Sat. Oct 24th, 2020


Alarm systems are a must clear and simple for everyone to understand. However, so far the UK national alert system has created confusion and has been largely ignored.

A second local alarm system has now been introduced in England. I am not convinced that it will get any better. Other countries, from New Zealand to Vietnam to South Africa, have developed and effectively deployed alert level systems to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Why is the British Government fighting?

The first national COVID-19 alert system was launched in May and has five levels. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland originally wanted their own systems but have since adopted the same system with a few minor variations. First, Great Britain was set to alert level four, reduced to level three on June 19th and raised to level four again on September 22nd, presumably as a SAGE for a national lockdown to “Break the circuitAfter schools and universities reopened.

I set off in May seven main reasons why would these alert level systems fail, many of which have occurred. Changes to the alert level are recognized by the all decisive R number: The average number of people to whom a single infected person passes the disease. But it is proved difficult to pinpoint the R number and it is unclear how exactly decisions are made reset to default The alert level is set. None of this is likely to change in the future.

The national alert level also does not reflect the need and subsequent introduction of stricter local restrictions in certain areas. The value this national system is further limited as the levels do not correlate with specific rules for social distancing.

It also seems very difficult – maybe even impossible – for the public to figure out what the national COVID-19 alert level is. It’s not up to the committed government Coronavirus website. This is in stark contrast to other nations like South Africa and New ZealandIf the alert level system is clearly displayed online, the current level is highlighted and the relevant risks and rules for each level are displayed uniformly and consistently, this is reinforced nationwide from a single source.

These issues will be addressed by the new local COVID-19 alert level system. But is it enough to work?

Accommodation of the locals

On October 12, Boris Johnson announced that COVID-19 “numbers like warning messages flashing on us on the dashboard of a passenger plane.” After eight months of significant confusion from non-standard, changing information presented haphazardly, the answer to the blinking lights seems to be to introduce an entirely new local COVID-19 alert system.

Consists of three levels following the governmentwill “simplify and standardize the local rules”, the three levels are set to medium, high and very high. By developing a simpler and standardized system that can be adapted locally, the likelihood of confusion will be reduced and a clearer message conveyed, bound by certain rules. This is an important requirement Warning or alarm.

However, local constraints must be tied to the bigger picture. And since social distancing rules are different in every nationThere has long been confusion among those living near national borders or traveling. As the new local alerts only apply in England, there is limited application of standardization in the UK and across borders. We need a system that meets local and national needs. This is possible, but it requires clever design.

Alerts are a powerful tool

The government is moving in the direction other nations are using for their alert levels: they have created a website that will keep you informed about your region Alert level restrictionsand spend some useful graphics This removes previous concerns about clarity and transparency. That’s positive. But there is still Confusion and fragmentation in public and Tensions between local leaders and central government on the level to be assigned.

As an expert in warning systems, I am not convinced that this new local system will be sufficient to correct previous errors. The recent announcement made no mention of the national COVID warning systems, so it is not clear how these two systems work together or whether the broader system is now no longer working. Why is the UK government constantly revising and changing its warning systems? Why is this information still not clear and transparent?

UK Chief Medical Officer Prof. Chris Whitty has said he was “very confident” that the new three-tier warnings will slow the spread of coronavirus. But he also stated that even the toughest measures under the new rules “may not be enough to get over it”.

The new local warning system cannot last long: it is not designed for all degrees of risk and does not contain a fourth level of “low risk”. This shows that the system is purely responsive for the moment and does not present all possible scenarios in a clear and standardized manner in order to enable preparation.

A clear lack of specialist knowledge on the part of experts in emergency management or disaster control is evident. Britain has the expertise Why doesn’t this happen?

These COVID-19 alerts are unlikely to meet their potential to navigate a challenging winter by acting now to address these “flashing dashboard alerts” instead of preparing in advance. Britain deserves more.

Carina J Fearnley, Associate Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Director of the UCL Warning Research Center, UCL

This article is republished by The conversation under a Creative Commons license. read this original article.

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