Boris Johnson kept in intensive care

Households around the UK at the time of writing will most probably have received a leaflet providing guidance to the public on how to handle the coronavirus crisis. The general advice is sensible enough regarding staying at home, washing hands etc. But some of the core guidance is woefully inadequate and falls well short of WHO guidance.

On 8 April 2020, The Canary published an article discussing NHS’s 111 very basic symptom checker. These two – yes only two – questions would determine whether you have the disease or not:

  • “Do you have a high temperature (fever)?”
  • “Do you have a new continuous cough?”

Compare the above with the advice given by the WHO:

Common symptoms include:

  • fever
  • tiredness
  • dry cough.

Other symptoms include:

  • shortness of breath
  • aches and pains
  • sore throat
  • and very few people will report diarrhoea, nausea or a runny nose.

The Canary goes on to compare UK advice with that of some other countries, which appear to be doing a better job of communicating with their citizens.

That begs the question as to whether ‘the government may be both withholding information on potential symptoms and flouting WHO guidelines on how long to quarantine for.’

This is important, because in a detailed response to the crisis, the WHO Director-General stated that:

People infected with COVID-19 can still infect others after they stop feeling sick, so these measures should continue for at least two weeks after symptoms disappear.

Visitors should not be allowed until the end of this period.

None of any of the above appear in the public information leaflet. The quarantine period is based on what UK Gov says, which states that as soon as the symptoms end, quarantine can end. In other words, the Government is pronouncing people safe, when they are still capable of infecting others.

Should we surprised at the Governments rampant incompetence? its track record so far suggests not.

An article from Daily Maverick catalogues a list of misleading ‘fake news’ from the Government right from day one. From initially declaring the pandemic as being ‘low risk’, to its so called experts delivering scientifically flawed advice. Then there was Johnson’s inane suggestion to:

‘take it on the chin, take it all in one go and allow the disease, as it were, to move through the population without taking as many draconian measures.’

Apparently this fed into the discredited ‘Herd immunity’ theory that was being regurgitated.

But perhaps the greatest irony of all that encapsulates the scatter brained approach of the Government is the fact that at the time of writing, the PM himself is currently in intensive care suffering from the disease.

The best advice I can offer to anyone is to throw the information leaflet you got in the bin and completely ignore this Government. Listen to the experts and use the WHO as your main source of information.

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