Lessons from pandemic should prevent government activation of Coronavirus plan B

Rising case numbers in Greater Manchester and cancelled bonfire nights will concern those wary of government imposition of Coronavirus plan B in England.

The government has outlined the steps it is taking in preparation to avoid a repeat of the strain on the National Health Service seen in the winter of 2020.

The arrival of the South African variant into the United Kingdom just over 12 months ago caused deaths to outweigh the five-year average on a week by week basis from early October 2020, according to a report from the Office for National Statistics.

Millions of families across the country were unsure or unaware if they could visit their loved ones over the Christmas period.

The implementation of plan B will occur if plan A fails. 

Plan A relies on the current overall stability in death rates across the UK allied to this framework of controls:

  • Building our defences through pharmaceutical interventions
  • Identifying and isolating positive cases to limit transmission
  • Supporting the NHS and social care
  • Advising people on how to protect themselves and others
  • Pursuing an international approach


Lessons learned across the globe will no doubt lend weight to some of the critical thinking required to adhere to plan A and the sharing of ideas internationally will harmonise worldwide planning.

The vaccination programme which has seen two-thirds of the UK population receive both jabs is seen as crucial to plan A.

Officials hope that any surge from a new variant will come from a smaller base.

By far the greatest influence on any State will be how best to govern the virus following 18 months of information-gathering and responses.

The common thread behind some decisions identified by some as short-sighted was that no-one was prepared for or planned for a global lockdown.

Support for the NHS will have been boosted by planning, allocation of resources and investment.

Communication of the recommendations, requirements and expectations of citizens should be significantly improved – legislation could be introduced to make mask-wearing mandatory.

The government has posted the steps it will take when implementing plan B but will be relying on us all to take responsibility and accountability for helping out.

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