While there is an increasing pressure to re-open the economy and let people go back to work, one of the major concerns is the resurgence of COVID-19 infections following the ease of the Movement Control Order (MCO). Researchers at Cambridge University had identified 275 ways to reduce transmission of the coronavirus including phased re-opening of schools, businesses and open spaces to keep people physically apart.
The study led by the University of Cambridge’s Department of Zoology, is not a recommendation but merely a list of available non-medical options to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Five key areas were identified including: (1) physical isolation, (2) reducing transmission through contaminated items, (3) enhancing cleaning and hygiene, (4) reducing spread through pets, and (5) restricting disease spread between areas.
“Policy makers and practitioners must decide which strategies are appropriate to phase in at different stages of the transition from lockdown“William Sutherland, Professor at the Department of Zoology, Cambridge University
Current measures such as physical distancing, improving personal hygiene and reducing contamination are likely to remain as core elements of every control strategies. The study, which has not been peer-reviewed, lists the range of practical options available to achieve these measures, including:
- Move lectures and teaching to a home-based setting, for instance via greater use of distance and online learning and self-study
- Create ‘virtual schools’ to enable continued education
- Stagger ‘working hours’ so not all workers are 9am–5pm
- Create one-way routes around buildings, shops, exercise routes and other spaces using arrows and barriers
- Have a member of staff to refuel cars to prevent multiple handling of petrol pumps. Payments are done through a phone app without leaving the car
- Increased use of drones for delivery
Full list of potential options available here: https://covid-19.biorisc.com
Source: Sutherland, W.J. et al: ‘Informing management of lockdowns and a phased return to normality: a Solution Scan of non-pharmaceutical options to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission.’ 2020. DOI: 10.17605/OSF.IO/CA5RH
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