Information Standards Freedom of Information Response
Our Ref: FoI 23-20
7th May 2020
Freedom of Information Act 2000
I am writing to confirm that the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission does not hold the information, which you requested on 14th April 2020. In your request you asked for the following information:
“Under the freedom of information, could you please answer the following questions relating to lockdown over the covid 19 crisis –
1. Please supply the figures and formulas in the computer model used to persuade the government that lockdown was the only way of curtailing the corona virus outbreak and who supplied them with these figures?
2. Please advise if any virologists or epidemiologists were consulted, who were they and what advice did they supply?
3. Where there any other suggestions put forward other than lockdown and, if so, why was the lockdown option chosen as the only way to counteract the virus?
4. Where any economists consulted as to the economic impact? If so, who were they and what was their advice?
5. Where there any mental health experts consulted? If so, who were they and what was their advice?
6. Where any experts on suicide prevention consulted. If so, who were they and what was their advice?
7. Where there any experts on the physical and mental health effects of unemployment on people consulted? If so, who where they and what was their advice?
8. Was an Equality Impact Assessment carried out before issuing the lockdown order?
9. When a number of international experts came forward on the off guardian website and various other platforms to state that covid 19 was not as dangerous as initially presumed and questioning the wisdom of lockdown measures, did the government consult with them to find what their expert opinion was and, if not, why not?
10. When the advice on the probable estimated fatalities was given, did it takeinto account the fact that all deaths are being reported as covid 19 deaths if a patient tests positive even if there was no evidence that the virus was a causative factor?
11. When the advice on the probable estimated fatalities was given, did it take into account the fact the well-known problem of PCR tests showing false positives due to contamination?
12. When the advice on the probable estimated fatalities was given, did it take into the fact that the PCR tests on many occasions cannot differentiate between covid 19 and other corona viruses and other respiratory viruses?
13. When the advice on the probable estimated fatalities was given, did it take into account the fact a lot of the Chinese patients that were diagnosed positive for covid 19 were not tested but the diagnoses was based solely on clinical symptoms which would greatly overestimate the number of people that actually had the virus?”
The Northern Ireland Assembly Commission does not hold the information requested. Information regarding the Northern Ireland government is a matter for the Northern Ireland Executive.
The Northern Ireland Assembly Commission is a separate entity to the Northern Ireland Executive.
Please find contact details for the NI Executive as follows: https://www.northernireland.gov.uk/contact
You have the right to request a formal review by the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission and if you wish to do so, please write to me at the above address.
If after such an internal review you are still unhappy with the response, you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF who will undertake an independent review.
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above.