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Covid Lockdown: 7 Permanent Claims Confirmed

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Jack Goodman and Flora Carmichael
BBC reality check

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Image captionRecent anti-blockade movements have attracted people who have focused on the freedom to refuse vaccination and others.

Opposition to the British blockade led to street protests and campaigns on social media.

Many of the expressed complaints have been fueled by false and misleading claims.

We investigated the seven most frequently shared examples.

Claim: “Here we are a year later-the world was closed for a survival rate of 99.97%.”

verdict: A similar figure that is widely shared with this figure is incorrect.

That may not seem like a big difference, but that means that about 70 out of 10,000 people are expected to die-not three out of 10,000.

Mortality is much higher in older and more vulnerable people.

And many people of all ages suffer from the serious long-term effects of the virus.

Image copyrightPA media

Claim: Suicide increased by “200%” during blockade

Stay-at-home orders and the economic consequences of a pandemic have undoubtedly hurt people’s mental health.

However, the shared post that suicide increased by 200% during the pandemic is incorrect.

Claim: Every winter, respiratory illness kills hundreds of people a day … “Why are we trapped?”

verdict: Influenza, a serious respiratory virus, can be fatal-but there are vaccines and treatments available. The Covid-19 vaccine has only recently begun to be rolled out, and more effective treatments are only available now.

The long-term effects of Covid are much more serious for many and are more infectious than influenza.

Professor Andrew Pekosi, a professor at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, says Covid is also deadly.

“Covid-19 has a higher rate of serious illness and mortality than influenza in all age groups, except perhaps children under the age of 12.”

Image captionSuch tweets cite highly selective data on influenza and Covid and question the need for a blockade.

Claim: “Covid-19’s mortality rate is erroneously inflated.”

verdict: To date, more than 125,000 Covid deaths have been recorded in the United Kingdom.

There are several ways to record these deaths, but we all broadly agree on the magnitude of the crisis.

According to ONS, about 90% of the deaths listed on Covid’s death certificate had the virus as the root cause by doctors.

The ONS total is roughly in line with the UK Public Health Services count. It looks at people who died within 28 days of a positive test and looks at the number of excess deaths measured against a 5-year average.

Almost all of these are caused by the coronavirus, according to the three National Bureaus of Statistics of the United Kingdom.

Image copyrightGetty Images
Image captionBars and restaurants remained open in Sweden during the early days of the pandemic

Claim: “Sweden without blockade worked better than Britain”

verdict: Sweden’s Covid mortality rate is certainly lower than that of the United Kingdom, but much worse than its neighbors, which had strict initial blockade restrictions.

Many who oppose Covid’s restrictions point to the Swedish example of avoiding the introduction of a forced blockade at the beginning of the pandemic and instead giving voluntary distance advice.

However, Sweden is a very different country from the United Kingdom and has characteristics that may have helped it during a pandemic.

The population density is low and many people live alone. Stockholm, the capital, is not as international a transportation hub as London.

Compared to other Scandinavian countries with similar population profiles, Sweden recorded significantly more deaths during many periods of the pandemic, far worse than its neighbors, all of which were more severely restricted. ..

Covid-19 deaths in Scandinavia. Per 100,000 population. The graph shows the number of deaths per 100,000 population. Sweden is overwhelmingly 127 per 100,000. Norway has 11 per 100,000, Finland has 14 and Denmark has 41.  Based on the total number of Covid-19 deaths recorded by March 14, 2021.

It is difficult to isolate all the factors that could have caused this, but it may be due in part to the lack of strict blockade measures.

There is no evidence that Sweden’s economy has performed better than its neighbors.

Scandinavian economy during a pandemic. GDP growth rate (rate of change) over time.  ..

Sweden chose not to blockade early in the pandemic, leaving bars, restaurants and shops open, but over the past five months, legally binding restrictions have become increasingly stringent.

This includes a ban on gatherings of eight or more people, a limit on the number of stores, gyms and public transport available for reservation, and a suspension of food and beverages after 20:00.

Although the number of reported deaths has declined since early January, infection rates remain high.

Claim: “There was no pressure on the NHS throughout the winter.”

verdict: The hospital was very busy, especially during the winter, but the NHS was able to deal primarily with restructuring and blockade restrictions.

The burden on the critical care bed is serious and requires specialized staff.

Some non-Covid-related care was temporarily shelved and the ward was rebuilt to prevent the spread of the virus. This inevitably means less beds are available.

Image copyrightGetty Images

Overall utilization may have seemed lower than expected in some hospitals, but great efforts have been made to ensure that there is sufficient reserve capacity to cope with the surge in coronavirus cases. It was.

Coronaviruses also have a significant impact on staffing, with many suffering from illness and self-isolation.

Claim: “With PCR, hopefully anyone can find almost anything.”

The PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test is considered the most reliable method for detecting coronavirus.

This process was invented by California scientist Kary Mullis in the 1990s, long before Covid appeared. At a public event, he once said, “With PCR, hopefully anyone can find almost anything.”

Since then, it has been used to undermine the credibility of Covid’s PCR tests, but these criticisms are unfounded.

Mullis mentioned the high level of sensitivity of his test.

The PCR test can pick up a small amount of virus, so if you test for days or weeks after infection and it doesn’t actually get infected, someone can get a positive result.

However, this is unlikely to have a significant impact on the number of cases and tends to be tested when there are symptoms.

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