KEY POINTS

  • Coronavirus has been declared as a pandemic affecting nations around the world
  • China's death rate from the virus has slowed down but other countries are still on an upward trend
  • Health experts revealed how many people need to be infected before the virus will slow down 

The total number of people infected with the coronavirus in the UK has reached 1,391, of which 35 has already died, and 20 has recovered. There are still 1,336 active cases being attended to by various medical professionals, 20 of which are in critical condition.

Health officials in the UK said these figures are expected to increase in the next couple of weeks as the infection enters its peak stage. This is why public health experts have been urging the general public to strictly observe social distancing measures to lessen the impact of the coronavirus. The logic behind the measure is very clear. It is to minimize the number of interactions you have each day in an attempt to slow down the spread of the virus.

A Contradiction

There are scientific minds; however, who revealed that to slow down the spread of the virus, there is a need for it to reach its peak number of infections. Such an idea would appear like a contradiction in terms of social distancing measures already implemented by the government. coronavirus how long it takes coronavirus how long it takes Photo: geralt - Pixabay

Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser of the government, said that millions of Britons will have to get infected to control the effect of the disease. He also said that virus infections are likely to occur again year on year.

Herd Immunity

In an interview with a news outfit today, the chief scientific adviser said that approximately 60% of the population in the UK will need to be infected with the virus. This is for the society to attain herd immunity from future coronavirus outbreaks.

Herd immunity is the natural ability of enough people in the community to be immune and resist infection caused by a contagious disease, such as coronavirus, making it difficult to spread. In the same interview, Sir Patrick also revealed that he and his team believe coronavirus infections are likely to be something that will come year after year. From initial indications, it can become like a seasonal virus.

With herd immunity, communities will possess immunity against it, which is going to have a crucial role in controlling this health problem in the longer-term. Sir Patrick then revealed that 60% is the sort of figure that is needed to attain herd immunity.

Much To Be Understood

Health experts, however, reveal there is so much more to be understood about the spread rate of the pathogen and its threat level. Until then, the central message of the UK government is social distancing. 

For his part, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in a press conference, urged citizens in the UK to self-isolate for at least seven days if they have even the mildest symptoms. Public health England said the most common early warning signs of COVID-19 infection are new and continuous cough, high temperature, and shortness of breathing.