The government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, SAGE, has told Downing Street that halting large gatherings and closing schools “don’t work as well as people think in stopping the spread” of coronavirus. This is what Prime Minister Boris Johnson told ITV’s This Morning programme as reported by the BBC.
This comes in response to the government moving forward in its four-part strategy to stop the spread of COVID-19.
UK’s 4-part plan
Health officials are currently working towards the ‘delay’ phase of the government’s four-part plan to tackle the disease. The four phases include containing the virus, delaying its transmission, researching its origins and mitigating its impacts.
Downing Street has said it has not officially moved from the ‘contain’ to the ‘delay’ phase but will formally announce when it does.
It is still deciding which routes to take in the ‘delay’ phase but has previously said it would consider closing schools, banning large gatherings and encouraging working from home to slow the spread of the disease. However, the government is critical of taking such actions in fear they may injure the economy.
However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told ITV’s This Morning that it is “business as usual” for the “overwhelming majority” of the UK population.
Additionally, Public Health England is advising the best way to halt the spread is to regularly wash hands with soap and catch coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
The UK has registered 90 cases of coronavirus so far.