The Bow Group calls for an emergency public health plan ahead of the arrival of Wuhan Coronavirus
- Pandemic models generally see a one month gestation between the first case and global crisis. Coronavirus is currently moving more quickly.
- The number of infected people is currently doubling every few days.
- Half of the current 8000 reported cases are now outside Wuhan province. The attempts of the Chinese government to contain the virus within the initial outbreak area have clearly failed.
- The UK should expect the Corona Virus to reach our shores within days or weeks.
- It is likely that hundreds and possibly thousands of UK citizens will die of Coronavirus within the next year.
- It is likely to have a major and unavoidable impact on the UK and global economies.
We call on the government to undertake:
- Mass flu vaccination of high risk groups
- Mass pneumococcal vaccination of high risk patients and through bringing forward follow up appointments of those with chronic conditions.
- Public information in print and film of preventation measures similar to those outlined recently by the US Centre for Disease Control ( https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/guidance-prevent-spread.html)
- The banning of all non-medical relief flights between the UK and China
“History we shows there is typically one month from the index case of a viral epidemic to a national emergency. Valuable time to prepare for the inevitable is being wasted while officials console themselves with the initial negative test results.
The number of confirmed Coronavirus cases is rising exponentially. The virus is very infectious and case numbers are doubling every few days with John Hopkins University reporting more than half of over 8000 cases are now from outside the source city of Wuhan. Previous flu epidemics have generated hundreds of thousands of cases in recent years. The 2009 H1N1 (Swine flu) epidemic saw 500,000 cases in England alone with several hundred deaths. The initial mortality rate from Wuhan Coronavirus is around 5-10% so even if extensive testing reveals many mild cases of the infection we can expect thousands of deaths over the course of the year”
We call on the government to repatriate our citizens and work with Dublin to repatriate Irish citizens from Wuhan and place them in quarantine. The Common Travel Area means we must co-ordinate with Dublin to bring our people home and to quarantine them to prevent them spreading the virus while they remain asymptomatic.
Dr Jonathan Stanley (Medic), Senior Research Fellow, The Bow Group