Mobile apps can play a critical role in ending COVID-19 lockdown, says Staffordshire virus expert
Mobile phone apps will help in contact tracing and act as a big hope for ending the lockdown and thwart Covid-19 second wave, feels a virus expert. Thegovernments worldwide are coping with the disease and pondering how to bring about the ease in the lockdown while preventing another round of surge in the spread of the pandemic.
Such apps are being developed in the UK and have already gone live in Australia and India.
With a huge loss to humanity, this disease needs to be dealt with intelligence and any harsh move can lead to a big loss to the world.
When asked about the exit plan Dr. Arthur Hosie, senior lecturer in biological and biomedical sciences at Staffordshire University and an expert in the behavior of viruses saidthat an ideal world we would a vaccine and anti-viral drugs, but that is not to happen any time soon.
He further remarked that social distancing measures would have to be maintained for many more months to come. He is of the view that once the lockdown is over mobile phone apps on your phone will update you that you had been in contact with someone who has Covid-19 is supposedly the most realistic way to prevent a second wave.
Dr. Hosie said, “We need to be keeping up social distancing and making sure we detect any cases and track who people have come into contact with. It is extremely important to trace about 20 contacts of people.”
Apps would be a useful use of that technology but this is not enough. If people get automated messages that they have come into contact they need to be responsible. He added, “The responsibility lies on the people and they need to be aware if they get symptoms. Even if the tests come back negative, they should erring on the side of caution, not going to work and staying at home.”
However, over the past few days is that people have started to get tired of the lockdown. Dr. Hosie fears people are beginning to become weary of the lockdown, but stressed social distancing measures would have to be followed for the foreseeable future. He remarked “If we don’t do what’s required we are going to have a second wave. If this happens more and more people will die.”
The professor also said the lockdown will need to be eased very gradually to prevent a second spike and it should be ensured that post lockdown employers abide by social distancing measures.
Shops would have to get used to what social distancing as being maintained by a few supermarkets thesedays.
Early on as a possible way to beat the virus, it was suggested, allowing Covid-19 to take hold in the population so enough people get it and then recover from it, known as herd immunity, was suggested But the issue is he added, “We do not know whether immunity is robust or long-standing. With other coronaviruses, immunity only lasts a couple of years so it might not necessarily be effective in that way. If we allow the virus to run rife we are not talking about 20,000 lives, we are talking about 200,000. I am not prepared to sacrifice that amount of lives and I hope so are the governments not.”
When asked about socializing, he emphasized, “Pubs and restaurants I think are many months down the line. The challenge is keeping away from people. That’s all we have.”
Despite all the issues and scare of the second wave, the governments need to open the lockdown and bring the world back to life slowly and steadily. The governments need to take strict actions and plan a stringent move with an extreme set of cautions in place.