The West Country tells tourists to ‘Stay at Home’

Reduce the arrival of new cases into the community (travel restrictions).

We do not carry out sufficient testing in the UK so people are just not aware if they have the virus or not.

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There is a huge amount of uncertainty about the ‘exact figures’ of those infected with the coronavirus.

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Russia is showing extremely low figures – which are now being widely dismissed:

Why does Russia, population 146 million, have fewer coronavirus cases than Luxembourg? | cnn.com

Doctors in Russia are accusing the government of covering up its coronavirus outbreak and denying them protective equipment | businessinsider.com

Sharp increase in Moscow pneumonia cases fuels fears over coronavirus statistics | uk.reuters.com

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Singapore. Taiwan and Hong Kong have followed a policy of strict testing and isolation, resulting in very low figures – and yet, “relative normalcy of day-to-day life has been maintained”:

How Taiwan and Singapore managed to contain COVID-19, while letting normal life go on | nationalpost.com

Taiwan has only 77 coronavirus cases. Its response to the crisis shows that swift action and widespread healthcare can prevent an outbreak. | businessinsider.com

Here’s a summary of their approach:

Since identifying the first infections (all imported) on their territories — on Jan. 21 in Taiwan and on Jan. 23 in both Hong Kong and Singapore — all three governments have implemented some combination of measures to

(1) reduce the arrival of new cases into the community (travel restrictions),

(2) specifically prevent possible transmission between known cases and the local population (quarantines) and

(3) generally suppress silent transmission in the community by reducing contact between individuals (self-isolation, social distancing, heightened hygiene). 

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The UK seems to be somewhere “between ‘it’s just like the flu’ reaction, and imposition of economically devastating lockdowns” –  and we don’t seem to be learning from others:

To some extent, experts say, Europeans are paying a price for living in open, affluent democracies, where people are used to free movement, easy travel and independent decision-making, and where governments worry about public opinion. Governments aren’t used to giving harsh orders, and citizens aren’t used to following them.

Some parts of East Asia acted quickly, but with a very different strategy than China’s or Europe’s: aggressive testing and contact-tracing to stop the chain of transmission, without shutting down economic activity. As a result, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong have had few cases, and South Korea, which has tested more than 200,000 people, has brought a large outbreak under control. “South Korea showed to the world that it can allow curtailing a pandemic with limited infringements to individual freedom and disruption to the economy and the fabric of society,” Dr. Balloux wrote.

But that strategy, Dr. Reingold said, is “a herculean undertaking, very resource-intensive” — and one that the United States, in particular, could not replicate. “There’s still a long way to go before testing is readily available here,” he said.

Epidemiologists also say that wide-scale testing and contact-tracing, like social distancing, work best in containing an outbreak when they are used before the contagion is spreading out of control. Put another way, the best response to a serious outbreak is the one that will draw accusations, at first, that the government is overreacting. But experts say it is often impossible to know at the outset which outbreaks are serious.

Virus Hits Europe Harder Than China. Is That the Price of an Open Society? | nytimes.com

Coronavirus: South Korea’s success in controlling disease is due to its acceptance of surveillance | theconversation.com

Graphic shows how far behind US is on testing despite Trump’s claims | independent.co.uk

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There have now been calls in the UK to limit the ‘free movement of people’:

It is important everyone follows the advice laid out by the Government to slow and stop the spread of this virus and do everything we can to support our essential public services, especially our NHS. This includes non-essential travel. So therefore, regrettably we are asking people not to come on holiday to Cornwall at this time.

– STEVE DOUBLE MP

People urged not to visit Cornwall amidst coronavirus outbreak | itv.com

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With a final comment from East Devon:

Devon should follow Government advice and encourage people to stay away- it is not essential travel,

We are told to ‘Stay at Home”. We have got to contain this virus, not move it around the country and place greater pressure on local health services. We would all dearly like to be going on holiday, but at present, it is best just to stay put- to protect our community and others. Holiday makers will be using local shops wherever they are staying, which places other people at risk.

We do not carry out sufficient testing in the UK so people are just not aware if they have the virus or not.

When it is all over we can all have some really wonderful holidays again.

Cornwall tells tourists to ‘stay away’ during coronavirus outbreak | eastdevonwatch.org

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