Britons will soon be urged to stay at home if they have symptoms of a ‘minor’ cold, flu or fever in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.
With the number of cases identified in the UK having risen to 319 and the death toll standing at five, as of 9pm on Monday, March 9, people showing even minor symptoms such as a cough or runny nose will be asked to self-isolate.
Government officials have said the coronavirus outbreak is expected to peak in the UK in as little as two weeks’ time.
Speaking at a press conference at Downing Street yesterday, Chief Medical Officer for England Prof. Chris Whitty explained that it’s likely more and more Brits will catch coronavirus instead of the usual flu or cold.
He told reporters: “We are expecting the numbers to increase initially quite slowly, but really quite fast after a while, and we have to catch it before the upswing begins.
“We are now very close to the time – probably within the next 10 to 14 days – when the modelling would imply we should move to a situation where everybody with even minor respiratory tract infections or a fever should be self-isolating for a period of seven days.”
Everybody with even minor respiratory tract infections or a fever should be self-isolating.
Elsewhere, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries has defended the Government’s decision to delay closing Britain’s schools and introducing other strict measures to fight the outbreak.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, she explained experts are now assessing new cases hourly to build a “balanced response” – and that strict new measures could be implemented in the coming weeks, as the crisis hits its peak.
She pointed out that most Brits diagnosed with coronavirus are “pretty well” although they could “feel rough” for several days.
It follows reports that Britain’s pubs might have close in the next few weeks as the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow.
Dr David Nabarro, a special envoy on coronavirus with the World Health Organisation (WHO), said the UK Government will be considering restrictions on various kinds of gathering to help stop the spread of the flu-like bug.
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