Ten-day isolation for people who catch Covid can be reduced to one week within DAYS to avoid a disrupted economy
- And the ministers are studying cutting the isolation of the injured from 10 to 7 days
- Two million people can pick up a highly migratory micron per day in the height of winter
- The country could be pushed into virtual lockdown with a lot of isolation
Britons with Covid may only have to stay at home for a week after contracting the virus, as ministers consider reducing the current 10-day rule over fears the economy will not adapt to it.
According to government modeling, up to 2 million people could catch ultra-omicron transmission per day during this winter’s peak, which could push the country into virtual lockdown with much isolation with mild illness, even if hospitals aren’t overcrowded. .
Sources say the change in policy is “under consideration” and it is believed Health Minister Sajid Javid is keen to shorten the time frame for isolation as hospitals and businesses struggle due to the absence of workers.
He has asked experts to give urgent advice on whether a three-day revocation of the requirement is possible, with the hope of implementing the change within days.
The change is likely to be met by the requirements of those who come out of their isolation for seven days for daily lateral flow tests.
Under current rules, people must self-isolate for 10 days from the time they develop symptoms of Covid – or from their positive test if they are asymptomatic.
But more than half a million Britons tested positive in the last week alone, and infection rates are expected to continue rising over the coming weeks, as officials warn of a million new cases every day.
And a third of NHS staff in London, where Mayor Sadiq Khan announced a major accident over the weekend due to Omicron’s impact on the city, could be stuck at home by January.
Health experts, MPs and business leaders said case numbers combined with the 10-day rule could destroy the economy by leaving stores, bars and restaurants with very few workers and customers while emergency services would also be understaffed.
Anyone infected with the virus must isolate for ten days after they first develop symptoms or test positive. But ministers are considering lowering the condition to seven days as experts say the move may be effective but daily tests should be done
The number of confirmed cases for Omicron in England is up 69 per cent from the previous day’s total – an increase of 9,427 to 23,168, figures from UKHSA show today.
Health Minister Sajid Javid is believed to be keen to shorten the isolation timeframe as hospitals and businesses struggle with worker absences. He has asked experts to give urgent advice on whether a three-day revocation of the requirement is possible, hoping to implement the change within days
Data from Oxford University’s Pathogen Dynamics Group released in August shows that up to 40 percent of transmission occurs before symptoms appear, with most occurring in the two days prior to becoming ill. It appears that people were less infected in the last three days of their isolation
The Prime Minister’s spokesperson said: ‘Well, we will keep anything like this in the isolation period under review based on the latest clinical advice.
We will update if that changes.
Modeling by government scientific advisors suggests that it would be possible to reduce the isolation period without significantly affecting infection rates if people test negative before being released.
The move is also supported by Professor Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London, whose forecasts for the Covid virus led to the first shutdown.
Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today program on Saturday how he felt about reducing the quarantine to seven days, Professor Ferguson said: ‘All modeling and analysis would suggest that if combined with a lateral flow test, it would not reduce the effectiveness of the procedure. That much.’
Conservative MP Peter Boone backed the change, saying: “We need a more sophisticated policy that can help get people back to work as quickly as possible.”
Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease expert at the University of East Anglia, told The Telegraph that most transmission of Omicron occurs within the first five days of infection with the virus, after which the infection falls off.
The number of NHS staff in London absent due to Covid has more than doubled in four days and one in three of the workforce will be out by New Year’s Eve if the growth rate continues.
Such a situation would be “disastrous”, said Patricia Marques, director of the Royal College of Nursing of England.
Is it really safe to cut through the 10-day quarantine?
What is the duration of transmission of infection to people?
Some academics have argued that Britain’s self-isolation penalty against Covid could be halved to just five days.
Data show that nearly 98 percent of transmission of the virus occurs either before people become sick, or within five days of symptoms starting.
‘Because most transmission occurs very early, the isolation period may be much shorter for cases,’ Dr Mog Civic, an infectious disease expert from the University of St Andrews, said earlier this year.
The viral load peaks very quickly, so people are highly contagious for the first few days.
How long can Covid patients test positive?
Lateral flow tests, which provide results in less than 15 minutes, work best for detecting the most infected people.
They look for viral proteins called antigens in samples taken from the nose and throat.
But the kits are less sensitive than gold-standard PCRs, which see swabs sent to laboratories to be analyzed for viral genetic material.
This means that they are less likely to detect a person when they are infected, but also less likely to give a positive result when the person has passed the peak of infection and has a lower viral load.
On the other hand, PCR is very sensitive and can pick up the presence of viral fragments long after the disease has gone away.
For this reason, a positive PCR result does not always mean that a person is still contagious.