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Last edited 25 Oct 2020
Coronavirus and the construction industry
On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. On 12 January 2020, it was announced that a novel coronavirus had been identified.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by coronavirus (CoV), and can affect people’s lungs and airways. Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. COVID-19 is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans. There is currently no specific treatment available.
COVID 19 has had a significant impact on world economies, both as a result of the disease itself, and from the measures that have been introduced to reduce the rate of infection. This has included travel restrictions, the closure of events and some businesses, and the isolation of at risk or infected populations.
On 23 March the UK entered a period of strict lockdown, during which people were only permitted to leave home once a day for the purposes of exercise or essential shopping, or if their job was essential and they could not do it from home.
The construction industry has been seriously affected, from supply chain disruption to absences from work, contractual implications, financial strain and long-term design implications. There has also been a degree of confusion about whether construction sites and builders merchants should remain open.
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