AS cases of coronavirus across the globe are increasing rapidly, many countries are trying to contain the spread of the virus by going into lockdown.
This involves restricting the movement of residents and only being allowed to leave home to attend work, go to a hospital or purchase food.
Will the UK go into lockdown?
Despite PM Boris Johnson describing the pandemic as "the worst public health crisis for a generation", there has been no plans as of yet for the UK to go into lockdown.
Following the advice of experts, the UK has said it will be adopting a staged response which includes daily briefings to the public.
Ministers have said it is important to get the timing right for stricter measures with health advisers assuming that Britain will not see infection rates peak for up to three months.
Official advice has been given in Scotland for people to avoid gatherings of 500 or more, and the Republic of Ireland have already closed all schools.
What are the UK doing to delay the spread of the virus?
With a major epidemic in the UK expected, the government is exploring ways to delay the spread of coronavirus and reduce the amount of people affected when the pandemic hits its peak.
England's education secretary will be meeting headteachers to discuss the next step for schools and the government have confirmed 0ver 70's will be told to stay home in the coming weeks.
Last week, Nicola Sturgeon revealed after a cobra meeting, attended by Boris Johnson, that the UK had moved from the delay to the contain phase as the situation remains to be closely monitored.
The government has said that during the delay phase:
- Anyone with flu-like symptoms should self isolate for seven days (a fever above 37.8C or a persistent cough)
- If someone in your home falls ill, the whole household will be told to stay home for 14 days
- Schools should not take trips abroad
These steps are being implemented to hopefully, significantly reduce the number of infections and deaths by up to a third.
If the number of cases increase, new measures such as forcing people to stay in quarantine and troops being deployed to support emergency services could be introduced.
In addition to this, the UK, along with Japan, the eurozone, Canada, and Switzerland have joined forces with the US Central Bank to prevent coronavirus causing a global recession.
Interest rates have been cut to zero and a $700bn stimulus programme has been launched.
Which countries are currently on lockdown?
The list of countries on lockdown is rapidly growing as the virus continues to spread at an alarming rate.
The majority of the countries in lockdown are in Europe, which is the "epicentre" of the global coronavirus pandemic, according to the World Health Organization.
This is as apart from China, alarmingly, Europe has more reported cases and deaths of Covid-19, than the rest of the world combined.
The full list of all countries on lockdown are as follows;
- Czech Republic
- El Salvador
- New Zealand
'Lockdown' actually isn't a technical term used by public health officials, it is often referred to as 'mass quarantines', where residents are forced or advised to stay at home.
Although the UK seems to be moving slower than other countries in its response to Covid-19, preventative measures have been put in place, with action plans ready to enforce if the situation gets worse.
A UK lockdown does look to be inevitable in the near future, as the number of cases and deaths increase.
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