UK To Quarantine 70-Year-Old People, Older For 4 Months To Fight Coronavirus

The United Kingdom has announced a radical plan to contain the novel coronavirus. The government wants to require residents aged 70 years and older to stay at home or in care homes for up to four months to control the spread of COVID-19. 

U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the long-term quarantine is for older citizens’ own protection. He said the government might implement strict isolations in the "coming weeks."

“That is in the action plan, yes,” Hancock said when asked to confirm the quarantine. “And we will be setting it out with more detail when it is the right time to do so because we absolutely appreciate that it is a very big ask of the elderly and the vulnerable, and it's for their own self-protection.”

The decision comes as the U.K. is now at risk of severe shortage of ventilators, according to the health secretary. Hancock explained that intensive care units may soon become unable to cope with the number of patients with COVID-19, especially older patients.

On Saturday, the U.K. saw the largest increase in new cases of coronavirus and deaths since the outbreak started in the country. Health authorities reported a total of 1,140 patients, up from 801 infections in the past week, and 11 new fatalities, Business Insider reported

“The coronavirus pandemic is the most serious public health emergency that our nation has faced for a generation,” Hancock said in a statement. “Our goal is to protect life.”

The British government said it will increase testing capabilities to speed up the detection of COVID-19 and provide immediate treatments. Hancock said coronavirus testing will be 5,000 a day and may further increase to more than 10,000. 

Meanwhile, the U.S. updated the risk assessment for the U.K. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance encouraging Americans to avoid all nonessential travel.

The agency said the European country has been experiencing widespread ongoing transmission of COVID-19. Travelers from the U.S. should also avoid visiting Ireland since it shares an open border with the U.K. 

Other countries included in the list are England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

coranavirus The U.K. government plans to require residents aged 70 years and older to stay at home or in care homes for up to four months to help control the spread of COVID-19.  Pixabay