Prof. Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London, says he now believes the number of fatalities in Britain could be well below the 20,000 he previously forecast. He said: “With the lockdown now in place, those numbers are going to start to plateau. Fergusson is one of the major proponents of lockdown globally.
He argues that the lockdown imposed on Britain and U.S. have helped curtail the spread of Covid-19 – the curve will flatten in about three weeks.
He trended globally last week as the lead author of a report that propelled the White House and Downing Street to finally advise for tougher lockdown measures against the deadly pandemic.
“We (in the UK) are going to have a very difficult few weeks… but we think, overall, with the capacity which is rapidly being put in place across the country, that whilst the health system will be intensely stressed, particularly in areas of London, it won’t break.” Ferguson said
In a similar trend of a ray of hope, President Donald Trump said that the United States was cooking new coronavirus social distancing guideline that could potentially be less stringent than what is obtainable now.
According to CNN: “The guidelines would depend on geographic risk factors determined by the country’s “expanded testing capabilities.” “High-risk, medium risk and low-risk” counties would receive different guidance depending on their classification so states could decide on “maintaining, increasing or relaxing social distancing and other mitigation measures they have put in place.”
With testing capability being a major factor to determine mode of lockdown and distancing, Africa may be in for a longer period of lockdown and distancing as testing capabilities are very weak on the continent. As at March 22, Nigeria was only able to test 152 people and South Africa had tested 15,500 around the same time.
However, many countries in Africa are not high risk with some experts suggesting that Africa may have over-reacted by imposing lockdown when the status quo is far less risky than some countries where lockdown was imperative.
The new social distancing guidance to be introduced by the U.S. may also a positive snowball effect globally and lockdown and distancing may be relaxed sooner than expected.
Mr. Trump plans to loosen the distancing law the country so the country could be up and running again by Easter. “There is still a long battle ahead, but our efforts are already paying dividends,”
As lockdown increases globally, many are are hoping that normalcy return as soon possible.
However, the ray of hope is two-faced, one bright, the other very sombre and dull – a senior UK health chief, Dr Jenny Harries said the country could be in lockdown for another six months in order to prevent the coronavirus coming back.
This not-too-encouraging position was inspired one of the government’s top coronavirus advisors who says the UK’s epidemic will get worse before it gets better but the peak of it could pass by Easter.