Why did the United Kingdom lock down if the public health bodies in the UK and the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens decided that the new disease should no longer be classified as a ‘high consequence infectious disease’ on Marcy 19, 2020?
A couple of days after this decision, the UK Government introduced lockdowns and introduced the most oppressive Bill in British Parliamentary history. The Emergency Bill, which was 358 pages long, turned Britain into a totalitarian state and gave the Government and the police unprecedented powers. Public meetings and elections were banned and there were new powers relating to ‘restrictions on use and disclosure of information’. (source here)
The text of the notice specific to Covid-19 reads:
As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK. There are many diseases which can cause serious illness which are not classified as HCIDs.
The 4 nations public health HCID group made an interim recommendation in January 2020 to classify COVID-19 as an HCID. This was based on consideration of the UK HCID criteria about the virus and the disease with information available during the early stages of the outbreak. Now that more is known about COVID-19, the public health bodies in the UK have reviewed the most up to date information about COVID-19 against the UK HCID criteria. They have determined that several features have now changed; in particular, more information is available about mortality rates (low overall), and there is now greater clinical awareness and a specific and sensitive laboratory test, the availability of which continues to increase.
The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) is also of the opinion that COVID-19 should no longer be classified as an HCID.
The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to consider COVID-19 as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), therefore the need to have a national, coordinated response remains and this is being met by the government’s COVID-19 response.
Cases of COVID-19 are no longer managed by HCID treatment centres only. All healthcare workers managing possible and confirmed cases should follow the updated national infection and prevention (IPC) guidance for COVID-19, which supersedes all previous IPC guidance for COVID-19. This guidance includes instructions about different personal protective equipment (PPE) ensembles that are appropriate for different clinical scenarios.