Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Poms Dropping Like Flies As Flu Epidemic Bites

The UK is in the grips of what is being desribed by authorities as a full scale killer-flu epidemic. People are dropping like flies and up to 20,000 could die. John Howard reports

Last night, Dr Sam Everington, a member of the British Medical Council, said the health service should be planning for thousands of deaths over the coming weeks. But health secretary, Alan Milburn says that he was confident the health service could cope.

"Nobody knows when this will peak but we are now certain that the official figures are dramatically under-reporting the extent of the flu," Milburn said.

Only people who visit their doctors are officially recorded as flu victims but the goverment's own advertising campaign implored people not to go to their already over-stretched doctors if they have flue symptoms.

The government's chief medical officer, Professor Liam Donaldson, said that 300 people in every 100,000 now have the flu. The government's offical figures are 144 in every 100,000 which many, including Professor Donaldson, are saying is grossly under-estimated.

One sure sign of the scale of the outbreak is that the health services' new medical advice phone line has already taken more than 200,000 calls from people with flu-like symptoms. These people have not necessarily been to their doctor and are not reported as flu victims. Many "spotter" surgeries used to compile flu statistics are also closed for the holidays.

But hospitals throughout the UK are stretched to the limit, wards are full, staff are stressed, surgery has been cancelled and refrigerated trucks are parked in hospital carparks to take the over-flow of bodies from morgues who can take no more.

Health authorities in Europe are now on red alert with Holland already experiencing a large influx of flu victims.

The last flu epidemic in the UK was in 1989 when 26,000 people died. The last worldwide epidemic was in 1968 but the worst pandemic claimed between 25 and 40 million lives over the winter of 1918-19.

The Tories are increasing their attacks on the Government for failing to plan adequately for the crisis. Liam Fox, the shadow health secretary said, " If Alan Milburn thinks services are well prepared he is the only person who does. GP's and patients have been warning about this for months."


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Media Collusion With National’s Attack Lines

For most of the past week, any consumer of this country’s management of Covid-19 would think New Zealand was actually Brazil, or Texas. The media language has been full of claims of “botches” at the border, and laxness and inexcusable errors ... More>>

Gregor Thompson: Don’t Be Too Pessimistic About New Zealand’s Future.

With the first hurdle hopped our Government will be turning its attention to trying to soften the economic damage this pandemic has on our little archipelago. More>>

Eric Zuesse: U.S. Empire: Biden And Kerry Gave Orders To Ukraine’s President

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at Strategic Culture On May 19th, an implicit international political warning was issued, but it wasn’t issued between countries; it was issued between allied versus opposed factions within each of two countries: U.S. and Ukraine. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Budget Cockups In The Time Of Coronavirus: Reporting Errors And Australia’s JobKeeper Scheme

Hell has, in its raging fires, ringside seats for those who like their spreadsheets. The seating, already peopled by those from human resources, white collar criminals and accountants, becomes toastier for those who make errors with those spreadsheets. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Welcome Deaths: Coronavirus And The Open Plan Office

For anybody familiar with that gruesome manifestation of the modern work place, namely the open plan office, the advent of coronavirus might be something of a relief. The prospects for infection in such spaces is simply too great. You are at risk from ... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Why Thinking Makes It So: Donald Trump’s Obamagate Fixation

The “gate” suffix has been wearing thin since the break-in scandal that gave it its birth. Since Watergate, virtually anything dubious and suggestive, and much more besides, is suffixed. Which brings us to the issue of President Donald Trump’s ... More>>



Binoy Kampmark: Brutal Choices: Anders Tegnell And Sweden’s Herd Immunity Goal

If the title of epidemiological czar were to be created, its first occupant would have to be Sweden’s Anders Tegnell. He has held sway in the face of sceptics and concern that his “herd immunity” approach to COVID-19 is a dangerous, and breathtakingly ... More>>