Many experts have called on the UK to rejoin the rest of the world in solidarity to test, trace and isolate. My petition to the UK government has just been approved (as of April 24th).
Any UK citizen can sign it. The petition says:
The World Health Organization has recommended that countries test every suspected case of COVID19, and isolate and treat every confirmed case. It also recommends that they trace every contact and isolate those for 14 days. We call on the UK government to do all these things.
The Director General of the World Health Organisation has said: "Several countries have demonstrated that this virus can be suppressed and controlled. The challenge for many countries […] is not whether they can do the same; it's whether they will." The UK is one of the few countries to stop contact tracing and quarantine. The UK needs to act in concert with the rest of the world to suppress and control this virus, both for ourselves and other countries, especially those which may have weaker health care systems.
Preview for social sharing:
Text of petition with overlay : Any UK Citizen can sign this
If you are ready to sign, you can sign it right here:
FULL QUOTE FROM DR TEDROS, DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE WHO
The full quote from Dr Tedros is here:
Several countries have demonstrated that this virus can be suppressed and controlled.
The challenge for many countries who are now dealing with large clusters or community transmission is not whether they can do the same – it’s whether they will. WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020
Due to lack of space I abbreviated "who are now dealing with large clusters of community transmission" to "..." This applies to us, obviously.
This quote was widely reported just before the UK moved to the "delay" phase. This is the BBC news reporting of it.
UK GOVERNMENT IS NOT DOING TEST TRACE ISOLATE YET - JUST TALKING ABOUT IT AS A POSSIBLE EXIT STRATEGY SOME WEEKS FROM NOW
The UK government has started to talk about contact tracing which is a welcome change of direction.
However, so far, this is only a future strategy at some undefined point, some weeks from now, relying only on physical distancing to reduce cases until then.
The petition is about something we can start on right now.
For instance with rapid contact tracing organized at a local level, we could have kept COVID19 out of the Western Isles and Rutland. Sarah Wallaston makes this point in this online video conference with experts:
We could do this right now and save lives in the regions with few cases right now.See also my
With emergency legislation we could immediately permit use of PCR machines already available in hundreds of commercial labs and universities around the country and ramp up to way beyond the 100,000 tests a day by the end of April.
This letter (about universal testing) estimates we have the capability to ramp up to ten million tests a day at a cost of $14 billion a year. Letter with signatures here: Expert Public Health Covid-19 Forum
We could immediately ramp up contact tracing hugely using local communities, local authorities and civil servants. They don't have to be health professionals. Other countries do this already and our government can do it too.
We don't need to wait for some undefined period of time until cases go down first. We could start large scale contact tracing today using these methods, by empowering local communities and local authorities to set up their own programs to do it.
The government's strategy depends on a bluetooth app which is not yet available to download and is not yet proven technology. Right now is an ideal time to do the contact tracing, before easing lockdown when the numbers of contacts of each case is low.
If you agree that we need to ramp up test, trace, isolate as a strategy right now, please sign and share the petition here: