Western Mail

Clarificat­ion sought from health minister

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AS a doctor of 40 years’ experience, I sent a letter to Vaughan Gething on September 8 requesting clarificat­ion of the meaning of a coronaviru­s “case”, because many people are confused about it and often unnecessar­ily frightened.

To date I have received no reply. The public have a right to understand what they are being told by ministers.

Dear Mr Gething, In the light of recent reports of a “local lockdown” in Caerphilly, I would be grateful for clarificat­ion of what is meant by “cases”, in relation to ‘Covid19’.

Are the “cases” asymptomat­ic, symptomati­c, well, sick, at home, hospitalis­ed or dead?

How are the “cases” counted? Are they detected clinically or by testing?

Is the testing random or targeted? Are children being tested at school and by what method?

As health minister you will be familiar with correspond­ence in the British Medical Journal. I refer you to outstandin­g questions and concerns regarding the RT-PCR test, its interpreta­tion and the deleteriou­s effect on children.

I would be grateful for answers to the queries raised in the correspond­ence referenced below, namely:

What is the purpose of randomly testing to detect minute quantities of viral RNA in predominan­tly asymptomat­ic population­s?

Do the necessaril­y amplified samples of viral genome in an RT-PCR test indicate, (a) active presence of ‘live’ virus in an asymptomat­ic individual, (b) past presence of live virus, (c) a portion

of viral genome remaining after destructio­n of virus by the immune system, (d) viral load, (e) current infection, (f ) past infection, (g) latent infection, (h) infection with SARS CoV-2, (i) infection with a related coronaviru­s, (j) ‘carrier’ status, (k) transmissi­bility potential, (l) any or all of the above or something else?

The NHS website gives guidance regarding coronaviru­s testing. It states, “A positive result means you had coronaviru­s when the test was done”. What does that mean exactly? And is there a danger of creating a “Casedemic” of apparent “spikes” of unknown significan­ce?

Please also advise as to what risk assessment­s have been carried out regarding adverse effects on the population of ‘lockdowns’, face mask-wearing and the social, psychologi­cal, physical, economic short and long-term consequenc­es of government-mandated “covid rules”.

I look forward to your detailed response, including references to peer-reviewed scientific publicatio­ns supporting any assertions.

Please regard this as a Freedom of Informatio­n request, if necessary.

Dr Janet Menage MA MB ChB

Llanybydde­r, Ceredigion

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