Coronavirus is fast becoming a grave public health concern in the UK, as officials struggle to contain COVID-19 on its track through Europe. The Government launched the first phase of its coronavirus plans today, aiming to delay the disease before it spreads out of control.
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Coronavirus UK cases have recently exploded in the UK, as officials confirm a total of 90 countrywide.
The UK saw its most significant daily increase on Thursday, with 36 overnight discovered in people who recently returned from affected countries.
Increasing numbers of people have appeared in public wrapped in face masks, as fears of further cases grip the nation.
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UK cases have spread out over 25 regions, most of which have seen just one or two sick people.
According to Public Health England (PHE), the following regions have reported COVID-19 infections:
– Antrim: 1
– Ayrshire: 1
– Berkshire: 1
– Cheshire: 4
– Cumbria: 2
– Devon: 2
– Dundee: 1
– Derbyshire: 1
– East Sussex: 6
– Essex: 1
– Forth Valley: 1
– Glasgow & Clyde: 1
– Gloucestershire: 2
– Grampian: 2
– Hertfordshire: 3
– Kent: 1
– Lancashire: 3
– London: 3
– Manchester: 5
– Merseyside: 1
– North Yorkshire: 2
– Northern Ireland: 2
– Surrey: 2
– Swansea: 1
– West Sussex: 2
– West Yorkshire: 3
PHE has not revealed the locations of 36 cases.
The Government has now proceeded to the delay phase of its plans to tackle the coronavirus onslaught.
The phase is the second in a four-step programme announced by officials earlier this week.
They aim to slow the spread of the virus, preventing it from falling in with seasonal flu outbreaks in the winter months.
Aside from implementing school closures and encouraging people to work from home, officials are also asking people to try and control the virus themselves.
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The “catch it, bin it, kill it” campaign is in full swing, as the Government advises people to sneeze into tissues, immediately dispose of them and wash their hands regularly.
Alongside the delay phase comes the research phase, which has experts in a state of constant vigilance as they monitor and research the pathogen for new ways to reduce its effects.
New tests, methods of care and drugs are all desirable outcomes from the research phase.
Once the Government has exhausted the first three phases, it will move on to the mitigation stage, as officials attempt to navigate potential worst-case scenarios.
Mitigation comes when the virus comprehensively spreads around the country, or global health services declare a pandemic.
The government would need to mitigate the resulting strain on health services, businesses and other public services.
Former Conservative leadership contender and health secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed “active preparations” are ongoing for mitigation.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson stressed the majority of people who contract the disease will suffer “mild to moderate illness”.
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