Crossing Borders and Protecting Our Children

Crossing Borders and Protecting Our Children

We have crossed more than 30 borders during the pandemic, since January 2020. We have observed different nation’s clinical and political approaches along with clinical outcomes and public responses. We have observed when and how these patterns have changed. We have shared observations with relevant authorities; many have asked us to continue to share observations and concerns.

We were recently asked to report which countries followed good clinical evidence during border crossings, such as;

• requesting that travellers report current, relevant serious symptoms or raised core temperature,

• requesting that travellers report a recent positive test or

• requesting that travellers report a recent contact with confirmed positive case,

however, much has changed in the EU and the UK in the last few days or weeks, astoundingly so, and most agree not due to any clinical reasoning and that no good clinical evidence is now followed in most contexts before, during or after border crossings in the UK, EU and otherwise (if not now, then starting tomorrow or soon). “It is clear that this is political and not clinical, but a lot of people, most people, are being harmed seriously by these rules, when will the courts stop this, because it seems the doctors can’t stop this, we are told our opinions don’t matter and are not relevant, and that the emergency law supports this”. Medical specialist.

“There is not a doctor or professional or expert in the world with good clinical training and good clinical experience and who can identify good clinical evidence who will agree that boosters are needed for everyone, not for this viral agent, not with this clinical picture and pattern, or that after you have been ‘fully vaccinated’, you still need tests to enter anywhere or do anything, even after confirmed contact, or to self-isolate for any reason, even after confirmed contact. Don’t get me started on masks. An African nation used to say certain fruit cures HIV, which is not true, the same qualify of evidence supports face masks, it doesn’t work in these settings, it hurts a lot of people. Vaccines mean – you now continue with normal life (after a week or so) – 100% normal, 100% free, 100% autonomy. This is the purpose of vaccines. This is why we risk with vaccines – so we can enjoy benefits. You still do common sense things like wash your hands, eat healthy. You need tests if you present with serious symptoms, where your health or life is at risk – clinical indications. To be continued next paragraph.

Don’t authorities know they are doing the exact thing to make people’s immune responses weaker, and to give this virus an ‘up’ and a longer shelf life, so that this virus does not beat us. Hiding does not work for a virus, it makes the virus stronger. Assault by testing (or fear) does not work for a virus, it makes people weaker. Many viral infections, especially flu viruses, mutate, develop, become more infectious, but much less dangerous. This is predictable, everyone said this in September. This helps people, because they build a healthy and normal immune response. People who make the decisions do not understand viruses, coronaviruses, immunity, immune systems, vaccines or Health (Medicine). Medical doctors, clinicians, professionals expert in these fields – they need to lead the decision making processes – otherwise the public will suffer incredible harm. Is it not enough that harm has been illustrated as increased by 1000% by these decisions (not the virus)? These have become games and protection is not the aim, and this is no time for games.” Medical specialist, lead position in crisis management, several decades.

We have been asked to give details regarding the current state of affairs, as it stands now, however, hopefully clinical thinking will lead and it will change tomorrow or before the New Year:

Portugal – All passengers arriving by air need PCR or AG (antigen or lateral flow) tests, or EU COVID pass. Arrivals from South Africa need to self-isolate for 14 days and PCR or AG on arrival (no mention whether individuals who have had vaccines are exempt). All passengers arriving by land – EU citizens and residents – need a COVID pass. Face masks mandatory indoors (no mention whether individuals who have had vaccines are exempt) and outdoors when unable to maintain a social distance. COVID pass for restaurants, tourist attractions or gyms. Negative AG test for bars, clubs, hospitals, large events. 2-9 January 2022 all bars and clubs closed.

“No one who understands what is going on from a clinical point of view will continue with the red or green list countries or that certain countries can or cannot enter, it just doesn’t make clinical sense.” GP

Italy – State of emergency extended until 31-3-21. All arrivals including from EU must have a negative PCR or AG test (no mention whether individuals who have had vaccines are exempt) and must quarantine if not vaccinated. COVID pass necessary to enter restaurants or cinemas. No one can enter from South Africa. “COVID free travel corridors” include Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Aruba, Dominican Republic, parts of Egypt. Masks mandatory indoors and if not possible to socially distance, outdoors.

“I know no medical doctors who agree that COVID passes necessary to enter anywhere, not cross borders, not go into shops or restaurants. This is not clinically indicated for this virus in this context, it borders on assault.” Medical specialist. “I do not want to live if I have to show a sign to enter and eat, shop or live”. 80 year old. “I have to show a sign to go into the shop to buy food, I can’t breathe, because I am afraid all the time.” 14 year old.

Greece – arrivals must have a negative PCR or AG test and proof of vaccines. Border control has the right to test anyone on arrival and if positive (even if no symptoms), the person/s will be placed in hotel quarantine. Closed for travellers from South Africa. Masks mandatory indoors and outdoors if crowded. COVID pass needed for all shops and restaurants. Over 60s must have 3 vaccines for COVID pass (many EU countries now include this rule).

France – From UK – only essential travel allowed or can enter if EU resident. Negative PCR or AG test required. Self-isolate for 48h, then PCR/AG. Masks mandatory indoors and outdoors in areas like Var (except natural areas, beaches and forests) until 7-1-22 and Alpes Maritimes (except natural areas, ‘urban green spaces’ and ‘edges of water’ such as lakes and beaches).

The border crossing (Eurotunnel) between the UK and France has never been more busy (days before the above ruling came into place). We have never seen more GB cars on the road driving to the south of France. However, many decided to go to Spain further to realising that they have to wear face masks outdoors, even when no one is around.

Spain – All arrivals need a COVID pass or negative PCR or AG test. From ‘High Risk Countries’ all must have a COVID pass and negative PCR or AG test. Face masks mandatory indoors, outdoors where can’t maintain a social distance. Some regions require a COVID pass for restaurants.

Most prefer Spain as a holiday destination now. Scandinavia is also a very popular destination.

UK – All arrivals need a negative AG and have to take a PCR in the UK on day 2. Many are concerned due to the NHS’s policy to test human DNA along with viral RNA/DNA without patient consent. Private laboratories in the UK have confirmed that they do no patient DNA testing without patient consent (in writing). No masks are required outdoors or indoors in restaurants, hotels or other spaces (except in shops, health related settings and public transport such as the underground trains). It must be said that the UK allows the general public to not wear face masks if face masks cause “severe distress” and that no medical or GP letter is required. Some individuals wear a ‘exempt from wearing a face mask’ sign around their necks. We have observed that more or less 50% of individuals do not wear face masks indoors in many settings such as shops (London, Cambridge etc). People who do not wear face masks are treated with respect (November, December); no hostility or rudeness has been identified. Some contexts do however require a negative AG test, such as shows or musicals in London, even if fully vaccinated, which most agree makes little clinical sense and only causes fear and frustration.

In general the “atmosphere of fear” is much less in countries like France and South Africa, compared to the UK, because “it is clear that in the UK the pandemic is government lead, rather than clinically (medical doctors with clinical experience) lead (ideally you want health crises to be lead by both working collaboratively like in Singapore), so you are not in the hands of doctors, and this causes a lot of people a lot of panic” (Medical specialist), however, the UK currently offers more liberty and normalcy in the context of face masks. Face masks were not mandatory in any context, except perhaps health contexts, from the early summer to December 2021 in the UK, with very good clinical results.

USA – Arrivals need proof of vaccines, as well as a negative AG test. Many states such as Florida have no mandatory initiatives not based on good evidence in place, and follow only good clinical evidence. This includes no mandatory face masks, no mandatory vaccines, no need to show evidence of vaccines to enter into shops, restaurants etc. Disney is the only theme park, we are informed, that still has mandatory face mask policies. Colleagues and patients now inform us that they will return to Disney after they have the same policies as the other theme parks in terms of face masks. Most people respond that the USA offers wonderful and evidence-based experiences in many states, and recommends the USA as a travel destination.

Some colleagues in Asian countries now report that “things have changed, we are following the EU and UK’s approaches, which do not work”. Examples include individuals who have had 3 vaccines, not high risk for severe COVID-19, are asked, further to positive contacts in establishments, to remain at home and report for 3 PCR tests, nasopharyngeal samples taken. Individuals report that they “stand for hours outside in the cold and rain” to wait for these tests, which increase risk for any infectious disease. Many Asian countries followed only good clinical evidence from day 1, and we were inspired by their consistent and congruent (Health, Government and General Public) evidence-based approaches, prioritising education, autonomy, liberty and normalcy, however, many now report “pressure from the old world”, despite excellent clinical outcomes due to their initial approaches.

South Africa – Arrivals need proof of negative PCR tests. We have identified no statements regarding proof of vaccines. Face masks are mandatory indoors and outdoors. Many medical colleagues avoid South Africa, due to face mask rules and because they avoid PCR tests if no clinical indications, because PCR tests can remain positive for several months (and many countries then enforce self-isolation or quarantine for extended periods without clinical indications). Most medical colleagues report that they do not believe that South Africa is high risk in the context of COVID, quite the contrary. We have written extensively about South Africa’s risks and strengths.

We recommend that you consider the government website above, relevant for most countries, as well as the government advice of the host country (where you are travelling to) for up to date advice, as advice or rules often change without much notice.

It is important to note that many countries and many leaders have the best interests of the general public at heart. Medical emergencies or crises or challenges are not easy to understand without good clinical training and extensive clinical experience. Let’s rely on good clinical evidence and liaison with the appropriate clinical professionals.

We have taken note of nations who followed good clinical evidence at the time of our crossing (however, approaches now appear to vary due to “pressure from the old world” we are told) such as;

• India – symptoms and temperature screens in place mere days after the announcement of the outbreak

• Sri Lanka – as above

• Maldives – as above

• Singapore – as above

• Malaysia – as above

• France – focus on the 3 items above (until recently)

• South Africa – focus on the 3 items above (unfortunately face masks are not evidence-based initiatives i.e. based on good clinical evidence, this deters many people from visiting)

and who offered friendly, helpful and supportive input to tourists or travellers such as;

• North America (Hawaii and California – unfortunately masks were mandatory in California at the time)

• France – as above, a welcoming and lack of fear atmosphere is presented, which is appreciated by many

• South Africa – as above

• Sweden

• Italy and the rest of the EU before recent changes where free movement has been discontinued before Christmas

Some countries made it very difficult to cross borders due to rudeness, shouting or increasing risk by encouraging hoarding. Details will not be shared. Some countries stated that it was their aim to make it difficult or “near impossible” to travel, which does not respect the ‘first do no harm’ rule most medical doctors adhere to.

Most colleagues agree that no good clinical evidence or clinical reasoning supports these changes relating to travel or border crossings, and that these changes, associated with deprivation of liberty, autonomy, normalcy and chronic anxiety or frustration increase risk and harm markedly from bio-psycho-social point of view.

It is our understanding that the UK plans to reverse all initiatives put in place mere weeks ago due to this new variant, which most agree, does not pose an increased clinical risk (please see statements previous post). South Africa was asked what their opinion was of the UK’s approach to this variant and the word “hysterical” was used. Many medical doctors and professionals or experts in this field agree that face masks can also be summarised under this heading. South Africa has taken an approach relatively similar to many countries in Asia in many ways, an evidence-based clinical approach, except for the mandatory face mask initiative which has continued to concern most.

Much have changed in the EU and the UK since the following information, below, was provided in October 2021:

WHO  “Widespread screening of asymptomatic individuals is not a currently recommended strategy due to the significant costs associated with it and the lack of data on its operational effectiveness.”

CDC  “Fully vaccinated people can refrain from routine screening testing if feasible.”

ECDC  “On this basis, national authorities are recommended to consider lifting temporary entry measures such as quarantine and testing for air travellers that have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the disease … to facilitate free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Testing before and after Crossing Borders: 

Most professionals agree that there is no good clinical evidence that supports routine testing or requesting evidence of vaccines when crossing borders.

• Tests required to cross borders have been discontinued in at least 27 countries such as relating to the EU (this has now changed, as mentioned above).

• Statistics relating to serious cases identified or mortality do not increase further to discontinued testing.

• Most now agree that PCR tests are not reliable routine screening tools, due to the possibility of the tests remaining positive for several months, and have recommended that all routine tests now discontinue for those without signs or symptoms indicating an active infection.

• Professionals have raised concerns regarding increased harm and risk secondary to special investigations / medical tests required without clinical indication (direct eg due to nasopharyngeal testing and indirect consequences).

• Most medical doctors agree that medical testing requires clinical indications for the specific person in accordance with good practice guidelines to be lawful and ethical, and that nasopharyngeal testing is not clinically preferable to anterior nasal, oral or oropharyngeal samples, and associated with unnecessary increased risk.

• Many medical colleagues report that they have avoided nasopharyngeal testing or any test not self-administered in the context of COVID-19, and that they now avoid settings where testing is required without clinical indications of an infection.   

• Most agree that the gathering of genetic, biometric or personal data through COVID testing, or when sharing evidence of vaccines, should not be allowed, this includes personal photographs, personal videos, date of birth and personal addresses (date of birth and personal address can be shared as part of medical information on medical documents to be kept secure and confidential as medical records by medical/health services), considering some individuals work in high risk fields, and considering that some governments have collected human DNA samples without patient consent during COVID tests.

• “The roadmap, proposed by three members of Singapore’s Covid-19 task force, would scrap lockdowns and mass contact tracing and allow for a return to quarantine-free travel and the resumption of large gatherings. It would even stop counting the daily Covid cases … The good news is that it is possible to live normally with it in our midst,” said Singapore’s Trade Minister Gan Kim Yong, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong and Health Minister Ong Ye Kung.

• “The Western Cape will argue for an end to the National State of Disaster. National Government cannot use this extreme tool indefinitely, especially if we are to grow the economy, create jobs & recover …The hard truth is that we cannot be in this state of disaster forever, and we need to have a frank discussion on how we will continue to manage Covid-19 in the future without relying on this extreme instrument”… “It is simply not justifiable to impose restrictions on the economy, especially at a time when we are facing a terrifying unemployment crisis, and when the data clearly demonstrates that our healthcare platform has more than adequate capacity to respond.” Mr Alan Winde, Premier of South Africa’s Western Cape province

Current CDC guidance for cruise ships include “advising passengers and crew on ships with 95% of crew and 95% of passengers who are fully vaccinated that they do not have to wear a mask or maintain physical distance in any areas”. 

Most agree that it is essential, considering longstanding risk management, for cruise ships to ensure adequate ventilation and space to avoid crowding, especially during boarding, disembarkation, initial emergency and safety drills, “where hundreds or thousands stand together right next to each other in terrible heat often listening to emergency drill announcements in 5 languages, whilst sharing all available germs amongst each other”, Medical specialist.  Some ships offer these safety measures in a context of air conditioning, seating and adequate spacing, which benefits the public, especially individuals with certain health conditions.  Concerns have been raised regarding dining or food etiquette and supervising children at all times, especially at buffets.  Concerns have also been raised regarding mosquito infested public transport in tropical areas where serious mosquito-born illnesses are common.  Simple measures can reduce risk significantly. 

According to IATA, studies regarding flights indicate the “actual safety of airplane cabins in terms of pathogen transmission”.  These include a recent study where Airbus used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) research to create a “highly accurate simulation of the air in an A320 cabin, to see how droplets resulting from a cough move within the cabin airflow”. The simulation calculated parameters such as air speed, direction and temperature at 50 million points in the cabin, up to 1,000 times per second. The same tools were used to model a non-aircraft environment, with several individuals keeping six feet (1.8 meters) distance between them. The result was that potential exposure was lower when seated side by side on a plane than when staying six feet apart in an environment such as an office, classroom or grocery store.  

These findings were replicated through an independent study by Boeing, which similarly concluded that, based on the airborne particle count, passengers sitting next to one another on an airplane is the same as standing more than seven feet (or two meters) apart in a typical building environment.  A United Sates Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) study demonstrated that released aerosol (and pathogens) was rapidly diluted by the high air exchange rates observed in the airframes. The time the aerosol tracer particles remained detectable within the cabin averaged less than six minutes. For comparison, a typical American home takes around 90 minutes to clear these types of particles from the air.  The high air exchange coupled with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration of all recirculated air, means a commercial aircraft’s air supply system provides protection greater than the design standards for a patient isolation room or a hospital operating room.  

Vaccine Certificates or Vaccine Passports: 

Most professionals and medical doctors agree that there is no good clinical evidence that supports vaccine certificates as a requirement to enter shops, restaurants or cross borders for the general public.

The WHO agrees that travel should not be refused for those without vaccines. 

There is no current recommendations from the WHO, ECDC or CDC regarding vaccine passports required for shops or restaurants.  

We have travelled in countries where vaccine certificates are required to enter shops or restaurants and where none are required; significant anxiety, anger, frustration and expressed low mood are evident in areas where certificates are required.  The following is relevant: 

• Vaccine certificates required in restaurants and shops have been discontinued after a short period in several countries such as Denmark, and was never introduced in many countries such as the UK.

• Statistics relating to serious cases identified or mortality do not increase or decrease further to these policies and most agree that no good clinical evidence supports these strategies.    

• Professionals are concerned that this initiative will contribute to increased mental health morbidity (and eventually mortality) and social risk.

• 40-50% of restaurants or shops do not ask for evidence of vaccines where this is required as per national policy, as per our observation. 

• 25-50% vaccines apps are reported to malfunction, especially when required in short succession, as reported.

• Business owners usually allow patrons to enter establishments when the app does not work.

• Vaccine certificate requirements are often associated with no requirement for face masks in establishments, however, most businesses decide to ignore this advice and continue with mandatory face mask policies.

• Most shops or restaurants are not concerned by patrons (or staff) who present with symptoms of respiratory infections.  

• Most medical doctors agree that paper copies of vaccine evidence are the most reliable tool and should be used/sufficient for travel (“medical documents have been used in this format for official matters for decades”). 

• Most agree that the gathering of genetic, biometric or personal data through COVID testing, or when sharing evidence of vaccines, should not be allowed, this includes personal photographs, personal videos, date of birth and personal addresses (date of birth and personal address can be shared as part of medical information on medical documents to be kept secure and confidential as medical records by medical/health services), considering that some governments have collected human DNA samples (not only viral genetic data) without patient consent during COVID tests (many doctors are concerned that this has prevented the public from getting tested if symptoms or concerns)–2 and considering some individuals work in high risk fields such as Police or individuals working in child protection contexts.

It is relevant to consider data relating to violence at work, March 2019,, and to consider that this research was not focused on individuals working in high risk fields, where stalking behaviour, threats, aggression and violence can be common. It is relevant to consider the recent increase in violent behaviour, as reported earlier. Violence (or threats) at work in CAMHS or Social Care settings has increased markedly, as reported by colleagues. We have previously written extensively regarding these concerns.

Further to recent liaison with a colleague in Asia we are informed that the focus remains on good clinical evidence; identifying a raised temperature and enquiring about symptoms. The focus is placed on clinical evidence of a clinical infection and associated risk. The responsibility is however given to the specific person or patient. No sworn statements, completion of forms or evidence of vaccines are required. Tests are encouraged only further to clinical indications of a clinical infection; symptoms or signs such as a raised temperature. This is however now changing in some countries, as mentioned above.

“I am asked to get 3 vaccines, but for what, even with 3 vaccines I am still forced to wear a face mask, no good evidence, to get tested when I do this or that even if no symptoms, to go into quarantine hotels even if no symptoms, so that they can make more profits, where are the lawyers in all of this, this is not just cruel, it is not just psychological warfare or assault, it is far worse than that, this virus does not necessitate any of this, this is sadly about profit and power and a long game we perhaps don’t see, but it will hurt most people irreversibly”, Medical Specialist, expert in the field for several decades.

Let’s listen to professionals, experts, medical doctors, the general public, to adults and to children, because they are telling us what they are angry, anxious and sad about. Let’s address their concerns. This will increase education, compliance, calm and positive outcomes.

Many are saying that they will get vaccines “if it means no masks, no tests, no quarantine, bring back normal and freedom, but no, we are coerced and forced and lied to, and we still need to be the parrot in the cage with the muzzle, now I am asked to trust”, 75 year old.

“The routes open to travel are most interesting, it speaks of political agenda and not clinical. Clinical thinking has patterns easy to see, because most doctors understand viruses or infectious diseases and vaccines, and political patterns are also now predictable to see after nearly two years, who stands together and who stands with good evidence is clear” GP with law degree.

“Every medical doctor I spoke to said they will bring darkness before Christmas, because how better do you make a statement, cause fear and bring control, and we knew this new variant had to be sold as if it was a big risk, how else would this be justified, and more testing and more vaccines justified, it is very bad, my spirits of hope have been broken”, Medical Specialist working with children.

Let’s be honest. Let’s follow good clinical evidence. Let’s listen to professionals and experts in the field. Let’s listen to medical doctors.

To protect the future we need to focus on preventing harm and risk for our children.

Please see previous post for information relating to protecting children with statistics illustrating increased risk and harm by 1000% in some cases.

“It is super interesting how the climate is a perfect distraction, and another story of fear, so that we don’t focus on current mental health problems and child abuse, on the lies, corruption, profit and gain in terms of power, making millions off the backs of vulnerable children in CAMHS or social care, look at what the (NHS) leaders (or managers) take home every year, look at what the children get in terms of services, everything on the cheap, not much hope to get better – look at what is going on right now – who worries about the future if your children are not safe right now (see current child abuse statistics and relating to mental health) – look at animals – they protect their children – first and always – when their house is in order and their children are safe and healthy – then they plan for tomorrow. Most animals don’t prioritise profit and power above their children, perhaps this is why children are suffering. We fall for the distractions and the ghost stories like 3 year old children, we should be adults and ask the right questions”, Psychologist, 20 years of experience in CAMHS

“Have we learnt nothing from World War II – statements such as ‘we were just following orders, obeying the law’, what about natural law, what about previous laws put in place to safeguard. Have we learnt nothing. Have we forgotten. Are we so busy with electronics that we don’t look up and see freedom is missing. People say they don’t get off their machines or electronics, because they cannot face the world, life, reality. So no one asks questions. Everyone is mute. No one says anything. Everyone says they feel or are terrorised like never before, and doctors say there is a war against them, because emergency laws have made all their opinions invalid. My friends tell me to watch the documentaries about how people are making billions during the pandemic. This is worse than anything, because so many players are involved and it is sold as ‘safe’ when it is the opposite.” Veteran, medical background

Let’s work together – good evidence in relation to health, mental health and social protection is step 1, education is step 2, maintaining calm and positive mental states step 3.

We recommend vaccines for most adults, especially adults who are high risk for severe COVID-19. We recommend that patients talk to their doctors about risks and benefits for themselves as individuals. This is a clinical decision and a clinical approach is required. Most doctors continue to report that they prefer the Astra Zeneca vaccine, however, most report it is difficult to find this vaccine or the booster in the UK. Many prefer this vaccine due to the organisation’s vow to not make a profit during the pandemic, which is an ethical step to take during a global health crisis. Many report that “Astra is penalised because of their vow or sabotaged, because other organisations want to profit during the pandemic”.

We, like most of our medical colleagues, do however not agree that vaccines for COVID-19 should be mandatory. It is our understanding that the WHO also agreed with this sentiment in October (we have not reviewed their guidelines on this matter since October). Coercion is not a clinically appropriate, medico-legal or ethical approach. We would however recommend education and making it clear that vaccines are associated with bio-psycho-social benefits (bio – protection against this virus to avoid serious symptoms or hospitalisation, psycho – less anxiety regarding ‘getting sick’ and social – more doors will open in terms of joining social events or busy markets). This suggestion has been posed to us – that individuals are informed that further to vaccines, they would enjoy certain benefits such as ‘never hearing the word face mask again in any public settings’ – most of our patients and colleagues report that this would improve compliance with 1000% or more.

We recommend following good clinical evidence and the advice of medical doctors with good clinical training and clinical experience. We recommend that individuals with a raised temperature or symptoms relating to a cold or flu remain home and get tested. We recommend that you wash your hands before eating or touching your face. These are examples of evidence-based approaches.

As mentioned before, we always recommend following government guidelines, recommendations and rules. If you have concerns, raise concerns and ask questions in appropriate and respectful ways. You will be surprised to find how may share your concerns and want to hear from you. However remember Newton’s 3d law – if you push hard, you will often receive the same response, so be gentle, do your homework, have the right priorities in mind, but don’t give up. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Nelson Mandela

Lao Tzu “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”

“The best leaders are people who don’t want to be leaders or who don’t want to have a spotlight on them”. 16 year old child

Current Statistics – deaths/million:

Singapore 139, South Korea 83, Malaysia 966, Thailand 304, Maldives 687, Sweden 1476, Finland 257, Norway 212, Denmark 515, South Africa 1539, UK 2184, France 1707, Italy 2236, Spain 1877, Portugal 1816, Greece 1796, Belgium 2394, Netherlands 1134

Let’s report accurately and look at the numbers. Let’s learn from countries who have managed previous Coronavirus outbreaks successfully.

We were interested to see that some countries such as the UK state that positive tests are referred to government officials (Test and Trace – we were informed that they are two separate organisations), no medical doctor’s opinion or recommendation will be considered. This approach is very different compared to South Korea, Singapore, Sweden (we understand Scandinavia too) or South Africa, where medical opinions and recommendations are prioritised. Public Health England shares these concerns.

We were in Asia for the first few months of the pandemic. We were inspired by their calm, positive, evidence-based, congruent and consistent approach. No mandatory face mask initiatives were present during these times in Asia where we travelled, including on airplanes. No face masks are currently mandatory in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark. We have previously provided information on clinical outcomes.

Following good clinical evidence is a simple, yet effective approach, and the first step to protecting children’s well-being, development, mental health and physical health.

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