On the 11th March, the World Health Organisation declared the Covid-19 disease a pandemic.
So far, there have been reported cases in more than 180 countries and territories around the world.
The UK is taking a proportionate and sustainable approach to managing the disease caused by the newly discovered strain of Coronavirus. The Government has published its Action Plan and the Department of Health is monitoring the situation very closely. You can find timely an up-to-date overview of the situation in the UK here. The data on the number of cases is reviewed every day at 9 am.
On the 12th March, the Prime Minister announced that we are moving into the delay phase of the Action Plan. The statement, alongside an explanation of the steps to be taken during this stage can be found here.
On the 16th March, the Prime Minister held the first daily press briefing from Downing Street. Please find the transcript here. The aim of these press conferences is to update the British public on the status of the outbreak and to provide appropriate infection-reducing guidelines for the public and businesses.
In his 24th March Address to the Nation, the Prime Minister set out new measures aimed at putting more downward pressure on the rate of infection. Tgese new measures state the following:
- You must stay at home and avoid leaving your house, unless shopping for essentials or for one brisk workout every day.
- You should not form groups of more than two people, unless you and the other participants are members of the same household.
- Any non-essential journey or gathering may be questioned and, if necessary, ended by the police, who can also apply fines for breach of these guidelines.
- If you, or someone in your household, have a new cough or a fever, self-isolate together, at home, for 14 days.
- Whilst self-isolating, do not leave your house. Please arrange for someone to bring you supplies, such as food and medication.
- You must work from home, unless you are a key worker.
- If you are over the age of 70, self-isolate for the next three months, until we get past the peak of the infection spread.
- If you must go outside for work purposes or in order to buy essentials, practise social distancing, by keeping a distance of no less than two metres between you and others.
- If you are feeling unwell, consult the NHS111 Online Tool and follow any advice received through this medium.
- Please do not visit GP surgeries, local A&E departments or pharmacies unless specifically guided to do so by the NHS111 service.
- Wash your hands regularly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds, especially when getting home or into work.
- If you must be out and about, use a hand sanitiser gel with an alcohol content higher than 60%.
- Cough into a tissue and dispose of it in the rubbish. If you do not have a tissue with you, cough into your elbow.
- Do not cover your mouth with your hand when you cough.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
- Avoid contact with people who are ill.
Please note that all pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes are closed until further notice. Please check your local establishments as they may be running a delivery and takeaway service instead.
If you are self-isolating, please follow the Government's Guide on Self-Isolation.
Further information on the Government's approach to the outbreak, alongside advice for members of the public and health professionals can be found here.
The Government has also launched a call for manufacturers who can construct medical ventilators. If you are a local business with the capacity to build such equipment or could aid with resources, please call the BEIS Business Support Line on 0300 456 3565 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
Our efforts in fighting this disease should be coordinated and organised. To that effect, if you wish to help in a safe manner, please consider volunteering with the Red Cross.