‘The Advice From Whitehall Is Seriously Flawed’

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From top: Dr Gabriel Scally; front page of this morning’s Irish News; in this morning’s Irish Times

This morning.

In both the Irish Times and the Belfast-based Irish News newspaper.

Dr Gabriel Scally called for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to harmonise its approach to Covid-19 and said the “inconsistencies” between the two jurisdictions “are not trivial”.

Speaking to Seán O’Rourke on RTÉ this morning, Dr Scally repeated his call. He explained that a person who develops symptoms in Dundalk, Co Louth, would be asked to self-isolate for 14 days while a person in the same situation in Newry would be asked to self-isolate for seven days.

He added that the Northern Irish authorities “are fighting this fire blind”. He also said it would be “nonsense” to implement restrictions on people flying into Dublin and not have the same restrictions on people flying into Belfast.

Dr Scally said by not taking a unified approach the jurisdictions are “squandering” the advantage that the island could use against the virus.

He added:

“The advice from Whitehall, in my view and in the view of many other senior public health people, is seriously flawed, they are ignoring the very strong advice they’re getting from their experts and the World Health Organisation, they’re ignoring the European Central Communicable Disease Control and they’re going there own way, which they’re perfectly entitled to do.

“But there’s no reason in my view why the same advice should apply in the North, the health is a devolved power in the North, and they could make up their own minds and it should be a meeting of minds.”

Leading doctor warns north must ‘harmonise’ with south to win coronavirus battle (Seanín Graham, The Irish News)

Gabriel Scally: North and Republic must harmonise Covid-19 response (The Irish Times)

Listen back to Today with Seán O’Rourke in full here.

13 thoughts on “‘The Advice From Whitehall Is Seriously Flawed’

  1. Ragamuffin

    I’ve heard that in NI the Unionists are following the advice from London, while the Nationalists are following Dublin’s. I wonder how this will play out over the coming weeks in terms of illness and will there be a devide along sectarian lines?

  2. Kolmo

    The GB response is a delayed Brexit-mentality, led by the frankly sinister elements of tory england which for us on this island would be plainly idiotic to follow – an all-Ireland approach is the way forward, even loyalist commentators in the North have seen the sense in this approach – the virus does not care how much mythical blitz spirit they have in England, we would be foolish to allow the DUP to allow this pandemic to spread further just so they can pretend to be english in Fermanagh. Dangerous wreckers.

    1. Formerly Known As @ireland.com

      Thanks. I am interested in that. I think the death rate per million people is the most useful statistic (notwithstanding the pain that these numbers mean). I am tracking the 26 vs. UK. Australia’s is significantly lower than both, at this time.

      1. V

        The relationship between the numbers is important and easily digested info

        And as soon as I get confident ‘no. of recoveries’ data
        I’ll include

        1. Cian

          @V those numbers are a little bit meaningless – all they are really telling us is who is doing more tests! If you compare to population you get better info:

          Confirmed cases per 100k population (smaller is better):
          ROI: 58.9
          NI: 29.6
          It looks like ROI has twice the rate as NI

          The deaths/million is more interesting (smaller is better):
          ROI: 9.1
          NI: 12.2

          So NI has more deaths based on population even thought ROI has more cases…one conclusion is that we are doing a lot more testing and identifying more cases… but NI has more underlying cases and thus more people are dying.

          This is a good (irish) site:
          https://www.gov.ie/en/service/0039bc-view-the-covid-19-coronavirus-dashboard-showing-the-latest-stats-and/

          1. V

            I wouldn’t say they are meaningless, as they demonstrate immediately the different stages of implementation and emergency planning between the two separate jurisdictions

            Or the maturity stage of each of the testing regimes if you’d prefer that

            and you can already see the gap was closing in by yesterday

            And plugging a GOV.ie portal, how very Cian of you

          2. Cian

            When I say meaningless I mean that they aren’t telling an interesting story: they are only telling you how many people have been tested AND found positive.
            – This doesn’t give an indication of how many people actually have COVID-19.
            – This doesn’t tell you how many people are tested, so can’t tell you if the two places are doing things differently.
            – Since the population size is different the numbers aren’t directly comparable. NI has fewer deaths than ROI; NI good. But when you look at population ROI has fewer deaths/million: ROI good.

          3. V

            Again
            If you paid attention

            You will note that the % presented is a direct relationship between no of cases and no of deaths in that specific duristiction

            Respective population has nothing to do with it as it doesn’t Influence the outcome of the calculation

            Cumulative No of cases and Cumulative No of deaths
            And the % outcome only presents that relationship

            The % of confirmed deaths to confirmed cases

            The only flaw is that the ROI % versus the NI % is that they are being pitched alongside each other when both regimes are at different stages in their lockdowns/ restrictions and testing/ treatment rollouts

            I never suggested levels of testing per head of population
            Or qualifying symptoms for testing

            And to remind you again
            It is a simple and typical analysis
            Cumulative No of confirmed cases : Cumulative No of confirmed deaths

  3. Rosette of Sirius

    It’s an insane reality. Why they would give any credence to the clowns in London is beyond me. For chrissake, half of the Downing St set is infected….

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