Summary of the Press Conference headed by Boris Johnson & Health Experts dated 16 March 2020:
Everyone has a collective responsibility to ensure that they do everything they can to stop spread of the Coronavirus. This virus will impact us for a prolonged period.
Some people can have absolutely no symptoms whatsoever but will still be infected. The majority will have mild symptoms and will not need to seek further help. A minority will need hospital admission and a small proportion of these need intensive care. An even smaller proportion will unfortunately die from Coronavirus.
There will be direct deaths caused by coronavirus.
There will also be deaths due to services being overwhelmed (indirect deaths due to not receiving appropriate medical care – e.g. heart attacks, strokes).
There may also be deaths related to the measures put into place in terms of isolation for the very vulnerable.
If you or anyone at home has any symptoms whatsoever of Coronavirus (temperature >37.8, new cough) the whole household must self isolate for 14 days. This is because there is a reasonably high chance that if you are in a household with someone who has symptoms you will also develop Coronavirus. You should get friends / family to do shopping for you, and someone from the household should only do it themselves if there is absolutely no alternative. If anyone deteriorates call 111 or if an emergency call 999.
You should increase social distancing – avoid close contact with others and you should work from home where possible. Avoid non essential travel. Avoid pubs, restaurants and theatres and social gatherings. Call 111 only if you have exhausted online 111 services. Only go to hospital where essential.
By this weekend those at risk should stay at home for 4 months. This includes:
1) Over 70’s
2) Those younger than 70 with chronic diseases that would normally be advised to get the annual flu vaccine (chronic kidney disease, chronic heart disease etc)
3) Women who are pregnant.
4) People with significant conditions that impact upon their immune system (to be specified in upcoming briefings)
From tomorrow there are to be no mass gatherings.
Once the capacity exists, healthcare workers very early in their illness will be tested. If they have the disease they can then follow government advice on isolation, if they do not have the disease they will be allowed to return to work.
This is to be done as the aims of the government are ultimately:
1) To reduce transmission of coronavirus
2) Keep the public safe
Please everyone take note of the above guidance, this is a serious issue that we all have a responsibility to act upon. We must all try and do our bit. Please especially can we make our elderly and at risk friends and relatives aware of this guidance.