By CEO of ANCON Medical Wesley Baker – | UPDATED: 08:28, 13 March 2020
With the UK set to enter the ‘delay’ phase, current advice only recommends isolation to those returning from affected areas or who have had contact with a confirmed case.
And as Coronavirus enters Pandemic stage – we ask are we doing enough to stop the spread?
As Boris Johnson recently signed off on plans to move from the “containment” phase of the outbreak to a “delay” phase at an emergency Cobra meeting.
The current focus is on restricting the spread of the disease, and the Government has not ruled out the cancellation of major public events.
Early detection of the disease is a key component to effective treatment, and isolation which can help prevent the further spread of the outbreak.
Current Government advice encourages only individuals who have either travelled back from areas such as Italy or those who have had exposure to a confirmed case of the Coronavirus to seek medical help from the NHS 111 service. This advice, however, could be set to change after the Cobra meeting and the recent news that it is now officially considered a global pandemic.
Wesley Baker – CEO of ANCON Medical – discusses why we should be taking this threat seriously:
“Current advice around the COVID-19 pandemic does not go far enough in terms of helping people detect and identify their symptoms.
The procedure in place at the moment leaves many people who have the symptoms indicative of COVID-19 confused as to whether they need to self-isolate or not.
Effective isolation is an important tool in containing the disease, but without effective screening the process becomes incredibly difficult. We have advised our whole staff to work from home and are taking the problem very seriously indeed, including using video meetings where possible to limit our exposure.
It is vital that the private and public sectors can come together to fight the spread of the disease. Private sector companies such as ours have incredible potential with new technologies to effectively screen for the disease much faster than current methods.
If we can work in tandem with the fantastic work the NHS does we could make a big impact in slowing the spread of the disease and protect the most vulnerable in society.
Personally, I am taking the utmost care to guard against the virus, both in my family and at ANCON. My son suffers from an autoimmune disease, which means it is a significant health risk should he catch it.
At home we have a clean environment, hand cleaners and masks which we purchased some weeks ago to the highest standard which can protect against the size of the virus. We also have arranged that his home teachers will soon start using Skype rather than directly visiting, and we have stocked our reserves in food in case.”
ANCON Medical are specialists in early detection of diseases, both infectious and non-infectious (such as cancer), whose technology is capable of diagnosing the disease from the breath profile of a patient in as little as 10 minutes, as well as screening for the virus at entry points such as airports and docks.
Their technology (in conjunction with traditional PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing can also confirm the presence of COVID-19 from atmospheric sampling in public spaces.
Early detection of this kind of disease, alongside that of cancer, is vital to the future of global health and to improve both life expectancy and quality.