By George Willoughby
Stopping the transmission of Covid-19 is imperative in order to bring down the number of new cases of coronavirus. This has been the aim of the UK Government and the respective leaders of other countries all across the globe.
The United Kingdom is on course to be one of the worst-hit nations with cumulative death figures in hospitals eclipsing 20,000 over the weekend. Also worth noting is that figures from over the weekend usually come with a time lag so data for the upcoming weekdays will be a better reflection of the current trends.
Furthermore, these figures do not include the lives lost outside of hospitals.
Much has been said about trying to flatten the curve which seems to be occurring with lockdown measures starting to reduce the number of new daily cases.
The UK Government has already extended the lockdown period a further three weeks with fears of a second peak if measures are relaxed prematurely. Germany is approaching this phase, with mass testing helping to control the outbreak more effectively.
For Wales, stricter regulations were imposed over the weekend. This included clamping down on non-essential journeys and insisting that citizens cannot stay in a place that is away from their homes.
With deaths in hospitals continuing to rise, these measures are necessary. Figures for Wales have been trending steadily upwards, as the cumulative death count surpassed 700 on Friday, March 24. The increase came with 110 deaths announced on this day, the largest daily increase so far for the Welsh capital. The higher number came as reported figures were released later than usual.
The total number of confirmed cases in Wales stood at 8,601 prior to the weekend. The UK Government relayed the experts’ analysis that deaths in England and Wales peaked on 8 April. After passing the peak, the general trend will be for deaths to gradually keep falling for at least another two weeks.
Lockdown measures are expected to be reviewed in early May which will reveal the true extent of the lockdown’s effectiveness. Economists have already expressed their concerns if lockdown measures are extended, with a potential 30% reduction in the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
The societal and economic impact of coronavirus has been profound. An area receiving a lot of attention is the government’s furlough scheme. Last Monday alone saw more than 140,000 firms apply for coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Wales and the rest of the United Kingdom face a joint effort in combating the spread of the virus. Social distancing remains the best way to achieve this before a vaccine is distributed. Clinical trials for a potential vaccination have begun.