Monday, March 02, 2020

Coronavirus 6

March 2nd 2020

A quick update in this mini-series of mini blogs on Covid-19. (See previous episodes here.)

The window of opportunity for containment and prevention of pandemic seems now to have slipped away. We still don't have firm data on the reproduction number, RO, how many people on average get infected from an ill person. Nor do we have a sound figure for the mortality rate, though the evidence so far points to an order of magnitude of 1%.

What has become clearer is that containment is unlikely and the probability that the virus spreads throughout the global population has increased.  1% of a large proportion of the human population is a large number.

The UK government is still trying to assure people that #Covid-19 is containable. The truth is that it probably is not. The sooner we accept that there is a pandemic the more likely we will adopt appropriate measures.

The objective of government policy and personal behaviour should be to slow the spread of the virus, in the hope that a sudden spike of illness across the population that overwhelms the health service may be avoided.

Short term economic costs must not be allowed to trump a longer term human and economic catastrophe.

Here I re-post a message from a GP, Dr Peter Weeks @DrPeterWeeks1 that he posted on twitter.


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