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NOT REASSURING

By Pete Moore On February 24th, 2020

The UK is “well prepared” to deal with coronavirus cases and the risk to individuals “remains low”, the government has said.

Downing Street said 99% of those tested in the UK had come back negative.

The total number of cases in the UK has risen to 13 after four cruise ship passengers flown back to Britain on Saturday tested positive for the virus.

It comes amid growing fears the outbreak could reach pandemic scale as more cases emerge around the world …

Italy has the largest number of coronavirus cases in Europe, currently 165, and has reported its fifth death from the virus.

Excuse my scepticism, but I know what the British government and state agencies are like. I don’t want them to be well prepared “to deal with coronavirus cases”. I want them “to keep it out”. Frankly, I’m not hopeful. I’ve said before that we should severely curtail travel from China and those who have been there recently. This Chinese Bat Flu is in France and seems to be spreading in Italy. I say France and Italy, but there’s no distinction in the Schengen Area. That is just 22 miles away and it’s spreading. So we need to raise that drawbridge. I don’t care that it leave the Continent isolated and cut off. It’s not our concern now.

5 Responses to “NOT REASSURING”

  1. This hardly the Plague. But if it actually makes those in charge get up off their pampered asses then maybe some good will have come of it. Let’s see ?

  2. This is a pandemic waiting to be formally declared a pandemic. As someone (I forget who) predicted hereabouts about two weeks ago, this disease cannot be stopped and will have to be managed. The big problem is that you can be infectious for 10 days before you feel any symptoms, and that’s a bitch to try to contain.

    One example: an Italian doctor and his wife staying at a hotel in Tenerife have carried the disease from northern Italy. But they had been in the hotel for several days before falling ill and during that time at least 100 guests left the hotel and returned home to their various countries. The hotel is now in lockdown which is the stable door being closed after the horse has bolted. And the Italians have not been able to identify how the disease arrived in their country. And you can still fly from Milan to everywhere and from everywhere to Milan.

    There are thousands infected in Iran and thousands more waiting to be reported from Africa which has so far reported just one case despite its strong connections with China (thousands of Chinese nationals work in Africa).

    The world population is 7.5 billion, give or take. Assuming that just 10% get infected (750 million) and the fatality rate is 2% (as it appears to be so far) that will imply total deaths of 15 million within the next few months, spread over almost every country on the planet. For reference, the Spanish Flu killed around 50 million in 1918-1920. So this looks like it’s a big one. Of course rich countries will manage better, but even they will be sorely stretched and we all know that our own NHS is at breaking point anyway.

  3. “the fatality rate is 2%”

    I wish they would give error bars on this number.

    In the early days of SARS, the fatality rate was significantly underestimated, and later revised upwards. With H1N1 it was the opposite.

    The truth is we don’t know, it could be anything from on the order of 10% (not everybody who has it has yet died from it) or a lot less than 2% (infection numbers may be seriously undercounted as not everyone who has it necessarily knows it, yet or ever). It is also depends how soon a treatment or vaccine is found (and we can do that much more quickly than we could in 1918).

    But yes seems very likely to become a pandemic.

  4. or a lot less than 2% (infection numbers may be seriously undercounted as not everyone who has it necessarily knows it, yet or ever)

    Yes, let’s hope that the fatality rate is closer to 1% than 2%. But this could be offset by a higher rate of infection, eg. 20% instead of 10% will result in 15 million deaths even if the fatality rate is just 1%.

    From what I hear there will be no vaccine for months, and even when there is one it will be a huge challenge to deliver mass-innoculations, even in advanced countries like the UK,

  5. The Center for Disease Control has made the statement that it’s not “if, but when” the virus reaches the States, and that “disruptions to our daily lives will be significant.” That has spooked our stock markets.