With the epidemic continuing to spread across the UK and the globe, urgent measures have been put in place to contain the outbreak. Over 50 cases have now confirmed in Britain, and the outbreak has forced the NHS to warn some care services are now undeliverable.
A level four emergency is defined as when “pressure in the local health and social care system continues to escalate leaving organisations unable to deliver comprehensive care.
“There is increased potential for patient care and safety to be compromised.”
The NHS says the emergency level also means “national action” may be needed.
Earlier today the Government released its battle plan to tackle the crisis in the event of a major escalation in the virus’ outbreak across the country.
The Government is preparing to encourage people to work from home, introduce an “emergency registration” of retired health professionals, and call in the Army if necessary.
However, Prime Minister has urged calm from the public in responding to the epidemic.
He said at a press conference this morning: “Let me be absolutely clear that for the overwhelming majority of people who contract the virus, this will be a mild disease from which they will speedily and fully recover, as we have already seen.
“But I fully understand public concern about the global spread of the virus and it is highly likely that we will see a growing number of UK cases.”
Speaking in the House of Commons, Health Secretary Matt Hancock reassured MPs the NHS has been “preparing for a pandemic virus for over a decade” and was ready to tackle Covid-19.
He added home ventilation kits are being expanded and the Government was in talks with “just over a dozen companies to try to come up with a bedside test” for the virus.
Mr Hancock told the chamber coronavirus is currently still in the “containment” stage, the first on the ladder, of the Government’s four-stage plan for the outbreak.
The Government’s four-stages of response are: containing the outbreak, delaying its spread and mitigating the impact of the disease once it becomes established, and alongside that, a research programme is aimed at improving diagnostics and treatment for the disease.
The Health Secretary added: “Contain is about detecting the early cases, following up with close contacts, preventing the disease from taking hold in this country for as long as reasonably possible.
“This approach also buys time for the NHS to ramp up its preparations.
“If the number of global cases continues to rise, especially in Europe, the scientific advice is that we may not be able to contain this virus indefinitely.”
From tomorrow a mass public awareness campaign is planned for television and social media to encourage members of the public to take measures to help limit the spread of the virus such as washing their hands.
According to polling data released yesterday, the vast majority of Brits are currently failing to take the necessary action to help stop coronavirus’ spread.
Statistics released by YouGov indicated just 35 percent of Brits are working on improving their personal hygiene, with 54 percent doing nothing to protect themselves.