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A Running Journal of Written Correspondence

A Running Journal of Written Correspondence

HOLDING OFFICIALDOM TO ACCOUNT

 

From Big Gee’s Blog

Below is a journal tracking correspondence to various organisations and governments requesting information and clarification regarding this ongoing ‘Covid-19’ episode.

Replies (when received) are also published. Please feel free to comment on the contents of this page, or to request enquiries on your behalf.


Correspondence Journal

Last Updated: 21st of October 2020

 


 

 INDEX

 (Click on Index Number to go to content)

CORRESPONDENCE  TITLE
01 FOIA request to Welsh Government:

Covid 19 death recording process

02 FOIA request to UK Government:

Covid 19 death recording process

03 FOIA request to: Welsh Government:

Scientific evidence for 2 metre social distance rule

04 Stage 1 [a] complaint to BBC:

Inaccurate news reporting: “R” Number

05 Stage 1 [a] complaint to BBC:

Funding by BMGF to “BBC Media Action”

06 Letter to Mark Drakeford MS:

Concerns regarding PCR test and death recording process

07 Enquiry to Welsh Government:

Covid 19 home testing kit

08 Letter to Matt Hancock MP:

Various concerns

09 Stage 1 [b] complaint to: BBC

Inaccurate news reporting: “R” Number

10 Enquiry to Ben Lake MP:

Scrutiny of emergency statutes

11 Enquiry to Office for National Statistics:

Death recording statistics

12 FOIA to Welsh Government:

Processing of personal data

13 FOIA to BBC:

Funding provided by BMGF to “BBC Media Action” in 2018 / 19 and 2019 / 20

14 FOIA to Public Health Wales [P H W]:

Covid 19 antibody testing

15 FOIA to Public Health Wales [P H W]:

The total external funding (and funding source) received to date by your “Policy Research and International Development Directorate” following its official designation as Collaborating Centre by WHO

16 To: Welsh Gvmnt’s First Minister – Rt Hon Mark Drakeford M S:

Covid 19 Local Lock-down – Change in statute / regulations

17 To: PHW FOI team – Covid 19:

Request for information – Face masks

18 Letter to:

Dr Tracey Cooper Chief Executive Public Health Wales

19 Ceredigion County Council:

Safe Zones – Request for information – FOI Act 2000

20

Enquiry to ONS regarding:

Covid-19 death statistics

21

FOIA request to PHE:

Product Information Sheet & Safety Data Sheet for RT-PCR test kit

22

FOIA request to  Public Health England – Freedom of Information Team:

Covid 19 – Use of Face Covering – Change of Policy

23

To: Welsh Government – Minister for Health and Social Services – Rt Hon Vaughan Gething M.S:

Covid 19 – Urban Safe Zones

24 Open letter to:

Sir David Norgrove, Chair, UK Statistics Authority

25 To: Welsh Government – Freedom of Information Team

Subject: Covid 19 Antibody Testing Process

26 Open letter to:

Mr Duncan Selbie, (Chief Executive, Public Health England):

Economic “lockdown” imposed by UK Government as a consequence of the Covid-19 crisis

27 To: 10 Downing Street on Prime Minister (contact form)

Subject: Lock-down impact assessment

28 Open letter to: Janine McMeekin (BBC Complaints Team)

Complaint to BBC: Case No. CAS-6081489-B7D5D6

29

Open letter to: Rt Hon Vaughan Gething M S (Minister for Health and Social Services – Welsh Government)

Covid 19 Field Hospitals in Wales

30

Open letter to: Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency [MHRA]

Covid-19 test kits currently used in Wales

31 Open letter to: Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP – Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

Covid-19 testing and death recording data and statistics

32 Open letter to: Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister Welsh Government

Covid-19 testing and death recording data and statistics

33 Open letter to: Rt Hon Vaughan Gething MS (Minister for Health and Social Services), Welsh Government

Covid-19 [personal data capture and processing]

34 Freedom of Information Officer [F O I Officer], Public Health Wales

Covid 19 Track and Trace – Capture and processing of personal data

35 Open letter to: Correspondence Team, Cabinet Office

Subject: Covid 19 – Use of Face Covering – Change of Policy

36

Open letter to: Customer Contact Team, Public Health England

Subject: Covid 19 vaccination trials UK

37

Open letter to: Rt Hon Boris Johnson Prime Minister, 10 Downing Street, Westminster.

Subject: Investigation – Covid 19  testing process

38 Open letter to:Correspondence Team, Cabinet Office.

Subject: Government Guidance – Vaccine Damage Payment

39 Open letter to: Rt Hon Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Health and Social Services, Welsh Government

Subject: Covid 19 – Contact details – Personal data harvesting

40 To: Customer Contact Team, Public Health England [P H E]

P H E Review of Evidence – Covid 19 and Obesity

41 Open letter to: Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive, Public Health England

Subject: Covid 19 – New quarantine regulations 26 July 2020

42 Letter to: Rebecca Holley, Customer and Data Release Officer
Office for National Statistics [ONS]
Subject: Re: Covid-19 [ National statistics relating to death from Covid-19] – Ref: CCC134458
43

Open letter to: Technical Advisory Cell, Welsh Government.

Subject: Scientific / medical advice to Welsh Government – face masks

44 Open letter to: Tash, Correspondence and Public Enquiries Officer, Public Health England

Subject: Covid 19 vaccination trials UK

45

To: Freedom of Information Officer, Information Rights Unit, Welsh Government.

Subject: F O I Act 2000 / E I R 2004 – Covid 19 home test kit – consultancy role

46

To: Customer Contact Team, National Institute for Health Research [N I H R]

Subject: Clinical trial – candidate vaccine – LNP-nCoVsaRNA

47 Open letter to: Correspondence Team,Cabinet Office’ 70 Whitehall,  London

Subject: Covid-19 – Interpretation of RT-PCR test results

48 Open letter to: Coronavirus team, Public Health England

Subject: New Covid -19 test announced 3 August 2020

49 Letter To: Information Commissioner’s Office – Wales

Subject: Harvesting of genetic material [DNA] under Covid-19 test, track and trace programme.

50 Letter To: Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies [SAGE]
Subject: Scientific / medical evidence on use of face covering during Covid-19 crisis
51

To: Freedom of Information Officer

Subject: Clinical trial – candidate vaccine – LNP-nCoVsaRNA

52 To: Rt Hon Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Health and Social Services, Welsh Government

Subject: Covid-19 testing strategy in Wales

53  To: Correspondence and Public Enquiries Officer
Public Health England
Subject: Covid 19 – Test Trace and Protect [T T P] Programme – Data Protection Impact Assessment
54

To: Customer Service Team, Ceredigion County Council

Subject: Aberaeron Town – Modifications to road layout

55 To:  Freedom of Information Team, Public Health Wales

Subject: Covid 19 – Test Trace and Protect [T T P] Programme – Data Protection Impact Assessment

56 To:  Lord Tony Hall, BBC Director General and Editor in Chief

Subject: Covid 19 – Major demonstration Trafalgar Square London – 29 August 2020

57 To: thismorning@itv.com 

Subject: Good Morning Britain interview with Piers Corbyn

58

To: Correspondence Team, Cabinet Office

Subject: Behavioural Insights Team

59 To: Rt Hon Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Health and Social Services, Welsh Government
Subject: Covid 19 – Caerphilly Local Lockdown
60 Open letter to: Correspondence Team, Cabinet Office, Whitehall

Subject: Covid 19 – Request for urgent review

61

TO: F O I Team, Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall, London

Subject: Covid 19 – Rule of 6 – Legal requirement effective from Monday 14 September in England

62

Open letter to: Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive, Public Health England
Subject: Covid 19 – RT-PCR testing process

63

Open letter to: Dr Tracey Cooper, Chief Executive, Public Health Wales

Subject: Covid 19 – RT-PCR testing process

64 To: Customer Contact Centre, Welsh Government

Subject: Covid 19 – Rhondda Cynon Taff – Local Lockdown

65

To: Customer Services Team, Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency [M H R A]

Subject: New Covid 19 tests approved for use

66

Open letter to: Rt Hon Mark Drakeford M.S., First Minister, Welsh Government

Subject: Covid 19 and Seasonal Influenza

67

Open letter to: Correspondence and Public Enquiries Officer, Public Health England

Subject: Covid 19 and Seasonal Influenza

68

To:  Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister

Subject: Covid 19 – Test Trace and Protect Programme [T T P] – Wales

69

To:  Freedom of Information Officer, Information Rights Unit, Welsh Government

Subject: Covid 19 Lockdown [Cardiff, Swansea and Llanelli] – Request for information

70

Open letter to: Correspondence Team, Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall

Subject: Senior UK Government Advisors – Conflict of interests

71 Open letter to: Mr Tim Davie, Director General and Editor in Chief, 
BBC Broadcasting HouseSubject: BBC Breakfast – 29 September 2020
72 To:  Freedom of Information Team, Public Health Wales.

Subject: Royal Glamorgan Hospital – major Covid-19 outbreak

73 To: Customer Contact Centre, Office for National Statistics.
Subject: Covid-19 “Case Numbers”
74 To: Correspondence Team, Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall.

Subject: Publication of Statistics – Hospital Bed Capacity

75

To: Freedom of Information Team, Canolfan Rheidol, Rhodfa Padarn

Subject: Covid-19 Safe Zones – Cardigan Aberaeron, New Quay Aberystwyth

76

To: Freedom of Information Team, Canolfan Rheidol, Rhodfa Padarn

Subject: CCC – Contact Tracing Service

77

To: Customer Contact Centre, Office for National Statistics [ONS]

Subject: Covid 19 – Case Numbers

78

To: Freedom of Information Team, Public Health England

Subject: Covid 19 Laboratory location – RT-PCR test

79

To: Freedom of Information Officer, Information Rights Unit, Welsh Government.

Subject: Covid 19 – Firebreak Lockdown [Wales] 26 October to 9 November 2020

80

To: Freedom of Information Team, Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall, London.

Subject: NHS Test and Trace programme – Data sharing with police

 

01 Enquiry

9 May 2020

Email request for information to Welsh Government under FOI Act.

I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information under F O I Act 2000 / E I R 2004 with regard to the Covid-19 global pandemic.

  1. Confirmation of the criteria that must be met before “death from Covid-19 virus” can be recorded on death certificate, and

  2. Copy of guidance issued by World Health Organisation to Welsh Government regarding Covid-19 virus death recording process

If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me. I look forward to receiving the information at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Regards


01 Response

28 May 2020

Response from Welsh Government

ATISN 13970 – Cause of death guidance

Thank you for your request to Welsh Government for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 received on 9 May. You have requested the following:

  1. Confirmation of the criteria that must be met before “death from Covid-19 virus” can be recorded on death certificate, and

  2. Copy of guidance issued by World Health Organisation to Welsh Government regarding Covid-19 virus death recording process

Death certification is a non-devolved responsibility. The UK Government issued guidance to all medical practices in England and Wales.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-notes-for-completing-a-medical-certificate-of-cause-of-death

The Welsh Government’s guidance to doctors in Wales on death certificationfor patients with proven or suspected coronavirus was included in the guidance: “Coronavirus Act – Excess Death Provisions: Information and Guidance for Medical Practitioners” was issued on 1 April 2020.

https://gov.wales/coronavirus-act-guidance-excess-death-provisions

The Welsh Government did not directly receive the World Health Organisation guidance regarding certification and classification of Covid-19 as a cause of death. A link to these international guidelines has been provided for ease of reference:

https://www.who.int/classifications/icd/Guidelines_Cause_of_Death_COVID-19.pdf


02 Enquiry

9 May 2020

Request for information to UK Government under FOI Act.

I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information under F O I Act 2000 / E I R 2004 with regard to the Covid-19 global pandemic.

  1. Confirmation of the criteria that must be met before “death from Covid-19 virus” can be recorded on death certificate, and

  2. Copy of guidance issued by World Health Organisation to UK Government regarding Covid-19 virus death recording process

If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me. I look forward to receiving the information at your earliest convenience.

Thank you.


02 Response

3 June 2020

Response from Department of Health & Social Care

I can confirm that the Department holds information relevant to your request. However, as the information held by the Department is in the public domain we will, under Section 21 of the FOIA [information accessible to the applicant by other means], refer you to the published source. The “Confirmation of the criteria that must be met before “death from Covid-19 virus” can be recorded on death certificate” is available online at:

https://improvement.nhs.uk/documents/6590/COVID-19-act-excess-death-provisions-info-and-guidance-31-march.pdf

Alternatively, guidance for medical practitioners on recording cause of death during the Covid-19 emergency can also be found at:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/877302/guidance-for-doctors-completing-medical-certificates-of-cause-of-death-covid-19.pdf

With regard to “guidance issued by World Health Organisation to UK Government regarding Covid-19 virus death recording process”, the World Health Organisation has published its International guidelines for certification and classification [coding] of COVID-19 as a cause of death. This information can be found at:

https://www.who.int/classifications/icd/Guidelines-Cause-of-Death-COVID-19.pdf


03 Enquiry

16 May 2020

Request for information under FOI Act 2000.

To: Welsh Government – Freedom of Information Team

During the Covid 19 global pandemic there is a requirement for the population of Wales to maintain a distance of 2.0 metres during social contact. I note that Welsh Government policy is driven by scientific / medical advice. I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information under the F O I Act 2000 / E I R 2004.

  1. Confirmation on whether the 2.0 metre distance is a statutory requirement or government guidance, and

  2. Copy of the scientific / medical evidence provided to Welsh Government to support the 2.0 metre social distance requirement.

If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. I look forward to receiving the information at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Regards


03 Response

28 May 2020

Response from Welsh Government.

ATISN 13983 – Covid 19 Social distancing policy – Scientific advice

Thank you for your request to the Welsh Government for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 received on 16 May. With regard to the Covid-19 social distancing, you have requested the following:

  1. Confirmation on whether the 2.0 metre distance is a statutory requirement or government guidance, and

  2. Copy of the scientific / medical evidence provided to Welsh Government to support the 2.0 metre social distance requirement

The 2.0m distance is based on SAGE advice. Welsh Government are members of SAGE but are not the owners of the papers that are submitted. The SAGE secretariat will work with the commissioners and authors of the papers to publish in due course, but until the papers are released we do not have permission to share them. The information you have requested will be published on the GOV.UK SAGE web-pages in due course, therefore this request falls within scope of an exemption category under section 22, “Information intended for future publication”. I have attached a link to the GOV.UK SAGE website should you wish to find out more about SAGE.

https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-sage-coronavirus-covid-19-response


04 Enquiry

17 May 2020

Stage 1[a] complaint to BBC regarding inaccurate news reporting.


Constant reference in BBC News to Covid-19 SEIRUS mathematical computer model. This is a mathematical computer model, developed by Nasarawa State University Keffi Nigeria, to estimate the probability of re-infection with Covid-19 coronavirus, often referred to as the “R” number. The preprint posted 6 April 2020 is not certified by peer review and its validity may therefore be subsequently challenged. Preprints are preliminary reports of work that has not been certified by peer review. They should not be relied on to guide clinical practice or health related behaviour and should not be reported in news media as established information, as clearly indicated on computer model documentation. This should be clearly explained in news bulletins to avoid providing totally misleading information to the public.


04 Response

1 June 2020

Stage 1 [a] response from BBC Complaints Team

Reference CAS-6066673-V3Q4M0

Thank you for contacting us regarding BBC News.
Please accept our apologies for the delay in replying. We know our correspondents appreciate a quick response and we are sorry you have had to wait on this occasion.
We note your concerns about our reporting on the R number.
The coronavirus crisis is a continuously developing story which has posed unprecedented challenges. The BBC is a trusted source of information, and we take our duty to report accurately and responsibly on developments extremely seriously.
Of course, choosing the information to include in any report is a subjective matter and one which we know not every member of our audience will feel we get right every time.
Whilst we appreciate you feel that the points you have raised “should be clearly explained in news bulletins” addressing this matter, it is simply not possible to explore all the various aspects of a subject such as this within the limited time provided by a news report.
Across our wider coverage, however, we have been able to shed more light on the R number and provide more information on it for our audience, such as in James Gallagher’s piece for the BBC News website below:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52473523
Finally, we would like to assure you that we value your feedback. All complaints are sent to senior management and our news teams every morning and we included your points in our overnight reports.
These reports are among the most widely read sources of feedback in the BBC and ensures that your complaint has been seen by the right people quickly. This helps inform their decisions about current and future output.
Thank you once again for getting in touch.

Kind regards
Terry Hughes

BBC Complaints Team
www.bbc.co.uk/complaints


05 Enquiry

24 May 2020

Stage 1 [a] complaint to BBC regarding factual inaccurate reporting


I have continuing concerns regarding the unbalanced presentation of news by the BBC during the Covid-19 crisis. I would be grateful if you could arrange to urgently investigate the funding provided by the “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation” [BMGF] to your subsidiary company “BBC Media Action”. This is believed to be over £56 Million. Your subsidiary company works closely with BBC News and other departments of the BBC. Would you please arrange to investigate whether the substantial funding provided by the BMGF [who are currently promoting a Covid-19 global vaccination programme] has influenced news coverage on this subject by BBC News. I take the view that we need factually accurate reporting by the BBC during this period and an explanation why the views of eminent members of the medical profession [including Professor Knut Wittkowski, Professor Dolores Cahill, Dr. Judy Mikovits, Dr. Rashid Buttat, Dr. Andrew Kaufmann and many others] are effectively being censored as they present a different narrative to that provided by the BMGF [who are not medically qualified to comment on immunology]. I would be grateful if you could arrange to process my complaint and convey the outcome to me at your earliest convenience. Would you also please provide me with the contact details of the regulator that oversees the work of the BBC so that further representations can now be made.

Thank you. 


05 Response

24 May 2020

Auto-acknowledgement from BBC: Case number CAS-6081489-B7D5D6

Our normal aim is to reply at this stage within 10 working days (two weeks), but at present we regret we have reduced staff numbers because of the coronavirus pandemic, and hope you will understand if we are unable to respond within normal service times. We will let you know if it may take us longer.

Thank you again for contacting us,

BBC Complaints Team
www.bbc.co.uk/complaints


05 Response (b)

16 July 2020

Dear Mr Jones,

Thank you for contacting the BBC and please accept our apologies for the regrettable delay in responding.

You are correct to say that BBC Media Action has received donations from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. BBC Media Action is an international development charity independent from the BBC and has no influence over BBC editorial decision-making. It does not fund or influence BBC News in any way.

We are committed to reporting with due impartiality and ensure that a range of views are expressed over a reasonable period of time.

There may be times when there is a consensus view on an issue, which will become apparent in our coverage; this doesn’t mean that we are agreeing with it, but simply that we’re reflecting the reality of what is happening. By the same token, we wouldn’t censor a minority viewpoint, even if some of our audience might find it unpalatable.
We are careful to check and report the facts surrounding any debate, examine relevant arguments, and offer detailed analysis. We believe that by doing this our audience can then make up their own minds.

You also asked for the contact details of the regulator that oversees the work of the BBC. The name of the regulator is Ofcom and their contact details can be found here:

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/contact-us

However, it is worth noting that Ofcom can only consider your complaint if you’ve already complained to the BBC, or in exceptional circumstances. Full detail about each stage of the BBC Complaints process and how to escalate any complaints can be found on pages 9-19 here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/contact/sites/default/files/2020-06/BBC_Complaints_Framework.pdf

We hope this response is helpful and rest assured your complaint was shared with senior management on our audience feedback report.

Many thanks once again for contacting us.
Kind regards,

Janine McMeekin

BBC Complaints Team
www.bbc.co.uk/complaints


06 Enquiry

29 May 2020

Letter to Rt Hon Mark Drakeford AM First Minister for Wales

Dear First Minister

I refer to the above subject and enclose, as Annex 01 below, abstracts from “International Guidance for Certification and Classification [Coding] of Covid-19 as cause of death.” The document, dated 16 April 2020, was prepared and circulated by World Health Organisation [WHO]. Welsh Government policy and process is driven by the guidance contained within the document. Having examined the document in detail I offer the following observations.

A specific test for Covid-19 virus has not been developed. It has not, to date, been identified or isolated. The test conducted is the quantitative Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction, or qRT-PCR. It does not detect antigen but viral RNA. The method used does not conform to the gold standard for identifying a virus, which is called Koch’s postulates. The way the test is conducted is by amplifying the RNA collected from lung fluid or a swab. The mixture is filtered and amplified. What is looked for is the Ribonucleic acid (RNA) – a polymeric molecule essential in various biological roles in coding. If RNA from a corona-virus is detected, the test is considered a positive for Covid-19. There are many thousands of corona-viruses of which Covid-19 is a strain. Large sections of the population have been exposed to some corona-virus in their lives: the common cold is a strain of corona-virus as is the seasonal flu.

I have serious concerns that a positive qRT-PCR test is considered justification for recording death from Covid-19 virus. The manufacturer of “SARS-CoV-2 Corona-virus Multiplex qRT-PCR kit” has advised that it should only be used for research purposes and not for diagnostic applications as it has not yet been clinically validated.

I would be grateful if you could seek urgent clarification from your officials and scientific advisors so that we can establish why a test that should not be used for diagnostic applications is being used to confirm death from Covid-19 virus, with recorded deaths driving Welsh Government policy and process and the lock-down of the economy in Wales.

I look forward to receiving clarification at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely


06 Response

Awaiting reply.


06 Follow Up (a)

4 July 2020

To: Welsh Government – First Minister – Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS

I refer to my letter to you dated 29 May, as again attached [LINK]. As a month has elapsed it would be helpful if you could give an indication of the time frame for your reply, following clarification from your scientific and medical advisors. Thank you.

Regards
*****


06 Reply to Follow Up (a)

To view please click on this LINK


07 Enquiry

30 May 2020

Email enquiry to Welsh Government Contact Centre.


I have viewed your helpful video demonstrating the use of the “coronavirus home testing kit” at the link below.
https://gov.wales/using-coronavirus-home-testing-kit
I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information relating to the home testing kit.

  1. Contact details of home testing kit manufacturer, and

  2. Home testing kit “Product Information Sheet”

  3. Home testing kit “Product Safety Data Sheet”

The information does not appear to be available on your website. I look forward to receiving the information at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Regards


07 Response

1 June 2020

Acknowledgement received: reference number HR-737854-K7N4. Target response 15 days.


07 Response

17 July 2020

Dear Mr Jones

Thank for your e-mail of 30 May requesting the contact details of a COVID -19 home test kit manufacturer, product information sheet and a product safety data sheet. Please accept my apologies for the length of time taken to reply.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is an executive agency, sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Care.  The MHRA offers advice on the different types of tests and testing kits for COVID-19, and the specifications for manufacturers. A link to their website and advice is here https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/mhra-guidance-on-coronavirus-covid-19

I hope that my reply is helpful.

Ralph Batten

HSS COVID 19 Testing Forum

Welsh Government  

E-bost / E-mail: Ralph.Batten@gov.wales


08 Enquiry

31 May 2020

Letter to Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP Secretary of State.

Dear Secretary of State

I refer to the above subject and, specifically, to the decision by the U S Government [USA] on 28 May 2020 to end association with, and funding of, the World Health Organisation [WHO] in view of serious concerns regarding their oversight and guidance / instructions during the Covid-19 pandemic. Funding in the sum of $450 million per annum was previously provided to the WHO by USA. In view of this action by USA I would be grateful if you could confirm whether the UK Government continue to have confidence in the Covid-19 guidance / instructions issued by the WHO, taking into consideration the following issues that have been identified to date.

  1. The death classification process from Covid-19 is based on a positive result from a test using “SARS – CoV-2 Coronavirus Multiplex RT-qPCR kit“. The test manufacturer confirms that the test should only be used for research purpose and not for clinical diagnosis. The relevant abstract is reproduced below. Do you consider that this has led to misreporting of deaths from Covid-19 virus by the UK Government and Media [including the British Broadcasting Corporation {BBC}]

  1. Although computer models, endorsed by WHO, have not been subject to peer review their outputs / predictions have been used to drive UK Government health policy and process. This has resulted in the lock-down of the UK economy with increased borrowing requirement for the Treasury, currently in the region of £400 billion. It has also resulted in substantial capital investment in additional hospital capacity [under the “Nightingale” programme], with the hospitals now mothballed and empty. The use of these flawed computer models has also resulted in significant delay in diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients, and others with life-threatening conditions, generating a future crisis for the National Health Service. Do you consider that an independent investigation is now justified in order to establish the facts regarding these flawed computer models and the source of funding to develop the models.

  1. A possible conflict of interest as a result of funding provided to WHO by the “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation [BMGF]” who are in a position to benefit financially through their substantial shareholding in major pharmaceutical companies that will deliver a Covid-19 solution [through a global vaccination programme and / or other countermeasures]. Does the UK Government consider that the BMGF should be in a position [through the funding provided] to dictate health policy and process to democratically elected national governments, given the serious medical and economic consequences. Funding provided by BMGF to WHO is in the region of £4.3 billion. The WHO coordinate, advise and instruct national governments on healthcare policy and process. Your scientific advisors receive substantial funding from the BMGF: Imperial College London £280 million, University of Oxford £243 million, Departments overseen by Professor Chris Witty England’s Chief Medical Officer £40 million.

  1. Does the UK Government endorse the action taken by USA on 28 May 2020 to issue an “executive order” preventing online censorship. Does the UK Government agree that the views of eminent members of the medical profession regarding the Covid-19 pandemic should not be censored in a free society. Additionally, does the UK Government accept that there may be a conflict of interest at the BBC given the funding, in the region of £56 million, provided to its subsidiary company “BBC Media Action” by the BMGF. I offer the following as evidence in support of my assertion. None of the following eminent members of the medical profession, who have clear views and guidance on how to manage the Covid-19 crisis, have been interviewed by BBC News broadcasters: Dr Andrew Kaufman, Dr Rashid Buttar, Professor Dolores Cahill, Professor Knut Wittkowski Dr Judy Mikovits Dr Shiva Ayyadurai.

I look forward to your response to my concerns as set out above at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Yours sincerely


08 Response

Awaiting reply.


08 Follow Up (a)

5 July 2020

Re: Covid 19 – Various concerns regarding UK Government policy and process

I refer to my letter dated 31 May 2020 addressed to the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP available for download from the following link.
https://biggeesblog.cymru/downloads/PDF/31_05_2020_WJ_MH-3.pdf
Your acknowledgement dated 1 June confirmed a target response time frame of 18 working days. As a month has now elapsed I write to enquire whether you are now in a position to respond or provide a revised target time frame for your reply. Thank you.

Regards


09 Enquiry

1 June 2020

Stage 1 [b] complaint to BBC: reference CAS-6066673-V3Q4M0

I acknowledge receipt of your Stage 1a response to my complaint under reference CAS-6066673-V3Q4M0. In accordance with protocol set out in “BBC Complaints Framework and Procedures” dated October 2017, I would be grateful if you could arrange to progress to Stage 1b of your complaints process. I remain of the view that the information provided in news bulletins relating to the SEIRUS computer model is factually inaccurate and not a matter of subjective judgement. Your complaints process does not allow me to communicate by email and there is no provision on your web-form to provide documentation as attachments. Please therefore refer to the scientific documentation relating to the SEIRUS computer model to inform your Stage 1b response. Your attention is drawn specifically the following statement from model developer.

Caution: Preprints are preliminary reports of works that have not been certified by peer review. They should not be relied on to guide clinical practice or health-related behaviour and should not be reported in news media as established information“.

I look forward to your Stage 1b response at your convenience. Thank you.


09 Response

1 June 2020

Acknowledgement from BBC Complaints Team

We are sorry to learn you weren’t satisfied with our earlier response and appreciate that you felt strongly enough to contact us again. Although we aim to reply at this next stage within 20 working days (four weeks), at present we regret we have reduced staff numbers because of the coronavirus pandemic, and hope you will understand if we are unable to respond within normal service times. If so we will let you know. For full details of our complaints process please visit: https://www.bbc.co.uk/contact/how-we-handle-your-complaint.

BBC Complaints Team
www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

15 June 2020

Update from BBC Complaints Team

Your Reference CAS-6066673-V3Q4M0

We are contacting you to apologise that we’ve not been able to reply to your complaint within the time period we aim for. Although we manage this for most complaints, we regret it’s not been possible so far because we have been dealing with a higher than normal number of cases.

If you wish to refer this delay and the substance of your complaint to the BBC’s regulator Ofcom, you can do so online at https://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv-radio-and-on-demand/how-to-report-a-complaint/bbc-tv-channel-radio-station-bbciplayer or by post to: Ofcom, Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HA. Please include for Ofcom your latest correspondence from and to the BBC and any BBC case reference numbers which you have been given.

Full details of the BBC’s complaints process can be found by visiting https://www.bbc.co.uk/contact/how-we-handle-your-complaint, and details of Ofcom’s complaints process are available at https://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv-radio-and-on-demand/information-for-industry/guidance/procedures.

In the meantime we appreciate your patience and will respond as soon as we can.

Kind regards

BBC Complaints Team
www.bbc.co.uk/complaints


10 Enquiry

2 June 2020

Email enquiry to Rt Hon Ben Lake MP for Ceredigion.

I refer to the Coronavirus Act 2020, enacted 25 March 2020, as set out in the link below.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2020/7/contents/enacted
I would be grateful if you could advise me whether Members of Parliament, including yourself, were given adequate opportunity to scrutinise this legislation in accordance with correct protocol, or whether you consider the legislation was “fast-tracked” to avoid scrutiny by Member of Parliament. I would welcome your views on this subject at your convenience. Thank you.

Regards


10 Response

5 June 2020

Response from Rt Hon Ben Lake MP for Ceredigion.

Dear Mr Jones,

I hope this finds you well in these uncertain times.

Thank you for writing to me with regard to the Coronavirus Act 2020. In my opinion, Parliament was not afforded the usual opportunity to scrutinise this piece of legislation, and indeed its progress through Parliament was expedited insofar as it was considered necessary to urgently pass the measures that it contained in order to effectively address the Coronavirus outbreak.

As such, I am not sure whether it was intentionally ‘fast-tracked’ in order to avoid Parliamentary scrutiny, although it is undoubtedly the case that this emergency measure was not subjected to the usual level of scrutiny nor indeed allocated the same amount of time as one would usually expect for such an important piece of legislation. The Government would justify this of course by pointing to the developing outbreak and the need for urgent action, and whilst I can accept this argument to some extent, I do believe that the Government should have conceded far greater opportunities for Parliament to scrutinise its handling of the crisis – and the exercise of the powers contained within the Act – on an ongoing basis.

Thank you once again for writing to me on this matter.

With best wishes,

Ben


11 Enquiry

3 June 2020

Request to: Office of National Statistics [ONS] – Contact Centre

I have concerns regarding the way the number of deaths from Covid-19 is currently being recorded and published and would appreciate clarification on how the statistics are compiled. I set out below information copied from “World Health Organisation” website relating to the I C D -10 codes used.

Abstract

  • Emergency use I C D codes for COVID-19 disease outbreak
  • The COVID-19 disease outbreak has been declared a public health emergency of international concern.
  • An emergency ICD-10 code of ‘U07.1 COVID-19, virus identified’ is assigned to a disease diagnosis of COVID-19 confirmed by laboratory testing.
  • An emergency ICD-10 code of ‘U07.2 COVID-19, virus not identified’ is assigned to a clinical or epidemiological diagnosis of COVID-19 where laboratory confirmation is inconclusive or not available.
  • Both U07.1 and U07.2 may be used for mortality coding as cause of death. See the International guidelines for certification and classification (coding) of COVID-19 as cause of death following the link below.
  • In ICD-11, the code for the confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 is RA01.0 and the code for the clinical diagnosis (suspected or probable) of COVID-19 is RA01.1.

End of abstract


Am I correct in assuming that clinicians are able to use code U07.1 on death certificate following a positive test result. It remains unclear which test is used as the manufacturer of “SARS – CoV-2 Coronavirus Multiplex RT-qPCR kit” has confirmed that the test should only be used for research purpose and not for clinical diagnosis. It also remains unclear under what circumstances clinicians are able to use code U07.2 on death certificate thus confirming death from Covid-19 without any evidence that the “virus” is the cause of death.

In compiling and analysing death statistics is the ONS able to differentiate between code U07.1 and code U07.2.

I remain concerned that misleading statistics regarding number of deaths from Covid-19 may now be driving UK Government policy and process with serious consequences for the UK economy. You will be aware of constant reference in news bulletins to “death from coronavirus“. There are a number of coronaviruses, the common cold and seasonal flu being two examples. In order to avoid generating misleading death statistics, does the ONS agree that we need to clearly differentiate between:

  1. Death from Covid-19, and

  2. Death with a coronavirus

I appreciate the difficult working conditions for ONS staff during the current lock-down period but would appreciate clarification on death recording process at your convenience. Thank you.

Regards


11 Response (a)

3 June 2020

Acknowledgement from ONS

Good afternoon. Thank you for your email. I have forwarded your request to our Health Data Team. The team will send a response directly to you. Their contact details are:

Phone: 01329 444110
Email : health.data@ons.gov.uk

Kind regards

Nathan Morgan
Customer Advisor
Office for National Statistics


11 Follow Up (a)

4 July 2020

To: Office of National Statistics [ONS] – Contact Centre

I refer to my request for information dated 3 June – as again attached in pdf format [LINK] and the acknowledgement from Nathan Morgan, also dated 3 June, advising that my request had been forwarded to your “Health Data Team”.

As a month has elapsed it would be helpful if you could forward a reminder to your colleagues in “Health Data Team” as I have not, to date, received a reply. You will appreciate that important decisions are taken by government ministers on a weekly basis regarding the lockdown of the economy. Pending receipt of your reply it remains unclear what confidence ONS has in the death recording process and the statistics generated from the raw data provided. An indication of the time frame for your reply would be helpful. Thank you.

Regards


11 Response (b)

8 July 2020

 Thank you for your email.

 ONS mortality data comes from the information collected at death registration.

All of the conditions mentioned on the death certificate are coded using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). From all of these causes an underlying cause of death is selected using ICD-10 coding rules. The underlying cause of death is defined by WHO as:

a) the disease or injury that initiated the train of events directly leading to death, or

b) the circumstances of the accident or violence that produced the fatal injury

 When we report numbers of deaths from coronavirus this is where specifically COVID-19 was confirmed or suspected.

 Coronavirus/COVID-19 is coded by ONS to ICD-10 codes U07.1 and U07.2 according to what cause is written on the certificate.  ONS follow a specific set of coding rules in order to identify and code whether coronavirus was the underlying (primary) cause of death or was mentioned as a contributory factor.  In our main weekly deaths bulletin we give a total number of deaths that involved COVID-19, that is deaths where it was underlying cause and deaths where is was mentioned, summed together.  The codes U07.1 and U07.2  do not distinguish between tested or not, but those coded to U07.2 are suspected cases.

 I hope this helps.

 Kind regards

 

Rebecca Holley

Customer Services and Data Release Officer

Health Analysis and Life Events

Public Policy Analysis

Office for National Statistics


12 Enquiry

8 June 2020

Request to Welsh Government under F O I Act 2000

I attach latest update report from “Public Health Wales” with regard to Covid-19 outbreak. Your attention is drawn to the text highlighted therein. With regard to the Novel Coronavirus [Covid-19] Symptoms Study App [supported by Welsh Government] I note that all data is shared daily with researchers at King’s College London and ZOE research teams. I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information under the F O I Act 2000:

  1. Details of how personal data under “Test, Trace and Protect” Strategy is processed in accordance with the key data management principles set out in the “General Data Protection Regulations” and “Data Protection Act 2018”, and

  2. Information setting out how the personal data gathered using the “Systems Study App”, and statistics generated from the data, is anonymised to comply with the key data management principles set out in the “General Data Protection Regulations” and “Data Protection Act 2018”.

If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. The information can be provided as an attachment to email. I look forward to receiving the information at your convenience. Thank you.

Regards


12 Response

9 June 2020

Response from Welsh Government

Acknowledgement from Welsh Government received under reference ATISN 14035. Response due on or before 6 July 2020.


13 Enquiry

10 June 2020

To: BBC Freedom of Information – Information Rights Team

Thank you for responding to my request for information. Your letter dated 10 June 2020 is attached hereto. I note that my request is excluded, pursuant to Part VI of Schedule 1 of the F O I A, with no provision for internal review.

Accordingly, I would be grateful if you could arrange to process a separate request as set out below that is considered to fall outside the criteria set out in Part VI of Schedule 1. I would be grateful if you could provide the following information at your earliest convenience.

The total funding provided by the “Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [B M G F]” to your subsidiary company “BBC Media Action” itemised as under:

  • Total funding provided by B M G F in 2018 / 19 financial year, and
  • Total funding provided by B M G F in 2019 / 20 financial year

If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. I accept that this can now be processed as a separate request for information. Thank you.

Regards


16 June 2020

To: BBC Freedom of Information – Information Rights Team [Ref: RFI 20200628]

Thank you for your prompt reply to my request for information. The reference provided on your cover note [RFI20200728] differs from the reference provided in your letter [RFI20200628]. Clarification would be appreciated. Your response is noted. The following documentations is attached.

  1. My request dated 10 June 2020

  2. Response from BBC dated 16 June 2020

  3. Abstract from F O I Act – Section 6

In accordance with your established protocol I would be grateful if you could arrange to undertake an “internal review” of the decision to withhold the information requested. I remain of the view that disclosure is in the wider public interest. Justification for the review is set out below.

  1. Your reference to section 6 [1] [b] [ii] of the F O I Act appears to conflict with the relevant abstract of the Act downloaded today, as attached.

  2. Your subsidiary company “BBC Media Action” has a close working relationship with BBC News. I have reason to believe that your subsidiary company has received funding of over £56 million from the “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation” who are therefore in a position to influence news coverage regarding the current Covid-19 crisis through the funding provided.

I look forward to the outcome of your internal review at your earliest convenience or, alternatively, confirmation that the matter may be referred to the Information Commissioner for external assessment. In your further response can you also please provide me with the contact details of the external regulator that oversees the work of the BBC. Thank you.

Regards


13 Response

16 June 2020

Freedom of Information request – RFI20200628

Thank you for your request to the BBC of 10 June 2020 seeking the following information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 [“the Act”]:

The total funding provided by the “Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [B M G F]” to your subsidiary company “BBC Media Action” itemised as under:

  • Total funding provided by B M G F in 2018 / 19 financial year, and
  • Total funding provided by B M G F in 2019 / 20 financial year

As set out in section 6[1][b][ii] of the Act, our subsidiaries [including BBC Studioworks Ltd, UKTV, BBC Global News Ltd and BBC Studios Ltd], as well as the charities BBC Media Action and BBC Children in Need, are not subject to the Act. Therefore information regarding their activities is also not subject to the Act.

For more information on BBC Media Action please follow this link to their website:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaaction/

Appeal Rights

If you are not satisfied that we have complied with the Act in responding to your request, you have the right to an internal review by a BBC senior manager or legal advisor. Please contact us at the address above, explaining what you would like us to review and including your reference number. A request for internal review must be made within 40 working days of receiving the BBC’s response to your original request.

f you are not satisfied with the internal review, you can appeal to the Information Commissioner. The contact details are: Information Commissioner’s Office Wycliffe House Water Lane Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF or see https://ico.org.uk/


17 June 2020

Update from BBC

We have received your request for an internal review which was received 16 June 2020. We shall deal with the review as promptly as possible and, aim to respond at the latest, within 20 working days from the date of receipt. If you have any queries please contact us at the address below. The reference number for your internal review is IR2020024.

Yours sincerely,

Information Rights

BBC Freedom of Information


13 Response

13 July 2020
Outcome of Internal Review by BBC available at this LINK 


14 Enquiry

26 June 2020

To: Public Health Wales [P H W] – Freedom of Information team

I attach information [LINK] on Covid 19 antibody test downloaded from P H W website. It remains unclear, from the information provided, how Covid 19 antibody test results are to be used in Wales to guide government policy and process. Given that eminent members of the medical profession have questioned the value of these tests I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information under the F O I Act 2000.

  1. Estimated cost of the antibody testing programme in Wales
  2. Have the antibody tests been assessed by P H W and validated by peer review.
  3. How antibody test results are to be used in Wales to guide Welsh Government policy and process.
  4. How personal data gathered through the testing process is to be managed to ensure compliance with the data management principles set out in the G D P R and Data Protection Act 2018.

If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. I look forward to receiving the information at your convenience. Thank you.

Regards


14 Response

Awaiting reply.


15 Enquiry

28 June 2020

To: Public Health Wales [P H W] – Freedom of Information team

I attach abstract from P H W Annual Report 2018 / 19 [LINK]. I note that the “Policy Research and International Development Directorate” of P H W has been designated an official Collaborating Centre by the “World Health Organisation [WHO]“, thus providing income generation opportunities for P H W.  I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information under the F O I Act 2000 at your convenience.

The total external funding [and funding source] received to date by your “Policy Research and International Development Directorate” following its official designation as Collaborating Centre by WHO .

If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. Thank you.

Regards


15 Response

9 July 2010

Reply from Public Health Wales available at the following LINK.

 


16 Enquiry

30 June 2020

To: Welsh Government – First Minister – Rt Hon Mark Drakeford M S

With regard to the Covid-19 crisis you will be aware of the decision by U K Government to impose “local lockdown” in England, notably Leicester. I understand this requires “legal underpinning” with new statutes / regulations to be introduced within the next few days. In the event of similar “local lockdowns” being required in Wales I would be grateful if you could clarify the position and respond to the enquiries listed below.

  1. In Wales, is a change to statute / regulations required to impose “local lockdowns” in designated areas.
  2. If a change to statute / regulations is required, are Members of Senedd to be given an opportunity to debate and scrutinise the changes considered necessary.
  3. Are there any plans in Wales to develop “local lockdown management plans” similar to the plans being developed in England

I look forward to receiving clarification at your convenience. Thank you.

Regards


16 Response

30 June 2020
Acknowledgement received from Welsh Government under ref: TO/FM/01235/20. Will endeavour to reply as soon as possible but are unable to provide timescale for response due to current Covid-19 crisis.


17 Enquiry

03 July 2020

To: Public Health Wales [P H W] – Freedom of Information team
Your attention is drawn to a recent post on “Big Gee’s blog” available at the following link:

https://biggeesblog.cymru/index.php/2020/07/02/facemask-hysteria-and-misinformation/

Would you please note the content. I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information under the F O I Act 2000.

  1. The advice provided by P H W to Welsh Government regarding the wearing of facemasks in public [while shopping, or by employees at their place of employment].
  2. The advice provided by P H W to Welsh Government regarding the wearing of facemasks in public by the elderly with poor lung function or those with lung diseases. For example, COPD, emphysema or pulmonary fibrosis, or those with underlying health conditions and weakened immune systems.
  3. Details of the scientific / medical studies regarding wearing of facemasks upon which the advice to Welsh Government is based.

If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. The Rt Hon Mark Drakeford M S, First Minister, has received a copy of this request for information in view of his frequent media briefings. I look forward to receiving the information at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Regards

******


17 Response

27 July 2020

Subject: Scientific / medical evidence for face masks

Dear ******

Please find attached FOI response. [LINK]

Regards

Lisa


18 Enquiry

6 July 2020
Letter to Dr Tracey Cooper Chief Executive Public Health Wales

On the subject of PCR testing process available at this [LINK]


18 Response

Reply sent as attachment [LINK].


19 Enquiry

11 July 2020

To: Ceredigion County Council – Freedom of Information Team

I refer to the “safe zones” now being introduced by your Authority with effect from Monday 13 July 2020. I would be pleased to receive the following information under the F O I Act 2000.

  1. Copy of the order / notice issued by your Authority under Section 14 [1] [b] and [3] Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 [as amended by Road Traffic Act {Temporary Restrictions Act 1991}] in respect of the public highways affected at Cardigan Town.
  2. Copy of the scientific / medical evidence relating to “Covid 19” available to your Authority to support / justify the actions in Ceredigion relating to “safe zones” together with a copy of the impact assessment by your Authority.
  3. Confirmation whether action relating to “safe zones” has been taken by appointed council officers, under delegated powers, or whether the action has been supported and endorsed by elected councillors in Ceredigion.
  4. An explanation why businesses affected by the order are to be consulted after the order has been implemented.
  5. You advise on your website that “safe zones” are being introduced “using emergency powers“. Please confirm the relevant section of “Coronavirus Act 2020” and / or “The Health Protection [Coronavirus Restrictions] [Wales] Regulations 2020” that apply to these emergency works.

I look forward to receiving the information at your earliest convenience. If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. Thank you.

Regards

******


19 Response [A]

11 July 2020

Dear Mr Jones,

The powers are listed on top of the statutory notices which can be found on the website.

Time is very much against us as the Tourism industry has opened its doors today. What would be your specific challenges with the closures? I have a team of officers working around the clock to think of pragmatic solutions for businesses. Most have stated so far their biggest concerns are related to daily deliveries and replenishment of stocks. If there are other challenges for your business, please let me know as soon as conveniently possible.

Diolch

Eifion Evans


19 Reply [A1]

11 July 2020

To: Ceredigion County Council – Chief Executive Officer – Eifion Evans

Thank you for your note dated 11 July. My concerns are as set out in my request for information directed today to your F O I team. A copy is attached. I received an auto-acknowledgement. I shall comment further when I have received the information requested or confirmation that your Authority wishes to claim an exemption under the Act.

Regards
******


19 Response [B]

Dear ****,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request dated 11th July 2020.

The information you have requested is as follows:

I refer to the “safe zones” now being introduced by your Authority with effect from Monday 13 July 2020. I would be pleased to receive the following information under the F O I Act 2000.

  1. Copy of the order / notice issued by your Authority under Section 14 [1] [b] and [3] Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 [as amended by Road Traffic Act {Temporary Restrictions Act 1991}] in respect of the public highways affected at Cardigan Town.

The notice issued is available on the Council website and is available in each of the Towns, including Cardigan. The notice for Cardigan is available online: http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/media/7235/erc-public-notice-cardigan.pdf 

  1. Copy of the scientific / medical evidence relating to “Covid 19” available to your Authority to support / justify the actions in Ceredigion relating to “safe zones” together with a copy of the impact assessment by your Authority.

2 metre social distancing is in Welsh legislation.  The streets of the towns in Ceredigion makes it impossible to maintain 2 metre social distancing without creating the Safe Zones.  Welsh Government has issued Safe Public Spaces Guidance to keep people safe when restrictions are relaxed and urban spaces become busier.  Point 4 refers specifically to the ‘Management of urban centres’. This guidance is available on the Welsh Government website https://gov.wales/management-urban-centres

  1. Confirmation whether action relating to “safe zones” has been taken by appointed council officers, under delegated powers, or whether the action has been supported and endorsed by elected councillors in Ceredigion.

The power to make Traffic Regulation Orders comes under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 is delegated to the Corporate Lead Officer: Highways and Environmental Services, as per the Council’s Constitution.  In addition, decisions relating to COVID-19 have been delegated to the Council’s Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council. A record of this is available on the Council website http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/media/6833/cofnod-o-benderfyniad-brys-record-of-urgent-decision.pdf.  Cabinet Members as well as the local MP and MS have been consulted and kept informed of the proposals and have supported the creating of the Safe Zones.  All major decisions are discussed and agreed by the Council’s Gold Command.

  1. An explanation why businesses affected by the order are to be consulted after the order has been implemented.

Please note that this does not constitute a request under the Freedom of Information Act as it is not a request for recorded information.  However, the Council has treated this element of your request as an enquiry and has provided the following response:

The Council made use of emergency powers in response to the Health pandemic which do not require prior consultation. Ideally the Council would have consulted but the pace of the easing of lockdown only gave a very short window to prepare and implement the plans for the Safe Zones. Without implementing the traffic management measures quickly, prior to the influx of visitors over the summer period, the likelihood of danger to the public would increase as social distancing would not be possible on the streets.

  1. You advise on your website that “safe zones” are being introduced “using emergency powers”. Please confirm the relevant section of “Coronavirus Act 2020” and / or “The Health Protection [Coronavirus Restrictions] [Wales] Regulations 2020” that apply to these emergency works.   

The power to make Traffic Regulation Orders comes under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

We hope that this information will be of assistance, but if you have any complaints in relation to this FOI response the Council operates an internal appeals procedure. If you wish to utilise this procedure please write to Mr Alun Williams, Corporate Lead Officer for Policy and Performance, Cyngor Sir Ceredigion County Council, Neuadd Cyngor Ceredigion, Penmorfa, Aberaeron, Ceredigion, SA46 0PA or via email through foi@ceredigion.gov.uk within 40 working days of the date of this response.

Should you have any queries regarding the above response please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Team

Tîm Cwynion a Rhyddid Gwybodaeth

Complaints & Freedom of Information Team 

Cyngor Sir Ceredigion County Council

Canolfan Rheidol
Rhodfa Padarn
Llanbadarn Fawr
Aberystwyth
Ceredigion
SY23 3UE


20 Enquiry

9 July 2020

Subject: Covid-19 death statistics

To: Office for National Statistics [ONS] – Customer and Data Release Officer – Rebecca Holley

Thank you for responding to my request for clarification dated 3 June. Having carefully considered the information provided I offer the following additional observations. I note that ONS report numbers of deaths where specifically Covid-19 was confirmed or suspected. I remain of the view that this may generate misleading statistics given that the RT-PCR test is not able to differentiate between those with the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus and those with other strains of coronavirus [e.g. common cold, influenza etc]. I note that 44,517 Covid-19 related deaths have been recorded in the UK to 9 July 2020 with the information used by government ministers to drive policy and process with regard to economic lockdown, and widely promulgated by the mainstream media. To provide meaningful and accurate statistics to inform government policy, does ONS share my view that the total figure [currently 44,517] should be disaggregated as set out below:

  1. Confirmed death from Covid-19 strain of coronavirus.

  2. Suspected death from Covid-19 strain of coronavirus.

  3. Death from other causes [e.g. heart failure, cancer etc] where a trace of coronavirus [e.g. common cold, influenza etc] has been detected using the RT-PCR test.

This would enable an important distinction to be made between those that have died from Covid-19 and those that have died with a coronavirus.

Additional information regarding the RT-PCR testing process is attached as Annex 01. I look forward to your further observations when you have had an opportunity to liaise with your colleagues at ONS. Given the serious impacts on the UK economy I hope you agree that statistics generated from the raw data need very careful consideration prior to presentation to government ministers and mainstream media. Thank you.

Regards


20 Response

Awaiting reply


21 Enquiry

13 July 2020

To: Public Health England – Coronavirus Support Team

Following serious concerns raised by eminent members of the medical profession regarding the validity of the Covid-19 testing process, and the weight placed by government ministers on test results when deciding whether to impose local lockdown of the economy, an investigation has been initiated to establish the facts. To inform the investigation I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following documentation under Freedom of Information Act 2000.

  1. Product Information Sheet – SARS CoV 2 Coronavirus Multiplex RT-PCR test kit, and

  2. Safety Data Sheet – SARS CoV 2 Coronavirus Multiplex RT-PCR test kit

I look forward to receiving the information at your earliest convenience. The information can be provided as an attachment to email in “pdf” format. If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. Thank you.

Regards


21 Response

Response received 07 August 2020

[LINK


22 Enquiry

14 July 2020

To: Public Health England – Freedom of Information Team
I refer to the Covid-19 crisis and note the change in UK Government policy with the wearing of face covering to be made mandatory in shops in England following new scientific / medical advice. The new legislation is to be presented to Parliament shortly. I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

A copy of the latest scientific / medical paper available to Public Health England on the subject of face covering that has prompted the change in UK Government policy in England.

I look forward to receiving the information at your earliest convenience. The information requested can be provided as a “pdf” attachment to email. If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. Thank you.

Regards

******


22 Response

21 July 2020

Dear ******,

Public Health England can confirm it does not hold the information you have specified.  Under Section 16 of the FOI Act, public authorities have a duty to provide advice and assistance.  Accordingly, you may wish to contact the Cabinet Office who may be able to assist you further.

Kind Regards,

 

FOI Team

Public Accountability Unit

Public Health England

foi@phe.gov.uk

Tel: 020 8327 6920 

www.gov.uk/phe   Follow us on Twitter @PHE uk


23 Enquiry

14 July 2020

To: Welsh Government – Minister for Health and Social Services – Rt Hon Vaughan Gething M S

I write to draw your attention to serious concerns raised by street traders in Ceredigion following the decision by the Local Authority to execute road closure orders under highway legislation restricting vehicular access to various streets during prescribed periods to create “safe zones” for pedestrians within urban areas. It remains unclear what emergency statutes / regulations are available to Local Authorities in Wales to implement “Covid-19 Safe Zones” without consultation with businesses affected. I would be grateful if you could respond to the following enquiry.

  1. What emergency statutes / regulations are available to Local Authorities in Wales to implement “Covid-19 Safe Zones” in urban areas.
  2. Is the cost of implementation being met by Welsh Government or Local Authorities.
  3. What scientific / medical evidence has been presented to Welsh Government and / or Local Authorities as justification for executing “Covid-19 Safe Zones” in urban areas.

I look forward to your response to my enquiry at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Regards

******


23 Response

28 July 2020

Our reference  TO-KS-O4559-20

Dear ********

Thank you for your email of the 14 July to Vaughan Gething the Minister for Health, given the current crisis the Minister has asked me to respond on this occasion.

The Welsh Government and its Ministers are responsible for the Motorway and Trunk Road network in Wales and its associated assets.
Answering your points in order:  
1.    The Welsh Government has provided funding to Local Authorities to deal with reassigning road space to assist with social distancing and the Trunk Road Agents have been consulted where the changes impact trunk roads. On the County road and therefore falls under the jurisdiction of Ceredigion County Council. In order to change the traffic flow on the road the Local Authority would need to create a Traffic Regulation Order.
  2.    The cost of implementation is being met by the local authorities directly, with each one applying for Welsh Government Funding to assist with the implementation of these types of scheme.
3.    This extensive literature available detailing the benefits of social distancing and the schemes intention is to assist with social distancing compliance by the public.

Advice on travel and social distancing within Wales can be viewed online:
 
https://gov.wales/coronovirus-travel

and

https://gov.wales/coronavirus-social-distancing-guidance
 
Yours sincerely
 
Dewi Rowlands
Deputy Director
Policy, Planning & Partnerships
Transport
Economic Infrastructure
Welsh Government


24 Enquiry

15 July 2020

Open letter to:

Sir David Norgrove
Chair, UK Statistics Authority
1 Drummond Gate
London
SW1V 2QQ

Dear Sir David

I refer to the current Covid-19 crisis and to the raw data captured together with the presentation of local, regional and national statistics generated from the data. The statistics inform and drive government policy and process, and are presented to the general public by the mainstream media [including the BBC]. I believe the recent decision by the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to introduce legislation to impose “Covid-19 local lockdown” of the economy in a city in England based on increased number of “Covid-19 cases” requires further clarification. No data / statistics has been presented to explain how many of the “cases” are asymptomatic, how many have been hospitalised or how many, if any, have died. The Secretary of State further announced recently that “Public Health England” are also dealing with hundreds of “local flare-ups” but without offering any explanation on how a local flare up is defined or how data from those areas is being captured and analysed. I list below areas of particular concern for your consideration.

  1. How is the raw data from RT-PCR [Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction] test processed given that it is not possible to differentiate between those that have died from the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus and those that have died from other causes [e.g. cancer, heart disease etc] who may have tested positive for another strain of coronavirus [e.g. common cold or seasonal influenza]. Do you accept there is a need to differentiate between those that have died from Covid-19 and those that have died with a coronavirus. Government ministers, together with their advisors and the mainstream media, appear not to understand the significant difference.    
  2. The devolved administrations [Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales] operate under different Covid-19 statutes and regulations. Is this now creating issues for Office for National Statistics [ONS] in presenting national UK statistics. 
  3. With regard to mortality statistics it remains unclear how future projections for excess deaths are to be presented. Do you accept there is a need to differentiate between the following model projections  [a] future projected deaths from Covid-19 strain of coronavirus, and  [b] future projected deaths from other causes as a direct result of economic lockdown and the decision to suspend cancer diagnosis and treatment and other life-threatening conditions. Under a policy of “shielding” the elderly have also been denied direct access to members of their family for months without being given any advice on how to boost their immune systems. This again is likely to impact on future excess death projections.    

As many eminent members of the medical profession, including those listed below, consider the RT-PCR test to be 80% inaccurate it raises serious concerns regarding the value of the raw data now being captured and the statistics generated from the data.

Dr Andrew Kaufman
Dr Rashid Buttar
Professor Dolores Cahill    
Dr Judy Mikovits      
Professor Knut Wittkowski
Dr Sherri Tenpenny

I look forward to your observations when you have had an opportunity to liaise with health teams at ONS and, if you  consider it appropriate, with government ministers. Thank you.         
Yours sincerely,

******


24 Response

Awaiting reply


25 Enquiry

15 July 2020

To: Welsh Government – Freedom of Information Team

I am advised by UK Government that funding in respect of “Covid 19 Antibody testing” is to be provided to the devolved administrations [Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales]. The validity of the Covid-19 antibody blood test is being questioned by eminent members of the medical profession, including those listed in Annex 01 below. I would therefore be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the information set out below under the F O I Act 2000.

  1. Total sum allocated to Welsh Government by UK Government for antibody testing.
  2. Brief details of how Covid 19 antibody test results are to be used in Wales to inform government policy and process.
  3. Product Information Sheet for antibody test.
  4. Safety Data Sheet for antibody test.   

I look forward to receiving the information at your earliest convenience. If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. Thank you.

Regards

******


25 Response

The response from Welsh Government is available at this LINK


 

26 Enquiry

16 July 2020

Open letter to:

Mr Duncan Selbie
Chief Executive
Public Health England
Wellington House
133-155 Waterloo Road
London
SE1 8UG

Economic “lockdown” imposed by UK Government as a consequence of the Covid-19 crisis

Dear Mr Selbie

I refer to the economic “lockdown” imposed by UK Government as a consequence of the Covid-19 crisis. There are obvious adverse health impacts for the population as a direct result of the “lockdown”. These include:

  • delayed cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • delayed diagnosis and treatment of other life-threatening medical conditions
  • hospitals unable to function normally for the forceable future due to the policy of “social distancing” leading to longer waiting lists for treatment
  • increased anxiety and stress for the elderly denied direct access to family members for months under “shielding” policy, that may be reflected in a “spike” in future deaths
  • general failure to provide advice to the elderly on how to boost their immune systems to mitigate risk of viral infection
  • increased anxiety and stress for those now facing unemployment. This could be reflected in future suicide rates.
  • other adverse impacts 

I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with details of the latest computer model forecast available to “Public Health England” of “projected future excess deaths” in England as a direct result of economic “lockdown” and the adverse health impacts for the population listed above as a consequence of the lockdown. I look forward to receiving details of your computer model forecast at your earliest convenience. I assume you have the ability to run various scenarios through the model. Thank you.

Your sincerely

******


26 Response

Received from Public Health England July 31 2020 [LINK]


27 Enquiry

16 July 2020

Subject: Lock-down impact assessment

To: 10 Downing Street on Prime Minister (contact form)

I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with a copy of the “impact assessment” undertaken by UK Government in respect of the economic lock-down imposed as a consequence of the Covid-19 crisis. I would normally expect the document to set out the economic, social, health and financial impacts. I look forward to receiving a copy of the document at your earliest convenience. Thank you.


27 Response

Awaiting reply


28 Enquiry

16 July 2020 

Subject: Complaint to BBC: Case No. CAS-6081489-B7D5D6

Open letter to:

Janine McMeekin
BBC Complaints Team
P O Box 1922
Darlington
DL3 0UR

16 July 2020
Case No. CAS-6081489-B7D5D6

Dear Janine McMeekin

Thank you for responding to my complaint under Stage 1[a] of your corporate complaints process in your email communication dated 16 July 2020. I have noted the content and confirm that it will be necessary to progress to Stage 1 [b]. I regret, I am unable to use your “web-form” as requested as there is no provision to attach documentation as supporting evidence. I respectfully request that you review the “web-form” format to allow documents to be attached when complaints are submitted to the BBC for consideration. Having carefully examined your response I offer the following observations as justification for progression to stage 1 [b] of your complaints process.

I am pleased to note that you acknowledge that your subsidiary company “BBC Media Action” has received donations from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation [B M G F]. I understand this is a sum in the region of £53,000,000.00 You advise that your subsidiary is independent of the BBC and has no influence over BBC editorial decision-making. For file record purpose I wish to record that your subsidiary has close links with BBC News as confirmed on website.

You advise that the BBC is careful to “check and report the facts surrounding any debate, examining relevant arguments and offering detailed analysis.” I hope you will acknowledge that the BBC provides, on a daily basis, in news bulletins at 18.00 hrs and 22.00 hrs a cumulative total of Covid-19 related deaths in the UK [45,119 to 16 July 2020]. Confirmation of death from Covid-19 is based on a positive test result using the “Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction test [R T-P C R test]”. Your attention is  drawn to the information contained in attached “Product Information Sheet”. I respectfully request that when future cumulative totals of deaths from Covid-19 are provided in BBC news bulletins that the following statement is also provided. “The R T-P C R test, used to confirm death from Covid-19, is for research use only and not intended for human or animal diagnostic or therapeutic use”

“Product Information Sheets” and “Safety Data Sheets” relating to the Covid-19 testing process are available in the public domain. I would be grateful if you could draw the content to the attention of your Medical Correspondent, Mr Fergus Walsh, and your Health Editor, Mr Hugh Pym. If they wish to challenge the content they are welcome to arrange interview with eminent members of the medical, scientific and economics professions as listed below. 

 

  • Dr Andrew Kaufman
  • Dr Rashid Buttar
  • Professor Dolores Cahill
  • Professor Knut Wittkowski
  • Dr Judy Mikovits PhD
  • Dr V A Shiva Ayyadurai PhD
  • Dr Rima E Laibow
  • Dr Tim O’Shea
  • Dr Sherri Tenpenny
  • Dr Vernon Coleman
  • Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

I take the view that, given the sensitive nature of the subject, it is not unreasonable to expect balanced and factually accurate reporting of death statistics from BBC News rather than conveying the propaganda distributed by the World Health Organisation [WHO] who have also received funding in the region of £4,300,000,000.00 from the B M G F. The USA have withdrawn funding from WHO in view of serious concerns regarding their activities. You will appreciate that important decisions are taken by U K Government ministers, on a weekly basis, that impact on the livelihoods of millions. Does the BBC accept that we need to ensure that the “Office for National Statistics” have confidence in the raw data regarding Covid-19 deaths and how the data is presented to the general public as statistics by the mainstream media [including the BBC].

I take this opportunity to advise you that I am involved in ongoing correspondence with Sir David Norgrove in his role as Chair of U.K. Statistics Authority. 

I look forward to the outcome of your assessment of my complaint under stage 1[b] of your corporate complaints process. If you require additional information or further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time.

Thank you.    

Yours sincerely

*********


17 July 2020

Acknowledgement from BBC. – Hope to respond in 20 days.


28 Response

Awaiting reply


29 Enquiry

17 July 2020 

Subject: Covid 19 Field Hospitals in Wales

Open letter to:

Rt Hon Vaughan Gething M S
Minister for Health and Social Services
Welsh Government
5th Floor
Ty Hywel
Cardiff Bay
CF99 1NA

17 July 2020

Dear Minister

Based on outputs from a computer model developed by Professor Neil Ferguson at Imperial College London, 19 field hospitals were established in Wales at a cost of £166 million. Given the significant investment in additional hospital capacity I would be grateful if you could clarify the future role of these field hospitals. As in England, are these hospitals now to be used to accommodate the backlog of patients awaiting resumption of cancer diagnosis and treatment and other life threatening conditions. Do you accept that urgent action is now required to avoid a future “spike” in non-covid related deaths in Wales.

Hospitals in Wales are not in a position to deliver normal service due to a policy of “social distancing”. I look forward to receiving details of your proposals for these 19 field hospitals and how treatment for non-covid patients is to be resumed and accelerated. Thank you.

Yours sincerely
**********


29 Response

Subject: TO/VG/05183/20 RE: Covid 19 Field Hospitals in Wales
Date: Mon, 24 Aug 2020 12:30:08 +0000
From: HSS-Corres.AQs-Main@gov.wales

Dear ****** 

Thank you for your email below [see above – Index 29/ Enquiry]. I have been asked to reply. I apologise for not replying sooner  – the Welsh Government has received an unprecedented amount of correspondence regarding the pandemic and I trust that you will understand why we have not replied sooner.  You will appreciate the response to the Coronavirus pandemic is a fast-moving and evolving situation and all possible resources across Welsh Government and the NHS in Wales are now directed to tackling the ongoing threat posed by COVID-19.

Field hospitals and other temporary ‘surge’ facilities were established at pace, through effective collaboration across NHS Wales, Local Authorities, and public and private sector partners to create additional health and care capacity in anticipation of significant increases in demand arising from the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Initial plans for field hospitals were based on, what was at that time, a reasonable expectation that demand may breach available in-hospital capacity.  Fortunately, this has not been the case as we have so far experienced a ‘flatter curve’ and better compliance with social distancing and other preventative measures than was initially anticipated.  The temporary suspension of planned elective activity and a reduction in unplanned demand have also enabled Health Boards to manage demand within in-hospital settings, and as such, the vast majority of the additional capacity created in these facilities has not yet been required.

While the Minister has a role to set the strategic direction for health services in Wales and hold the NHS to account, it remains the responsibility of local health boards to plan and deliver health and care services at a local level to meet the needs of their resident population and to ensure these services continue to deliver safe and timely care to the communities they serve.  As such, decisions regarding the planning and delivery of services at temporary hospital facilities are made locally by the relevant health board, as they are best placed to make these decisions based on the latest modelling information regarding the progress of the pandemic and their ability to manage local demand within their existing hospital settings. 

On 18th June, the Minister issued the NHS Wales COVID-19 Operating Framework for Quarter 2 (2020/21) which set out our expectations for NHS Wales organisations regarding the actions to be taken across the health and social care system to maintain momentum in our response to COVID-19 and drive planning with a focus on ensuring a continued effective response to COVID-19 whilst providing other essential services in a careful and balanced manner.

Health Boards continue to work with their partners to develop and refine their plans on how they will continue to manage the evolving demands of responding to the pandemic whilst providing other urgent and essential health and care services to the communities they serve. The future role of field hospitals and other temporary surge facilities will be a key element in these plans and we expect health boards to take a flexible approach to make these temporary hospital facilities available as long as needed to provide extra capacity for our NHS. As we reintroduce other planned and routine services back into hospitals, this additional capacity will help take pressure off our traditional hospital settings and allow us to care for everyone who needs it, whilst ensuring that the most critically ill, and people needing urgent treatment for other illnesses, can continue to be treated in hospital settings.

These are exceptional times and we face unprecedented challenges in responding to the pandemic as it progresses. We must therefore continue to be guided by medical experts and public health authorities. Should their advice change, our policy and guidance will be updated to reflect that.  

Regular updates are also provided on our website at the following link:

https://gov.wales/coronavirus

The latest news and daily press briefings can be seen on Twitter account: https://twitter.com/WelshGovernment

Yours sincerely,

Richard Morgan
Tîm Business y Llywodraeth a Corfforaethol / Government and Corporate Business Team
Yr Adran Iechyd a Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol / Department for Health and Social Services


30 Enquiry

17 July 2020 

Subject: Covid-19 test kits currently used in Wales

Open letter to:

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency [M H R A]
10 South Colomnade
Canary Wharf
London
E14 4PU

17 July 2020

Dear Sir

I am advised by Welsh Government that the M H R A is an executive agency sponsored by the Department of Health and Social Care with a brief to regulate, in the U K, medicines, medical devices and blood components for transfusion, with responsibility for ensuring their safety, quality and effectiveness.

I have reason to believe that counterfeit Covid-19 products may now be in use in Wales. To mitigate risk to public health, I would be grateful if you could provide me with the following information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Brief details, and reference number, of Covid-19 test kits currently approved for use in Wales.

I look forward to receiving the information at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Yours faithfully
*********


30 Response

Awaiting reply


31 Enquiry

18 July 2020

Open letter to:

Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries Unit
39 Victoria Street
London
SW1H 0EV

18 July 2020

Dear Secretary of State

Subject: Covid-19 testing and death recording data and statistics

I note that you have now instructed “Public Health England” to undertake an urgent review into how Covid-19 test results have been recorded in England and how deaths from Covid-19 have been classified and recorded. I respectfully request that your review be extended to also include the way Covid-19 test data and deaths have been recorded in the devolved administrations [Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales] for the reasons set out below.

The Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction test [R T-P C R test] does not differentiate between Covid-19 strain of coronavirus and other coronaviruses [including the common cold and seasonal influenza]. This is the reason why so many are testing positive but are asymptomatic. Hardly justification for economic lockdown and mass unemployment. Anyone suffering from seasonal influenza or have previously received influenza vaccine will test positive. The test is considered to be 80% inaccurate. For this reason the raw data being captured and presented as statistics is fundamentally flawed. Your scientific and medical advisors will confirm to you that the RT-PCR test, used to confirm death from Covid-19, is for research use only and not intended for human or animal diagnostic or therapeutic use. It is not clear to me why this information has not previously been presented to you, in your role as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, as the information is available in the public domain. I refer you to the “Product Information Sheet” and “Safety Data Sheet”.

This has the potential to do serious reputational damage to the “Office for National Statistics” if these matters are not clarified as a matter of urgency and revised statistics presented to the general public. Current total deaths, specifically from Covid-19, recorded in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are likely to be grossly exaggerated for the reason set out above.

I respectfully suggest that you seek urgent advice from the eminent members of the medical profession listed below regarding the RT-PCR testing process.

Dr Andrew Kaufman
Dr Rashid Buttar
Professor Dolores Cahill
Professor Knut Wittkowski
Dr Judy Mikovits
Dr V A Shiva Ayyadurai
Dr Rima E Laibow
Dr Tim O’Shea

A formal complaint has been made to the BBC regarding the daily inaccurate statistics being provided in news bulletins. The information regarding the RT-PCR testing process should be available to their Medical Correspondent, Mr Fergus Walsh, and Health Editor, Mr Hugh Pym. I am currently awaiting a response to my Stage 1 [b] complaint under Case No. CAS-6081489-B7D5D6

Please keep Sir David Norgrove, Chair UK Statistics Authority, fully informed as your urgent review into these matters progresses. Thank you.  
 
Yours sincerely

******


31 Response

Our ref: DE-1250655

Dear******,
 
Thank you for your correspondence of 18 August about information on deaths from COVID-19. I have been asked to reply.

Deaths reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) are based on the cause of death recorded on death certificates. These can include cases where the doctor thought it likely that the person had COVID-19, even when there was no positive test result.

The deaths reported by the ONS will include deaths that are not included in the Public Health England (PHE) definition, which is that a positive test result was confirmed by a PHE or NHS laboratory. They may also exclude cases that are included in the PHE definition because, although the patient had a positive test for COVID-19, this was not mentioned on the death certificate. However, in general, the numbers of deaths reported by the ONS will be larger than those included in the PHE definition. More information on the PHE definition can be found at www.gov.uk by searching for ‘COVID-19 investigation and initial clinical management of possible cases’.

All the deaths data shown on http://coronavirus.data.gov.uk are for people who have had a positive test result confirmed by a PHE or NHS laboratory. They also include, for England, deaths of people who have had a positive test result confirmed through testing done by commercial partners.

The data does not include deaths of people who had COVID-19 but had not been tested, people who tested positive only via a non-NHS or PHE laboratory, or people who had tested negative and subsequently caught the virus and died. People who have tested positive for COVID-19 could, in some cases, have died from something else. Deaths are only included in these figures if they occur within 28 days of a positive test. This makes the recording more accurate, because cases where a person has tested positive but then died from other causes some months later are excluded.

Data on COVID-19 deaths in England are produced by PHE. These data are taken from three different sources:

  • NHS England: deaths in hospitals are reported by NHS trusts, using the COVID-19 Patient Notification System;
  • PHE Health Protection Teams: the local teams report deaths notified to them, which will mainly be deaths not in hospitals;
  • linking data on confirmed positive cases to the NHS Demographic Batch Service: when a patient dies, the NHS central register of patients is notified. The list of all lab-confirmed cases is checked against the NHS central register each day, to check if any of the patients have died.

Data on deaths from these three sources are linked to the list of people who have had a diagnosis of COVID-19 confirmed by a PHE or NHS laboratory. This is to identify as many people with a confirmed case who have died as possible.

Notifications of deaths will often come from more than one source, so the records are checked and merged into one database and duplicates are removed. Automated processes are used to ensure that the data are as complete as possible. Full details of the process of producing the data are available on coronavirus.data.gov.uk/about-data. As referred to above, deaths that occurred more than 28 days after a positive test are removed.

The final list of deaths therefore includes all those previously reported by NHS England, and those that were confirmed cases, whether they died in hospital or elsewhere, provided death occurred within 28 days of a test.

With regard to your second point of an investigation, as the Government has made clear, at some point in the future there will be an opportunity for it to look back, to reflect and to learn lessons. However, at the moment, the important thing is to focus on responding to the current pandemic. The Government has set out its strategic response to COVID-19 in its recovery strategy, which can be found at www.gov.uk by searching for ‘our plan to rebuild’

With regard to your third point, from the beginning of the outbreak, the Government’s policies have been guided by the advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, which is led by the Chief Scientific Adviser and Chief Medical Officer for England, and the response is kept under constant review. Policy is not dictated by external organisations.

With regard to your final point, it would not be appropriate for the Department of Health and Social Care to comment on the actions of foreign governments. Nor can it comment on the role of the BBC; concerns on this matter would be best raised with the BBC direct.

I hope this reply is helpful.


Yours sincerely,

 
Anthony Moses
Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries
Department of Health and Social Care


32 Enquiry

19 July 2020

Subject: Covid-19 testing and death recording data and statistics

Open letter to:

Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS
First Minister
Welsh Government
5th Floor
Ty Hywel
Cardiff Bay
CF99 1NA

19 July 2020

Dear First Minister

Subject: Covid-19 testing and death recording data and statistics

As you are no doubt aware the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has now instructed “Public Health England” to undertake an urgent review into how Covid-19 test results have been recorded in England and how deaths from Covid-19 have been classified and recorded. I take the view that a similar urgent review should be undertaken by “Public Health Wales” for the reasons set out below and to inform Welsh Government policy and process.

The Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction test [R T-P C R test] does not differentiate between Covid-19 strain of coronavirus and other coronaviruses [including the common cold and seasonal influenza]. This is the reason why so many are testing positive but are asymptomatic. I would respectfully suggest that this does not provide justification for economic lockdown and mass unemployment in Wales. Anyone suffering from seasonal influenza or have previously received influenza vaccine will test positive. The test is considered to be 80% inaccurate. For this reason the raw data being captured and presented as statistics is fundamentally flawed. Your scientific and medical advisers will confirm to you that the RT-PCR test, used to confirm death from Covid-19, is for research use only and not intended for human or animal diagnostic or therapeutic use. It is not clear to me why this information has not previously been presented to you, in your role as First Minister, as the information is available in the public domain. I refer you to the “Product Information Sheet” and “Safety Data Sheet“.

This has the potential to do serious reputational damage to the “Office for National Statistics” if these matters are not clarified as a matter of urgency and revised statistics presented to the general public. Current total deaths, specifically from Covid-19, recorded in Wales is likely to be grossly exaggerated for the reason set out above.

I respectfully request that you seek urgent advice from eminent members of the medical profession as listed below regarding the RT-PCR testing process.

Dr Andrew Kaufman
Dr Rashid Buttar
Professor Dolores Cahill
Professor Knut Wittkowski
Dr Judy Mikovits
Dr V A Shiva Ayyadurai
Dr Rima E Laibow
Dr Tim O’Shea

A formal complaint has been made to the BBC regarding the daily inaccurate statistics being provided in news bulletins. The information regarding the RT-PCR testing process should be available to their Medical Correspondent, Mr Fergus Walsh, and Health Editor, Mr Hugh Pym. I am currently awaiting a response to my Stage 1 [b] complaint under Case No. CAS-6081489-B7D5D6. I shall update you further in due course.

I look forward to your reply at your earliest convenience and the terms of reference of any urgent review that you consider necessary. Thank you.  

Yours sincerely

******


32 Response

Awaiting reply


33 Enquiry

19 July 2020

Open letter to:

Rt Hon Vaughan Gething MS
Minister for Health and Social Services
Welsh Government
5th Floor
Ty Hywel
Cardiff Bay
CF99 1NA

19 July 2020

Dear Minister

Subject: Covid-19  Personal Data Capture and Processing

I attach sample Covid-19 questionnaire [LINK] used by hotels / public houses in Wales. You will note the requirement to provide personal data [name, mobile telephone number and email address] with the data shared with third parties. I would be grateful if you could clarify how Covid-19 personal data is now being recorded and processed by private sector businesses in Wales, to ensure compliance with the data management principles set out in the Data Management Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulations.

I look forward to receiving clarification at your convenience. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


33 Response

The response provided by Welsh Government is available at this [LINK]

Following further correspondence additional information, received 21 August 2020, is also available at this [LINK.]


34 Enquiry

20 July 2020

Covid 19 Track and Trace – Capture and processing of personal data

Freedom of Information Officer [F O I Officer]
Public Health Wales
2 Capital Quarter
Tyndall Street
Cardiff
CF10 4BZ

20 July 2020

Dear F O I Officer

Subject: Covid 19 Track and Trace – Capture and processing of personal data

I refer to the capture and processing of “personal data” under the Covid-19 track and trace strategy and the disclosure, by BBC News today, that personal data is being processed unlawfully in England, in that an “impact assessment” has not been undertakes as required. I would be grateful if you could arrange to clarify the position in Wales. Has an impact assessment been undertaken by “Public Health Wales” to ensure compliance with the data management principles set out in the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulations. Guidance on the subject published by Information Commissioner’s Office is attached for your information [LINK].

Clarification is required as private sector business in Wales [hotels / public houses and other leisure activities] are currently capturing and processing personal data without clear guidance / instruction on how to comply with statutes and regulations regarding the management of personal data.

I look forward to your reply at your convenience. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


34 Response

23 July 2020

The response from Public Health Wales is available at this LINK.


35 Enquiry

21 July 2020

Open letter to:

Correspondence Team
Cabinet Office
70 Whitehall
London
SW1A 2AS

21 July 2020

Subject:Covid 19 – Use of Face Covering – Change of Policy

Dear Correspondence Team

I have been advised by “Public Health England” [LINK] to redirect my request for information under the F O I Act 2000 to the Cabinet Office. Accordingly, I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information.

A copy of the latest scientific / medical paper available to UK Government on the subject of face covering that has prompted the change in UK Government policy in England.

I look forward to receiving the information at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


35 Response

Awaiting reply


36 Enquiry

22 July 2020

Open letter to:

Customer Contact Team
Public Health England
Wellington House
133-155 Waterloo Road
London
SE1 8OG

22 July 2020

Dear Customer contact team

Subject: Covid 19 vaccination trials UK

I refer to the above subject and attach sample informed consent template [LINK] prepared by Ethics Review Committee World Health Organisation. I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with a copy of:

Informed consent template in respect of the Covid-19 vaccination trials currently ongoing in the UK.

I look forward to receiving a copy of the blank template at your convenience. Thank you.

Regards

******


36 Response

28 July 2020

Dear *****
 
Thank you for your email to Public Health England (PHE) of 22 July regarding Covid-19 vaccination trials.
Vaccine studies in the UK are overseen by The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). They provide information about trials here. All currently approved Covid-19 vaccination trials can be found here
The Health Research Authority (HRA) provide guidance on creating an Informed consent form which is available here and states: 
“With the Medical Research Council (MRC) we provide an online tool that gives guidance on consent and the preparation of information for participants. We do not expect applicants to simply follow a template, so our guidance will help you to design appropriate and proportionate information.”
I hope this information is helpful.
 
Best wishes
Tash

Correspondence and Public Enquiries Officer
Public Health England


37 Enquiry

23 July 2020

Open letter to:

Rt Hon Boris Johnson Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
Westminster
London
SW1A 2AA

23 July 2020

Dear Prime Minister

Subject: Investigation – Covid 19  testing process

Following serious concerns raised by eminent members of the medical profession regarding the use of Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction test [R T-P C R test] as a basis for recording Covid-19 deaths, an investigation has been initiated to establish the facts. As part of the investigation “Product Information Sheets” and “Safety Data Sheets” relating to test products used in UK and USA have been examined. An abstract from a sample document is attached [LINK] and your attention is drawn specifically to the highlighted text contained therein. Other documents can be provided if required. The documents examined confirm that test products are for research use only and are not intended for human or animal diagnostic or therapeutic use. This raises serious concerns regarding the validity and suitability of the RT-PCR testing process. Documentation appears to confirm that test results for the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus are not valid if the patient has previously received influenza vaccine or been affected by other strains of coronavirus [including the common cold].

As Covid-19 test results drive UK Government Health policy and Economic policy, and govern how Covid-19 death statistics are presented, I would be grateful if you could seek an urgent explanation why this important information has not been drawn to your attention as Prime Minister by your scientific and medical advisors. I look forward to your reply to inform the ongoing investigation. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


37 Response

Awaiting reply


38 Enquiry

23 July 2020

Open letter to:
Correspondence Team
Cabinet Office
70 Whitehall
London
SW1A 2AS

23 July 2020

Dear correspondence team

Subject: Government Guidance – Vaccine Damage Payment

I refer to the current guidance published on “Gov.uk” relating to “Vaccine Damage Payment“. A hard copy is attached hereto in pdf format [LINK]. I would be grateful if you could advise me whether the guidance is to be updated to also include Covid-19 details. This is considered necessary in view of the recent announcement by the Prime Minister that arrangements have been made to purchase 190 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from manufacturers / suppliers in UK and abroad. In the updated guidance I would be grateful if clarification could be provided regarding liability in the event of short, medium or long term adverse health impacts following national roll-out of Covid-19 vaccine. Do vaccine manufacturers / suppliers have immunity from prosecution, in which case does liability rest with UK Government [and therefore the taxpayer]. An indication of when the updated guidance is likely to be available would be appreciated. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


38 Response

Awaiting reply


39 Enquiry

24 July 2020

Open letter to:
Rt Hon Vaughan Gething MS
Minister for Health and Social Services
Welsh Government
5th Floor
Ty Hywel
Cardiff Bay
CF99 1NA

24 July 2020

Dear Minister

Subject: Covid 19 – Contact details – Personal data harvesting

I refer to the above subject. Following the disclosure by BBC News that personal data was being processed unlawfully in England I directed an enquiry to “Public Health Wales” to seek clarification on the position in Wales. I received a prompt reply.  I now attach the following documentation.

  1. Response from F O I team Public Health Wales [LINK]
  2. Sample data capture questionnaire used by a typical hotel in Wales [LINK]
  3. I C O guidance on the subject [LINK]

The information received from Public Health Wales, when considered in conjunction with the sample questionnaire currently used by hotels / public houses / leisure facilities, suggests the need for clarity. I would therefore be grateful if you could explain how Welsh Government intends to ensure that personal data [name, telephone number, email address etc] harvested and shared by private sector businesses, as required under Welsh Government policy, is in accordance with the data management principles set out in the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulations, to ensure that individual’s rights are protected. Clarity on the following would be appreciated.

  • Personal data is retained for a period of 21 days in England. What is the retention period in Wales.
  • How are individual’s rights to be safeguarded, including right of access to personal data, right to have inaccurate data corrected, right to object to the processing of data and the right to have personal data erased.
  • What are the requirements regarding the the sharing of customer personal data with employees of private sector businesses.
  • Are the questions on attached sample questionnaire from the private sector in accordance with statutory requirements.
  • Is the personal data stored in a secure central database by Welsh Government.
  • Is there a right of appeal either to Welsh Government or Information Commissioner in the event of non-compliance or breaches of the statutes / regulations by private sector businesses now harvesting this data.   

I look forward to receiving clarification on the subject. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


39 Response

Subject: TO/VG/05085/20 – Personal Data Capture and Processing by Hotels and Public Houses
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2020 16:19:54 +0000
From: Julie.Hanley@gov.wales

Dear ******

Thank you for your e-mail to the Minister for Health and Social Services about the collection and retention of personal data in line with the Test, Trace and Protect service.  Please find attached [LINK] our reply.

Julie Hanley

Croeso Cymru/Visit Wales

Adran yr Economi, Sgiliau a Chyfoeth Naturiol/Department of Economy Skills & Natural Resources

Llywodraeth Cymru /Welsh Government

Ffon / Tel: 03000 250140

Ebost/email: julie.hanley@gov.wales


 

40 Enquiry

25 July 2020

Customer Contact Team
Public Health England [P H E]
Wellington House
133-155 Waterloo Road
London
SE1 8OG

25 July 2020

Dear Customer Contact Team

Subject: P H E Review of Evidence – Covid 19 and Obesity

I refer to the above subject and include below an abstract from BBC News dated 25 July.

Coronavirus: Obesity increases risks from Covid-19, experts say:

Being obese or overweight puts you at greater risk of serious illness or death from Covid-19, experts say after examining existing studies. The review of evidence by Public Health England found excess weight put people at greater risk of needing hospital admission or intensive care. And the risk grew substantially as weight increased. The release comes ahead of an expected government announcement of new measures to curb obesity. Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said the current evidence was clear, that being overweight or obese puts you at greater risk of serious illness or death from Covid-19, as well as from many other life-threatening diseases. “Losing weight can bring huge benefits for health – and may also help protect against the health risks of Covid-19,” she said. “The case for action on obesity has never been stronger.” The UK has one of the highest levels of obesity in Europe. Almost two-thirds of adults in England are overweight or obese, with similar figures in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with a copy of the “review of evidence” undertaken by Public Health England. The document can be forwarded as an attachment to email in ‘pdf’ format. I look forward to receiving the information at your convenience. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


40 Response

27 July 2020

Subject: P H E Review of Evidence – Covid 19 and Obesity

Dear ******,

Thank you for your email to Public Health England (PHE) of 25 July regarding the Review of evidence for Covid-19 and obesity.

I am linking the published review including annex here. I have also attached the report in PDF format as requested.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes

Tash

Correspondence and Public Enquiries Officer- Public Health England

BGB Note: A copy of the “review of evidence” undertaken by “Public Health England” is available at this LINK.


 

41 Enquiry

26 July 2020

Open letter to:

Duncan Selbie
Chief Executive
Public Health England
Wellington House
133-155 Waterloo Road
London
SE1 8OG

26 July 2020

Dear Mr Selbie

Subject: Covid 19 – New quarantine regulations [26 July 2020]

I refer to the decision taken to impose, at short notice, quarantine restrictions on those now returning from holiday in Spain based on a reported increase in the number of “cases” of coronavirus in Spain. This is a reference to those now testing positive following RT-PCR test.  The action now taken by UK Government, on advice from Public Health England, is considered to be a total over-reaction given the limitations of the RT-PCR testing process, which is now under investigation. The action is disproportionate to the health risk, and imposes significant additional costs on the tourism, hospitality and airline industry that are now struggling to survive financially. I would be grateful if officials at Public Health England could now arrange an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, and with officials at the “Office for National Statistics” with a view to disaggregating the raw data regarding test results as under:

  • No. testing positive, under RT-PCR test, for the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus, and
  • No. testing positive, under RT-PCR test, for other strains of coronavirus [including seasonal influenza and common cold].

Disaggregating the raw data will enable informed decisions to be taken by Public Health England and UK Government regarding the risk to public health. 

I would be grateful if you could advise me what action Public Health England propose to take to restore public confidence in the testing statistics published by the Office for National Statistics and presented on a daily basis by the mainstream media [including the BBC].

I look forward to your rely at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******

cc Sir David Norgrove – Chair – UK Statistics Authority
cc Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP – Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
cc Mr Hugh Pym – Health Editor – BBC


41 Response

Awaiting reply


42 Enquiry

9 July 2020

Subject: Re: Covid-19 [ National statistics relating to death from Covid-19] – Ref: CCC134458

Rebecca Holley
Customer and Data Release Officer
Office for National Statistics [ONS]

9 July 2020

Dear Rebecca

Subject: Re: Covid-19 [ National statistics relating to death from Covid-19] – Ref: CCC134458

Thank you for responding to my request for clarification dated 3 June. Having carefully considered the information provided I offer the following additional observations. I note that ONS report numbers of deaths where specifically Covid-19 was confirmed or suspected. I remain of the view that this may generate misleading statistics given that the RT-PCR test is not able to differentiate between those with the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus and those with other strains of coronavirus [e.g. common cold, influenza etc]. I note that 44,517 Covid-19 related deaths have been recorded in the UK to 9 July 2020 with the information used by government ministers to drive policy and process with regard to economic lockdown, and widely promulgated by the mainstream media. To provide meaningful and accurate statistics to inform government policy, does ONS share my view that the total figure [currently 44,517] should be disaggregated as set out below:

[a]     Confirmed death from Covid-19 strain of coronavirus.
[b]     Suspected death from Covid-19 strain of coronavirus.
[c]     Death from other causes [e.g. heart failure, cancer etc] where a trace of coronavirus [e.g. common cold, influenza etc] has been detected using the RT-PCR test.

This would enable an important distinction to be made between those that have died from Covid-19 and those that have died with a coronavirus.

Additional information regarding the RT-PCR testing process is attached as Annex 01.  I look forward to your further observations when you have had an opportunity to liaise with your colleagues at ONS. Given the serious impacts on the UK economy I hope you agree that statistics generated from the raw data need very careful consideration prior to presentation to government ministers and mainstream media. Thank you.

Regards
*********


42 Response

26 July 2020
Subject: Re: Covid-19 [ National statistics relating to death from Covid-19] – Ref: CCC134458
 
Good Evening  *****
 
In the majority of cases (46,736 deaths, 92.8%) where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, it was found to be the underlying cause of death.
Our definition of COVID-19 includes some cases where the certifying doctor suspected the death involved COVID-19 but was not certain, for example, because no test was done. Of the 46,736 deaths with an underlying cause of COVID-19, 3,763 (8.1%) were classified as “suspected” COVID-19. Including mentions, “suspected” COVID-19 was recorded on 8.4% (4,251 deaths) of all deaths involving COVID-19.
 
This information is available in the Monthly deaths involving COVID-19, England and Wales publication.
 
I hope this helps
 
Kind regards
Rebecca Holley
Customer and Data Release Officer
Office for National Statistics [ONS]


43 Enquiry

27 July 2020

Open letter to:

Technical Advisory Cell
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF10 3NQ

27 July 2020

Dear Technical Advisory Cell

Subject: Scientific / medical advice to Welsh Government – face masks

You will note from the attached response from “Public Health Wales” that my request for information has been redirected for your consideration. I would therefore be pleased to receive the following information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 at your earliest convenience.

  1. The advice provided by your Technical Advisory Cell to Welsh Government regarding the wearing of facemasks in public [while shopping, or by employees at their place of employment].
  2. The advice provided by your Technical Advisory Cell to Welsh Government regarding the wearing of facemasks in public by the elderly with poor lung function or those with lung diseases. For example, COPD, emphysema or pulmonary fibrosis, or those with underlying health conditions and weakened immune systems.
  3. Details of the scientific / medical studies regarding wearing of facemasks upon which the advice to Welsh Government is based.

If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


43 Response

Awaiting reply


44 Enquiry

Open letter to:

Tash
Correspondence and Public Enquiries Officer
Public Health England
Wellington House
133-155 Waterloo Road
London
SE1 8OG

28 July 2020

Subject: Covid 19 vaccination trials UK

Thank you for your response to my enquiry [Index 36]. I am grateful for the information provided and note that two Covid-19 vaccination trials are currently underway, overseen by the National Institute for Health Research [N I H R]. I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.    

A blank copy of the informed consent template in respect of the two Covid-19 vaccination trials currently ongoing, overseen by the National Institute for Health Research [N I H R].

I look forward to receiving the information at your earliest convenience. If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


44 Response

Awaiting reply


45 Enquiry

To:
Freedom of Information Officer
Information Rights Unit
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF10 3NQ

30 July 2020

Dear F O I Officer

Subject: F O I Act 2000 / E I R 2004 – Covid 19 home test kit – consultancy role

I note that the Rt Hon Alun Cairns M P for Vale of Glamorgan and former Secretary of State for Wales has been appointed as an advisor to a company developing a home Covid-19 test kit. Media reports confirm that he is to receive a consultancy fee of £15,000 per annum to be paid monthly to provide strategy advice to the board. Given the public interest in the subject of Covid-19 test kits I would be grateful if you could provide information held by Welsh Government regarding this new role, specifically:

How does the role of Alun Cairns, as an MP and private consultant, link in with the work undertaken by Public Health Wales who, in turn, advise Welsh Government on the Covid-19 testing process.

I look forward to receiving the information requested at your convenience. If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


45 Response

Good morning.

I am responding to your email of 30 September, and your original inquiry on 30 July.   I have attached our formal response [LINK]. 

regards

Bill MacDonald

Y Gyfarwyddiaeth adfer ac ailgychwyn ar ôl Covid-19

Covid-19 Recovery and Restart Directorate

Llywodraeth Cymru / Welsh Government

CF10 3NQ

Ffôn/Tel: 07887 94 00 43

E-bost / Email:bill.macdonald@gov.wales


46 Enquiry

To:
Customer Contact Team
National Institute for Health Research [N I H R]
1 August 2020

Dear Customer Contact Team

Subject: Clinical trial – candidate vaccine – LNP-nCoVsaRNA

I refer to your clinical trial using candidate vaccine LNP-nCoVsaRNA. Details of the trial are attached hereto [LINK]. Reference is made to previous animal testing using this candidate vaccine. The relevant text is highlighted for your convenience. I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me [under the Freedom of Information Act 2000] with a copy of the results from animal testing. The information is not currently available on your website.  I look forward to receiving the information at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


46 Response

Awaiting reply


47 Enquiry

Open letter to:
Correspondence Team
Cabinet Office
70 Whitehall
London
SW1A 2AS

2 August 2020

Dear Correspondence Team

Subject: Covid-19 – Interpretation of RT-PCR test results

Recent announcement by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, requires urgent clarification given the significant adverse impact on the UK economy affecting the livelihoods of thousands of people.

I would be grateful if you could seek urgent clarification on whether “positive RT-PCR test results” are now interpreted by UK Government as “new Covid-19 infections“. Do the devolved administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales interpret the results similarly. Can you please clarify whether this raw data is provided to the “Office for National Statistics” and mainstream media [including the B B C].

You will be aware, from previous correspondence, of the obvious limitations of the RT-PCR testing process; notably, that it should not be used for clinical diagnosis in humans or animals. Documentary evidence to support this assertion has previously been provided. If you require further clarification, you are invited to take urgent advice from any, or all, of the eminent members of the medical profession listed in Annex 01 below. Additional recent information is also available at the following link.

https://bpa-pathology.com/covid19-pcr-tests-are-scientifically-meaningless/ 

I regret to advise you that no response has been received to previous enquiries addressed to the “Department of Health and Social Care” using their web-form, hence the need for this enquiry to be directed to “Cabinet Office” for urgent consideration.

Pending clarification, I reserve the right to keep stakeholders and members of the public fully informed by publishing correspondence regarding the RT-PCR testing process on a website at the following link.

https://biggeesblog.cymru/

I look forward to receiving clarification from the Secretary of State on whether “positive RT-PCR test results” are now interpreted as “new Covid-19 infections” in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Thank you.   

Yours sincerely

******

Annex 01

Dr Andrew Kaufman
Dr Rashid Buttar
Professor Dolores Cahill
Professor Knut Wittkowski
Dr Judy Mikovits
Dr V A Shiva Ayyadurai
Dr Rima E Laibow
Dr Tim O’Shea
Dr Vernon Coleman

cc   Sir David Norgrove – Chair – UK Statistics Authority
cc   Rt Hon Mark Drakeford M S – First Minister – Welsh Government
cc   Mr Hugh Pym – Health Editor – B B C [complaint dated 24 May 2020 under reference number CAS-6081489-B7D5D6 refers].


47 Response

Awaiting reply


48 Enquiry

Open letter to:
Coronavirus team
Public Health England
Wellington House
133-155 Waterloo Road
London
SE1 8OG

3 August 2020

Dear Coronavirus team

Subject: New Covid -19 test announced 3 August 2020

I note the announcement, by BBC news today, that a new test for Covid-19 infection has been approved for use in England with test result available within 90 minutes. I would be grateful if you could advise me whether this new test is intended to replace the existing RT-PCR test, currently used in England. As the test has been approved for use by the “Medical Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency” I would be pleased to receive a copy of the “Product Information Sheet [P I S]” and “Safety Data Sheet [S D S]” for the new test.

I understand that a decision on whether this new test is also to be used in Wales is to be deferred pending an assessment of its effectiveness in England.

I look forward to receiving a copy of the P I S and S D S at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


48 Response

Awaiting reply


49 Enquiry

To:
Information Commissioner’s Office – Wales
2nd Floor, Churchill House
Churchill Way
Cardiff
CF10 2HH
 
5 August 2020
 
Dear Information Commissioner

Subject: Harvesting of genetic material [DNA] under Covid-19 test, track and trace programme.

I understand that the results from positive Covid-19 tests in Wales are provided to the UK’s Covid-19 genetic consortium and recorded in international databases. I would be grateful if you could clarify how human genetic material [DNA harvested under the “Covid-19 test track and trace programme”] is stored and shared with other organisations nationally and internationally. Is the genetic information [DNA] linked to personal data and subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulations, or is the data anonymised. I would be grateful if you could provide me with the contact details of the “data controller” in Wales tasked with administering the national database. I look forward to receiving clarification at your convenience. Thank you.
 
Yours sincerely

 ******


49 Response

25 August 2020

Case Reference: IC-48929-W7F4

Dear Mr ******

Thank you for your email of 5 August 2020, in which you ask about the harvesting of genetic material in relation to NHS Wales’ COVID-19 Test, Trace and Protect scheme (TTP). Genetic data will usually constitute the personal data of the individual to whom it belongs and fall under scope of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and our guidance on this provides more detail on the matter.

In relation to your query, the ICO is not responsible for the processing of personal data that takes place as part of the TTP scheme, and therefore cannot provide you with the clarification you seek. However, if you direct your query to the relevant data controllers who are responsible for determining how data is processed, they should be able to respond to you appropriately.

As the UK regulator for data protection, the ICO has been consulted by the partner organisations delivering TTP, and our understanding is that the scheme is operating under the joint controllership of a number of organisations, including Public Health Wales, NHS Wales Informatics Service, local authorities and health boards.

With that in mind, I suggest that you contact Public Heath Wales who should be able to provide you with assistance. I understand that their data protection officer can be contacted on 02920 104307 or by email at PHW.InformationGovernance@wales.nhs.uk.

Kind regards

David Teague
Regional Manager (Wales)


50 Enquiry

To: Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies [SAGE]

Dear Group Members

I attach letter dated 10 August 2020 from Cabinet Office [LINK]. My initial request for information under FOI Act 2000 was directed to Public Health England [P H E]. I was redirected by P H E to the Cabinet Office who have now directed me to SAGE. I would therefore be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information at your earliest convenience.

A copy of the latest scientific / medical paper available to SAGE on the subject of face covering that prompted the recent change in UK Government policy in England.

Thank you.

Regards

******


50 Response

Subject: Information Request – Response
Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2020 11:26:14 +0000
From: GO-Science public enquiries <contact@go-science.gov.uk>

No formal information in the body of the e-mail response

[LINK] to view a copy of the attachment received.


Kind regards

 

Government Office for Science


51 Enquiry

Freedom of Information Officer
UK Research and Innovation
Medical Research Council
Polaris House
North Star Avenue
Swindon
SN2 1FL

Date: 11  08  2020

Dear Freedom of Information Officer

Subject: Clinical trial – candidate vaccine – LNP-nCoVsaRNA

You will note from the correspondence chain below that I have been advised to redirect my request for information to Medical Research Council. Accordingly I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information: 

Details and results of the animal testing using candidate vaccine LNP-nCoVsaRNA, as referred to in attached document.

I look forward to receiving the information at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


51 Response

Dear Mr ******

Reference: FOI2020/00249

Please find attached [LINK] our response to your above information request.

Kind regards

Information Governance
Information Rights Team
UK Research and Innovation
foi@ukri.org | dataprotection@ukri.org


51 Response (2)

Dear ****** 

Reference: FOI2020/00281

Please find attached [LINK]our response to your above information request.

Kind regards

Information Governance
Information Rights Team
UK Research and Innovation
foi@ukri.org | dataprotection@ukri.org


51 Response (3)

Dear ******,

Please find attached [LINK] a response to your email of 17 September regarding Covid 19 candidate vaccine LNP-n CoV saRNA.

Best Wishes

Bernie

Bernie Godson

Policy Team

ASRU – Home Office Science

4th Floor Peel NE

2 Marsham Street

London SW1P 4DF

Tel No. – 07774 766356

Email:  – bernadette.godson@homeoffice.gov.uk


52 Enquiry

13 August 2020

Rt Hon Vaughan Gething MS
Minister for Health and Social Services
Welsh Government
5th Floor
Ty Hywel
Cardiff Bay
CF99 1NA

Date: 13 08 2020

 

Dear Minister

Subject: Covid-19 testing strategy in Wales

I refer to advice provided to Welsh Government by your “Technical Advisory Cell [TAC]” on the core principles for utilisation of RT-PCR tests for detection of SARS CoV-2. A copy of the document is attached [LINK]. Given that Welsh Government Covid-19 policy is driven by scientific advice, I would be grateful if you could confirm whether the 5 recommendations and 7 key principles for a national testing strategy in Wales, as set out in the document, has been accepted and implemented in Wales.

Additionally, I would be pleased to receive confirmation on who is the designated “data controller” for the national Covid-19 testing process, under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018 and G D P R. Is the “data controller” Welsh Government or NHS Wales or Public Health Wales. I look forward to receiving clarification on the subject at your convenience. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


52 Response

Awaiting reply


53 Enquiry

Correspondence and Public Enquiries Officer
Public Health England
Wellington House
133-155 Waterloo Road
London
SE1 8OG

Date: 27  08  2020

Dear Correspondence and Public Enquiries Officer

Subject: Covid 19 – Test Trace and Protect [T T P] Programme – Data Protection Impact Assessment

Clarification has now been received from the Information Commissioner’s Office [I C O] regarding “Data Protection Impact Assessment [D P I A]” requirement for the above programme. I am advised by I C O that the programme is operating under the joint controller-ship of a number of organisations. I am also advised that the genetic data [DNA – deoxyribonucleic acid] harvested from nasal / throat swab under the programme constitutes the personal data of the individual to whom it belongs and falls under the scope of the General Data Protection Regulations [G D P R] and Data Protection Act 2018. Accordingly, in your role as “data controller” under the Act, I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information at your convenience.

A copy of the D P I A undertaken by Public Health England in respect of the genetic data [DNA] currently being harvested under the Covid-19  T T P programme.

If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. Thank you.   

Yours sincerely

******


53 Response

Response received 9th September 2020 [LINK]


54 Enquiry

Customer Service Team
Customer Service Centre
Ceredigion County Council
Canolfan Rheidol
Llanbadarn Fawr
Aberystwyth
SY23 UE

Date: 27  08  2020

Dear Customer Service Team

Subject: Aberaeron Town – Modifications to road layout

Photographs, as attached, [LINK] have been drawn to my attention regarding permanent modifications to the road layout at Aberaeron Town. I have been requested by concerned residents to investigate. To inform my investigation I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information.

  1. The statutory powers available to your local authority to undertake the permanent modifications to the public highway currently ongoing.
  2. Details of the consultation process followed by your Authority prior to executing the works.
  3. Details of the “Impact Assessment” undertaken prior to the works being executed.

I look forward to receiving the information at your earliest convenience so that I may update concerned residents. Thank you.   

Yours sincerely

******


54 Response

Dear ******,

Thank you for your e-mails dated 27th August, 29th September & 20th October 2020 regarding the modifications to the road layout in Aberaeron, and please accept our sincere apologies for the delay in responding to you.  

Your request has been dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the information you have requested is as follows:

Subject: Aberaeron Town – Modifications to road layout

Photographs, as attached, have been drawn to my attention regarding modifications to the road layout at Aberaeron Town. I have been requested by concerned residents to investigate. To inform my investigation I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information. 

  1. The statutory powers available to your local authority to undertake the modifications to the public highway currently ongoing.

The information requested can be found on the Council’s website which can be accessed here.

  1. Details of the consultation process followed by your Authority prior to executing the works.

Details of consultations can be found on the Council’s website which can be accessed here.

  1. Details of the “Impact Assessment” undertaken prior to the works being executed.

The Integrated Impact Assessment is available online and can be accessed here.

We hope that the above information will be of assistance, and again, please accept our sincere apologies for the delay in providing you with this information.  If you have any complaints in relation to this FOI response the Council operates an internal appeals procedure.  If you wish to utilise this procedure please respond to this e-mail, marked for the attention of: Mr Alun Williams, Corporate Lead Officer for Policy, Performance and Public Protection, within 40 working days of the date of this response.   Should you have any queries regarding the above response please do not hesitate to contact us.   Yours sincerely, FOI Team

Tîm Cwynion a Rhyddid Gwybodaeth

Complaints & Freedom of Information Team 

Cyngor Sir Ceredigion County Council

Canolfan Rheidol
Rhodfa Padarn
Llanbadarn Fawr
Aberystwyth
Ceredigion
SY23 3UE

01545 574151

 Cwynion / Complaints

cwynion@ceredigion.llyw.cymru  / complaints@ceredigion.gov.uk

Rhyddid Gwybodaeth / Freedom of Information

rhg@ceredigion.llyw.cymru  /  foi@ceredigion.gov.uk


55 Enquiry

Freedom of Information Team
Public Health Wales
2 Capital Quarter
Tyndall Street
Cardiff
CF10 4BZ

Date: 29  08  2020

Dear FOI team

Subject: Covid 19 – Test Trace and Protect [T T P] Programme – Data Protection Impact Assessment

Clarification has now been received from the Information Commissioner’s Office [I C O] regarding “Data Protection Impact Assessment [D P I A]” requirement for the above programme. I am advised by I C O that the programme is operating under the joint controller-ship of a number of organisations including Public Health Wales, NHS Wales Informatics Service, local authorities and health boards. I am also advised that the genetic data [DNA – deoxyribonucleic acid] harvested from nasal / throat swab under the programme constitutes the personal data of the individual to whom it belongs and falls under the scope of the General Data Protection Regulations [G D P R] and Data Protection Act 2018. Accordingly, I have been redirected by I C O to Public Health Wales in your role as “data controller” under the Act, I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information at your convenience.

A copy of the D P I A undertaken by Public Health Wales in respect of the genetic data [DNA] currently being harvested under the Covid-19  T T P programme.

If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. Thank you.   

Yours sincerely

******


55 Response

Subject: RE: Covid 19 – Test Trace and Protect [T T P] Programme – Data Protection Impact Assessment
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2020 13:23:43 +0000
From: FOI (Public Health Wales) <phw.foi@wales.nhs.uk>
To: ‘******’ <cj-editor@biggeesblog.cymru>

Dear ******,

Please find attached [LINK] the response to your recent FOI request.

Thanks

Katie


56 Enquiry

Lord Tony Hall
BBC Director General and Editor in Chief
BBC Broadcasting House
Portland Place
London
W1A 1AA

Date: 30  08  2020

Dear Lord Hall

Subject: Covid 19 – Major demonstration Trafalgar Square London – 29 August 2020

I refer to the above subject and to coverage by BBC News on 29 August 2020. A major Covid 19 demonstration in Berlin Germany was reported briefly by BBC News. No reference was made to a similar major Covid 19 demonstration in Trafalgar Square London on the same day. In your role as “Director General and Editor in Chief” I would be grateful if you could arrange to review the editorial decision to report the Berlin demonstration but not the London demonstration. In undertaking your review it would be helpful if you could examine whether the funding of £53 million provided to the BBC by the “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation” is influencing editorial decisions. Do you now accept that more and more people are turning to alternative media platforms for accurate reporting of events. 

I look forward to your reply at your earliest convenience when you have had an opportunity to be briefed by those tasked with taking editorial decisions on 29 August 2020. Thank you.     

Yours sincerely

******


56 Response

Reference CAS-6298528-N9L1T8

Dear ******,
Thanks for contacting Tim Davies. As I am sure you’ll appreciate, the BBC Director-General receives more correspondence than he can deal with personally, so once correspondence has been read by his office it is forwarded to us here in the BBC Audience Services department so we can respond on behalf of the BBC’s management.
Thanks for getting in touch about BBC News.
Many marches and protests take place in cities around the UK and unfortunately BBC News is unable to cover all protests that take place. Stories are chosen due to their editorial merit, for instance, if it’s breaking news or an update to a recent news story.
Our coverage over the weekend looked at the demonstration in Berlin, but also pointed to similar, smaller protests in Paris and London too:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-53957452
“Photographers in the UK have captured hundreds of people gathering in Trafalgar Square to demonstrate against the UK government’s coronavirus measures. Demonstrators were seen holding up banners reading “Covid hoax” and “no mandatory vaccines” as they packed the square…”

There is often a debate in the Newsroom over what to cover, but ultimately we accept that not everybody will be happy with the decisions that we make. We’re sorry you felt we could do better on this occasion. Your comments have been added to our daily report, which is circulated around the news teams.

Kind regards,

Oran Donnelly


BBC Complaints Team 
www.bbc.co.uk/complaints
 
Please note: this email is sent from an unmonitored address so please don’t reply. If necessary please contact us through our webform (please include your case reference number).

57 Enquiry

To: thismorning@itv.com 

Subject: Good Morning Britain interview with Piers Corbyn

Dear Presenters  of the programme,

I was appalled by the format of the interview with Piers Corbyn on your programme this morning. It was more akin to a badger baiting session than a civilised interview to present both sides of the debate in a balanced and fair manner. He was heckled, and not interviewed. He was not allowed to make his points, or to complete a full sentence. He was attacked by two presenters who show an appalling low level of understanding on the subject, and were more focused on drowning him out and ridiculing him, with incessant interruptions and unsubstantiated comments and insults,  which were simply an echo chamber for the official propaganda fed to the public via our pathetic mainstream media.

You need to do some serious research, based on published facts and accurate evidence. The main point that Mr. Corbyn was not allowed to make, revolves around the fact that this so called new Corona virus which is purported to cause the disease labelled Covid-19 has NOT been isolated or identified.

The RT-PCR test is up to 80% inaccurate (giving both false negative and false positive results). Dr. Kary Mullis the inventor of the test himself said that it was not a tool for diagnosis and should be used solely for laboratory research purposes. Furthermore:

  • The identity of a specific virus has not passed the gold standard referred to as Koch’s Postulates.
  • The present testing regime bears no connection to the actual death rate attributed to this outbreak. It has no purpose, other than to monitor people’s movements and the restricting of freedoms.
  • The numbers infected and who have died on a global level does not constitute or trigger the required threshold to identify the outbreak as a ‘pandemic’.
  • The annual death rate – from all causes worldwide – is on a par with the death rates recorded annually during normal seasonal flu outbreaks. In fact on a regional level the death rate recorded for the same period in previous years from this supposed ‘new’ virus is actually LOWER by a factor of around 2% that the usual annual number of deaths. A true pandemic would show up as a huge increase in death rates – the SARS-Cov2 has NOT activated a death increase.
  • Clinical trials are ongoing to test chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as an agent in the treatment of COVID-19 or to prevent COVID-19 infection. These clinical trials are still not completed, so no official conclusions have been reached on the safety and effectiveness of this medicine to treat or prevent COVID-19. The drug has been seen to be effective in malarial infections, and has been used for about seventy years. It does open up pathways for the absorption of zinc into cells. Zinc is a known agent that inhibits viral infection – of a nay kind. The third member, (a celebrity Dr.) of the attack team organised to badger bait Mr. Corbyn was wheeled in to downplay the use of this drug. Amazingly he seems unaware of the ongoing research into this drug. He also is behind the curve when it comes to the safety of modern vaccines – perhaps he should consider the amounts that have been paid in compensation to patients injured or killed by modern vaccines. He should also research the outcomes of vaccine trials in India and Africa that have been conducted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The list goes on. I respectfully ask you to do some meaningful research, before you present such a disgraceful attempt to discredit the facts and evidence in future. Perhaps you are not encouraged by your paymasters to provide balanced interviews, untainted by prejudiced – through ignorance – interviewers.

I suggest you start with https://biggeesblog.cymru or www.vernoncoleman.com

Others could include:

There are many more, which I’m sure your researchers could dig out if they don’t succumb to lazy thinking and/ or propaganda based  bigotry.

There are two competing narratives of the so-called  ‘pandemic’.  One is being pushed by people who are, by my estimation, not trustworthy by their track record.  The other side of the story, buried by mainstream media & social media giants, is being represented by people on the ground who are risking everything to speak sense into this chaotic and insane panic.

Perhaps you can explain why eminent medical  professionals and scientists, who have an unbiased and uncorrupted view on this subject are not being interviewed. Such as:

  • Professor Dolores Cahill
  • Dr. Judy Mikovits
  • Dr. Marcus De Brun
  • Dr. Andrew Kaufman
  • Prof. Knut Wittkowski
  • Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai
  • Dr Rashid Buttar
  • Dr. John Bergman and
  • Dr. Vernon Coleman

And a myriad of others you could choose from. Do you honestly believe that these high profile professionals are all ‘conspiracy theorists’?

Of interest is the fact that Prof. Dolores Cahill has issued an open challenge to the health minister of Eire to appear in an open debate with her on RTE. Dr. Coleman has issued a similar challenge, many times over, to Matt Hancock and others to debate the validity of this so-called ‘pandemic’ with him in a public forum on national TV or radio. To date the silence has been deafening. Do you sometimes wonder why this is?

I’m interested to receive your response in due course to this e-mail message.

Yours sincerely,

Gwilym.


57 Response

Awaiting reply


58 Enquiry

Correspondence Team
Cabinet Office
70 Whitehall
London
SW1A 2AS

Date: 02  09  2020

Dear Correspondence Team

Subject: Behavioural Insights Team

I understand the “Behavioural Insights Team [BIT]” is partly owned by the UK Cabinet Office. I am aware of the information available on their website at the link below regarding Covid-19
https://www.bi.team/

It would be helpful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information at your convenience:

A list of the Covid-19 advisory papers presented to date by BIT for consideration by UK Government to inform policy. 


Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


58 Response

Awaiting reply


59 Enquiry

Rt Hon Vaughan Gething MS
Minister for Health and Social Services
Welsh Government
5th Floor
Ty Hywel
Cardiff Bay
CF99 1NA

Date: 08  09  2020

Dear Minister

Subject: Covid 19 – Caerphilly Local Lockdown

I refer to your decision to impose local lockdown on Caerphilly County Borough [C C B], effective from 1800 hrs 8 September 2020. Information published on C C B website 7 September [as attached] is creating considerable confusion and urgent clarification would be appreciated, specifically in respect of the following.

  1. What is considered to be a “reasonable excuse” for entering or leaving C C B.
  2. Everyone over 11 years of age is required to wear face coverings in indoor areas. Does this include residential property and / or commercial property [including hotels, public houses, leisure facilities and schools]. Is this “government guidance” or a “statutory requirement“. Are there exemptions for the elderly with poor lung function or those with lung diseases including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease [COPD], emphysema or pulmonary fibrosis, or those with underlying health conditions and weakened immune systems who are considered to be at risk of hypoxia [oxygen deficiency] and hypercapnia [build up of excessive carbon dioxide in the blood] due to prolonged mask wearing.
  3. 133 new “cases” in the last 7 days is offered as justification for the lockdown. Given the obvious limitations of the “Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction” [RT-PCR] testing process is this information interpreted by Welsh Government as 133 new Covid-19 infections within C C B. A recent peer-reviewed medical study has confirmed that the RT-PCR test cannot distinguish between the virus and harmless fragments of the dead virus suggesting that the test is not fit for purpose.
  4. Has an “Impact Assessment” been undertaken to inform this ministerial lockdown decision: to assess the social, economic, environmental and health impacts of the decision.

Given that lockdown takes effect from 1800 hrs 8 September prompt clarification would be appreciated. Thank you.

  
Yours sincerely,

******


59 Response

Awaiting reply


60 Enquiry

Open letter to:

Correspondence Team
Cabinet Office
70 Whitehall
London
SW1A 2AS

Date: 08  09  2020

Dear Correspondence Team

Subject: Covid 19 – Request for urgent review

I would be grateful if the Cabinet Office could undertake an urgent review into the concerns listed below under the respective sub-headings.

Media interviews by Secretary of State
The inflammatory and totally insensitive language used by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in interviews with the mainstream media: a case in point being the statement on 7 September directed to younger members of the population and widely reported “Don’t kill Granny“.  There is mounting evidence to suggest that a large number of elderly have died as a direct result of government lockdown policy rather than from Covid-19. The elderly have effectively been placed under “house arrest” for a four month period, denied access to family members during that period and not provided with appropriate advice on how to boost their immune system to mitigate the risk of infection. For the Secretary of State to deflect attention from the failure of government policy and attempt to blame younger members of the population is reprehensible. Please arrange to investigate whether this latest statement is the result of a briefing from the ” Behavioural Insights Team“, partly owned by UK Cabinet  Office.

Conflicts of Interest
In view of statements made to mainstream media by senior medical advisors would you please arrange to examine whether there are conflicts of interest. I refer specifically to a sum of £40 million provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to departments overseen by England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Witty, and whether the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, has links with major pharmaceutical companies that would benefit from government action.  

Role of British Broadcasting Corporation [BBC]
From the start of the Covid-19 crisis the BBC appears to be acting as a propaganda arm of UK Government rather than an independent broadcaster. I understand that the BBC has also received a sum of £53 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Concerns include [a] the failure to explain the obvious limitations of the Covid-19 RT-PCR testing process: government health and economic policy is based on test results and it is of paramount importance that this aspect is properly explained. [b] the failure to interview eminent members of the medical profession who have serious concerns regarding government policy and the validity of the Covid-19 testing process.

Independent Public Inquiry into Government management of Covid-19 crisis
I would be grateful if you could confirm whether Members of Parliament will be given an opportunity to scrutinise the terms of reference of the independent public inquiry recently announced by the Prime Minister.         

I look forward to your reply at your convenience. Thank you. 

Yours sincerely

******


60 Response

Awaiting reply


61 Enquiry

F O I Team
Cabinet Office
70 Whitehall
London
SW1A 2AS

Date: 10  09  2020

Dear F O I team members

Subject: Covid 19 – Rule of 6 – Legal requirement effective from Monday 14 September in England

The announcement by the Prime Minister on 9 September that, with effect from 14 September, it will be unlawful in England for more than 6 people to gather indoors or outside has obvious social, economic, environmental and health impacts. Accordingly, I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

  1. A copy of, or hyperlink to, the relevant statute / regulation, and
  2. A copy of the “Impact Assessment” undertaken to inform the ministerial decision and change in statute, setting out the social, economic, environmental and health impacts.

I look forward to receiving the information at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


61 Response

Please find attached the reply to your FOI request [LINK]

Regards

FOI Team

Room 405

70 Whitehall,

London, SW1A 2AS

E-mail –foi-team@cabinetoffice.gov.uk 


62 Enquiry

Open letter to:

Duncan Selbie
Chief Executive
Public Health England
Wellington House
133-155 Waterloo Road
London
SE1 8OG

Date: 14  09  2020

Dear Mr Selbie

Subject: Covid 19 – RT-PCR testing process

I attach “fact sheet” [LINK] outlining issues with regard to the Covid-19  “Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction” [RT-PCR] testing process. I have continuing concerns that misleading information is being provided to UK Government ministers who appear to interpret a positive test result as a new Covid-19 infection. I would be grateful if you could carefully examine the content of the fact sheet and arrange to draw the issues to the attention of UK Cabinet Office in order that informed decisions can be taken by ministers. Alternatively, if you wish to challenge the content I look forward to receiving a point by point rebuttal, supported by peer-reviewed medical papers.

Serious damage is now being inflicted on the national economy and national health service through economic lockdown with hospitals unable to operate in a normal manner with lengthening waiting lists for urgent treatments. It is therefore of paramount importance that ministers receive factually correct information regarding the RT-PCR testing process to inform ministerial decisions as this drives government policy and process and information provided by the “Office for National Statistics” and mainstream media [including the BBC].  

I look forward to your reply at your earliest convenience.        

Yours sincerely

******


62 Response [01]

Dear ******

Thank you for your email of 11 September to Duncan Selbie at Public Health England (PHE) regarding Covid 19 Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction [RT-PCR testing process. I have been asked to reply.

My colleagues in the virology team have read your email and information sheet and in response to your questions they have asked me to provide you with the attached articles on the testing process [LINK – 3 documents in 1].

PHE’s public matter blog also provides information in response to questions people have about COVID-19, you may also find this of interest:

https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/.

If you have concern about policy decisions made by the Cabinet Office, you may like to email them directly at: publiccorrespondence@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.

I hope this information is of use to you.

Yours sincerely

Catherine

Enquiries – PHE

www.gov.uk.phe  Follow us on Twitter  @PHE_uk 


62 Reply To Response [01]

Enquiries Team
Public Health England
Wellington House
133-155 Waterloo Road
London
SE1 8OG

Date: 07  10  2020

Dear Catherine

Subject: Covid 19 – RT-PCR testing process

Thank you for your letter dated 7 October, responding on behalf of your Chief Executive Mr Duncan Selbie. The articles provided by your virology team are helpful. Your attention is drawn to the following abstracts which are significant.

  1. A positive PCR result reflects only the detection of viral RNA and does not necessarily indicate presence of viable virus.”
  2. “The lack of a “gold standard” for Covid-19 testing makes evaluations of test accuracy challenging.”

These statements endorse my assertion that the RT-PCR test for Covid-19 infection is not fit for purpose: a position supported by many eminent members of the medical profession. If positive RT-PCR test results are being interpreted by Public Health England as “new Covid-19 infections” then totally misleading information is being provided to Government Ministers to inform policy and process. I need to draw these matters to the attention of your Chief Executive Mr Duncan Selbie. I would be grateful if you could provide me with his email address so that I may communicate with him direct. Thank you.      

Yours sincerely

******


63 Enquiry

Open letter to:

Dr Tracey Cooper
Chief Executive
Public Health Wales
2 Capital Quarter
Tyndall Street
Cardiff
CF10 4BZ

Date: 11  09  2020

Dear Dr Cooper

Subject: Covid 19 – RT-PCR testing process

I attach “fact sheet” [LINK] outlining issues with regard to the Covid-19  “Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction” [RT-PCR] testing process. I have continuing concerns that misleading information is being provided to Welsh Government ministers who appear to interpret a positive test result as a new Covid-19 infection. I would be grateful if you could carefully examine the content of the fact sheet and arrange to draw the issues to the attention of Welsh Government in order that informed decisions can be taken by ministers. Alternatively, if you wish to challenge the content I look forward to receiving a point by point rebuttal, supported by peer-reviewed medical papers.

Serious damage is now being inflicted on the Welsh economy and national health service through economic lockdown with hospitals unable to operate in a normal manner with lengthening waiting lists for urgent treatments. It is therefore of paramount importance that ministers receive factually correct information regarding the RT-PCR testing process to inform ministerial decisions as this drives government policy and process and information provided by the “Office for National Statistics” and mainstream media [including the BBC].  

I look forward to your reply at your earliest convenience.        

Yours sincerely

******


63 Response

Awaiting reply


64 Enquiry

Customer Contact Centre
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF10 3NQ

Date: 16  09  2020

Dear Customer Contact Centre

Subject: Covid 19 – Rhondda Cynon Taff – Local Lockdown

I refer to the above subject and the new restrictions [local lockdown] imposed by the Minister for Health and Social Services that take effect from 17 September 2020, prohibiting anyone from entering or leaving Rhondda Cynon Taff Council area without good reason, with a curfew imposed effective from 23:00 hrs. The Minister has justified the local lockdown by an increased number of positive results from the Covid-19 RT-PCR testing process. I would be grateful if Welsh Government could confirm whether the RT-PCR test results at Rhondda Cynon Taff are interpreted by Welsh Government as new Covid-19 infections, or whether the results also include those infected by other coronaviruses [including seasonal influenza and common cold].

I look forward to receiving clarification at your earliest convenience. Thank you.  

Yours sincerely

******


64 Response

Awaiting reply


65 Enquiry

Customer Services Team
Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency [M H R A]
10 South Colonnade
Canary Wharf
London
E14 4PU

Date: 18  09  2020

Dear Customer services Team

Subject: New Covid 19 tests approved for use

I refer to the above subject and attach press release issued by UK Government 3 August 2020. Given that the new tests are based on different technology to the RT-PCR tests currently used, I would appreciate further information as listed below.

  1. In your regulatory role regarding new healthcare products, is the Product Information Sheet and Safety Data Sheet for these new tests available to M H R A. Are you able to forward a copy of the documents or a hyperlink to the documents.
  2. Are these new tests also authorised for use in the devolved administrations: Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you consider that any element of my enquiry should be redirected to another regulator please advise and I shall be pleased to do so. I look forward to your reply at your earliest convenience. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


65 Response

Awaiting reply


66 Enquiry

Open letter to:

Rt Hon Mark Drakeford M S
First Minister
Welsh Government
5th Floor Ty Hywel
Cardiff Bay
CF99 1NA

Date: 22  09  2020

Dear First Minister

Subject: Covid 19 and Seasonal Influenza

As you are aware both Covid 19 and Seasonal influenza are coronaviruses. With the upcoming influenza season expected to coincide with ongoing Covid 19 infections I would be grateful if you could respond to the following enquiry so that we can establish how this situation is to be managed in Wales.

  1. Can you please advise what diagnostic test is currently available in Wales to enable clinicians differentiate between [a] seasonal influenza and [b] Covid 19: both coronaviruses.
  2. With predicted increase in mortality during winter months, how is raw mortality data to be collated and presented by Welsh Government [in conjunction with the Office for National Statistics] to the mainstream media. In presenting mortality statistics does Welsh Government intend to disaggregate the data to differentiate between [a] death from Covid 19 and [b] death from seasonal influenza and [c] death from other causes e.g. cancer, heart disease etc.  

I look forward to receiving clarification when you have had an opportunity to liaise with the “Health Data Team” at the “Office for National Statistics” who have receive a copy of this letter. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


66 Response

Awaiting reply


67 Enquiry

Open letter to:

Correspondence and Public Enquiries Officer
Public Health England
Wellington House
133-155 Waterloo Road
London
SE1 8OG

Date: 22  09  2020

Dear Public Enquiries Officer

Subject: Covid 19 and Seasonal Influenza

As you are aware both Covid 19 and Seasonal influenza are coronaviruses. With the upcoming influenza season expected to coincide with ongoing Covid 19 infections I would be grateful if you could respond to the following enquiry so that we can establish how this situation is to be managed in England.

  1. Can you please advise what diagnostic test is currently available in England to enable clinicians differentiate between [a] seasonal influenza and [b] Covid 19: both coronaviruses.
  2. With predicted increase in mortality during winter months, how is raw mortality data to be collated and presented by Public Health England [in conjunction with the Office for National Statistics] to the mainstream media. In presenting mortality statistics does Public Health England intend to disaggregate the data to differentiate between [a] death from Covid 19 and [b] death from seasonal influenza and [c] death from other causes e.g. cancer, heart disease etc.  

I look forward to receiving clarification when you have had an opportunity to liaise with the “Health Data Team” at the “Office for National Statistics” who have receive a copy of this letter. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


67 Response

Awaiting reply


68 Enquiry

Rt Hon Mark Drakeford MS
First Minister
Welsh Government
5th Floor Ty Hywel
Cardiff Bay
CF99 1NA

Date: 24  09  2020

Dear First Minister

Subject: Covid 19 – Test Trace and Protect Programme [T T P] – Wales

Following my recent correspondence with the Information Commissioner’s Office [I C O] it remains unclear how personal data is being managed under the T T P programme in Wales. I note a serious data breach by “Public Health Wales” on 14 September 2020 impacting on 18,000 data subjects in Wales. Given that the NHS Covid 19 app [contact tracing] is operational in Wales from today, 24 September, I would appreciate clarification on the personal data management roles undertaken by the organisations listed below as I am advised by I C O that the T T P programme is operating under joint controllership, pursuant to S.58 Data Protection Act 2018.

  1. Public Health Wales
  2. NHS Wales Informatics Service
  3. Local Authorities
  4. Health Boards
  5. Private Sector [hotels, public houses, leisure facilities] now under a statutory obligation to harvest personal data.

It remains unclear at present what oversight is provided by Welsh Government to ensure that personal data [including DNA] harvested under the programme is managed in accordance with the data management principles set out in the Data Protection Act 2018 and G D P R.

Your attention is drawn specifically to S.64 Data Protection Act 2018. I understand that a composite “Data Protection Impact Assessment [D P I A]” has not been undertaken by Welsh Government. Do you therefore require separate D P I A’s to be undertaken by the organisations listed above. If necessary, please seek guidance from I  C O on the subject.

I look forward to receiving clarification at your convenience

Yours sincerely

******


68 Response

Awaiting reply


69 Enquiry

Freedom of Information Officer
Information Rights Unit
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF10 3NQ

Date: 26  09  2020

Dear Freedom of Information Officer

Subject: Covid 19 Lockdown [Cardiff, Swansea and Llanelli] – Request for information

I refer to the above subject. The political decision to lockdown Cardiff, Swansea and Llanelli Areas was based on Covid-19  RT-PCR test results within those areas. I have reason to believe that misleading test data has been presented to the First Minister, the Rt Hon Mark Drakeford M S. I regret, I must therefore request the following information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 / Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

  • The number of amplification cycles used in the Covid-19  RT-PCR test resulting in positive test results at Cardiff, Swansea and Llanelli lockdown areas.

I look forward to receiving the information at your earliest convenience. If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


69 Response

Awaiting reply


70 Enquiry

Open letter to:

Correspondence Team
Cabinet Office
70 Whitehall
London
SW1A 2AS

Date: 27  09  2020

Dear Correspondence Team

Subject: Senior UK Government Advisors – Conflict of interests

I refer to the above subject and would be grateful if you could clarify the current position with regard to the requirement for senior UK Government Advisors to declare a conflict of interest when advising UK Government on scientific or medical matters.

My request for clarification has been prompted by recent disclosures in the mainstream media regarding the Chief Scientific Officer for England, Sir Pateick Vallance, and the Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty. I understand that Sir Patrick Vallance is a former director of the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline [G S K] and retains a £600,000 shareholding in a company contracted to develop vaccines that may benefit from UK Government contracts. I further understand that he has “cashed-in” more than £5 million worth of shares from G S K. I also understand that Professor Chris Whitty oversees departments that have received a sum in the region of £40 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation [B M G F] who have substantial investments in pharmaceutical companies developing vaccines.

I would be grateful if you could respond to the following enquiries.

  1. In his role as Chief Scientific Officer for England does Sir Patrick Vallance also receive a pension from his former employer G S K.
  2. As appointed officers [and therefore not answerable to the public through the ballot box] why was Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty allowed to give a presentation from Downing Street on the subject of Covid-19 without any ministerial support, given that ministers are answerable to the public through the ballot box. Why was the mainstream media excluded and not given an opportunity to question them on their presentation given the serious impacts on the UK economy and employment.
  3. To restore public confidence, do you consider there is now a need for a public register to be established to enable senior UK Government Advisors to declare a financial interest when advising Government ministers on scientific or medical matters.

I look forward to your clarification at your earliest convenience. Thank you.         

Yours sincerely

******


70 Response

Awaiting reply


71 Enquiry

Open letter to:

Mr Tim Davie
Director General and Editor in Chief
BBC Broadcasting House
Portland Place
London
W1A 1AA

Date: 29  09  2020

Dear Mr Tim Davie

Subject: BBC Breakfast – 29 September 2020

I write to draw your attention to a statement made this morning on BBC Breakfast by your presenters Dan Walker and Louise Minchin.

It was stated that “One million people had now died in the world with coronavirus“.

As you are no doubt aware there are a group of viruses within the coronavirus family. These include seasonal influenza and the common cold and others, including the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus. In your role as Director General and Editor in Chief I would be grateful if you could confirm which of the following statements you consider to be factually correct.

  1. One million people in the world have died with coronavirus [to include Covid-19, seasonal influenza and other strains of coronavirus]
  2. One million people in the world have died from coronavirus [to include Covid-19, seasonal influenza and other strains of coronavirus]
  3. One million people in the world have died with the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus.
  4. One million people in the world have died from the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus.

Clarity is required to ensure that factually correct information is presented to the public by the mainstream media [including the BBC], by UK Government and by the Office for National Statistics.

I look forward to your clarification at your earliest convenience when you have been briefed on the subject by your researchers. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******

cc    Sir David Norgrove – Chair UK Statistics Authority.
cc    Correspondence Team – Cabinet Office – UK Government


71 Response

Reference CAS-6346466-S2W8G7

 

Dear ******,

Thanks for contacting the Director General regarding a report on Breakfast on the 29th September 2020.

As I am sure you’ll appreciate, the BBC Director-General receives more correspondence than he can deal with personally, so once correspondence has been read by his office it is forwarded to us here in the BBC Audience Services department so we can respond on behalf of the BBC’s management.
I note your concerns about a report on the coronavirus.
Thanks for raising these concerns. I’ve reviewed the programme and it wasn’t a claim made by the BBC or produced by “our researchers”. Listening to what was said, the full report stated that one million people had now died in the world with coronavirus “according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University in the United States”. The report then broke down some of the figures in John McManus’s report, again, attributing this to Johns Hopkins University.
That said, we do value your feedback as you felt the report should’ve broken down viruses within the coronavirus family based on the tally conducted by Johns Hopkins University. All complaints are sent to senior management and programme teams every morning and I included your points in this overnight report.

These reports are among the most widely read sources of feedback in the BBC and ensures that your complaint has been seen by the right people quickly. This helps inform their decisions about current and future programmes.

Once again, thank you for contacting us.

Kind regards,

Phil Young


BBC Complaints Team
 
www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

 

72 Enquiry

Freedom of Information Team
Public Health Wales
2 Capital Quarter
Tyndall Street
Cardiff
CF10 4BZ

Date: 01  10  2020

Dear Freedom of Information Team

Subject: Royal Glamorgan Hospital – major Covid-19 outbreak

I refer to media reports on 30 September 2020 that planned surgery had been suspended at Royal Glamorgan Hospital Wales following confirmation from “Public Health Wales” that 82 Covid-19 cases had been detected at the hospital and 8 Covid-19 deaths. I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information under the F O I Act 2000 / E I R 2004.

The amplification cycle threshold [Ct] used in the Covid-19 RT-PCR testing process at Royal Glamorgan Hospital for positive Covid-19 diagnosis.

If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. I look forward to receiving the information at your convenience. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


72 Response

Dear Mr ******,

Please find attached the response to your recent FOI request. [LINK]

Kind regards

 

Katie


73 Enquiry

Customer Contact Centre
Office for National Statistics
Room D625
Government Buildings
Cardiff Road
Newport
South Wales
NP10 8XG

Date: 02  10  2020

Dear Customer Contact Centre,

Subject: Covid-19 “Case Numbers”

I write to enquire whether the “Health Data Team” at O N S has received a clear and unambiguous definition of the term now used by U K Government: “Covid-19 Case“. Total case numbers, by geographical area, are disseminated by the mainstream media [including the BBC] on a daily basis from the raw data provided by Public Health bodies in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. I take the view that the term “case number” is meaningless without an associated clear definition. Different possible interpretations are listed below:

  1. Confirmed Covid-19 case, with affected person hospitalised, based on positive RT-PCR test result.
  2. Suspected Covid-19 case, with affected person hospitalised, based on positive RT-PCR test result.
  3. Suspected Coronavirus case [to include Covid-19, Seasonal Influenza, common cold or other strain from the large coronavirus family] with affected person hospitalised.
  4. Suspected Coronavirus case [to include Covid-19, Seasonal Influenza, common cold or other strain from the large coronavirus family] with affected person self-isolating in the community and symptomatic.
  5. Suspected Coronavirus case [to include Covid-19, Seasonal Influenza, common cold or other strain from the large coronavirus family] with affected person self-isolating in the community but asymptomatic.

Many eminent members of the medical profession, including those listed in Annex 01 below, regard the RT-PCR test to be not fit for purpose for the reasons set out in attached fact sheet [LINK]. To add to the complication in compiling “case” statistics it remains unclear whether the “Amplification Cycle Threshold” [Ct] for a positive test result varies with “time” and “geographic location”. A low Ct threshold value suggests a high “patient viral load” whereas a high Ct threshold value generates false positive test results. Are these false positive results included in the “case numbers” released to the mainstream media on a daily basis.

If guidance has not previously been provided, I appreciate that O N S may now need to liaise with U K Government to clarify these matters and to arrive at a definition for “Covid-19 Case” that is applied consistently in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

By means of a copy of this letter, these issues have also been drawn to the attention of U K Cabinet Office and BBC. I hope their Health Editor [Hugh Pym] and Medical Correspondent [Fergus Walsh] decide to offer a clear explanation to the general public during their daily analysis of case numbers.   

I look forward to your observations when O N S has received clarification from UK Government. Thank you.  

Yours sincerely

******

Annex 01
Dr Andrew Kaufman
Dr Rashid Buttar
Professor Dolores Cahill
Professor Knut Wittkowski
Dr Judy Mikovits
Dr V A Shiva Ayyadurai
Dr Rima E Laibow
Dr Tim O’Shea
Dr Vernon Colman
Professor emeritus Beda M Stadler


73 Response

Awaiting reply


74 Enquiry

Correspondence Team
Cabinet Office
70 Whitehall
London
SW1A 2AS

Date: 03  10  2020

Dear Correspondence Team

Subject: Publication of Statistics – Hospital Bed Capacity

I note that the Cabinet Office is responsible for, inter alia, promoting the release of government data and improving transparency.

Accordingly, I would be grateful if the Cabinet Office could consider  publishing henceforth, on UK Government website, data relating to hospital bed spare capacity during the autumn and winter period, with the data itemised by individual hospital. The information should be readily available in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This should enable the general public, and mainstream media, to have a clear understanding which hospitals in the UK  are operating at, or near, bed capacity and which hospitals are operating with spare bed capacity. Public scrutiny is considered necessary as many hospitals appear to be operating at well below capacity following the decision to pause cancer diagnosis and treatment and other planned treatments.   

I would be grateful if the Cabinet Office could give my request consideration in the interests of openness and transparency. I appreciate you may now need to liaise with the Office for National Statistics [O N S] and / or the Office for Statistics Regulation [O S R] who are copied in as stakeholders in our correspondence.   

I take the view that if all patients who test positive under the RT-PCR test are directed to Covid-designated hospitals / wards those hospitals and wards may be rapidly overwhelmed during the autumn and winter period while many other hospitals in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland may have significant spare bed capacity and therefore able to restart non-covid diagnosis and treatment for life-threatening conditions, including cancer. As you are aware, from previous correspondence under separate cover, the RT-PCR test for Covid-19 is considered to be not fit for purpose by many eminent members of the medical profession, for the reasons previously outlined.

I look forward to your response to my request at your earliest convenience when you have had an opportunity to liaise with O N S / O S R.  Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

******


74 Response

Awaiting reply


75 Enquiry

Freedom of Information Team
Canolfan Rheidol
Rhodfa Padarn
Llanbadarn Fawr
Aberystwyth
Ceredigion
SY23 3UE

Date: 06  10  2020

Dear Freedom of Information Team

Subject: Covid-19 Safe Zones – Cardigan Aberaeron, New Quay Aberystwyth

I refer to the “safe zones” implemented by your Authority at Cardigan, Aberaeron, New Quay and Aberystwyth effective from 13 July 2020. The zones were authorised by Council Officers using delegated powers. Following numerous concerns drawn to my attention I regret I must request the following information under the F O I Act 2000 / E I R 2004.

  1. A copy of the “Integrated Impact Assessment” undertaken to inform the original decision by Council Officers to execute the scheme from 13 July 2020, and
  2. A copy of the “evidence” available to Council Officers during subsequent 21-day review periods.

If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


75 Response

Awaiting reply


76 Enquiry

Freedom of Information Team
Canolfan Rheidol
Rhodfa Padarn
Llanbadarn Fawr
Aberystwyth
Ceredigion
SY23 3UE

Date: 06  10  2020

Dear Freedom of Information Team

Subject: CCC – Contact Tracing Service

I attach copy of Ceredigion County Council Covid-19 Contact Tracing and Case Management publication dated July 2020 [LINK]. I have noted the content and would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the following information under F O I Act 2000 / E I R 2004.

  1. The “contact details” [name and email address] of the designated “data controller” for the contact tracing service in Ceredigion, as required under the Data Protection Act 2018.
  2. Copy of “Wales Accord on the Sharing of Personal Information [W A S P I] agreement

I look forward to receiving the information at your convenience. If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


76 Response

Awaiting reply


77 Enquiry

Customer Contact Centre
Office for National Statistics [ONS]
Room D625
Government Buildings
Cardiff Road
Newport
South Wales
NP10 8XG

Date: 06  10  2020

Dear Customer Contact Centre

Subject: Covid 19 – Case Numbers

I write to commend employees at ONS on their continuing efforts to provide daily / weekly statistics relating to Covid-19. Your efforts are very much appreciated during this difficult period.  
 
While I await confirmation of the definition of “Covod-19 case“, requested under separate correspondence, I write to enquire whether it is possible for the total number of daily [or weekly] Covid-19 tests undertaken in the UK to be itemised, with the raw data sorted by Local Authority Area. The information, if published, would be helpful to the general public, to the mainstream media, and to government ministers taking important decisions on which local authority areas to lock-down. It would also enable an objective assessment to be undertaken to establish whether there was a link between the number of tests undertaken in a local authority area and the number of positive test results recorded within that local authority area [including hospitals located within the area]. This is considered to be particularly important given the limitations of the RT-PCR testing process, referred to in separate correspondence.

I appreciate you may need to discuss this request with external stakeholders and I shall await your response, at your convenience, when you have received their observations. Thank you.      

Yours sincerely

******


77 Response

Awaiting reply


78 Enquiry

Freedom of Information Team
Public Health England
Wellington House
133-155 Waterloo Road
London
SE1 8OG

Date: 17  10  2020

Dear Freedom of Information Team

Subject: Covid 19 Laboratory location – RT-PCR test

I would be grateful if you could arrange to provide me with the information [as set out in attached template] under the F O I Act 2000 / E I R 2004 relating to; Covid 19 laboratory location, RT-PCR test kits used in the laboratory, and recommended “Amplification Cycle Threshold ” for Covid-19 infection recommended by kit manufacturer. The information can be provided in tabular format using the attached template.

If you require additional information or further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. If you consider it more appropriate for this request for information to be directed to National Health Service England [rather than Public Health England] please advise and I shall redirect the request accordingly. Thank you.    

Yours sincerely

******


78 Response

Awaiting reply


79 Enquiry

Freedom of Information Officer
Information Rights Unit
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF10 3NQ

Date: 20  10  2020

Dear Freedom of Information Officer

Subject: Covid 19 – Firebreak Lockdown [Wales] 26 October to 9 November 2020

I refer to the above subject and attach copy of “Firebreak Lockdown FAQ” [LINK] downloaded from your website 20 October. The lockdown will have significant economic, health and social impacts in Wales. I note that the lockdown is justified with the statistic that there were 4,127 new confirmed cases of coronavirus recorded by “Public Health Wales” in the period 9 October to 15 October and that the number of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus symptoms is growing daily with the number of people dying with coronavirus also increasing. The terminology used in your FAQ is confusing as there is a large family of coronaviruses and Covid-19 symptoms are similar to seasonal influenza and the common cold. I would therefore appreciate clarification [under the F O I Act 2000 / E I R 2004], with specific reference to the points hereunder.

  1. I would be pleased to receive a copy of the “Impact Assessment” undertaken by Welsh Government to inform the ministerial firebreak lockdown decision.
  2. Confirmation of the agreed definition of “Coronavirus Case” referred to in your FAQ. Does a “case” refer to the number of people that have been hospitalised, or the number self-isolating at home following a positive R T – P C R test result, or a combination of both. Has the definition been agreed with the “Office for National Statistics” who analyse the raw data and present the information to the public.
  3. Is the firebreak lockdown decision based on the number of people that have tested positive for the Covid-19 strain of coronavirus using an “Amplification Cycle Threshold [Ct]” value of 45 in the R T – P C R test.

I look forward to receiving the information at your earliest convenience. If you require further clarification you are welcome to contact me at any time. Thank you.

Yours sincerely

******


79 Response

Awaiting reply


80 Enquiry

Freedom of Information Team
Cabinet Office
70 Whitehall
London
SW1A 2AS

Date: 21  10  2020

Dear Freedom of Information Team

Subject: NHS Test and Trace programme – Data sharing with police

I refer to the above subject and to an article published in the Times newspaper 18 October 2020. An abstract from the article is reproduced below.
Abstract from article published in Times dated 18 October 2020
“Experts decry move to share Covid test and trace data with police. Government decision will deter people in England from engaging, warn public health and privacy analysts. Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said police officers were operating in a ‘very proportionate way’. Privacy experts and public health figures have reacted with alarm to the “potentially disastrous” UK government move to share with the police the contact details of those who have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. Over the weekend it emerged that the police had been given powers to request data of individuals who have been told to self-isolate in England in an agreement between the Department of Health and Social Care and the National Police Chiefs’ Council. The DHSC said it was a legal requirement for people who have tested positive for Covid-19 and their close contacts to self-isolate when formally notified to do so. “The Department of Health and Social Care has agreed a memorandum of understanding with the National Police Chiefs Council to enable police forces to have access on a case-by-case basis to information that enables them to know if a specific individual has been notified to self-isolate.”
End of abstract
This raises serious concerns that require further investigation. I would therefore be pleased to receive the following information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

  1. A copy of the Data Protection Impact Assessment [D P IA] undertaken by UK Government, pursuant to S.64 Data Protection Act 2018.
  2. A copy of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Health and Social Care and National Police Chief’s Council. If you consider it necessary, any personal data can be redacted to comply with the data management principles set out in the G D P R and Data Protection Act 2018.
  3. Confirmation whether human DNA [unique to individuals], now harvested on an industrial scale under the NHS Test and Trace programme, is also being shared with the police for use in forensic analysis of crime scene.       

I look forward to receiving the information at your earliest convenience. If you consider it necessary please seek guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office, as the UK Data Regulator. Thank you.  

Yours sincerely

******


80 Response

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