6th May 2020  Coronavirus

In the 7th week of lock down

Statistics - as of yesterday, the figures for the UK were

Confirmed Cases - 194,990 – yesterday 4.406

Deaths - 29,427 – yesterday 693

 These are registered cases entering a hospital and the ensuing deaths of these people. These figures now include deaths in care homes and the community. These figures are the highest in Europe – we are still two weeks behind Italy, in the development of the virus, and have exceeded their deaths. It is thought that these figures may not be strictly compatible - ie which deaths are included ?

Peak – it is considered that we have now passed the peak in the UK

.Lockdown- The UK's lockdown has now been extended for three more weeks, meaning restrictions will be in place until 7 May at the earliest.

Lifting Lockdown – We are currently told that Boris Johnson will be reporting to the nation on Sunday, the 10th of May with his outline plan for really gradual release of the lockdown restrictions. The to be satisfied before relaxation of restrictions can be considered are still as follows:

  • Confidence that the NHS can still provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment across the UK
  • The need to see a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rate to be confident we are beyond the peak
  • Reliable data from SAGE that the infection rate has decreased to manageable levels
  • Testing capacity and PPE is in hand to meet supply for future demand
  • Not risk a second peak of infection that overwhelms the NHS

Exit Strategy – we are waiting to hear Boris Johnson’s exit strategy.  He has now recovered from his time in hospital with the  virus.

In the meantime, there are two broad schools of thought

  • Save lives at all costs – regardless of the damage to the economy
  • Get the economy going - even if it means more lives lost

These are the views of people who think this is an ‘either/or’ situation. There is now an increasing number of sensible voices saying - ‘these two are entwined’ - and a compromise has to be reached where are you get the economy going and keep the deaths as low as possible.

 the key mantra at the moment is

Test - Track - Isolate

 The Concept is that

  • By Testing you find those infected
  • By Tracking, using an app on the individuals mobile, you find who they have been in contact with.
  • The infected one, and all their contacts, are asked to self-isolate for a given time

We will have to see how effective this.