Coronavirus: Why it might not be as scary as it sounds

You might have seen in the news that there’s lots of talk about the coronavirus.

The coronavirus started in a city in China called Wuhan.

Now it has spread to other countries, lots of people are worried that they might be infected.

But Dr Chris and Dr Xand are here to tell you why the coronavirus might not be as scary as it sounds. – There is a video on the BBC Newsround website which explains why the virus may not be as scary as everyone is making it sound.

This document sets out what the UK as a whole has done to tackle the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and what it plans to do next.

The action plan can be found here:
Click here to see the action plan

The importance of hygiene

Yesterday, the Department of Health and Social Care launched a public information campaign that focuses on the importance of handwashing. Washing hands for 20 seconds is central to prevent and slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

A hand touching a door handle with finger prints all over it, shown in purple and green

This phase of the campaign focuses on the importance of washing your hands more often, especially:

  • when you get to work or arrive home
  • after you blow your nose, cough or sneeze
  • before you eat or handle food

You should wash your hands for 20 seconds, using soap and water or hand sanitiser.

You should also cough or sneeze into tissues before binning them.

The campaign will appear in the print media, radio, online and in public places, including billboards.

It has been brought forward in response to the current global situation.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

The UK is a world-leader in preparing for and managing disease outbreaks and I have every confidence in our nation’s ability to respond to the threat of COVID-19.

We all have a role to play in stopping this disease and that’s what this expanded campaign is all about – making sure the public knows exactly what they should be doing to keep themselves and others safe. Washing hands regularly is the single most important thing that an individual can do.

Public safety remains our top priority. The government and the NHS are working 24/7 to fight this virus. It’s imperative that everyone follows clinical advice by contacting NHS 111, and not going to A&E if you develop symptoms.

The first phase of the campaign began in February 2020, in response to the rising number of confirmed cases of coronavirus globally and in the UK.

On 3 March the Prime Minister published a coronavirus action plan for the UK, which sets out plans for a range of situations.

Since January, public health teams and world-leading scientists have been working continuously on the coronavirus response.

The NHS, Public Health England (PHE) and local authority public health across the country are working hard to support everyone in need of advice, testing or treatment.

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is now available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

The government has been working with partners across the country to provide advice to the public, travellers coming into the country and those most at risk from COVID-19.

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