Audio Interview

Strategies for exiting the lockdown

Published on May 24, 2020   12 min

Other Talks in the Series: Research and Clinical Interviews

Interviewer: Professor David McCoy, thank you very much for taking the time to do this interview with us today to discuss the possible strategies for exiting the current pandemic lockdown. Let me start by asking you about the current context of the lockdown. The rate of infection in the UK, or at least that which we've seen from official figures, seems to have flattened over the past four to five weeks, suggesting that the lockdown is indeed working. What further conditions should guide the scale and pace of lifting this lockdown in the UK? Prof. McCoy: I think probably the most important factor is the current infection rate. We need to determine exactly how well lockdown has been able to reduce the reproduction rate of infection. Currently we think it's below 1 across the country as a whole, but there are regional variations that need to be looked at as well. There is still, however, transmission of COVID occurring at quite high rates in care homes, and also we think in the hospital setting, so there are hotspots that continue to see transmission of COVID that we need to look at and try and reduce ongoing transmission in those areas. The other really important factor is the existence or presence of alternative disease control measures, this includes having the capacity to do testing so that we can detect new cases as they arise, and being able to ensure that there are good contact tracing systems in place,