The Isle of Wight will be trialling the new Covid-19 App, often the Island is used as a testbed as they have a defined set of variables which can be controlled. The Island has 140,000 people and this is a good size to carry out a trial. Sixty per cent of the islanders will have to download the app to make the trial effective.
Professor Powes, also stated that the genetic sequence of the virus was determined within a couple of weeks which has helped the organisations who are working on treatments and vaccines against the virus to push ahead with their investigations; to consider different treatments and their different modes of action. Some treatments will bind to the virus and stop it replicating and other treatments will bind to the parts of the body that the virus attacks.
Professor Powes confirms that the Nightingale hospitals were a vital part of the wider plan of action and very much part of the armoury to fight against the virus. He insists that the fact that they are not full is a success story and tells that the NHS was not overwhelmed in April. They must stay open over the next few months as they still may be necessary as the hospitals start to take in other sick patients free of Covid 19 for other treatments and slowly start to come back to normal. They are proof that social distancing was successful but as it is lifted and if we get a second wave of patients affected by the virus they will be ready to receive them.
The true measure would be the number of “ Excess deaths” due to Covid-19 which could be measured by the office of statistics and should be used to measure the UK’s figures against other countries. Different countries are measuring different parameters and even in the UK, there will be variables.
Michael Gove, tells us that the Covid tests are another arrow part of the government’s quiver essential to the fight against Covid -19. He said that the domestic supply of tests and PPE and ventilators and keeping the transmission rate the “R” number below one, are all effective measures to fight the virus.
Both said that the Government has five essential tests which are required to be successful before the lock – down can be lifted
1. The NHS is coping with the number of patients and has capacity if required
2. The is a substantial fall in the number of people infected with Covid-19
3. There is reliable data to show that the inspection spread is falling
4. That the operational challenges can be met with PPE and testing.
5. Confidence that the R number is less than one and that there is little or no risk of the infection spreading.
The good news is that deaths are falling, the spread of the virus currently stands at 0.7 and the government will announce some of their measures for the lifting of lockdown next Sunday.