Healthy people and tests

Jane Westover made this Freedom of Information request to Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust

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Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust did not have the information requested.

Dear Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust,

I would like to know what evidence there is that healthy people are infectious.

For the period April to the present day - Please tell me how many people have been admitted to the hospitals in your area and have been treated for covid, not just tested positive, while undergoing treatment for something else.

And how many people have had covid mentioned on their death certificate after testing positive, when covid has had nothing to do with their death?

Thank you

Yours faithfully,

Jane Westover

FOI, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust

Freedom of Information Requests

Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 that was received by Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust (MSEFT) today. This is an automated response to confirm receipt of your email.

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which was formed on 1 April 2020 by merger of Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, is now responsible for all Freedom of Information requests concerning the three former trusts.

You may be aware that the national standard for responding to FOI requests is 20 working days from receipt. However due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the NHS is under significant pressure at present. As a result, your FOI request is likely to take longer to fulfil than normal. I am sorry that we are not yet able to provide you with a target date for response.
If you have any concerns in this regard, please contact us. You also have the right to complain about the handling of your FOI request to the Information.
The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire. SK9 5AF
Telephone: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545 700
Web Address: https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/off...

Kind regards

Nicola Frost
Freedom of Information Manager – MSE Group
Corporate Governance & Membership Services
Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust
Basildon University Hospital, Nethermayne, Basildon, Essex, SS16 5NL
Telephone: 01268 593631
Email: [Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust request email]<mailto:[Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust request email]>

===============================================================

This email has been sent by Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust email security gateway. The views expressed by the author may not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Trust.

This email has been processed to remove any known threats or known malicious content. However, you do also need to validate this email and any attachments to it for threats or malicious content, as we can take no responsibility for any malicious content that might be transferred by way of this email.

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Dear Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust,

I notice that the date by which you should have responed to my request has expired. I trust that the answers to my request will be with me as soon as possible.

Yours faithfully,

Jane Westover

FOI, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust

Freedom of Information Requests

Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 that was received by Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust (MSEFT) today. This is an automated response to confirm receipt of your email.

You may be aware that the national standard for responding to FOI requests is 20 working days from receipt. However due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the NHS is under significant pressure at present. As a result, your FOI request is likely to take longer to fulfil than normal. I am sorry that we are not yet able to provide you with a target date for response.
If you have any concerns in this regard, please contact us. You also have the right to complain about the handling of your FOI request to the Information.
The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire. SK9 5AF
Telephone: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545 700
Web Address: https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/off...

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which was formed on 1 April 2020 by merger of Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, is now responsible for all Freedom of Information requests concerning the three former trusts.

Kind regards

Nicola Frost
Freedom of Information Manager – MSE Group
Corporate Governance & Membership Services
Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust
Basildon University Hospital, Nethermayne, Basildon, Essex, SS16 5NL
Telephone: 01268 593631
Email: [Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust request email]<mailto:[Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust request email]>

===============================================================

This email has been sent by Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust email security gateway. The views expressed by the author may not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Trust.

This email has been processed to remove any known threats or known malicious content. However, you do also need to validate this email and any attachments to it for threats or malicious content, as we can take no responsibility for any malicious content that might be transferred by way of this email.

We do not accept or send emails larger than 30MB. Details of all emails are archived for a period of time for auditing and security purposes.

Information within this message, including replies and forwarded copies subsequently transmitted (which may contain alterations), and any attachments may contain confidential and privileged information, if you are not the intended recipient please accept our apologies; do not disclose, copy or distribute information in this e-mail or take any action in reliance on its contents: to do so is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this message by mistake please reply to inform us before deleting it and destroying any copies. Content of emails received by this Trust will be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and confidential information must be handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018. Unless the information is legally exempt from disclosure, confidentiality of this e-mail and your reply cannot be guaranteed.

FOI, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Westover,

 

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request dated 17.12.2020, which
has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). 
Firstly may I apologise on behalf or the trust for the delay in providing
your response, which was primarily due to the demands upon all areas of
the trust during the pandemic.

 

Your request and our response are as follows:

 

I would like to know what evidence there is that healthy people are
infectious. 

 

For the period April to the present day - Please tell me how many people
have been admitted to the hospitals in your area and have been treated for
covid, not just tested positive, while undergoing treatment for something
else.

 

And how many people have had covid mentioned on their death certificate
after testing positive, when covid has had nothing to do with their death?

 

We are counting COVID-19 deaths and hospital activity as per the national
guidance.  The figures and a description of the definition we are using is
published and can be found via the links below:

 

COVID-19 deaths

[1]https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/st...

The link to the Trust level data is available in the daily spreadsheet in
the section titled ‘COVID-19 all announced deaths’.

 

Information regarding Covid-19 Hospital Activity can be found via the link
below:

[2]Statistics » COVID-19 Hospital Activity (england.nhs.uk) and contains
the following information:

 

Monthly publication of Covid-19 data

This monthly publication file provides a trust level breakdown of the five
admission indicators which are provided at regional and national level
each day 

·         the number of patients in hospital with COVID including those in
mechanical ventilation

·         the number of patients admitted to hospital with COVID

·         the number of patients diagnosed in hospital with COVID

·         the number of patients discharged from hospital

·         staffing absences

 

Weekly publication of Covid-19 admissions and bed occupancy data

This file contains Covid data on measures of:-

·         hospital admissions,

·         number of beds occupied by Covid patients

·         number of MV beds (capable of supporting mechanical ventilation)
occupied by Covid patients

·         number of Adult G&A beds; occupied by Covid patients; occupied
by non-Covid patients, unoccupied

·         hospital admissions,

·         number of all beds occupied by Covid patients

·         number of MV beds occupied by Covid patients

 

We have also received advice from NHS England who have provided the links
below:

[3]https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/...  

[4]Healthcare | Coronavirus in the UK (data.gov.uk)

[5]Daily summary | Coronavirus in the UK (data.gov.uk)

 

Please note that we are providing these links under Section 21 of the FOI
Act – ‘Information reasonably accessible to the applicant via other
means’.

 

I hope that the response that the Trust has provided is satisfactory. 
However, if you are dissatisfied with the way in which your Freedom of
Information request has been dealt with you can request an internal
review. Please email [6][Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust request email] within 40 working days with
clarification of what you would like to be reviewed. We will aim to
provide a review response within 20 working days.

 

If you remain dissatisfied, you have the right under section 50 of the Act
to apply to the Information Commissioner to seek resolution to the matter.
Further details can be found on their website:
[7]https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/.

 

Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 – General statement
of compliance

 

The Trust for its part is happy for you to reuse any of the information
supplied to you in compliance with the Open Government Licence (OGL)
terms:  Please click here for further details
[8]http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents...
.  We do not permit the forwarding or sale of staff/departmental contact
details and a specific Re-use of Information Regulations request is
required for such purposes.

 

If relevant, you will need the permission of other information owners. 
This can occur when you receive a document which is co-authored or where
the ownership lies with another organisation.  Provision under both the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations
2004 does not entitle you to re-use the information without appropriate
permissions.  Use must be in compliance with an Open Government Licence or
other agreed terms.

 

Kind regards

 

Nicola Frost

Freedom of Information Manager – MSE Group

Corporate Governance & Membership Services

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust

Basildon University Hospital

Nethermayne

Basildon

Essex, SS16 5NL

Telephone: 01268 593631

Email: [9][Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust request email]

 

Visit our website: [10]https://www.mse.nhs.uk/

 

[11]cid:image001.png@01D63802.DF2F5700

 

 

show quoted sections

Dear FOI,

Thank you for the information you have provided.

However, I can not see any response to my question "what evidence is there that healthy people are infectious".

I feel that this is incredibly important information to have and should be easily available to anyone who asks.

Yours sincerely,

Jane Westover

FOI, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust

Freedom of Information Requests

This is an automated response to confirm receipt of your email request for information.

The Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust is committed to the Freedom of Information Act 2000. However, the NHS is facing unprecedented challenges relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic at the current time.

Understandably, our resources have been diverted to support our front-line colleagues who are working tremendously hard to provide care for our patients, and to those in need of our services. We strive to be transparent and to work with an open culture, but at this time when care of our patients and the safety of our staff takes priority, it is likely that responses to some requests for information will be delayed.

We apologise for this, and will endeavour to provide you with as much information as we can, as soon as we are able.

If you have any concerns in this regard, please contact us. You also have the right to complain about the handling of your FOI request to the Information. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Telephone: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545 700 Web Address: https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/off...

Please be advised that Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTUH) Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (SHUT) and Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust (MEHT) ceased to exist on 31 March 2020.

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust (MSEFT), which was formed on 1 April 2020 by merger of Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, is now responsible for all Freedom of Information requests concerning the three former trusts.

The Freedom of Information address for Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust is [Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust request email]<mailto:[Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust request email]>. All future requests should be sent to that address, from which all responses to new requests will be sent.

Access to Records and Potential / Claims Requests

Please note This Freedom of Information mailbox is NOT intended for access to records requests, potential claims or claims correspondence, and may lead to unnecessary delays in the processing of your request, please re-direct as follows:

[email address]<mailto:[email address]> for all Access to Records requests

Claims and Potential Claims – Site based as follows:

Basildon – [email address]<mailto:[email address]>
Broomfield – [email address]<mailto:[email address]>
Southend – [email address]<mailto:[email address]>

Thank you for your co-operation.

Kind regards

Nicola Frost
Freedom of Information Manager – MSE Group
Corporate Governance & Membership Services
Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust
Basildon University Hospital, Nethermayne, Basildon, Essex, SS16 5NL
Telephone: 01268 593631
Email: [Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust request email]<mailto:[Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust request email]>

===============================================================

This email has been sent by Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust email security gateway. The views expressed by the author may not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Trust.

This email has been processed to remove any known threats or known malicious content. However, you do also need to validate this email and any attachments to it for threats or malicious content, as we can take no responsibility for any malicious content that might be transferred by way of this email.

We do not accept or send emails larger than 30MB. Details of all emails are archived for a period of time for auditing and security purposes.

Information within this message, including replies and forwarded copies subsequently transmitted (which may contain alterations), and any attachments may contain confidential and privileged information, if you are not the intended recipient please accept our apologies; do not disclose, copy or distribute information in this e-mail or take any action in reliance on its contents: to do so is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this message by mistake please reply to inform us before deleting it and destroying any copies. Content of emails received by this Trust will be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and confidential information must be handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018. Unless the information is legally exempt from disclosure, confidentiality of this e-mail and your reply cannot be guaranteed.

FOI, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Westover,

 

Thank you for your email and I can only apologise on behalf of the trust
that you were dissatisfied with our response to your Freedom of
Information request

 

Your request and our revised response are as follows:

 

I would like to know what evidence there is that healthy people are
infectious. 

 

The trust would not hold this information, we hold information of the
patients admitted to and treated at our hospitals.  Information about the
services we provide can be found on our website
[1]https://www.mse.nhs.uk/.

 

For the period April to the present day - Please tell me how many people
have been admitted to the hospitals in your area and have been treated for
covid, not just tested positive, while undergoing treatment for something
else.

 

Please see the information provided in our first response below.

 

And how many people have had covid mentioned on their death certificate
after testing positive, when covid has had nothing to do with their death?

 

Please see the information provided in our first response below and update
as follows:

 

Whilst the trust may hold data regarding the total number of deaths within
the trust, we do not hold the specific information you have requested.

 

The trust does not code (clinical) the cause of death as such, this is
completed centrally by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) using the
information on the death certificates.  What will have been coded in the
primary position is the main condition investigated and / or treated
during the episode immediately prior to death (which may or may not be the
same as the cause of death). As an example, a patient who ultimately died
from natural causes would have been admitted to hospital for a particular
reason originally and it is this which would have been coded.

 

The distinction is also important because patients can die from something
completely undiagnosed while they were alive and the trust clinical coders
do not generally use information produced following death, e.g. death
certificates, post mortem / coroner reports, registrar etc.

 

However, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) [2]Home - Office for
National Statistics (ons.gov.uk) are responsible for the provision of
mortality statistics for England and Wales.  The ONS have published
responses to FOI enquiries regarding Covid-19 deaths which can be found
via this link
[3]https://www.ons.gov.uk/aboutus/transpare...

 

Further information, including how to search for data by postcode, can be
found via the link below:

[4]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationa...

 

Please note that we are providing these links under Section 21 of the FOI
Act – ‘Information reasonably accessible to the applicant via other
means’.

 

Please be advised that Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS
Foundation Trust (BTUH) Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
(SHUT) and Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust (MEHT) ceased to exist on
31 March 2020. 

 

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust (MSEFT), which was formed on 1
April 2020 by merger of Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, Basildon
and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Southend
University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, is now responsible for all
Freedom of Information requests concerning the three former trusts.

 

I hope that the response that the Trust has provided is satisfactory. 
However, if you are dissatisfied with the way in which your Freedom of
Information request has been dealt with you can request an internal
review. Please email [5][Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust request email] within 40 working days with
clarification of what you would like to be reviewed. We will aim to
provide a review response within 20 working days.

 

If you remain dissatisfied, you have the right under section 50 of the Act
to apply to the Information Commissioner to seek resolution to the matter.
Further details can be found on their website:
[6]https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/.

 

Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015 – General statement
of compliance

 

The Trust for its part is happy for you to reuse any of the information
supplied to you in compliance with the Open Government Licence (OGL)
terms:  Please click here for further details
[7]http://nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents...
.  We do not permit the forwarding or sale of staff/departmental contact
details and a specific Re-use of Information Regulations request is
required for such purposes.

 

If relevant, you will need the permission of other information owners. 
This can occur when you receive a document which is co-authored or where
the ownership lies with another organisation.  Provision under both the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations
2004 does not entitle you to re-use the information without appropriate
permissions.  Use must be in compliance with an Open Government Licence or
other agreed terms.

 

Kind regards,

 

Nicola Frost

Freedom of Information Manager – MSE Group

Corporate Governance & Membership Services

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust
Basildon University Hospital, Nethermayne, Basildon, Essex, SS16 5NL

Telephone: 01268 593631

Email: [8][Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust request email]

Visit our website: [9]https://www.mse.nhs.uk/

 

[10]cid:image001.png@01D63802.DF2F5700

 

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Dear FOI,

Thank you for your response. I understand that you do not hold the information on what evidence there is that healthy people are infectious.

Given that this is such a vital piece of information, I am sure the information is held somewhere and is available for the public to read. Could you tell me who to contact, please.

Yours sincerely,

Jane Westover

FOI, Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Westover,

 

Thank you for your email.

 

The trust would not know who is researching this particular subject. 
However, there is information on the World Health Organisation’s website
which you may find useful which provides an explanation on how Covid-19
spreads between people.  This is the link to their website
[1]https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases...

 

Kind regards

 

Nicola Frost

Freedom of Information Manager – MSE Group

Corporate Governance & Membership Services

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust
Level L, Basildon University Hospital, Nethermayne, Basildon, Essex, SS16
5NL

Telephone: by email

Email:  [2][Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust request email]

Visit our website: [3]https://www.mse.nhs.uk/

 

Interested in becoming a Member?
[4]https://www.mse.nhs.uk/membership-and-go...

 

[5]cid:image001.png@01D63802.DF2F5700

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Dear FOI,

Thank you for your response

I am amazed and very concerned that this subject has not been at the top of the pile for being researched. It is my understanding that Sage and the government want us to regard our fellow human beings as infectious, even when they are healthy. Yet you are unable to show me any evidence to support this damaging and psychologically abusive dictate.

I have copied the extract from WHO that you referred me too, and words fail me!! It is hardly conclusive evidence that social distancing, mask wearing and the isolation of millions of healthy people is justified. WHO themselves have admitted that the PCR test has produced far too many false positives, yet we are still having mass testing and lives ruined because of it.

"Whether or not they have symptoms, infected people can be contagious and the virus can spread from them to other people.

Laboratory data suggests that infected people appear to be most infectious just before they develop symptoms (namely 2 days before they develop symptoms) and early in their illness. People who develop severe disease can be infectious for longer.

While someone who never develops symptoms can pass the virus to others, it is still not clear how frequently this occurs and more research is needed in this area."

I would appreciate you digging a bit deeper to find something rather more useful than the above.

Thank you in advance

Yours sincerely,

Jane Westover

Dear FOI,

Hello

I am not exactly sure what it is you are asking me to clarify. But I will do my best.

I would like to know what evidence there is that healthy people are infectious.
This appears to be the assumption that the government is making when it tells us all (even those who have had the jab) to behave as if (we have the virus).

When I asked this question I was expecting to be given links to research by sage and scientists and medical experts. Instead I was given one link to the WHO which is not in any way convincing any enquiring person that they should pretend to be sick when they are healthy.

Given the bias the government has towards healthy people being infectious, surely there must be a wealth of data to support this assumption.

I hope this clarifies my request.

Yours sincerely,

Jane Westover

Dear Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust,

I am alarmed that my request for evidence that healthy people are infectious has not received a response. One year into a health crisis I was expecting to receive several links to documented evidence that there is a strong likelihood that anyone without symptoms and appears healthy, is in fact infectious. This and the flawed PCR tests are what the government is basing their lockdown policies on. Telling us all that we should act like we have the virus. Where is the evidence to support this scaremongering?

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust's handling of my FOI request 'Healthy people and tests'.

[ GIVE DETAILS ABOUT YOUR COMPLAINT HERE ]

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/h...

Yours faithfully,

Jane Westover

Dear Ms Westover,

Thank you very much for contacting us today. In doing so you prompted us to check our response to your message of 19 February below, which was discussed at length between colleagues here, resulting in the reply reproduced here, which was compiled the same day, but, as we have just discovered, never sent, for which I offer the trust's sincere apologies.

If you still require an internal review after reading this reply, please contact us again and we will begin the process immediately.

With best regards and our apologies once more,

Alan Larn.

Here is our reply of 19 February:

Dear Ms Westover,

We appreciate your concern with regard to this subject.

However, the function of the Freedom of Information department of a public organisation is to provide information that it holds within its record system, and, as we have already told you, this trust does not hold any data which constitutes an answer to your question "What evidence is there is that healthy people are infectious?" In that regard, I repeat that we are unable to help you within the framework of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Nevertheless, the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act does require us to be helpful if we can, and it was in line with that spirit that my colleague suggested a few places that you might search to get a clearer picture of the subject.

And it is in the same spirit that I offer the following links to the respected journals the Lancet [ https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lance... ], the British Medical Journal [ https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4851 ] and Nature [ https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-0... ], as well as the New York Times [ https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/31/healt... ].

I would also offer the comment that none of these articles refer to "healthy" people. Rather, they refer to people who are "asymptomatic" or "presymptomatic". These are people who have every appearance of being healthy, but nevertheless carry the infection. Where Covid-19 is concerned, it is perfectly true that we do not know what proportion of people who are infected with the virus are asymptomatic or presymptomatic, or how infectious they are, compared to people who are infected and develop symptoms.

Any person infected with the virus is by definition not healthy and can transmit the virus. Anyone not infected cannot transmit the virus. Unfortunately we cannot reliably differentiate between the two in asymptomatic individuals.

In the first few days after exposure to the virus (up to 14 days) we cannot tell if a person is infected or not. Testing is unreliable in these people. I would point out that all of the research referred to in all of the reports to which I have provided links provides the evidence-based conclusion that people with the infection who appear to be healthy are still infectious to some degree.

In other words, an infected but apparently healthy person is always at risk of transmitting the virus. We can reduce the risk by limiting the risk of exposure (social distancing, PPE, etc.) but we can never eliminate the risk completely.

Finally, beyond the notes provided above, I can only repeat once more that this trust does not hold any information within its own records that provides a direct answer to your question, and that, within the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, we are unable to help you or enter into further correspondence with regards to this enquiry.

With best regards,

Alan Larn.
Corporate Governance Administrator
Freedom of Information
Corporate Governance & Membership Services

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust

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Jane Westover left an annotation ()

I am surprised that given the government have made such a big thing of people who are healthy being infectious, these links to evidence to support this are all the evidence they can provide.
I was expecting pages of research to back up the government assumption.
Surely, somewhere they must have details of research that they have completed? If anyone has any ideas, I would be very pleased to receive them