Analysis Breaking

Daily UK C19 cases almost double in a week – driven by England

Johnson and Hancock’s disastrous handling of crisis fuels continuing spike

The UK’s daily number of confirmed new coronavirus cases has almost doubled in the space of a week, from 871 last Friday – and lower just before that – to well over 1,400, with the last four days consistently over 1,000.

In spite of these rates higher than at any time in seven weeks, the Tories continue to congratulate themselves and press ahead with further relaxations of lockdown – including a full return to schools next month – while pointing at a handful of poor immigrants as an additional distraction technique.

Johnson and Hancock are more than happy to put UK lives at risk without a semblance of regret and have sentenced this country to both the worst death rate and the worst economic crash of the pandemic. Yet the lack of a vocal and brave opposition makes the complicit ‘mainstream’ media’s job of diverting from reality all too easy.

The SKWAWKBOX is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

48 comments

  1. The lack of rigour in the Tory government’s handling of the pandemic, is in sharp contrast to other nations such as Australia and NewZealand where decisive action is immediately taken at the smallest rise in infected people. It differs from Ireland and Germany in the lamentable state of the UK’s track and trace system. And it differs from virtually everywhere in the enforcement of isolation and support for those isolated. On the other hand at every slight lull in the infection rates there’s an overwhelming desire evident to relax restrictions and open up further. Is it just sheer incompetence? Or is it this government’s plan to maintain a high level of infection rates at a certain level in order to forward by stealth its aim to create herd immunity regardless of the death toll this will incur (and already has)? It is of course both, and intending to support the economy in the process. The scale of the incompetence, however, can be seen in the stark GDP figures released yesterday showing a reduction of 21%, more than twice that of Germany, and with France the next worst in the G7 nations but at a distant 13.8%. The word that comes to mind is ‘failure.’ No matter what way you turn it around, or what criteria you use to measure this Tory government’s performance in handling the pandemic, you will always arrive at the same place: abject failure.

    https://lovesexwomenmenpoliticspoetrylifedeath.wordpress.com/

    1. The New Zealand government announced yesterday that ALL cases of Sars-Cov-2 infection “are to be managed in a quarantine facility”.

      Health Director-General Dr Ashley Bloomfield made the announcements in a press conference yesterday (August 12th). As of today, New Zealand has 36 active cases* of alleged coronavirus infection. That has not prevented the government from locking down Auckland, the countries largest city.

      Under Section 70 of the Health Act, the NZ government has the power to compel people into quarantine against their will. According to a report from stuff.co.nz quarantine centres have – among other things – “more stringent security” than isolation hotels.

      According to Dr Broomfield the new quarantine rules:

      Will apply to all test-positive cases and also family members who may be at risk, where appropriate.

      A reminder that the PCR tests are incredibly unreliable and can return very large numbers of false-positive results.

      Nevertheless, if you are in NZ, get a positive test or have any respiratory symptoms, you and your family will be forcibly taken to a “quarantine” camp. How long for and if you will leave alive is anyone’s guess.

      How long before other countries start doing this?

      How long before a “positive PCR” is the excuse for shipping all the dissidents and the non-compliant off to “quarantine”, where, sadly, that darn corona sees them off

      https://off-guardian.org/2020/08/13/watch-new-zealand-to-move-all-covid-cases-to-quarantine-centres/

      1. COVID19 PCR Tests are Scientifically Meaningless
        Though the whole world relies on RT-PCR to “diagnose” Sars-Cov-2 infection, the science is clear: they are not fit for purpose

        PCR tests are calibrated for gene sequences (in this case RNA sequences because SARS-CoV-2 is believed to be a RNA virus), we have to know that these gene snippets are part of the looked-for virus. And to know that, correct isolation and purification of the presumed virus has to be executed.

        Hence, we have asked the science teams of the relevant papers which are referred to in the context of SARS-CoV-2 for proof whether the electron-microscopic shots depicted in their in vitro experiments show purified viruses.

        But not a single team could answer that question with “yes” — and NB., nobody said purification was not a necessary step. We only got answers like “No, we did not obtain an electron micrograph showing the degree of purification” (see below).

        We asked several study authors “Do your electron micrographs show the purified virus?”, they gave the following responses:

        Study 1: Leo L. M. Poon; Malik Peiris. “Emergence of a novel human coronavirus threatening human health” Nature Medicine, March 2020
        Replying Author: Malik Peiris
        Date: May 12, 2020
        Answer: “The image is the virus budding from an infected cell. It is not purified virus.”

        Study 2: Myung-Guk Han et al. “Identification of Coronavirus Isolated from a Patient in Korea with COVID-19”, Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives, February 2020
        Replying Author: Myung-Guk Han
        Date: May 6, 2020
        Answer: “We could not estimate the degree of purification because we do not purify and concentrate the virus cultured in cells.”

        Study 3: Wan Beom Park et al. “Virus Isolation from the First Patient with SARS-CoV-2 in Korea”, Journal of Korean Medical Science, February 24, 2020
        Replying Author: Wan Beom Park
        Date: March 19, 2020
        Answer: “We did not obtain an electron micrograph showing the degree of purification.”

        Study 4: Na Zhu et al., “A Novel Coronavirus from Patients with Pneumonia in China”, 2019, New England Journal of Medicine, February 20, 2020
        Replying Author: Wenjie Tan
        Date: March 18, 2020
        Answer: “[We show] an image of sedimented virus particles, not purified ones.”

        Dr Charles Calisher, who is a seasoned virologist.
        whether he knows one single paper in which SARS-CoV-2 has been isolated and finally really purified. His answer:

        I know of no such a publication. I have kept an eye out for one.”

        https://off-guardian.org/2020/06/27/covid19-pcr-tests-are-scientifically-meaningless/

      2. off-guardian has become a cult. And you are one of its evangelists.
        What your cult cannot explain is what is behind this worldwide conspiracy to pretend that there is a pandemic, and that millions are suffering from a disease, which you cultists know does not exist, and that hundreds of thousands of excess deaths are unrelated to the virus and that the ruling class has crippled its very profitable economy in order to go along with the myth.

      3. Bevin, c’mon don’t act like you don’t know the nature of the corporate beast. It’s economy is doing just fine. There are 29 new billionaires since March and collectively their class has added nearly 600 billion to their fortunes. They are more powerful now than most governments. The only thing that’s been crippled is the opposition, the small and medium-sized companies now going bust. The excess deaths are largely the result of other illnesses going untreated due to the hysteria focussed on Covid-19.

        More power to the Off-Guardian “cult” of critical thinking.

    2. I suspect it’s worse than basic incompetence and is deliberate sabotaging of Govt policy by Govt’s main man Cummings. From the start he favoured herd immunity and was against the Lockdown which was only forced on Johnson by Macron during their famous telephone call of Friday 20 March. His master stroke was the trip to Barnard’s Castle. Lockdown was holed below the water line when he VOLUNTEERED the defence he was only testing his eye sight, a claim that he knew would be ridiculed but as he’s unsackable and doesn’t need votes, that doesn’t matter. It’s noticeable that the Govt has never seriously contemplated quarantine for the millions arriving in the UK. The current threats to tourists shows how farcical the situation has come; everybody knows all you have to do is fill in the form on arrival and then forget it. There’s no way hundreds of thousands are going to be checked; who would do that? With one hand they Lockdown whole towns (well away from London) and with the other open more doors to the virus for example by this weekend’s relaxations and then schools returning full time. They might be right about herd immunity, after all to end up like NZ self isolating from the whole World to protect its largely virus free population Isn’t an attractive option; the more successful you are the bigger the problem becomes. But some people only work in the shadows and prefer the covert to the overt – Mr Cummings! We know it’s you!

  2. Do catch up. Most people with a functioning brain have understood by now what the term ‘cases’ means. (Fuck all in terms of infection and illness).

    Why all this pro-government propaganda pretending to be criticism? Is the ‘left’ really this retarded in understanding?

    Go look at the CEBM website and get educated.

    1. OK, been there, done that, got educated. Wish I’d done it before.
      First two sentences follow:

      “Rapid evidence reviews, data analysis and thought-provoking writing relating to the coronavirus pandemic, updated regularly.
      The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine thanks its major benefactors Maria and David Willetts for their generosity and support for the Oxford COVID-19 Evidence Service.”
      (my emphasis)

      Funded by DAVID FUCKING WILLETTS – the director of Thatcher’s Centre for Policy Research – largely responsible for the deregulation of financial markets that caused the 2008 crash.

      You must be a complete imbecile to cite a source associated with that twat on a blog like this.

      1. Research pedigree

        For over 20 years, the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine has been dedicated to conducting research for the benefit of patients, providers, and society. Over 20 individuals work in the Centre, with diverse backgrounds, including clinicians, methodologists, statisticians, and research administrators. We also have a global network of international research collaborators, supporting the delivery of our vision, from Europe, Africa, Canada, the USA, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, and India. What unites them is a collective endeavour to provide high-quality evidence, on which clinical decisions can be reliably based.

        We are based in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford. Our institution is ranked number one in the world university rankings and our department is ranked number one in the UK for the quality of its research.

        Research funding

        The Centre for Evidence Based Medicine currently receives no core funding.

        Like most academic organisations, we fund the majority of our research from grants won through open competition.

        We neither seek nor accept funding for our research from pharmaceutical companies or other private enterprises with relevant conflicts of interest.

        https://www.cebm.net/cebm-research/

        Unlike Professor Ferguson, Imperial College London and the W.H.O which has received $400,000,0000 and $2,4000,0000,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation respectively. Not forgetting of course, all the money they receive from the International Pharmaceutical corporations such as The Welcome Trust, GlaxoSmithKline etc.

      2. I note your total lack of ability to deal with actual evidence as you thrash around validating theJohnson narrative.

        ‘a blog like this’ = overwhelmed by an excess of the knicker-wetting hard of understanding.

      3. When people reach the limits of their intellect they repeat themselves interminably – and you two half-tards blew your limits months ago.
        Same phrasing, same plagiarised text, same links, all the fucking time.
        You have the minds of trainspotters or stamp collectors.

  3. Oro government propaganda, he calls it.

    Without any sense of irony, hypocrisy OR shame, as he parrots the government’s agenda to get people as condensed as possible under the charade of ‘building back better’ (or wherever the fuck the shit logo is this week) which is just another plan to furtively implement their fucking ridiculous ‘herd immunity’ – something the rest of the world were aghast at.

    Dicky, please DO get in the fucking bin.

  4. Pro-government, not ‘Oro’

    (Bloody sausage fingers, them Chinese ought to take the size of westerner’s fingertips into account when making phones for the Occidental market)

    1. Toffee

      Do you believe the government? Why now?

      I lost all faith after seeing a copy of. The front page of The Sovereign Independent. From 2011. Where Billy Gates admits to population reduction via vaccine

  5. Bevin 14.08.20 9.10pm. “ Off Guardian has become a cult…”. This type of vacuous rhetoric is very reminiscent of the protagonists of the former overwhelming democratically elected leader of the democratic socialist Labour members who voted for him were called straight out of the MSM propaganda machine.

    14,075,693 (95%)
    Recovered / Discharged

    760,843 (5%)
    Deaths

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/?utm_campaign=

    This what a pandemic looks like.

    The virus infected 500 million people worldwide and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims—that’s more than all of the soldiers and civilians killed during World War I combined.

    1. https://www.history.com/news/spanish-flu-second-wave-resurgence

      “..that the ruling class has crippled a very profitable economy..” It hasn’t appeared to have crippled the ruling class of the banks, finance houses, and very wealthy investors plus the stock market who got another whopping £242,000,000,000 in the form of QE to top up the £400,000,000,000 + they got from the QE dole out. As Warren Buffet said buy low sell high. Look like high finance are going to do very nicely while the rest can go to hell in handcart because of a ” pandemic “.

    2. In the time of the great influenza pandemic the only treatment for tuberculosis – a bacterial, not even a viral lung infection – was fresh air and bed rest. Huge TB sanatoria were everywhere.
      Understanding was slight, communications were primitive and poverty & overcrowding was rife.
      OF COURSE the death rate in 1918 was vastly higher.
      The death rate for CV19 would have been vastly higher had it occurred in 1918.
      Please stop making comments so stupid I’m forced to state what ought to be obvious to anyone.
      Teacher? Yeah, like fuck you were.

      1. Once again you make a statement, yet, can provide no factual proof, data, documentation to support your claim.

        It seems your imagination is running away with you again.

        Stick with reading your wee tales of the riverbank and let the grown ups reveal the facts of this so called “ pandemic “.

      2. Skwawkbox, does WordPress perhaps offer the facility of ‘downvoting’ as Facebook does?
        On a political blog the ability to ‘like’/agree with a click ought surely to be complemented by the ability to disagree without further comment?
        Responding to idiots is tedious and demeaning but surely if their dross goes unchallenged it brings discredit on the blog – and might that not be their true purpose?

  6. David McNiven 14.08.2020 9.02 pm

    Correction . Unlike Professor Ferguson and Imperial College London and The WHO have received $400,000,000 $2,400,000,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation respectively.

      1. No but his and Imperials predictions were the basis for the WHO calling a “ pandemic “. Remember!!!

    1. Oh, brianbotou – you are so naive.

      Facts are as nothing to those in the warm and thrilling embrace of a pair of wet knickers whilst having a spasm at the excitement of the thought of the crack of the totalitarian whip.

      So … safe!

      1. Well, after working in schools with some ignorant and tunnelled visioned, immature students. A small percentage did see the light and lifted their heads out of the morass of stupidity they had conditioned themselves to. Likewise on this blog, those who make statements out of fear, hysteria, and conditioning by the establishment social engineering them without themselves having the nounce to grasp they are being taken for mugs. But I live in hope some might see the light before it’s to late.

    1. Tale of two Cities: FTSE 100 rises despite economic collapse
      Surge in shares contrasts with Covid-related downturn and growing unemployment

      https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/aug/15/ftse-100-rises-economic-covid-unemployment

      The Committee voted by a majority of 7–2 for the Bank of England to continue with the programme of £200 billion of UK government bond and sterling non‐financial investment‐grade corporate bond purchases, financed by the issuance of central bank reserves, to take the total stock of these purchases to
      £645 billion.

  7. The word ‘pandemic’ refers only to the extent of spread of an epidemic- ie that it’s spread worldwide.
    It implies nothing about death rates, dummy.

    1. Coronavirus Cases:
      21,373,095

      Deaths:
      763,733

      Recovered:
      14,160,912

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/?utm_campaign=

      The virus infected 500 million people worldwide and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims—that’s more than all of the soldiers and civilians killed during World War I combined.

      500,000,000 ( Spanish Flu cases )
      – 21,373,095. ( Coronavirus cases)

      = 478,626,905

      25,000,000 ( Approximate median number of Spanish flu deaths)
      – 763,733 ( Coronavirus deaths)

      = 24,236,267

      Note the difference in cases and deaths 478,626,905 and 24,236,267 respectively.

      I see more work is needed on your numerical skills instead of working on your ad hominem. As Captain Mannering used to say to Private Pike in dads army “ stupid boy”

      1. David McNiven 9.08 am 15.08.2020

        Just to remind you ( again )the track record of Professor Ferguson’s previous estimates of “ pandemics” and epidemics the WHO based there decision on calling it a “ pandemic “.

        [Imperial College epidemiologist Neil] Ferguson was behind the disputed research that sparked the mass culling of eleven million sheep and cattle during the 2001 outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. He also predicted that up to 150,000 people could die. There were fewer than 200 deaths. . . .

        In 2002, Ferguson predicted that up to 50,000 people would likely die from exposure to BSE (mad cow disease) in beef. In the U.K., there were only 177 deaths from BSE.

        In 2005, Ferguson predicted that up to 150 million people could be killed from bird flu. In the end, only 282 people died worldwide from the disease between 2003 and 2009.

        In 2009, a government estimate, based on Ferguson’s advice, said a “reasonable worst-case scenario” was that the swine flu would lead to 65,000 British deaths. In the end, swine flu killed 457 people in the U.K.

        Last March, Ferguson admitted that his Imperial College model of the COVID-19 disease was based on undocumented, 13-year-old computer code that was intended to be used for a feared influenza pandemic, rather than a coronavirus. Ferguson declined to release his original code so other scientists could check his results. He only released a heavily revised set of code last week, after a six-week delay.

        So the real scandal is: Why did anyone ever listen to this guy?

        https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/2020/05/08/so-the-real-scandal-is-why-did-anyone-ever-listen-to-this-guy/

      2. Bubba, if I’d ever quoted Ferguson or ever relied on his pronouncements, throwing him in my face might have some relevance to something.
        If the whole world had relied on his predictions you might have a point worth making.
        I didn’t, the world didn’t and you don’t.

  8. “…. the radical left … should be spearheading the criticism.

    But no. They have no interest in or any kind of lived experience of poor and working class realities, or they have a visceral fear of disorder, impurity and death which motivates their stunning insensitivity to such matters, or they are cynical opportunists ever-ready to leap on a moral-panic bandwagon, or they are members of the professional class worshipping at the altar of management (which you are now a murderer if you disobey), or they are more interested in identity politics and Eckhart Tolle, or they are too proud to admit they were wrong, or they are straight cowards.”

    ‘Nuff said

  9. 27 Jul 2020

    It appears there are some on this site who cannot argue their point by proof, data , documentation to support their arguments. However, against those that do they are now advocating censorship, just like on Facebook, Twitter, You tube etc. Here is an example of Facebooks, Youtube, Twitters censorship in action which some on this site are advocating.

    “ Facebook has removed a video posted by Breitbart News earlier today, which was the top-performing Facebook post in the world Monday afternoon, of a press conference in D.C. held by the group America’s Frontline Doctors and organized and sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots. The press conference featured Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) and frontline doctors sharing their views and opinions on coronavirus and the medical response to the pandemic. YouTube (which is owned by Google) and Twitter subsequently removed footage of the press conference as well. “

    https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2020/07/27/facebook-censors-viral-video-of-doctors-capitol-hill-coronavirus-press-conference/

    As the peoples of many authoritarian regimes discovered, the first step on the road to tyranny is denying the right to free speech. As even Winston Churchill said “ I might fervently disagree with everything you say but I will fight for your right to say it.”

    1. Breitbart and the Tea Party.
      A new low even for you.
      Might as well quote Trunt, Sarah Palin or Dan Quayle.

      1. I see once again your can’t argue your case without descending into tangential ad hominem. If you disagree with the facts that Facebook, You tube ( defacto Google) and Twitter are now censoring statements from frontline hospital doctors who are dealing with this ” pandemic ” on a daily basis, let see your factual data, evidence, proof which supports arbitrary censorship in an apparent democratic society. Moreover, Its very noticeable that you made no comment about what Winston Churchill said ” I might fervently disagree with everything you say, yet I will fight for your right to say it.” According to your authoritarian stance, Churchill SHOULD BE CENSORED AS WELL.

  10. It’s clearly escaped your notice but I haven’t argued for censorship – I’ve pointed out that a facility to ‘dislike’ might allow those who can’t be arsed conversing with you (no need to thank me) to express their opinion of your dross positively rather than by witholding ‘likes’.
    I have expressed the view that your bullshit opens Skwawkbox up to accusations of being littered with fake news and I stand by that – truth and lies are not equally defensible either morally or legally when the question of censorship arises, for example regarding Holocaust denial.
    Please in future address your complaints to IDGAF Ltd. where they will immediately receive the attention they deserve.

    1. But you are by advocating Facebook policy of denying free speech. Now, I once you again do you have any evidence which justifies the American doctors being banned from FB, Twitter, YouTube!

      1. David Mc Niven . 1.02 pm ” …your bullshit…”. You are making more vacuous statements without offering any proof since you rarely produce any proof. What you do is a technique not dissimilar to the one the MSM used against Jeremy Corbyn make ad hominem, vacuous inane points without the slightest factual document or data to support it. In plain English its called PROPAGANDA!!!

      2. What I did argue for was “downvoting” – possibly the wrong term – and now that I look again it’s YouTube not Facebook where one can ‘thumbs down’ as well as ‘thumbs up’ a video or a comment.
        Nothing whatever to do with denying free speech – in fact it’s more like a straw poll..
        I use those sites only very rarely and only when I have something useful to others (usually technical) to contribute on sailing or photography.
        Nothing I wrote advocated censorship – but don’t let that stop you making unfounded accusations.

  11. Davud Mc Niven. 1.03 pm ” I stand by truth
    …” Unfortunately, you seldom produce any proof to support your ” truth” . I have asked you uncountable times to produce evidence to support your claim about the ” truth” and rarely do you. If you can’t support your statements with factual evidence, don’t make them. Here endeth the lesson for today.

  12. David Mc Niven, 1.03pm. Noam chomsky was once asked by Tim Sebastian about moral equivalence. He replied if something was wrong when it was done then it’s wrong now.

  13. David Mc Niven, 12.46pm. Poor old Mc Bullshit hanging onto the facade of a “ pandemic “ first given credence by Professor Ferguson, whose incompetence in making estimates is well documented, and adopted by the WHO to try and justify a “ pandemic “. I see this point has slipped your bumper book of bullshit.

    Moreover, the NHS have stated, as have the Northern Italian health authorities, as have many other other local health authorities in a number of countries that between 90-95 % of the fatalities had two or more serious illnesses and did NOT DIE PRIMARILY OF COVID -19, THE MEDIAN AGE ( that means the middle number I know you are seriously challenged by numerical data) WAS BETWEEN 80-86 years old and the fatalities rate is in the U.K. about 0.07% and Sweden about 0.06%, in about Germany 0.011%, in Italy about 0.055%, in the US about 0.055% etc.

    According to the good Professor estimates, which had to be drastically revised down stood at 3.4%, finally after peer pressure he said 1%.

    Just to remind you, because I know you find it hard to retain FACTS, the WHO based their call on this virus on his figures.

    Taking the highest figure of 0.07 then 1.0 – 0.07 = A DIFFERENCE OF 0.93%. Alas the numerically challenged will swallow any old shite the establishment comes out with.

  14. David Mc Niven, 3.39 pm. “ nothing I wrote advocated censorship “ I see not only are you numerically challenged but also fail to grasp that your early statement “ to disagree without further comment “ would be fine if your sole purpose was to disagree and leave it at that.

    However, you then go on to say “ if their dross goes unchallenged…” . So you have actually wanted your cake and eat it. Censor when it suits you or alternatively challenge the opposing statement but you rarely do with any proof, data, documentation to support your challenge. This is called smearing and its about all you are cognitively capable of doing in this arena, Stick to your wee tales of the riverbank book !!!

  15. David Mc Niven, 12.08 pm. ” ….all the fucking time” Same ad hominem, same vacuous inane incoherent rants with the slinging of slime and smear the only option open to the resident fantasist who dwells in a make believe world of the subjunctive.

  16. Here is another tragic fact to go along with all the tragic facts from a totally insane lockdown policy which a number of people still believed to be necessary. Let’s hope after reading this, they might start seeing the folly of it up and realise they were duped.

    Cancer patients to pay heavy price for checks lost to lockdown
    Five-year survival rates are expected to fall due to delays in getting urgent referrals or treatment at the height of the pandemic
    August 15 2020, The Sunday Times

    Thousands of lives may be lost to cancer because 250,000 patients were not referred to hospital for urgent checks, says a report to be published this week.
    Family doctors made 339,242 urgent cancer referrals in England between April and June, down from 594,060 in the same period last year — a drop of 43%.
    The fall in the number of people seeing their GP with symptoms, and in referrals for scans, is resulting in cancers being spotted too late, according to the research by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and Carnall Farrar, a healthcare management consultancy.
    The result is that Britain could reverse a decade of progress in tackling the disease with survival rates predicted to slump, the study found. Cancer charities said the “stark” findings highlighted the deadly consequences of services being “derailed” by the pandemic.
    Even when people are referred to hospital, there are delays in accessing diagnostic services and treatments that could save lives, the report adds. The NHS must use the opportunity of restarting cancer services to “build back better” to avoid more, needless deaths, it says.
    For the study, experts examined NHS and Office for National Statistics data to estimate the effect of Covid-19 on cancer survival rates.
    Five-year survival rates for those diagnosed this year are set to drop from 16.2% to 15.4% for lung cancer, 85% to 83.5% for breast cancer, and from 58.4% to 56.1% for colorectal cancer

    But data from NHS England published last week showed that even in June, the most recent month for which figures are available, urgent cancer referrals were a fifth lower than the same month last year.
    The pandemic disrupted all four stages of cancer services, the study found. As well as urgent GP referrals dropping by 43%, 210,000 people a week were affected by the halting of cancer screening. Diagnostic testing, such as CT, MRI and endoscopy services, decreased by up to 76%. Finally, treatments fell by as much as 40%.

    The disruption frightened many patients. Lara Montgomery, 45, a police officer and mother of three from Dorset, was diagnosed with womb cancer at the end of last year, after an emergency hospital admission for stomach pain.
    She underwent surgery and radiation therapy before the pandemic hit and was told she would need physical examinations every three months to check the cancer had not returned. Her May hospital appointment for a body examination was cancelled and she had a four-minute phone consultation instead, with another call offered for August.
    “That’s when the stress, for me, really escalated. By that point, I’d missed May, I would have missed August so potentially the next time I’m going to be seen by my oncologist would be November.”
    Montgomery was told to look out for signs her cancer may have recurred. But because she was still suffering pain and twinges from her surgery, she felt uncertain she would be able to spot specific symptoms. “It was almost putting it on my shoulders to recognise the difference between what is natural healing from the surgery, and what is cancer. I’m not a medical expert.”
    She added: “I feel like I’m a fairly level-headed person. I’ve got three young children and I cannot break down because I’ve got three young children to raise, and I want to be here for as long as . . .
    “I was so afraid that the cancer would come back. I’ve been told from the outset that if the cancer returns, it is incurable. But I want to hope that if it does return, it’s caught early and then that just gives me longer with my children. That’s all I want.”
    Three weeks ago, after developing swelling in her groin, Montgomery was taken to hospital for a scan. She is waiting for the results.
    Sara Bainbridge, head of policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, fears that cancer services have been forgotten. “It is stark just how high the hidden cost of Covid-19 is for cancer care. For the last four months, we have been sounding the alarm to stress how critical it is that cancer doesn’t become the forgotten ‘C’ during this crisis. Cancer services have been derailed and it’s imperative treatment and care get back on track quickly.”
    For Kruti Shrotri, policy manager at Cancer Research UK, the pandemic has had a “major impact” on cancer services “with every part of the pathway affected”. She added: “Unfortunately, we know there is going to be a negative impact on cancer survival from Covid-19, though it’s difficult to predict exactly what this will be.”

    analysis of NHS England’s own figures shows that in June, the total of 153,134 urgent cancer referrals made by GPs in England was 21% down from 194,047 in June last year

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: