In contrast to other countries to take the measures of sealing off the country, isolation, the British “group of immunization” play is a miracle of anti-epidemic measures. After the launch of the group immunization prevention and control initiative, the British Government was subjected to verbal abuse, with more than 500 scientists signing an open letter calling on the government to take strict preventive and control measures. In addition, imperial institutes of technology released a study that assessed the “group immunity” approach, which it considered to be the highest or 510,000 deaths;
Even if the reprieve strategy is adopted and the most effective, it could eventually result in the death of nearly a half a million British people.
On March 16th, four days after the introduction of the Group Immunization Initiative, the British government revised its anti-epidemic initiative amid a chorus of doubts.
Imperial Engineering report assesses UK’s anti-epidemic initiatives
On March 16, 2020, Imperial College of Technology released a study entitled Impact of non-pharmaceuticals (NPIs) to reduce COVID19 mortality and health demand. (Impact of non-drug interventions on reducing COVID19 mortality and health care needs)
The report suggests that there are two strategies for inhibition and reprieve in the prevention and control of non-drug interventions:
The suppression strategy refers to the forced intervention to control the spread of the epidemic, to reduce the number of regenerative R values to less than 1, to minimize the number of cases, that is, the current measures taken by China.
The reprieve strategy also calls for a reduction in the number of regenerative R values, but not below 1, with the focus on slowing the spread of the virus, the main measure currently being taken in the UK.
It is worth noting that the regenerative R value refers to the average number of excitation cases per infection during the actual spread of the virus, and the number of cases will increase if r.gt;1.
The big difference between the two anti-epidemic measures is that the suppression strategy requires everyone to maintain social distance, whereas the mitigation strategy only requires social distance for high-risk groups.
Pictured is a predictive analysis in the absence of epidemic prevention measures
Epidemiological modelling simulates outbreak trends and predicts the number of infections under different strategies. The results showed that 81 per cent of the UK’s residents were expected to be infected, or 510,000 people, without taking precautions, and that, with the most effective reprieve, nearly 250,000 British people would eventually die and nearly 1.1 to 1.2 million in the US.
It is worth mentioning that maximizing the effectiveness of the epidemic mitigation strategy requires joint implementation of the three measures of home isolation, home isolation, and social distance between the population at high risk of suspected cases.
Pictured is a comparison of the results of the demand for medical resources caused by different measures taken under the mitigation strategy
On the medical resources front, the report notes that without any control measures, there will be a severe run on medical resources, with THE UK ICU beds reaching full capacity in the second week of April and the maximum demand is likely to be about 30 times the number of existing ICUs in the UK. Even if the reprieve strategy maximizes the effect, the demand for the ICU is far greater than the NHS actually offers.
Through the analysis of the model, the researchers point out that the reprieve strategy is not feasible, and the suppression strategy is the only option at present. Single interventions have limited effectiveness and require a combination of multiple interventions to have a substantial “epidemic” effect.
As things stand, it will take at least 12-18 months for the vaccine to be put into use, and the number of infections will continue to increase if the anti-epidemic measures are relaxed before the vaccine is officially launched.
If the UK continues to adopt a reins strategy for five months, there will be no serious shortage of health resources. If the regenerative R value is to be reduced below 1, restraint should be put in place to keep everyone at social distance, isolate critical cases, maintain family isolation, close schools, etc.
At the same time, the report also points out that the UK government can take flexible controls and make intermittent adjustments to changes in the outbreak. Setting thresholds for ICU beds, tightening when exceeded, and loose rappe, in order to achieve dynamic balance.
Britain’s “Buddhist” Anti-Epidemic
After Imperial College’s research, the British government revised its anti-epidemic approach. However, before we know the revised version, we need to fine-line the first British-announced “Buddhist epidemic” action.
On 12 March 2020, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that anyone with symptoms of the new coronavirus, no matter how mild, had to stay at home for seven days, such as a persistent cough or high fever. Moreover, schools should stop organizing travel abroad, and people over the age of 70 who are in poor health should not take cruise ships.
It is not hard to see that the core strategy of the UK’s anti-epidemic initiative is: not to fight against death, to tolerate the slow progression of the epidemic, expect most people to be asymptomatic or only mild after a hidden infection, so as to obtain universal immunity in the population to control the outbreak.
At the same time, Boris Johnson says, be prepared to lose the person you love.
As soon as the news came out, there was a quick stir in The UK. On March 12th Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the prestigious medical journal The Lancet and a member of the Royal College of Physicians and the Faculty of Medicine, said on social media that the UK government’s response to the outbreak was a response:
This is another major mistake. Britain’s response needs to learn from what happened in China and what is happening in Italy. Britain’s policy is not evidence-based because it seems to ignore the most important evidence from elsewhere. I can’t believe it.
Photo: Richard Horton Twitter
On March 13, Richard Horton posted eight messages on Twitter to express his views on the UK’s anti-epidemic policy. Britain, he argues, is on the brink of a disaster that could have been avoided.
In addition to Richard Horton, other British academics have expressed dissatisfaction with the practice of “group immunity”. More than 500 British scientists have signed an open letter expressing concern about the spread of the epidemic, arguing that “group immunity” is not a viable option and demanding stricter government action.
On March 16th Imperial College published a study analysing the UK government’s anti-epidemic initiatives, arguing that it could have led to many deaths in the UK, strained health resources, and gave substantive advice on different protest initiatives.
Finally, following the publication of the study by Imperial College, the British Government adjusted its anti-epidemic measures, including:
Everyone should avoid parties and crowded places such as bars, nightclubs and theatres;
Everyone should work from home if they can;
do not visit friends and relatives in nursing homes unless necessary;
High-risk groups need to be isolated from home for about 12 weeks;
If there are suspected cases in the home, family members must be isolated from home for 14 days;
People with persistent coughs and fevers should stay at home as much as possible, avoid going out, and keep their distance from others.
It can be seen that the UK government’s latest controls are more stringent than previous measures, but there is still some distance to the steps proposed in the Imperial College study, after all, the British government has not closed schools and has not kept everyone from social.