Londoners and businesses should be making ‘contingency plans’ for a Coronavirus outbreak, but do not yet need to implement them, an infectious disease expert tells the Evening Standard.
Professor Azra Ghani’s advice comes after Chevron shuts its London office, and 14 schools across the UK close, from fear of spreading the respiratory infection.
“In London, at the current time, we don’t have reported cases,” says Professor Ghani.
“Any interventions have to be appropriate to the level of risk we’re seeing at that time and to the impact this has on people’s lives.”
Drastic containment measures in China have impacted businesses and the world economy, but have helped to reduce fresh cases in the virus’ country of origin.
On Wednesday, a leaked national security document laid out the UK’s “worst case scenario”, revealing government fears that 80% of the population could become infected.
At a 1% mortality rate, this could lead to 500,000 deaths— a population the size of Liverpool.
But Professor Ghani says these studies are helpful to plan for all possible scenarios.
“Those are clearly the scenarios we don’t expect to happen because we are not going to just wait and watch and let this infection spread. Measures will be put in place to try to contain it.”
“The UK’s been planning for these scenarios for many years, they have detailed plans in place.”
Watch Azra Ghani share her advice in the video above on what everybody can do to respond ‘with balance’.