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Public Health aiming for suppression, not elimination

Public Health aiming for suppression, not elimination

Friday 05 February 2021

Public Health aiming for suppression, not elimination


Public Health is aiming to suppress the spread of Covid-19 in the Bailiwick, rather than seeking to eliminate the virus from the island completely.

Dr Nicola Brink has confirmed the island's strategy as it tries to get on top of Guernsey's second wave of the corona virus.

After the first lockdown, the island's borders were largely shut down to the rest of the world, with 14-day self-isolation requirements for travellers. That approach has been widely referred to as an elimination-style strategy.

A document detailing Guernsey's exit from lockdown this time is currently being drawn up, meaning we do not yet know what the differences might be in our approach, if any.

"What we are looking to do is suppress the virus to a level where it doesn’t impact on the health and wellbeing of the community," said Dr Brink. 

community_seeding.png

Pictured: The rate of unknown community sources has reduced in recent days, however the level of community seeding is still causing authorities concerns. 

"We are aiming to get down to a situation where we don’t have active community seeding and to protect the health and wellbeing of the community while we go through an immunisation programme."

In previous interviews, Dr Brink has described the differences between suppression, elimination and eradication.

"Eradication is when you permanently reduce to zero a particular infectious agent globally, for example smallpox. It no longer exists across the whole world," she said last year.

"Elimination is a more narrow definition. Elimination is when you reduce to zero an infection in a particular geographical region. We’re considering the Bailiwick as our geographical region. An example of a virus that we’ve eliminated locally but they haven’t eliminated in the UK is measles."

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