- According to Imperial College researchers, over 250,000 people would have died under the UK Government’s previous strategy to deal with the crisis.
- So far, the COVID-19 testing has been confined to those suspected to have the disease or to those who have been admitted to hospital for positive symptoms.
- The Suppression Strategy has substantially altered the thought process of the decision-makers in the country and thankfully the entire country is currently in lockdown for an unspecified period of time.
Over the past few weeks, the UK Government has faced unfaltering criticism for its Coronavirus response. Several COVID-19 cases have been reported in the UK so far and it is projected that this figure will increase massively in the coming days if the government fails to introduce a new stringent policy.
While Public Health England counters more than 10k disease outbreaks every year, their response to the deadly COVID-19 outbreak was not impressive. According to Imperial College researchers, over 250,000 people would have died under the UK Government’s previous strategy to deal with the crisis.
The UK’s Prime minister announced strict measures to fight with the present and future outcomes of the disease. According to analysts, this new strategy could cut casualties from viruses to “a few thousand or tens of thousands”. But analysts are also doubtful whether the government, as well as the public, could sustain these new measures beyond a certain point.
Apart from that, the British Government has also announced recently that it would strengthen their overall testing system in the coming days. Compared to Germany that has been testing more than 500k people per week, the Brittan’s testing tendency is only 12,750 people per day. However, the UK Government is determined to double this capacity by the end of April. Not to forget a lot of people have faced issues over virus testing earlier.
So far, the COVID-19 testing has been confined to those suspected to have the disease or to those who have been admitted to hospital for positive symptoms. However, the UK Government plans to elevate the current testing levels and also intend to test frontline health line workers in the coming weeks.
According to Dr. Kailash Chandra, Ex. Chair National Health Service Trust, “Sadly, there was never much of an appetite for aggressive testing in the UK. With an increase in cases, the government’s testing strategy has repeatedly shifted. A confused strategy without clarity and leadership.”
Noticeably, the UK Government was focusing on the ‘Herd Immunity Strategy’ earlier. But, now they’ve shifted this plan to the ‘Suppression Strategy’.
Herd Immunity Strategy is something that allows people to get infected and eventually develop natural immunity against that a virus to fight with the disease. Responding to the UK’s Herd Immunity Strategy, one of the leading South Korean officials clearly said “We in Korea were thinking — Are these people in their right mind?”
One of the reports prepared by The Imperial College highlighted two strategies to face the COVID-19 pandemic. One of those options is a ‘Suppression Strategy’ which aims to reverse the growth of the deadly virus, alleviating the number of infected individuals and maintaining the results.
According to experts, the suppression strategy translates to strict lockdown and other social distancing measures that enforce people to stay at home and reduce the spread. Also, educational institutions including schools and colleges should be closed to prevent the further rapid spread of the virus. Apart from that, any places that needed to have a face-to-face interview earlier must seize their operations for an indefinite period of time. This is why all immigration procedures involving one-to-one meetings or public exposure has been halted for now. Non-UK nationals living in the UK are therefore advised to approach through communication apps such as Skype or Zoom or they can also send their immigration applications or evidences through a post if need be.
The Suppression Strategy has substantially altered the thought process of the decision-makers in the country and thankfully the entire country is currently in lockdown for an unspecified period of time.
Surveillance and Control
Both Public Health England and NHS trusts are capable of identifying outbreaks and they follow their individual plans to deal with the crisis. Also, they have their own surveillance and control mechanisms.
As a general rule of thumb, both NHS and PHE are required to take immediate action as soon as the pandemic is detectable. Also, they must devise measures to identify the nature of the outbreak and form a tentative diagnosis or testing methodology to confirm the total number of suspected cases.
The current pandemic calls for stringent lockdown measures not only in the UK but every country should follow these measures for a short span of time to avoid long and disastrous impacts. According to Dr. Renu Jainer, “Corona is the biggest equalizer on earth. It will happen to most lockdown is just a way to spread the infection and flatten the curve, so NHS or any other health service across the world is able to cope and prepare while the spread is delayed.”
As far as the success of the suppression strategy is concerned, it can only work well if the numbers can be reduced to one and for this the government has no other option except to do lots of testing.
All in all, taking into account the current situation in which almost everything is disturbed be it the immigration process, appeals, citizenship process, education, and even the national economy, it is high time the government should learn from its past mistakes and take right and timely actions to defeat this deadly disease.