What the second wave of coronavirus means for the UK exit strategy

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“We have to assume and prepare for the fact that this is not a one-time episode,” he said. “I believe it is now an endemic human infection. It’s likely that it’s here with the human race for the future. We will have to find ways to deal with this. “

“The real breakthrough is that we have to have new tests, we have to have drugs to treat this infection, and we absolutely have to have vaccines so that we can prevent what we should assume are future waves.” “

Nightingale Hospitals

In recent weeks, reporters have wondered why the government continues to invest in large numbers of intensive care beds in Nightingale hospitals as the number of cases decreases.

The possibility of a second peak is probably the reason.

While the current epidemic seems to have stabilized below 1000 cases per day, modeling of a second wave suggests that it could be much higher if it is not controlled by mass tests, research contacts and isolation after locking.

Asked whether the Nightingale hospitals were being maintained for a possible second wave, a spokesman for Downing Street said, “I am certainly unaware of the intention to end these Nightingale hospitals, and some are still under construction. “

End lockout

Fears of a second wave of coronaviruses have made governments around the world nervous about lifting their blockages too soon and too quickly, and Britain is no exception.

A safety net of generalized testing, contact tracing and isolation of infected people must be in place to ensure that cases cannot increase, while “crushing the sombrero” with a second peak can now be a viable option.

Ilan Kelman, professor of disasters and health at University College London, said: “A second peak of infection could be manageable if we protect the vulnerable, treat those who get sick, don’t cut other medical services and do not meet all the needs of health care workers.

“Another possible strategy is to gradually break the lockout to iron out a second peak, provided that those who are told to stay locked out or who cannot work because of it receive all the support they have need to avoid isolated effects while others come back to life. “

In China, a spike in infections after weeks of falling rates forced authorities to impose further restrictions.

In the northeastern city of Harbin, a 22-year-old student who returned from the United States has been identified as the source of more than 40 new infections, while Chinese citizens returning from Siberia via the city border crossing Suifenhe have caused more than 400 new confirmed cases.

The examples show the enormous problem of restarting life after a strict lockdown when so few of the population is immune.

In Germany, credited with having kept its epidemic under strict control thanks to its use of in-depth tests and contact tracing, the number of deaths has increased, the country reopening some small shops and preparing the return of children to the school from May 4.

The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned on Tuesday that any second wave of coronavirus would likely be even more serious if it coincided with the start of the flu season.

Robert Redfield told the Washington Post: “It is possible that the virus attack on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we have just gone through. “

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