Is UK testing and lockdown strategy right? Can we ignore the 20-30% asymptomatic COVID-19 cases?

Despite having a strong economy, can the UK sustain the repercussions of occasional nationwide lockdowns? COVID-19 has impacted not only the lives of billions of people but has also changed the Governance model necessitating an evolving and adaptive approach. In my opinion, UK Government can improve its response to combat the virus manifold and prevent massive unemployment and economic turmoil. As per my experience as Deputy Commissioner in district Ghotki, Pakistan in significantly lowering the transmission of COVID-19 and consequent mortalities, following issues require immediate attention: a. UK testing is primarily targeting those showing symptoms. Scientists are now admitting that asymptomatic COVID-19 positive persons do transmit the disease, though perhaps at a lower rate. While the symptomatic patients might stay at home, this asymptomatic population, if remains unidentified especially in the high risk groups with greater social interaction, will continue to cause the spread unabated. b. Targeted and surgical efforts tend to produce better results as compared to broad and generalized directions for implementation. Hence, enforcing tighter restrictions in specific neighborhoods and blocks is perhaps more viable and effective. c. The communication and information exchange with public triggers a strong response initially however, one tends to be complacent over the passage of time and hence requires a continuous stimulus to keep following the precautions. The communication strategy of the UK Government seems to be lacking in providing this continuous stimulus. d. The test and trace programme is an excellent initiative however its potential is underutilized.




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