On March 16th, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a series of measures to tackle the new coronavirus, including avoiding any unnecessary contact with others, staying away from bars and theatres and working from home. According to imperial institute researchers, these methods could reduce the estimated number of deaths associated with the new coronavirus outbreak in the UK from 260,000 to 20,000.
As of March 16, local time, the number of confirmed cases of new coronavirus infection in the UK had risen to 1,543, with 55 deaths.
Johnson told a news conference that if someone in the home develops symptoms of fever or persistent cough, the government recommends that all family members be isolated for 14 days. Last week, the British government recommended that patients with symptoms stay at home for seven days.
Mr Johnson said the UK appeared to be approaching the rapid growth phase of the upward curve, according to the Scientific Advisory Committee on Emergency Events (SAGE). “Without severe measures, the number of confirmed cases doubles every five or six days. “
Avoiding unnecessary social contact “is particularly important for people over 70 years of age, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions,” Johnson stressed.
He also mentioned that specific recommendations would soon be made for those in the most serious health. “In a few days, this weekend, we need to go further and make sure that those in the most healthy condition are largely out of contact with society for 12 weeks,” he said.
According to an analysis by the Guardian, the UK government’s policy shift in the new coronavirus outbreak is largely based on an analytical model at Imperial College. Neil Ferguson, a professor at Imperial College’s MRC Center for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, and colleagues have found that the new corona outbreak could kill 260,000 people if the British government sticks to its previous plan to adopt mitigation strategies. The forecast includes not only the number of deaths from the new corona outbreak, but also the number of deaths from other diseases that cannot be treated because the NHS is overwhelmed.
On the same day, the CoVID-19 team at Imperial College released the latest outbreak study. The report predicts different interventions and analyses the expected impact of two different strategies, mitigation and suppression.
Neil Ferguson, the project’s director, said: “We may be living in a completely different world for a year or more. “
For the UK and us, the impact of any isolated intervention may be limited, the report said, and multiple interventions need to be combined to have a substantial impact on the spread of the outbreak.
The report found that best mitigation policies (combining family isolation of suspected cases, family isolation with suspected patients, elderly and other people most at risk of serious illness) may reduce the peak of medical needs by two-thirds and the number of deaths in half. But in this case, the outbreak could still kill hundreds of thousands of people and overwhelm the health system, especially the intensive care unit. “Suppression policies are the preferred policy for countries that are able to achieve this goal,” the report states. “
The Financial Times quoted Neil Ferguson as saying that The UK’s new strategy has abandoned the previous concept of “group immunity” and that the new goal is to suppress it. “We want to make sure that only a small percentage of the population is infected,” Ferguson said. “。
Previously, a UK government panel of experts had concluded that the criteria for “group immunity” could be met if 60 per cent of the population had self-healing or vaccinations after contracting the neo-coronavirus.
The report shows that in the uk and US, suppression policies require social distance for all, family isolation of cases and family members. Azra Ghani, another researcher at Imperial College who was involved in the report, said that strict adherence to the measures could reduce the total number of deaths in the UK to around 20,000.
The report concludes that the main challenge in containment policies is the need to maintain enhanced interventions before accessing vaccines, possibly up to 18 months or more. “We predict that if interventions are relaxed, the spread of the epidemic will rebound rapidly.” “The experience of China and South Korea has shown that short-term inhibition is possible, but it remains to be seen whether long-term reinbeing is possible and whether the social and economic costs of interventions can be reduced. “