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Today the country has gone back into a second national lockdown as cases of the novel virus continue to rise. But official projections have been quietly revised to no longer suggest deaths could soon overtake those in the first wave peak.
On Saturday, graphics revealed during the Downing Street press conference suggested the UK would see up to 1,500 deaths a day by early December.
This is far higher than the numbers seen during the first outbreak of the deadly virus back in Spring.
However, government documents show the figures were far too high and have been “amended after an error was found”.
This amendment comes after MPs voted to impose the new lockdown restrictions yesterday.
The forecast now predicts around 1,000 deaths per day by December 8 – a figure on par with that in April.
Just days after Sir Patrick Vallance presented a “very grim picture” in the fight agains the virus, the Government Office for Science corrected two of the slides.
These changes reduced the number of both deaths and hospital admissions.
The original presentation suggest hospital admissions could rise up to 9,000 a day in early December.
Now the figure has been cut to 6,000 in the updated slides.
This comes after a separate model showed a worst-case scenario of 4,000 deaths a day by the end of December.
This terrifying figure was based on out-of-date data which has also been updated.
Earlier this week, both Sir Patrick and Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, were questioned in the Commons science and technology committee.
Sir Patrick said he “regretted” if he had not made it clear that those scenarios were models rather than projections.
He told MPs: “The right graphs to focus on are the six-week medium-term forward projections.”
Professor Whitty then added he had “never used anything beyond six weeks in anything I have ever said to any minister on this issue”.
Professor Heneghan, the director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University, raised concerns that incorrect data was “systematically” being used to drive the country into lockdown.
He told the Telegraph: “It really worries me that, on matters that are this important, we are finding that the data is absolutely riddled with errors.
“I don’t know if the data is being rushed through or if what we are seeing is bias being introduced, but what we are seeing looks systematic.
“All the mistakes are consistently in one direction, so you have to ask whether it is being done on purpose to suit the policies, like lockdown, they want to impose.”
He added: “We’re in an era where public compliance is essential to public health, and in due course we will need people to take the vaccine.
“That requires people to trust the Government.”
The Office for Statistics Regulation lashed out at the government for their lack of transparency over the publication of the data.
In a damning statement, it said: “The use of data has not consistently been supported by transparent information being provided in a timely manner.
“As as result, there is potential to confuse the public and undermine confidence in the statistics.”
A Government spokesman said: “The main consensus projection remains unaltered.
“The data still clearly shows, and the consensus remains, that without intervention we are likely to breach the first wave of hospital admissions and deaths in a matter of weeks.”
This is a breaking story. More to follow…
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