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Coronavirus: fears over Boris Johnson’s testing plans



Coronavirus: fears over Boris Johnson's testing plans

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Scientists and healthcare professionals have questioned Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “presumptuous” plan to mass test for coronavirus in the UK.

The prime minister hopes that millions of tests for Covid-19, including some that produce results in minutes, can be processed daily.

But experts say there are problems with laboratory capacity to conduct ongoing tests, and the technology for faster tests “doesn’t exist yet.”

BMJ says it has seen leaked notes that the plan could be worth £ 100bn.

Speaking after his announcement, gatherings in England will be limited to six people from MondayJohnson said the government is “working to” increase the testing capacity of 500,000 tests per day by the end of October.

And he said that “in the near future” he wanted to start using testing “to identify people who test negative – who do not have coronavirus and who are not contagious – so that we can allow them to behave in a more normal way, in the knowledge that they are not can infect anyone. “

Johnson added: “We believe there will be new test types that are simple, fast and scalable. They use swabs or saliva and can change results in 90 or even 20 minutes.

“The important thing is that it should be possible to deploy these tests on a much larger scale than any other country has achieved – literally millions of tests are processed every day.”

Johnson said the mass testing program could be ready by the spring and could help the UK avoid a second national isolation.

But Dr. Chaand Nagpole, chairman of the board of the British Medical Association, said it was unclear how the so-called Operation Homing Missile would work – given the “huge problems” currently being seen with laboratory capabilities.

“Failed” strategy

Currently, 150,000 to 200,000 tests are processed every day – but the testing capacity is reported to be 350,000 per day. This includes antibody tests and tests used to assess the spread of the virus.

Earlier this week, Director of the Government Testing and Tracking Program in England. made a “heartfelt” apology for problems with the testing systemexplaining that the laboratories, and not the test centers themselves, were the “tipping point”.

Dr. Nagpole added that the idea of ​​opening a society based on people with negative virus tests should be “approached with caution” due to the high rate of “false negatives” and the potential to miss out on those who incubate the virus.

Dr. David Strain, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Practice at the University of Exeter and Chair of the BMA’s Medical Academic Staff, expressed concern about the technology under discussion.

“The mass testing strategy is fundamentally flawed because it is based on technology that does not yet exist,” he said.

“The prime minister’s proposal that it would be as easy as ‘getting a pregnancy test’ that will give results in 15 minutes is unlikely, if not impossible, in the time frame he proposed to get the country back on track. channel “.

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Media headlineThe prime minister said the new measures “are not yet another national quarantine.”

England’s deputy chief physician said the success of the Moonshot operation depends on how it is handled.

Dr. Jenny Harris told ITV’s Robert Peston, “There are several different tests technically available. The difficulty is to try to evaluate all of them and work them out in the program.

“We really want to get back to as normal as possible, and any opportunity to do it with a new testing program or using a different testing technology is definitely a good thing to follow, but it’s not as easy as doing it.

“So I think we need to work on a test and a way to run and use it.”

The UK has plans to eventually run up to 10 million Covid-19 tests a day by early next year – worth over £ 100 billion, which is close to NHS England’s total annual budget. according to the BMJ.

Next month, the new rapid tests will be piloted in classrooms at indoor and outdoor locations in Salford.

The government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said the technology needed to be “rigorously tested” and it would be “completely wrong to assume this is a successful dunk.”

Plans for mass testing are coming true as Mr Johnson said the UK “must act” to avoid new isolation as cases of the virus rise in England.

He established a new Rule of Six limiting meetings to six peopleenforced by the police, which may impose fines or make arrests after the UK reported more than 2,000 new cases of coronavirus for the fourth straight day.

Mr. Johnson said the rules “became quite complex and confusing” and the government “simplified and strengthened” them following police and public feedback.

But Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said the new assembly rules reflect that “poor communication was a big part of the problem” with the spread of the virus.

The new Rule of Six means:

  • Public gatherings of more than six people in England will be prohibited by law from Monday 14 September.
  • The new rule applies to people in private homes, indoors and outdoors, as well as in places such as pubs, restaurants, cafes and open public places.
  • This applies to all ages
  • The rule does not apply to schools and workplaces, people living together or in the same support bubble, weddings, funerals, and organized team sports.
  • The full list of exclusions also includes protests and political activities subject to “rigorous risk assessment”, jury services and emergency assistance.
  • People who ignore the police can be fined £ 100 – doubling with each offense to a maximum of £ 3200.

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PSDB collapse: toucans may disappear from the political map



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The SDB is in crisis. Little remains of the party, founded in 1988 by social democrats Fernando Enrique Cardoso, Mario Covasa and Franco Montoro, among others, shortly after the fall of the dictatorship and which has remained at the center of the country’s political debate ever since, precisely because it prepared leaders to make changes. into a backwardness scenario.

This happened, for example, in 1994 when the toucans created the Real Plan and stabilized the economy. With less and less capacity for dialogue with society, the party today has become a Babylon where almost no one gets along. The result of this confusion, which began to emerge after the failure of the 2014 presidential campaign led by Esio Neves, became more pronounced on Sunday 2.

The party, which in its heyday even elected eight governors at once, as happened in 2010, this time did not elect a single one, despite the presence of toucans in the second round in four states (RS, MS, PB and PE), even if everyone would be in second place and with a small chance of being elected. The most significant defeat came to the government of São Paulo, the birthplace of the legend and where it was the dominant political force for nearly three decades. The biggest mistake here was made by advertisers who were unable to “sell” to the voters the important achievements of the administration of Joao Doria and Rodrigo Garcia.

KNOCK SHOT Esio Neves and Eduardo Leite (below) acted to reject the democratic process that saw Doria elected to run for president.
Wagner Pires

As a result of the mistakes of the national leadership of the association, especially President Bruno Araujo, who did everything not to put forward his own presidential candidate, excluding Doria from the dispute, Tucano’s bench elected to the next legislature of the Chamber is the smallest in history: only 13 federal deputies – 35 were elected in 2018 – and the party did not elect a single new senator beyond the six it already had. “The party is getting smaller,” admits an important PSDB source. Traditionally, the party had at least 50 federal deputies and rivaled in size the then giants MDB and PT. In the 2018 elections, as Geraldo Alcmín’s presidential campaign weakened, the number of parliamentarians in the House fell to 28. The electoral failure is in no way reminiscent of the party that opposed the PT in every presidential election from 1994 to 2014. This time he limited himself to the appointment of Senator Mara Gabrilli (PSDB-SP) as deputy to Simone Tebet (MDB-MS), who came third in the dispute with just over 4% of the vote.

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Doria said the SRB’s poor performance in this year’s elections could lead to the disappearance of the party, which he says “would be a shame.” “At the moment it is the losing side,” he estimates. It is impossible to predict the outcome of the Toucan Nest crisis, but the party’s decline actually began in November 2021, after a group of MP Esio Neves (PSDB-MG) stepped up the process to undermine the former candidate’s pre-candidacy. Governor of São Paulo to the Planalto Palace, democratically determined in the party’s primaries.

The persistence of the Tucanato wing with the candidacy of the then governor of Rio Grande do Sul, Eduardo Leite, ultimately made it impossible for Doria to be nominated, a member of the party that proved more viable in the elections, even because of the important work done by his government during the pandemic. “I won the primaries and did not accept them because the national executive thought that with me there would be neither the preservation nor the increase of the federal bench of the Congress,” Doria recalled, intensifying the criticism of the national president Bruno Araujo. “I was practically forced to withdraw from the dispute, and in the end, the SRB elected far fewer deputies, with a reduction of 41%,” he told ISTOE.

With the failure of the elections on the 2nd, the internal split deepened. On Tuesday, the 4th, the National Executive in Brasilia decided to release its members in order to support whoever they wish in the second round of the presidential election. The five former party chairmen decided to support Lulu, but Governor Rodrigo Garcia announced “unconditional and personal” support for Jair Bolsonaro and Tarcisio de Freitas, the presidential candidate for governor of Sao Paulo, who now faces PT Fernando Haddad in the presidential election. second round of the competition. Doria said he would not vote. Subsequently, several Tucan leaders of the old guard announced their vote for Lulu, as was the case with Fernando Henrique. “In this second round, I vote for the history of the struggle for democracy and social integration. I vote for Luis Inacio Lulu da Silva,” said the former president. Currently, the project of reconstruction of the nest of toucans.

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At least 21 politicians who were already on the radar of Operation Lava-Yato are expected to remain on the political scene in 2023.



Eleven goals of Lava-Yato receive a parliamentary mandate. (Photo: Antonio Cruz/Agência Brasil)

At least 21 politicians who were already on the radar of Operation Lava Jato should remain in the political arena in 2023. Twelve of them were elected last Sunday to legislative and executive positions – 11 won seats in the Chamber of Deputies, while Gladson Kameli (PP) won the race for Acre’s government. Another seven remained as deputies, while six were not elected.

Esio Neves (PSDB-MG), Afonso Hamm (PP-RS), Aguinaldo Ribeiro (PP-PB), Artur Lira (PP-AL) – Acting President of the Chamber, Beto Richa (PSDB-PR) will be in the Chamber in 2023. , Joao Leao (PP-BA), Lindbergh Farias (PT-RJ), Luis Fernando Faria (PSD-MG), Mario Negromonte Jr. (PP-BA), Rosana Sarny (MDB-MA) and Vander Lube (PT-MS) .

Kaka Leao (PP-BA) and Romero Huca (MDB-RR), who were running for Senate seats, were not counted; Eduardo Cunha (PTB-SP) and Delcidio Amaral (PTB-MS), federal candidates; and Fernando Collor (PTB-AL) and Luis Carlos Heinze (PP-RS), who sued state governments. Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) runs in the second round of elections in Planalto.

On the other front, the executioners of these politicians had significant voices. Associated with União Brasil, former judge Sergio Moro, who led Lava Hato at first instance, was elected senator for Paraná with 1,953,188 votes, deposing Álvaro Díaz (Podemos).


Former federal prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol (Podemos) received 344,917 votes for a seat in the Chamber of Deputies. Former task force coordinator for Lava Jato in Curitiba, he has spoken to prominent political figures such as Glazi Hoffmann of the PT (elected with 261,247 votes), Ricardo Barros of the PP (107,022 votes) and Luisa Canziani of the PSD (74,643 votes). In an interview with Estadão on Monday, Dallagnol spoke of Lava Jato’s “rebirth” like a Phoenix.

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“The operation changed the course of the global political system and the system of competition in political disputes in Brazil,” says FGV professor Marco Antonio Carvalho Teixeira. However, for him, the election of so many candidates who passed investigations indicates that the political consequences of this “were left behind.”


According to Professor UniRio and Doctor of Political Science Fabio Kerche, “There are sections of society that regard Moro and Dallagnol as heroes.” He links the election of the two to the “withdrawal” of the operation, which began in 2014.

Kerche sees similarities between the developments of Lava Jato and Mãos Limpas that took place in Italy. “It was also possible to elect the prosecutors and justices of the peace who took part. They left “judicial politics” and moved on to “party politics”.