clear that those working on the pandemic face significant pressures. But full transparency is vital to public understanding and public confidence in statistics and those who use them.'

The slides now contain a note which says: ¿Plots on slides four and five have been amended after an error was found¿

The slides now contain a note which says: 'Plots on slides four and five have been amended after an error was found'

The revised figures now suggest the second peak is likely to be on par with the first with the worst-case scenario at 1,010 deaths a day by December 8

The revised figures now suggest the second peak is likely to be on par with the first with the worst-case scenario at 1,010 deaths a day by December 8

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