Professor Neil Ferguson, a key epidemiologist advising the government on its preventative measures against coronavirus, has said that the virus is showing early signs of slowing in the UK.
Ferguson, who advocated for a nationwide lockdown based on his modelling has declared that “social distancing” measures are beginning to work. Data collected from hospital admissions showed cases are not rising as fast as once feared.
“In the UK, we can see some early signs of slowing in some indicators. Less so in deaths because deaths are lagged by long time from when the measures come into force.
“But we look at the numbers of new hospital admissions today, for instance, that does seem to be slowing down a little bit now. It’s not yet plateaued as the numbers are increasing each day but the rate of that increase has slowed.
“We see similar patterns in a number of European countries.” 1
Sir Patrick Vallance also confirmed that the measures are “making a difference”, and transmission of COVID-19 in the community is decreasing. Sir Patrick said the NHS was seeing around an additional 1,000 patients a day but described this daily rise as “stable”.
“That shows that it’s going up not in an increasing amount but in a constant amount, which may suggest that we’re already beginning to see some effect.”
“And in two or three weeks you would expect that to stabilise and to start to go down a bit.”
Furthermore, he cautioned against prioritising day-to-day fluctuation in figures, instead detailing that “we need to look over time and see what’s happening.”
A former World Health Organization (WHO) director echoed the “good news” saying that the “the virus is cornered” and “it has nowhere to go and will burn out. Good news.”
While initial estimates indicate that COVID-19 would infect 2.6 other people, new findings from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine revealed that number has fallen to 0.62. Keeping that figure below one is deemed crucial in the effort to slowly eradicate coronavirus.
The family of 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab who died in hospital on Monday after being afflicted with coronavirus propagated the government’s instructions to “stay at home”.
Ismail’s family released the following statement:
“We also wanted to reiterate the need for people to listen to government guidance.”
“So please, do everything you can to ensure that we adhere to social distancing; that people stay at home as much as they possibly can, to protect the NHS and save lives.”
Dr Nathalie MacDermott, clinical lecturer at King’s College London, said Ismail’s death “highlights the importance of us all taking the precautions we can to reduce the spread of infection in the UK and worldwide”.
“While chronic underlying medical conditions are known to result in worse outcomes in COVID-19 infection, we have heard of cases of younger individuals with no known medical problems succumbing to the disease.”
“It is essential that we undertake research to determine why a proportion of deaths occur outside of the groups expected to succumb to infection, as it may indicate an underlying genetic susceptibility of how the immune system interacts with the virus.”
In an address to the nation from Downing Street, the Prime Minister recently announced a “national emergency” and stated that it was essential for people to listen to the advice in order to save lives.
The advice is to stay at home and to only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home). If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times, wash your hands as soon as you get home and to not meet others, even friends or family.
The following is the latest government guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK:
What is social distancing?
Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).
They are to:
1) Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
2) Avoid non-essential use of public transport when possible
3) Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information
4) Avoid large and small gatherings in public spaces, noting that pubs, restaurants, leisure centres and similar venues are currently shut as infections spread easily in closed spaces where people gather together.
5) Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
6) Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services
Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is practicable.
We strongly advise you to follow the above measures as much as you can and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible, particularly if you:
– are over 70
– have an underlying health condition
– are pregnant
This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks.
Handwashing and respiratory hygiene
There are general principles you can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
1) washing your hands more often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitiser when you get home
2) or into work, when you blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food
3) avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
4) avoid close contact with people who have symptoms
5) cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands
6) clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home
Experts claim the virus will peak in the UK between 6 April and 30 April, ahead of a likely second wave when social distancing measures are relaxed. Therefore, during this pivotal period, we must follow the advice of the government; stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives.
We ask Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) to keep us all safe, healthy and to enable us to take this opportunity to turn back to Him seeking forgiveness, and to cure our sick and protect our elderly. Āmīn.