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Information relating to medical questions around Corona virus.

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First published:
27 April 2022
Last updated:

Details

26 April 2022

 

Dear

ATISN 14667 – Corona virus

Thank you for your request to the Welsh Government for information under the Freedom of Information Act (2000) received on 15 December 2021.  Please note, the Welsh Government is facing unprecedented challenges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  As a result resources, both finances and people, are being diverted away from many of our usual activities to deal with the pandemic. This will undoubtedly impact on our ability to comply with the normal requirements for information rights work and as a result you may experience delays when making information rights requests during the pandemic. We thank you for your understanding during this time. 

You made a large number of individual requests, some of which have not been answered as they are not valid freedom of information requests or fall under Section 21 of the Freedom of Information act- available in public domain.

You requested the following:

  1. To seek information about the Coranvirus.

Our response

Q1

For decades up to 1 March 2020 or thereabouts virologists and epidemiologists etc advised that aerosols from the nose were only carried for 1.0m (or less) from the person (cf common cold research, colds being caused a Corona virus). The viral particles were said to only survive a matter of seconds or minutes in the atmosphere after discharge, I shall be grateful for a copy of the research that is said to show that this is incorrect and why 'several metres and days' are now considered to be correct.

 

This information is available in the public domain. For example,

High amounts of SARS-CoV-2 in aerosols exhaled by patients with Omicron variant infection - PMC

Differences in environmental stability among SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern: Omicron has higher stability 

NERVTAG and EMG: Role of aerosol transmission in COVID-19, 22 July 2020  

Q2

Why the Governments have not adopted legislation to prevent the sale of unwrapped consumables unless they are under constant supervision (e.g. markets). Many/most people shopping in supermarkets fondle unwrapped fruit, vegetables and bread — I have drawn this to the attention of the supermarkets and the Ministers who have ignored the matter.

 

This is not a valid freedom of information request for recorded information held by Welsh Government.

Q3

It seems that there is a high probability that most if not all people have one or more of the variation of the Corona viruses in their bodies, just as everyone has the Corona virus that causes the common cold, another virus that causes chickenpox etc. The disease only arises when the 'pathogen pressure' (this is not the correct name) over-rides the immune system. In the circumstances why does the Governments not allow the whole population to the tested? There is a secondary issue, namely IF a person does not have a Corona virus of any variation or has it but it is 'benign' they should be allowed to continue their lives as normal, why is this not done and allowed? Having the virus means just that — fact, with no medical implications.

 

This is not a valid freedom of information request for recorded information held by Welsh Government.

Q4

Related to the previous paragraph, the Governments are not concerned that everyone may be carrying Corona viruses. Why not?

 

This is not a valid freedom of information request for recorded information held by Welsh Government.

Q5

I fail to understand why the Governments question the permanency of the immune system. As far as I understand it no immune system works indefinitely cf common cold, chickenpox, various flu viruses etc, I shall be grateful for an explanation.

 

This is not a valid freedom of information request for recorded information held by Welsh Government.

Q6

Before say 1 March 2020 many places were seriously over-crowded for example supermarkets, aircraft, sporting events etc. It is reasonable for the Governments to adopt legislation to ensure people maintain the closest distance of at least 1.5m from each other. Put in other terms, why do the Governments not make it AN OFFENCE to be within 1.5m of another person anywhere and at all times, with fixed penalties of £500 per person.

 

This is not a valid freedom of information request for recorded information held by Welsh Government.

Q7

The Governments should adopt legislation to require the thorough washing of hands after going to the toilet etc etc. As with the previous and similar situations some may be difficult to enforce as are all the thousands of offences listed in Stone's Justices' Manual, most of which are not enforced.

 

This is not a valid freedom of information request for recorded information held by Welsh Government.

Q8

I shall be grateful for a list of the daily deaths caused wholly by Covid-19 from 1 March 2020 to 30 November 2020 as recorded on certified death certificates in possession of the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths. The Ministers will know that relatives have 5 working days to register a death consequently for all practical purposes accurate data are only likely to be available about 14 days after the death.

 

This information is available in the public domain and is reported by ONS Deaths - Office for National Statistics

Q9

A huge amount of the 'rules' is based on seriously flawed science including psychological issues. It appears that the Ministers and their officials have no understanding of virology, epidemiology otherwise they would not promote restrictions and make statements that are contrary to the biological sciences and even common sense. I will reserve these matters to a future letter. At this stage it is not clear whether Ministers are being properly and comprehensively informed, t do not want to know,' whether the advice is being ignored or whether ignorant 'politics' are overwhelming. Whatever it is, it is clear that Ministers are imposing draconian restrictions without any understanding of the relevant parts of the biological sciences.

 

This is not a valid freedom of information request for recorded information held by Welsh Government.

Q10

Medics universally agree that the ONLY way of being certain that a person has died as a consequence of being infected by a Corona virus and subsequently Covid-19 is via a Post Mortem examination. This requires the death to be reported to HM Coroner who will then instruct a pathologist to undertake the examination and report back, The Coroner then has the choice; first he (she) can issue the necessary documents to allow the disposal of the body to proceed or second, require an Inquest should he (she) consider desirable.

 

This is not a valid freedom of information request for recorded information held by Welsh Government.

Q11

I should remind the Ministers that pneumonia can be caused by various viruses, bacteria (and related 'species') and protozoans. In short, Covid-19 is only one of many causes of respiratory diseases that causes death. The Ministers will also know that there are several categories of pneumonia including 'community pneumonia.' Will the Ministers please let me know how many deaths caused by pneumonia are attributable to each type of the disease and the different organisms.

A11

This information is not held by Welsh Government. Public Health Wales publish a Weekly Influenza and Acute Respiratory Infection Report here.

Q12

It is reasonable to ensure accurate and reliable information on deaths caused by Covid-19 and which does not mislead the public. Ministers (acting responsibly) will have obtained the following information from each Coroner throughout England and Wales:

Q12a

The number of Post Mortem examinations undertaken and the cause of death if it resulted from Covid 19 per week from I March 2020 to present.

 

This is not a valid freedom of information request for recorded information held by Welsh Government.  Public Health Wales COVID-19 death reporting is published here and only includes deaths of a hospitalised patient in welsh hospitals or care home residents where COVID-19 has been confirmed with a positive laboratory test and the clinician suspects this was a causative factor in death.

Q12b

Whether it was necessary to hold an Inquest, why and the result, on a weekly basis. Given reports in the media it is very surprising that quite a large number of Inquests related to Covid 19 were not carried out.

 

This is not a valid freedom of information request for recorded information held by Welsh Government.

Q12c

The number of deaths per week resulting from respiratory diseases NOT wholly attributed to Covid 19

Given that responsible Governments wishing to issue accurate and unquestionable data will have this information in a few seconds, at the press of a button, I shall be most grateful for a copy of both sets of information.

 

This information is not held by Welsh Government.

Public Health Wales COVID-19 death reporting is published here and only includes deaths of a hospitalised patient in welsh hospitals or care home residents where COVID-19 has been confirmed with a positive laboratory test and the clinician suspects this was a causative factor in death.

Q13

I shall be grateful for the number of people and organisations in England and Wales who have been convicted of infringements of the 'rules' or given fixed penalties.

 

This information is not held by Welsh Government and is available in the public domain.

Data on the number of Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) issued under the COVID-19 regulations by police forces in England and Wales is collected by policing and published bi-monthly by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC). This information can be found on the NPCC website.

The latest figures collected up to 19 December 2021 was published on 11 January 2022 and can be found here: Update on the national police absence rate and Coronavirus FPNs issued by forces in England and Wales

Police in England and Wales have processed a total of 118,963 fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for breaches under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020 and subsequent amendments.

 

Q14

Why have the Governments failed to adopt social distancing, the wearing of face coverings and the failure to wash hands that may be contaminated as criminal offences and to protect those who wish to comply against those who do not? As it people who wish to comply have no protection or recourse against those who do not — we are left unprotected — why?

A14

This is not a valid freedom of information request for recorded information held by Welsh Government.

Q15

I shall be grateful if the Minister's will let me know why the two Governments differ so widely in terms of the behaviour of the various and related matters — the science is identical in both Countries.

A15

This is not a valid request for recorded information held by Welsh Government.  

Q16

What number of people constitutes a 'household?' It seems to me that it can be anywhere between say 3 and 60 — many ethnic families are very large. I assume that the Governments have calculated the probability (on size classes) of a member of one of the three households being infected by the Corona virus and the probability of a member dying from it. I shall be most grateful for the data.

A16

Welsh Government does not hold this information.

Scientific advice from the Welsh Technical Advisory Cell is available here and advice to the UK Government from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies is available here.

Q17

Can I assume that the Corona virus is not active from 23-27 December? What is the strict scientific assessment/data on which this is based? If my assumption is incorrect I assume that the Governments have calculated the probability of a person being infected and/or dying during this period. I shall be grateful for a copy the information.

A17

Welsh Government does not hold this information.

Scientific advice from the Welsh Technical Advisory Cell is available here and advice to the UK Government from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies is available here.

Next steps

The request you sent me contains personal information about you - for example, your name and address.  The Welsh Government will be the controller for this information and, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation, it will be processed in order to fulfil our public task and meet our legal obligations under the Act to provide you with a response.  We will only use this personal information to deal with your request and any matters which arise as a result of it.  We will keep your personal information and all other information relating to your request for three years from the date on which your request is finally closed.  Your personal information will then be disposed of securely.

Under data protection legislation, you have the right:  

  • to be informed of the personal data we hold about you and to access it
  • require us to rectify inaccuracies in that data
  • to (in certain circumstances) object to or restrict processing
  • for (in certain circumstances) your data to be ‘erased’
  • to (in certain circumstances) data portability
  • to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who is our independent regulator for data protection

For further information about the information which the Welsh Government holds and its use, or if you wish to exercise your rights under the GDPR, please see contact details below:

Data Protection Officer
Welsh Government
Cathays Park    
CARDIFF
CF10 3NQ
Email:   DataProtectionOfficer@gov.wales

Any information released under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or Environmental Information Regulations 2004 will be listed in the Welsh Government’s Disclosure Log (at Freedom of information responses).

If you are dissatisfied with the Welsh Government’s handling of your request, you can ask for an internal review within 40 working days of the date of this response.  Requests for an internal review should be addressed to the Welsh Government’s Freedom of Information Officer at:

Information Rights Unit, 
Welsh Government,
Cathays Park, 
Cardiff, 
CF10 3NQ 
or Email: Freedom.ofinformation@gov.wales

Please remember to quote the ATISN reference number above.

You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner.  The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner’s Office, 
Wycliffe House, 
Water Lane, 
Wilmslow, 
Cheshire, 
SK9 5AF

However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a complaint until it has been through our own internal review process.

Yours sincerely