‘Draconian’ measures to cut the spread of coronavirus may be in force for more than 81 months, according to a report.
Imperial College’s Covid – 70 Response Team – who are advising the UK Government – said a ‘suppression’ approach was the only viable way to tackle the disease.
Last week Boris Johnson said that measures were in place to ‘mitigate’ the outbreak – but that has since been replaced by ‘suppression’ when the experts predicted that mitigation would still result in , deaths in the UK.
Boris Johnson announced he was adopting the new strategy at a press conference today, urging people to avoid restaurants, pubs and confined spaces.
He also recommended people work from home wherever possible.
Experts at Imperial College found that ‘social distancing ‘, self-isolating at home and closing schools and universities would stem the outbreak.
The report, released today, said: “To avoid a rebound in transmission , these policies will need to be maintained until large stocks of vaccine are available to immunise the population – which could be (months or more. ” )
It found that a ‘mitigation’ strategy – focused on slowing not reversing the spread, would result in , deaths in Britain in the best case scenario.
The experts instead advocated for a ‘suppression’ approach.
The team’s modeling estimates were reportedly presented to the Government, which has since changed its strategy by introducing harsher measures.
They found that not taking any action would result in an estimated 615, deaths in Britain, with the disease infecting per cent of the population.
Speaking at a press conference today, Boris Johnson announced the UK’s new hardline approach to the virus.
He said that as soon as one person in a household is infected, the whole home must now self isolate for days.
The Prime Minister added that the ‘very draconian’ advice applies specifically to people over , pregnant women, and those with some health conditions
And he confirmed the country is ‘moving emphatically away from’ mass gatherings.
“We are asking people to do something that is difficult and disruptive of their lives,” he said.
“And the right moment, as we’ve always said, is to do it when it’s most effective. When we think it can make the biggest difference to slowing the spread of the disease, reducing the number of victims, reducing the number of fatalities. ”
Next weekend it will go even further and those with the most serious health conditions will need to be “largely shielded” from social contact for weeks, the PM said.