Anyone with ‘minor’ cold, flu or fever symptoms should be asked to stay at home in self-isolation in a bid to tackle the Coronavirus outbreak, while new Government advice has warned against all but essential travel.
It is not being excluded that in the coming days, the Government will resort to tighter measures aimed at protecting the public, particularly the vulnerable and elderly. This comes after the Government tightened travel restrictions on Coronavirus-stricken Italy following the announcement that Italian authorities were to extend quarantine measures to the whole country. Needless to say that we believe everyone should be warned against all but essential travel, while the number of dead in Italy keeps on rising.
Unfortunately, it looks like eventually the balance would tip so that more and more people would suffer Coronavirus rather than regular seasonal flu or other respiratory infections. We are expecting the numbers to increase initially quite slowly but really quite fast after a while, maybe even by the end of this week. So we ask – are we doing everything in our power to catch it before the upswing begins?
We are now very close to the time, probably within the next 10 to 14 days, when the modelling would imply we should move to a situation where everybody with even minor respiratory tract infections or a fever should be self-isolating for a period of seven days. Although Malta currently remains in the contain phase of the response, we are being told that ‘extensive preparations’ are being made for a move to the delay phase – which seeks to put off the peak of the outbreak until summer.
Meanwhile, official NHS guidance is to be displayed at the top of internet search results as part of measures to stop the spread of disinformation around the outbreak. As part of a new range of features for internet platforms, the health service said it had worked with Google, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram on ways to help promote ‘good advice’ when people were searching online for information.
In developments on how the virus is behaving, experts have said people infected with Covid-19 could go five days without showing any symptoms. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health estimated the average incubation period of the virus to be 5.1 days.
Another study found that being older, showing signs of sepsis and having blood clots were key factors associated with a higher risk of death. The research, published by The Lancet, examined 191 patients with confirmed Covid-19 at two hospitals in Wuhan – the epicentre of the outbreak.