May News

As of today’s news: total number of deaths in the UK attributed to Covid-19 have just been reported as surpassing 36,000. 

As of today’s news the amount of people lost in the UK as reported looks like this.

The government website when last updated on 4th May, confirmed those who are prioritised for testing (England only), But the table below shows but we know that the figures are not yet accurate. 


The PM addressed the nation on 10th May and set out proposals described as a ‘new Covid Alert system, run by a new joint Biosecurity Centre’ which will focus on a new 5 step plan to easing lockdown measures, should the statistics start to show it will be safe to do so. Unfortunately, while the key messages were sympathetic in delivery and acknowledged some of what the nation has endured in regards to the tragic losses and suffering, the latter part of the address fell into confusion in part due to extracts such as:

“Continue to work from home if you can, only go to work if you must, but actively encourage construction and manufacturers to get back to work, but avoid public transport.”

The 5 steps are will be applied depending on emerging statistical analysis in relation to the R Rating of the coronavirus.

Hannah Devlin (Science correspondent) sets out a clear explanation or the R Rating in her article in the Guardian online dated 30th April 2020.

R, or the “effective reproduction number”, is a way of rating a disease’s ability to spread. It’s the average number of people on to whom one infected person will pass the virus. For an R of anything above 1, an epidemic will grow exponentially. Anything below 1 and an outbreak will fizzle out – eventually.

At the start of the coronavirus epidemic, the estimated R for coronavirus was between 2 and 3 – higher than the value for seasonal flu, but lower than for measles. That means that each person would pass it on to between two and three people on average, before either recovering or dying, and each of those people would each pass it on to a further two to three others, causing the total number of cases to snowball over time. However one of the key factors that caused the exponential increase of infection rates was lack of physical distancing and lack of barrier prevention (PPE/hygiene

Under the current lockdown restrictions, R is now estimated to have dropped to somewhere between 0.6 and 0.9. This means that the epidemic is shrinking – although not uniformly. The figure given for London is 0.5 to 0.7, with some parts of the UK having a higher or lower figure step plan revolves around the ‘R’  rating.

Silk Safety Ltd decided to publish this particular article to ensure that we learn from all aspects of the pandemic.  By recording the above we hope to keep it firmly in people’s minds so that we do learn lessons faster to react to the next global virus. Moving forward, design of buildings should remember this time, and start to include viral protection systems within their Mechanical plant designs.  Employers should now regularly be paying attention to their teams wellness and mental and physical health, and  keep the focus on appropriate levels of health and safety risk management and above all, continue to put proactive steps in place to support business continuity and human life.