Europe

Javid has statistician raging with Omicron data ‘number theatre’ – Cases ‘out of a hat’

Sajid Javid was not 'transparent' about Omicron data says expert

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Statistician Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter sat down with LBC Radio host Tom Swarbrick to discuss the Omicron case statistics that Health Secretary Sajid Javid addressed the public last Monday. Mr Spiegelhalter criticised the data Mr Javid spoke of, suggesting that the data was lacking supportive evidence to back up the high case number claims. Omicron has been sweeping across countries in Europe for the past few weeks, causing European governments to impose stricter restrictions and lockdowns to combat new cases of infections. Mr Spiegelhalter also spoke about how the data on the new highly transmissible variant was being reported on by the press.

Mr Spiegelhalter said: “The number theatre, this was the 200,000 Omicron infections a-day last Monday that the Health Secretary as I say pulled out of a hat, in Parliament on Monday.

Mr Spiegelhalter added: “It’s the way it was released to the public which I feel is not transparency about how statistics should be given out.”

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“In order to, my interpretation I won’t put this on you, Professor, to win a vote.”

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said: “We have got 104 hospitalisations at the moment which are Omicron-based, we have had 12 deaths. But there’s a time lag in the data and so we don’t know quite how severe it will be.

“The one thing we do know is that those that get the booster jab get over 70 percent effective protection, which is why the strategy we have got, I believe at the moment subject to being reviewed constantly, is the right one which is encouraging people to get their boosters.”

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