Covid-19: UK holds off closing schools and restricts testing to people in hospitalBMJ 2020; 368 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1060 (Published 13 March 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m1060
All rapid responses
The recently published work by Elisabeth Mahase  discussed the address of the UK government regarding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which declared the UK government would hold off school closure and stop testing mild suspected cases. As of 10:38:46 PM on Mar 16, 2020, the total number of confirmed cases and the death toll in the UK had reached 1380 and 35, and ranked 11th and 8th among all the countries in the world, respectively. In contrast, as a hard-hit area in China, the cumulative number of confirmed cases in Zhejiang province up to the same time reached 1,231, whereas only one death had occurred.  Additionally, the existing cases in Zhejiang had declined to fourteen. The limited number of existing cases and deaths in Zhejiang is attributed to the effective prevention and control with the measures promulgated and issued by the government and the efforts of all sectors of society. There may be some aspects that can be referenced by other countries and cities.
Patients are the main source of infection, the isolation and treatment of patients, therefore, are of prime importance. The places where these tasks are performed are the government-designated hospitals. Patients diagnosed with COVID-19, no matter how mild their symptoms are, will be transferred to designated hospitals for more targeted treatments and to avoid further spread of infections in general hospitals. In addition to diagnosed patients, suspected patients with typical clinical features or imaging characteristics are also included in the scope of isolation -- that is, centralized isolation in designated accommodation (such as designated hotels). Furthermore, individuals with mere epidemiologic linkage are required to be isolated at their home for 14 days (the estimated maximum incubation period).
The COVID-19 outbreak took place near the Chinese New Year. To cut off the epidemic's transmission route, lay people who were celebrating the Spring Festival were recommended to stay at home and visiting friends and relatives was censured. Moreover, wearing face masks and undergoing temperature checks in public was made mandatory and almost all the public events, regardless of size, were canceled. Furthermore, province-wide closures of companies, entertainment venues, and schools were conducted, while industries that protect people's livelihood and medical supplies were encouraged all along. [6, 7]
With gradual control of the COVID-19 epidemic in Zhejiang, the provincial government required an orderly promotion of resumption of work and chartered flights and trains to pick up employees back to work. Besides, everyone in Zhejiang can apply for a health QR code, which determines individual eligibility to enter and exit social places and can be divided into Green Code, Red Code and Yellow Code, indicating and tracking a person's health status. 
All the aforementioned actions have contained the epidemic spread and mitigated the risk and impact of the virus in Zhejiang. Certainly, there are some painful lessons from Zhejiang that the UK government cannot neglect. For instance, hundreds of infections have been reported in five prisons (including one in Zhejiang) in China, which has cast a spotlight on loopholes in prison management and epidemic prevention and control in prisons.  Actually, a majority of uninfected people of China consciously abide by the government's actions to refrain from going outdoors as much as possible and to keep safe. After all, this is a matter of personal and family health. By contrast, the British people do not take the pandemic seriously enough. For example, thousands of fans still flocked to a concert in Cardiff on Mar 14 without even wearing a mask; and a marathon was also held as usual with about 6,000 participants on Mar 15.  Notably, fighting this pandemic requires the joint efforts of governments and the people.
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic, according to the World Health Organization.  As the UK prime minister warned, “this is the worst public health crisis for a generation”,  the global data curve of confirmed cases outside China exhibited a sharp upward trend by Mar 16.  In recent days, the number of confirmed cases in the UK has skyrocketed at a rate of 30% per day and more than 10 patients have died each day.  However, The UK government responds to the pandemic with insufficient force, which can lead to the further spread of COVID-19 and widespread death among elderly and vulnerable people.
We declare no competing interests.
1. Mahase E. Covid-19: UK holds off closing schools and restricts testing to people in hospital. 2020;368:m1060. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m1060 %J BMJ
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Date accessed: 16 March 2020
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Yunxiang Zhou, M.D.; Shiqi Gao, M.D.; Anwen Shao, M.D. & Ph.D.
The Second Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
Anwen Shao, M.D. & Ph.D.;
Department of Neurosurgery, The Second Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, NO.88 Jiefang Rd, 310009, Hangzhou, PR China.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Competing interests: No competing interests