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INTERVIEWER: Governments around the world are asking themselves
how they can stop the spread of the coronavirus,
and they're looking to Italy, at the centre of the pandemic,
for lessons.
Deaths in Italy have outstripped China,
and on the current trajectory, the UK
could find itself in the same situation in under two weeks.
The death rate in the US and in other European countries
has also been growing.
So what can be done to stop the spread of the virus?
We're going to be looking at social distancing,
demographics, cultural factors, and testing.
Let's start with social distancing.
After reaching 800 coronavirus deaths,
Italy ordered a full lock down, meaning
people couldn't leave the house unless they
had urgent work situations, emergencies, or health reasons.
In the UK, the government has been ramping up
social distancing advice, the emphasis
on staying at home as much as possible,
and otherwise, keeping two metres apart.
It's a method that can dramatically
reduce transmission, and there's hope
that by flattening the curve, there
will be less stress on the health system.
There is a big but.
It relies on people taking heed of the advice.
Now things are moving towards a full lock down.
BORIS JOHNSON: Shopping for basic necessities
as infrequently as possible, one form of exercise a day,
for example, a run, walk, or cycle alone or with members
of your household, any medical need,
to provide care or to help a vulnerable person,
and travelling to and from work, but only where this is
absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
That's all.
These are the only reasons you should leave your home.
INTERVIEWER: Age is a factor, too.
It's important to protect the elderly and the vulnerable.
One reason why Italy may have suffered such a high death rate
may be because of its elderly population.
One in four Italians are aged over 65.
In the UK, it's less, but it's still a large proportion.
And we know that the elderly and those with underlying health
conditions are by far the most vulnerable.
That's why in the UK, those over 70
have been asked to self isolate for at least 12 weeks.
It could be crucial.
But it's not that straightforward.
Germany and Japan also have large elderly populations,
and yet, their death rate has been far lower.
There are also cultural factors.
Italians like large gatherings, and they're very tactile.
Italian families are very tight knit,
and it's possible that the younger generations spread it
to their grandparents, but another cultural factor at play
could be to what extent are people
willing to follow the rules, especially in the early days.
In Britain, people's tendency to keep calm and carry on
could be walking the country into trouble.
That's why the UK government faced criticism
for merely advising social distancing
rather than ordering a full lock down.
Whatever the message is it needs to be loud and clear.
BORIS JOHNSON: I must give the British people
a very simple instruction.
You must stay at home.
INTERVIEWER: And then there's testing.
In the UK, only people in need of hospitalisation
have been tested, but the government
is ramping things up.
The World Health Organisation is advising aggressive testing
to limit the infections.
A control experiment in the small town of Rome near Venice
proved that mass testing can help stamp out the virus.
There were two rounds of testing done.
In the first round of testing, people with the virus,
including those with no symptoms,
were put in isolation.
There was then a second round of testing,
and a smaller number of infections
were found, also put in isolation,
proving that this can help stop transmission.
But other factors may be at play.
How the cause of death is counted, genetics,
maybe even the climate.
Southern Italy has suffered less.
This is leading scientists to believe
that maybe high temperatures and humidity helped
stop the spread.
Perhaps, the summer will bring some respite,
but the summer may be too late.
If lessons are to be learned, they need to be learned now.
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Coronavirus: learning urgent lessons from Italy | Crunched

2742 分類 收藏
林宜悉 發佈於 2020 年 3 月 28 日
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