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  • tonight in this special program, we pick up where the news has left off with the only thing that people are talking about.

  • Corona virus would wasan obscure scientific term a few weeks ago has come to define a global crisis not seen in generations.

  • Many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time.

  • We're all worried, and we all have questions first and foremost how many of us will get it?

  • How badly and how do we protect those who we care about most?

  • We've assembled a panel of experts who will pick apart some of these answers.

  • If you don't stop the spread of this disease, any health system in the world, sooner or later will fade.

  • So can we avoid becoming Italy?

  • Tonight?

  • We ask, Are we doing enough?

  • So before we discuss the emergency with our panel of experts, let's bring you up to date.

  • With the latest developments, the World Health Organization has declared that Europe is now the epicenter of the global pandemic.

  • Spain has declared a state of emergency, and some European countries are closing their borders here.

  • The number of new cases has jumped.

  • I'm more than 200 in one day, the highest increase so far.

  • All professional football in England, Scotland and Wales has been suspended and maize local and the aural elections in England have been postponed for a year.

  • This crisis is unfolding day by day, hour by hour.

  • Just how did we get here?

  • News from Italy does not tend to terrify us.

  • This week it did, breaking fingers felt by Tuesday, a love Italy was in lock down.

  • It's iconic sites, empty ski resorts, schools, bars, shops and all non essential businesses Shuttered until the end of March, Wuhan had come to Europe.

  • This is now the epicenter off the pandemic.

  • Rewind.

  • Just three weeks, and not everyone in Italy seemed convinced by the viruses.

  • Reach war market closes today.

  • Today, doctors and Lombardy are hoping that they have enough ventilators for those that need them.

  • These images are all too reminiscent of the quarantine Chinese city of Wuhan.

  • But when the same images come out of Milan, it's suddenly all fields, very riel and far too close.

  • We here in Britain now about to face and very tough choices.

  • Indeed, Mother stock market may have experienced some record.

  • Ford's most of us have carried on living our normal lives as per usual going to the pub, taking our kids to school, going to the office, taking the tube, YSL that about to change.

  • And is Italy under lock down?

  • Going to be island new normal look at the map and the growing number of cases in Italy, Spain, France and Germany makes you feel like it's closing in andan.

  • Analysis of infection rate suggests that we may not be far behind Italy, which has over 15,000 cases and over 1000 deaths.

  • Other countries appear to be on the same trajectory, with Germany, France on Spain roughly nine days behind Italy, the U.

  • S.

  • Around 11 days and Switzerland 13 on the U.

  • K.

  • 14.

  • So far, the government has been trying to contain the virus by testing and isolating those infected.

  • But society still continues to gather and schools remain open.

  • The government has hinted all that may change in order to delay the epidemic, speak and prevent the N.

  • H s becoming inundated with cases.

  • The prime minister has asked anyone with a cough or high temperature to stay at home for seven days with more measures to come later.

  • At some point in the next few weeks, we're likely to go further and if someone in our household has those symptoms, we will be asking everyone in that household to stay at home.

  • The underlying message.

  • It's not if life will change, but when.

  • But other countries are adopting tougher measures.

  • Right now.

  • Spain is the latest country to declare a state of emergency, and across the Atlantic, Donald Trump has banned all flights from Europe, but not the UK and Ireland.

  • The European Union failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hot spots.

  • As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seated by travelers from Europe.

  • China appears to be coming out of the crisis.

  • It has seen over 80,000 confirmed cases and over 3000 deaths.

  • The combination of locking down cities, contact tracing on social distancing, like staying at home closing schools and banning mass gatherings appear to be slowing the virus, and new research suggests it could have been a lot worse.

  • It's now estimated that the two number of cases in China is in fact closer to 115,000 and had authorities not intervened, there could have been 67 times more cases.

  • That's over seven and 1/2 1,000,000 people.

  • Researchers believe.

  • If China had acted three weeks earlier, the number of cases could have been reduced by 95%.

  • China's response, his own praise on the World Health Organization on with the pandemic now declared its expressed guarded criticism towards those who don't act decisively.

  • We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action.

  • We have rang the alarm bell loud and clear.

  • Despite being urged to act, Britain's experts believe the taking action too early could actually do more harm than good.

  • None of us can ever remember a crisis quite like this.

  • One way or watching life as we know it grind to a halt, our hands have become potentially our worst enemies.

  • Hugs a route, coughs terrify andl the wildly wonder.

  • What's next?

  • Who's next?

  • Well, if the public is trying to work out what this crisis means for them, how about hearing from the experts in this special program will talk to the scientists, economists and those on the medical front line about what we can all do to keep safe and ask whether it's enough.

  • And just what will the impact of the rise be on our society, our economy, indeed, our psyche.

  • But the question on everyone's mind right now is whether the government's perhaps cautious approach is the right one.

  • I put that to Professor Nick Finn, deputy director of Public Health, England's National Infection Service, and I asked him whether the approaches to allow some people to get infected to develop what's called a herd immunity we'll herd immunity is, is the situation where you get so many people in the population, the development, immunity to a disease, that there is no opportunity for the disease actually to become established on spread to lots of people.

  • Normally, we do that with the vaccine, so we vaccinate everyone so that anyone who who was infectious and came into contact with someone who'd been vaccinated the disease wouldn't travel any further.

  • You can do that naturally, of course, if a disease that's not been introduced before effects a large number of people and and that's really how herd immunity in the UK would develop.

  • But so is that now the policy to allow the infection to spread, perhaps in a controlled way, to a large sex in the population so that we develop that immunity in a natural way.

  • No, no, no, no.

  • We're not advocating that at all.

  • And this is a process of delay.

  • So what we're saying is that people have symptoms should stay at home for seven days.

  • And at the end of the seven days we review, we take the view that there lightly, they're not likely to be infectious on.

  • Therefore, they won't pass on the virus, but slightly mixed messages here because we have heard from the government that they do want to build a herd immunity.

  • So which one is it?

  • Way going forward, I mean, is you're not.

  • We're going for a tactic which we call DeLay, which is trying to slow the progress off the virus within three UK On.

  • By doing that, that it becomes more manageable.

  • We don't see a very large peak where the N hs could well be overwhelmed.

  • It's, um it's a sense flattening the current, the epidemic curve.

  • But is there not a danger that in the pursuit of that solution, you're going to turn, especially the more vulnerable members of society effectively into guinea pigs.

  • For what works?

  • No.

  • What were the key?

  • The key issue here is that we are falling.

  • The signs were trying to contain the spread of the virus by asking anyone who developed symptoms the state home for seven days on.

  • At the end of that time, there would be no longer considered infectious Professor Nick Finn speaking to me earlier.

  • Well, joining me now is John Edmonds, professor of epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

  • He works on the mapping of infectious diseases and is currently advising the government on the Corona virus on from California.

  • Silicon Valley Executive invited Thomas Prayer He's not a scientist, but his detailed modeling of the virus has spread.

  • Has said the Internet light with its stark warnings about the rate of infection.

  • Welcome to you both.

  • Let me start with you, Thomas in California, President Trump we just heard a few minutes ago has declared a state off national emergency.

  • What would actually change now?

  • Because of that, the country has moved from trying to contain the illness from outside to making sure that now inside, it doesn't transmit and That's the key here.

  • They're realizing, Oh, my God is on that.

  • It's coming from outside.

  • It's here.

  • It's spreading.

  • It's everywhere.

  • We need to stop these.

  • We need to stop the transmission between different people.

  • So that's what they're trying to do.

  • They're trying to create social distancing, keeping people spreads.

  • Not everything.

  • Everybody together so that the transmission goes down.

  • So can we now expect, as a result of this state of national emergency, the kind of measures in America that we've seen in places like Italy?

  • I think we will totally different from the U.

  • S.

  • Obviously, individual freedoms are substantially more important here, but he's the only thing that's going to stop this thing.

  • Okay, so you welcome this move of the president today.

  • Really?

  • You normally do I?

  • But the markets are also responding.

  • They were up 4% in the U.

  • S.

  • As Trump was speaking.

  • Okay, I want to get back to you in a minute because I want to talk about your particular modeling of this rise.

  • But John Edmonds, should we be declaring a state of national emergency here something as dramatic as that?

  • No, no.

  • What game?

  • What game would we get from that?

  • So what?

  • We're going to get people up into a panic and stuff.

  • We need people to come with us in a stepwise.

  • That way, this epidemic is not gonna be over in a week or a month.

  • This epidemic is gonna last for most of this year.

  • And so we're gonna ask people to change their behavior quite radically.

  • It's gonna be very difficult for them to do is gonna have major economic and social impact on them.

  • Then they hacked them.

  • Then we're gonna have to limit the amount that we're gonna ask them to do.

  • Yeah, We're gonna limit the amount that we're gonna ask people thio way.

  • Stop the epidemic or we slow the epidemic right down.

  • But we are so so that so that we the chest doesn't become overwhelmed.

  • Hospitals don't become overwhelmed.

  • That's the idea.

  • The only way to stop this epidemic is indeed to achieve herd immunity.

  • Okay, Thomas, for you, you're shaking your head and now you've got your head buried in your hands.

  • What's your response to what John Edmonds just said?

  • This is like deciding.

  • You know what?

  • This forest, my burns.

  • So that's cut 1/3 of it.

  • This is crazy.

  • We want to have 10 2030% of the population.

  • Catch this.

  • The UK has, what, 66 million people.

  • That's how many people, that's Ah, around 20 million people want 1% of these people are gonna die.

  • So we're saying we want to kill 200,000 people in the UK So that's I don't think anyone is saying that.

  • I don't think anyone is saying that, but I think there is a real debate in the scientific community going on about the value of herd immunity.

  • So just briefly, what do you think about the value of herd immunity on?

  • Can it be created through the measures of the government is introducing right now, but we need to understand what it means.

  • The's herd immunity.

  • They're saying everybody's gonna catch it.

  • So what's the catch?

  • It they can't catch it anymore.

  • That's crazy.

  • We don't want people to catch it.

  • We want people not to catch.

  • It was always gonna die.

  • And right now, the case, they're going exponentially in a week.

  • The N H s is starting to be collapsed.

  • In two weeks, I'm gonna be completely collapsed if we don't take measures now and people gonna bunny maybe not today if you don't take the measures.

  • But they're gonna definitely back in panic next week or in two weeks.

  • We have 13 dates off advance compared to Italy, Right?

  • They thought the exact same thing two weeks ago.

  • And then one week later, they realized, Oh, my God, this is exploding.

  • They have now what?

  • 17,000 cases?

  • It's exporting.

  • Then they realized too late that they were not containing these.

  • UK now has an opportunity to catch this before the weekend.

  • And we need to catch this before the weekend because everybody gonna spread this with their friends were their families that they haven't been seen in the during the week.

  • So he needs to be declared.

  • Now, let's let's let's bring in John.

  • I mean, has he got a point here?

  • We've got to catch this right?

  • This There's two things.

  • There's two strategies with a new virus, a new epidemic.

  • There's two strategies.

  • One you can stamp out every single case in the world, every single case in the world, and then the virus, then you.

  • Then you're free.

  • You stop the epidemic without achieving herd immunity.

  • But you must get every single case in the world when the mild disease, that's incredibly difficult.

  • That's the face that we were in when we were trying to do containment and everybody else was trying to do containment, trying to stamp out every single case in the world.

  • It hasn't worked yet.

  • We haven't managed to do that.

  • The next phase, when the virus, the genie is out of the bottle, the viruses all around the world and spreading the next phase.

  • The only other way that the epidemics going to come to a stop is achieving herd immunity.

  • This is, let me explain.

  • There are different ways that you can do, or in the natural way that this will happen is the epidemic will run very fast on the epidemic will come up and come down very fast.

  • On dhe on the herd, immunity threshold is reached, not at the end of the epidemic.

  • That's what people sort of think it's not at the end of the epidemic, it's at the peak of the epidemic.

  • At that point, there's not enough susceptible is in the population to spread, and it's very important to understand this one further point because at the peak there so many infectious individuals.

  • But they all in fact low so many other individuals.

  • And so if you could bring the number of infectious people down at the peak, then the epidemic doesn't overshoot the evidence.

  • You can manage the epidemic and reduce the total number of size so you can achieve herd immunity and not have an epidemic over shooting.

  • But the trouble is, you know this.

  • You do that by aggressive, very important debate.

  • And it's happening right now in the scientific community, as we discover on there.

  • But getting away from the abstracts in practice.

  • What this means is that there will be many, many people, vulnerable people in this community who may die as a result of what is essentially is in no way an experiment.

  • There's no way out of it.

  • No, there's no way out of that.

  • Okay, so we've given up on the containment face that hasn't worked, so But I mean, Thomas can throw his arms up as much as you like, but that hasn't worked, Okay, but the But the point is that we're the only country, as far as I know that is that is espousing this model.

  • I mean, the Italians are telling us that they wish they had done it earlier.

  • They wish they had told their population two weeks ago.

  • You know, lock down means you don't go to the cafe.

  • You don't go to the pizzeria on what happens when they when they release the lock down, What does happen then it comes back.

  • But is that because you haven't got rid of?

  • Yes, it's inevitable if this virus around in the population is infectious people.