BBC Welsh Affairs Editor: ‘Negligence’ responsible for number of pandemic cases in UK

Vaughan Roderick’s blog

The number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the UK has been the result of the “neglect” of governments who did not follow the World Health Organisation’s advice, according to the BBC’s Welsh Affairs Editor.

In a blog posted on the Welsh language news service BBC Cymru Fyw, Vaughan Roderick, who is a regular presenter on BBC Wales TV and radio, says that governments in the UK will be “called to account” for their actions during the Covid period.

He juxtaposes the response in Wales and the rest of the UK with the state of South Australia who have implemented a rigorous testing regime open to all.

“The first case of the coronavirus [in South Australia] was detected on the second of February, four weeks before the first outbreak in Wales,” he says.

“How do they compare now? In South Australia, which has about half the population of Wales, there were 433 cases with four deaths. In Wales, the figures are 5,848 and 403.

“In other words, Wales has almost as many deaths as South Australia does cases, even though the virus arrived in the state a month before it reached us. Why the difference? The answer is simple. Test, test and test again, then isolate and find connections.

“That is, South Australia followed the WHO’s advice rather than listening to the wise men of the nudge units and social modellers. South Australia has 54 testing centres that are open to all. There are only a few centres for frontline workers in Wales. That’s the difference.

“At the end of it all, some will try to convince us that there is something inevitable about the pandemic and all those deaths. There wasn’t. South Australia is proof of that.”

 

‘Failures’

In the blog Vaughan Roderick also says that there are “huge questions to answer” in the failure of governments in the UK to carry out further tests.

“Here in Wales it was promised that there would be 5,000 tests every day by mid-April, which is now. We failed to meet that target,” he says.

“Wales currently has the capacity to carry out 1,300 tests every day but even all of these are not being carried out due to failures in the system to direct health and care workers to the centres.

“The closure of the test centre at Cardiff City Stadium on Easter Monday was a disaster for the Welsh Government in terms of public relations and public confidence.

“Now, the Welsh government admits that there have been problems and to say that there is global competition for tests is true. They’re not offering excuses, but reasons.

“However, the fact remains that some foreign governments have been far more successful in dealing with the crisis than those of the UK.”

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Helen Lewis
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Helen Lewis

I haven’t the figures to hand of cases and deaths in South Korea, but they make exactly the same point. Rigorous testing, tracing and isolation has been successful in containing the virus.
It’s extraordinary that two thirds of Britons according to Yougov think the government is doing fairly well or better in addressing the crisis. So much for over 10000 deaths. And today we learned that people have been discharged from hospital into care homes without being tested, and that deaths in care homes are thought so unimportant that they aren’t even counted in the national figures. Utterly scandalous.

Ann Owen
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Ann Owen

Not only all of this, but now we discover that UK Gov’s flashy sheme contracting Dysons etc to make ventilators, ignoring the smaller specialist makers, has hit the rocks – the ventilator specs given to these firms by UK Gov weren’t fit for purpose. They didn’t go with the expert medical advice, but instead for the most basic tin can model – the machines can’t be used for more than a couple of hours! Useless! Yes a complete scandal!

Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

… and probably paying top £ for these “tin cans” because they are good friends and trying their best ! Well it’s just not good enough. I accept that South Australia may have certain characteristics that makes the transmission of Covid 19 a touch different. However the differential is spectacular. Several weeks ago someone spoke of “herd immunity”, probably meant to say herd mentality !. Politicians and MSM have got into a spin rut and the b***s**t is escalating while testing levels just don’t get off the ground.

j humphrys
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j humphrys

This massaging of figures, and the propaganda that goes with it, hasn’t gone unnoticed in the European media.
“Clap hands for Boris and the NHS” -vans patrolling streets, “just like the nazis” muttered my wife. And no one chucked a brick! Still, the most important thing is to look after our people. Flood local media with awareness.

Llyn
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Llyn

In respect of the UK Government from the related statistics being generous they have done just a bit better than useless. We may well end up as the worst hit country in Europe having been one of the last to feel the full effects of the virus, so having the longest time to learn from other’s mistakes. If the virus continues to follow the same trajectory with tens of thousands of Britons dieing, in the UK’s greatest peacetime disaster, Boris Johnson, must do the honourable thing and resign. I have no doubt that if Jeremy Corbyn had won the election,… Read more »

John Ellis
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John Ellis

I always appreciate Vaughan Roderick’s perceptive political journalism and make a point of listening to his programme on Radio Wales every Sunday morning. On this matter he may perhaps be safe, because having blogged in Welsh his thoughts are perhaps less likely to be picked up east of Offa’s Dyke. But remembering the drubbing that Andrew Gilligan and the Beeb got at the government-commissioned hands of Lord Hutton as a consequence of overly sharp probing of the circumstances around the death of Dr David Kelly, I wouldn’t be entirely sure. When you ‘speak evil of dignities’ they can feel disposed… Read more »

j humphrys
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j humphrys

Yank comic on the brits: “Well oim so umble, I know me ploice. Woy, sir, oim trynin me dorter ter be a doormat”!

John Ellis
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John Ellis

Reminiscent of John Cleese, Rinnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett back in 1966: “I look up to him because he is upper class, but I look down on him [Corbett] because he is lower class.” “I know my place.” …

j humphrys
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j humphrys

My Finnish wife’s, Penelope Keith-like, reaction to that sketch, shown recently here;
“Why are they laughing?”

Jonesy
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Jonesy

Thank you Vaughan for telling it as it is. Thank you for stating the obvious when other journalist who get paid 100s of 1000s more than yourself are too timid or close to the centre of power dare not raise. Its only you and dare I say it Piers Morgan who really ASK questions.

Simon Gruffydd
Guest

Tests don’t “save” anyone. The most accurate figures for coronavirus are already in. Between 10% to 20% will get the virus. Approximately half of those will never know it (asymptomatic). The other half will have mild symptoms. Less than 5% (1% of the population) will get ill. A much smaller fraction of that may die (maximum 0.3%, probably much less). 99% of those who die “with” (not necessarily “of”) coronavirus already had 1 or more life-threatening illnesses. The average age is 80+. No government can ‘defeat’ a virus. Only our natural immune systems can do that. Get the facts, not… Read more »