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Coronavirus Reaches the UK

Hot on the heels of the World Health Organisation’s declaration of a Global Health Emergency, today marked another watershed with the announcement of two confirmed case of Coronavirus in the UK.  Obviously it is too early to know how the disease may spread within the UK but a look at the Global figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO) makes chilling reading.

This shows the characteristic exponential rise in cases at the start of an outbreak of disease, with the number of confirmed cases doubling every two days.  The exponential character of the spread is more obvious in a logarithmic plot which shows a pretty good straight line:

If this pattern were to be repeated in the UK, we could expect 2000 cases within the next 2 weeks and 20 000 a week later!

Whilst the prime responsibility for slowing the spread of the disease and caring for those affected rests with the UK Government; organisations in every sector need to be thinking carefully about how they can minimise disruption to operations throughout the pandemic.  This includes, amongst other things, contingency planning for: excess absence of staff, supply chain issues and disruption to communications and transport infrastructure.  We provide some general advice on Planning for Health Emergencies in the Downloads section of the website.