'Reasonable worst-case scenario': Top 5 steps on how to beat coronavirus this winter

UK's Academy of Medical Sciences has projected a "reasonable worst-case scenario"  and said that it was time to "prepare for the worst that winter can throw at us.”

The Academy recommended getting a flu shot even though it was cautious on how seasonal influenza would be this winter.

 

COVID-19 in winters

As the coronavirus epidemic continues to ravage countries, UK's Academy of Medical Sciences has warned its citizens to prepare for winter COVID-19 even as healthcare workers struggle to combat the virus.

The UK academy has projected a "reasonable worst-case scenario" asserting that priority should be given to stay healthy and to "protect the vulnerable".

The doctors at the academy said that it was time to "prepare for the worst that winter can throw at us.”
 

(Photograph:AFP)

Step-1

The report said being indoors in winters means people are more likely to get person-to-person transmission of viruses. The report said poor ventilation and crowded spaces can increase the density of virus particles circulating in the air.

Lower humidity and cool temperature could also mean "the virus lingers longer on surfaces".

So cleanness is key and keeping windows open holds out hope to keep the virus away.
 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Modern airtight buildings

“This can be a particular challenge in modern airtight buildings which have very low infiltration rates for energy efficiency and for people on low incomes who are trying to keep heating costs down.”

The report said the virus could "rise and fall" in January and February 
 

(Photograph:AFP)

Step-2

The Academy recommended getting a flu shot even though it was cautious on how seasonal influenza would be this winter although the doctors recommended social distancing measures to be taken in order to keep the virus at bay.

The risk of sneezing and coughing could potentially increase the spread of COVID-19, it said.

The doctors warned that since flu and other respiratory diseases shared the same symptoms as coronavirus, so new clusters will be more difficult to track this winter.

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Step- 3

The doctors warned against unknown factors, for example coronavirus interacting with rhinovirus, common cold and influenza in unexpected ways. 

Even though schools are closed in the UK and US, the doctors at the academy said that the cold weather increases the risk of the transmission of influenza, although it hasn't been proved in the case of coronavirus, however, the academy warned schools and universities to carefully monitor for early evidence of a resurgence.

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Step-4

Apart from flu shots, the UK academy recommended public information campaign including for those groups who are at high risk including the elderly.

(Photograph:AFP)

Step-5

The Academy of Medical Sciences said that coronavirus tests and tracing programming should continue and care should be taken to see systems can cope with "overlapping symptoms of flu and other winter infections."

“The modelling suggests that deaths could be higher with a new wave of COVID-19 this winter, but the risk of this happening could be reduced if we take action immediately,"  Dr. Stephen Holgate who is the chair of the report, said.

(Photograph:AFP)