Risk Assessment and Control measures. COVID 19

Our family is working through our response to the crisis. It is so fast moving and advice is conflicting from HMGov that I decided to look at it using the tools I would have used when running CTruk and CWind SHEQ…(many years ago!)

What is the Hazard we face:

  • Catching the COVID 19 virus. Transferred by contact with virus which can live on hard surfaces for up to three days. Contact with other people who can have the virus for up to three days without showing symptoms or whose symptoms are minor.
  • Having caught the Virus and having to receive treatment at a Hospital. Evidence from countries who have tested significantly (South Korea) and compared with this who have not (Italy) would indicate mortality 8 times greater.
  • The above is due to demand outstripping NHS supply of Health resources and therefore, it follows if any other life threatening condition happen during the early stages of the epidemic, mortality rates will be much higher.
  • Starvation due to lack of food supplies and/or due to civil unrest caused by such event.
  • Tongue in cheek Discomfort caused by having to use old newspapers due to lack of Toilet Paper Tongue out cheek

How long will this hazard last?

  • From this recent article Like most vaccinologists, I don’t think this vaccine will be ready before 18 months,” says Annelies Wilder-Smith, professor of emerging infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. That’s already extremely fast, and it assumes there will be no hitches.

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    China first cases were in December. They took really aggressive action and reduced growth in new cases within two months. UK Gov has delayed taking measures and is still not testing at anywhere near the scale that WHO are suggesting. I would suggest that we allow 4 months where the hazard will be at the highest.
    The hazard is magnified in the UK due to lack of testing. as the above chart demonstrates. Young people in Italy not tested vs South Korea where wide spread testing took place. The Doctor who tweeted this stated This is why literally everyone needs to STAY HOME

What are the Risks

These are statistics from China. They indicate that Mortality is related to age and also co-morbidity. HMGov advice would indicate they have identified those who are 70 plus and any who are younger with underlying conditions as Vulnerable and their recommendation is to isolate for 4 months.

Therefore we should assume at least 4 months before we may be able to take less extreme measures.

Assuming that everyone wants to be able see each other and carry on as normal as possible what Control measure do we need to put in place. (The Group under review range from 1 year to 80+. Three are within Vulnerable group defined by HMGov)

Isolation for all members of the group

Which means:

No visit’s to Restaurants, pubs, bars.
Online shopping on regular and non-hoarding basis, to remove the need to visit supermarkets and also to help control the lack of supplies currently being experienced
Visitors to the home not following these control measures, not allowed and any contact with them outside should be under rules below
Keep 2.0m from any person who has not followed these control measures for three days
Shopping to go through quarantine area. Hard containers to be cleaned or replaced before being stored. Any shop packaging to be removed before coming into the house.
Takeaway food from drive through same as shopping above.
Any hand contact with hard surface external from house to be avoided (Get used to walking around with your hands in your pocket) Hand gel and disposable gloves to be carried in the event that above is not possible.
Use pay at pump fuel stations
All hard surfaces within house including all door knobs to be cleaned daily.
Hand washing frequently


Good statistics on the mortality from Italy here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22636541

The comments on Hacker News include some translations.

The issue isn’t those that die. The issue is maintaining the level of ICU demand below capacity, and the UK has almost no excess capacity in healthcare. It runs daily at about 100%.

SARS-CoV-2 is a Reaper Virus. It kills people who already have some sickness. There’s very limited cases of previously 100% healthy people dying from it. Statistically negligible (although personally devastating). The risk to healthy individuals is minimal, but their risk to people they contact who have pre-existing health issues is large.

The advice should be “don’t associate with narcissists - they might kill you”. Unfortunately our society has put that type of person on a pedestal for decades.

If we revert to the good old British approach of “after you…” and “how would you like it if…” we might stand a chance.

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“Youngsters are killing their elders with an unknowing smile.”


day by day situation reports br WHO.
A lot of good, reliable information in one place released daily. Worth a look.

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Three months on.

These measures were agreed in the absence of any advice from HM Government. Any advice had been conflicting. Boris had talked about still shaking hands. Cheltenham had gone ahead. The Government finally introduced Lockdown on 23rd March. (Niall Ferguson argued that if this had been introduced a week earlier the 40,000 death toll would have been halved. See this newspaper article )

The delays coupled with the lack of test and trace and no quarantine of international arrivals meant that UK has worst record of any European country. The rate of new cases and deaths has fallen, but is still high compared to others and R is dangerously close to 1 which, if exceeded, would mean growth in infections. The problem is that this will lag by 2 to 4 weeks. The Tory government is coming under pressure from its support base to ease restrictions. Expect the 2.0m distancing rule to be reduced to 1.0m this week. Bars will start to open. People will be returning to work.

I see no reason to change our Control Measures. These should stay in force until end of September for review then