This week marks 100 days since the first report of an unknown disease – soon to be known as coronavirus – affecting a number of sick people in Wuhan, China, was received by the World Health Organization (WHO) ).
With the UK strictly confined, people have been forced to stay at home – leaving home only for essential travel or to buy food.
The government has said it will revise the lockout guidelines after three weeks – but it is not expected that there will be a relaxation of the rules until the curve of new cases is flattened so that the NHS is in. able to cope.
When did the epidemic start?
The epidemic of a mysterious respiratory disease in central China’s Wuhan city that left 27 people infected with viral pneumonia was recorded on December 31, 2019 and reported to WHO. With the number of cases increasing in early January, Chinese public television station CCTV identified the possible cause as a new type of coronavirus – one of the main causes of the common cold, but which normally produces only mild symptoms – on 8 January. On January 11, a 61-year-old man with “serious underlying health conditions” became the first person to die from the epidemic.
What happened in the first 100 days?
The virus quickly started to spread outside of China, with Japan and Thailand among the first to register cases. Wuhan has been ordered to travel, while other countries have restricted travel to and from China to reduce the risk of the spread of the epidemic. However, world governments were powerless to stop the spread and cases of the disease, which was named COVID-19, have spread by the thousands, as the death toll has started to rise.
What will the government do next?
The UK has been locked out for more than two weeks, which the government has announced it will review every three weeks. However, the ministers said they would follow scientific advice and only begin to relax the rules if there is evidence that cases are starting to drop due to social isolation. In the meantime, the British have been told to continue working at home as much as possible, to venture outside only for limited exercise, or to make essential trips to grocery or care vulnerable people.
Stores could start reopening in the UK if the spread of the coronavirus is limited. (PENNSYLVANIA)
How could the government ease the lockdown?
Reopen stores and businesses with fewer than 50 people.
It is great news that we have seen this happen elsewhere in Europe.
Keep the vulnerable safe until June, but end the isolation of families. 2/5
– Professor Karol Sikora (@ProfKarolSikora) April 8, 2020
Karol Sikora, professor of medicine at the University of Buckingham, suggested that smaller stores in the UK could reopen in late April, the lock being lifted on May 4. This could reopen schools and allow people to return to work. If the trajectory of a downward curve continues, mass gatherings and international travel may again be allowed in early June, according to Sikora.
When will the pandemic end?
Although there are signs of declining infection rates in some countries like China, this follows months of lockdowns that have restricted population movements. There are a limited number of ways out of the crisis: vaccination, enough people developing immunity from infection or permanently changing our lifestyle to keep some of the measures that have been introduced in place.
A vaccine can take 12 to 18 months and it can take years before collective immunity develops – where so many people have been infected with COVID-19 before the virus can spread. Although the British government insists that this is not a political goal, over time it could become a reality.