I watched the press conference this afternoon. The graphs showed cases, hospitalisations and deaths rise during the period of the previous tier system. During the national lockdown, all three numbers have continued to rise. Only cases have changed and only just in the last week and only by a relatively small amount. There is still a lot of virus out there infecting people. This national lockdown is being released at a point in time when cases are so much higher than the previous one (though testing wasn’t as readily available back then). The words being used to describe the graphs told a different story. They said the tier system slowed the spread when it clearly did not. Only Tier 3 seemed to make any difference pre-national lockdown.
Liverpool City Region entered Tier 3 a few weeks before everyone else. Mass testing has been carried in just Liverpool itself and BoJo claims that it is responsible for the reduction in cases in that area. However, the rest of the region has had similar reductions, even where no mass testing has been done, places like St.Helens, Halton and Knowsley. Is it possible, Boris, that imposing Tier 3 early, at a more opportune time, has made the difference, not mass testing? We saw no comparison with Wales, which might have been revealing as they had a three week ‘Fire Break’ over the half-term.
Is it just me, or is this release too early? Don’t we need cases to fall a bit further and for hospitalisations to start to turn, too? Has this been done simply to enable us to get our Christmas shopping done, drumming up the excitement for the Five Days Of Xmas when we are free to share the virus with our nearest and dearest? If so, why not just allow shops to reopen nationally? As from Wednesday, the pubs in London, where cases are rising in some parts, can open but not in Manchester, where cases are falling, feeding the impression that BoJo loves London but hates Manchester, though Andy Burnham is being sanguine this time.
I guess we will pay for this in January. We’ll be back in a National Lockdown in February.