The government is reportedly contacting local councils for what is known as ‘Excess Death Contingency Planning’ in the event of a worst-case scenario relating to the spread of coronavirus.
The planning, which is thought to include discussions with local authorities about potential new large burial sites, is standard practice when an outbreak of such a virus is taking place.
The talks come as the Department of Health confirms there are two new cases in England, with another positive patient now transferred to the Royal Liverpool Hospital’s specialist infection facility.
Excess Death Contingency Planning
Those discussions were revealed on Twitter by Newsnight Policy Editor Lewis Goodall:
NEW: I understand the Cabinet Office has been in communication with local authorities about “Excess Death Contingency Planning”- effectively their “mass death preparedness” plans in the event of coronavirus being at upper end of worst case scenario.— Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) February 26, 2020
I’m told that the topics in the Cabinet Office/Local authority discussions include potential new (and perhaps mass) burial sites.— Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) February 26, 2020
Whitehall sources emphasise such discussions/instructions are uncommon but not unprecedented: For example, in the 2009 swine flu outbreak.
A Cabinet Office spokesperson was keen to stress that such preparations were not uncommon:
Cabinet Office spokesperson told Newsnight: “We have been clear from the outset that we expect coronavirus to have some impact on the UK, which is why we are planning for every eventuality – including the reasonable worst case scenario…”— Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) February 26, 2020
But according to former NHS worker Andy Ibbs, this is completely normal:
Completely normal practice in such scenarios. I was involved with two such: Swine Flu & SARS. In neither case were the plans enacted.— Andy Ibbs (@andyibbs) February 26, 2020
No conspiracy here: it’s simply the case of the state doing what it should: preparing for anything. It does mean there is a risk, but that’s all
Meanwhile, two further people have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total number of UK cases to 15… and the virus is also invading other parts of Europe. More coronavirus pandemic news on Strange Sounds or Steve Quayle. [MSN]