27th March 2020
The latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic is that it’s picking up pace and very much going global.
There have now been more than 450,000 confirmed cases worldwide, and more than 21,000 deaths (with a case fatality rate of 4.5% amongst confirmed cases). In the UK, there have been almost 10,000 confirmed cases and more than 400 deaths. It seems that the pandemic is very much in the exponential growth phase – and the world is responding by social distancing – and in some countries extreme social distancing (aka “lockdown”). The key objective of the international response is to prevent healthcare systems from being overwhelmed, which will ultimately minimise the number of people who lose their lives to COVID-19.
The UK response took a dramatic shift last week following the publication of some modelling work by Imperial College London showing that more than 250,000 people would die if more extensive social distancing measures were not taken. In response to this, the government has announced an extraordinary set of social distancing measures – including the closure of schools, and non-essential shops – and advised everybody to stay in their homes unless it’s necessary to go out. It is hoped that these measures will reduce the number of deaths related to COVID-19 by at least 10-fold to <20,000 and prevent healthcare systems from becoming overwhelmed.
Meanwhile, Italy continues to be the epicentre of the pandemic currently, with almost 74,000 confirmed cases and 7,500 deaths (a case fatality rate of >10%). The high case fatality rate may be a function of the approach being taken to testing patients for COVID-19, but is certainly a marker that the healthcare system has become overwhelmed in some parts of Italy.
Here at GAMA we are doing what we can to support the global response to COVID-19. We are making sure that the production and supply chain of our products, which are more important than ever in maximising patient safety, continues to meet demands. Our UK offices are closed and we are working from home wherever possible.
We can all help to support the global response to COVID-19 by staying home to protect the NHS and, in doing so, save lives.
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