Coronavirus: UK must prepare for second virus wave – health leaders


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Boris Johnson introduced additional easing of lockdown measures on Tuesday

Well being leaders are calling for an pressing evaluate to find out whether or not the UK is correctly ready for the “actual threat” of a second wave of coronavirus.

In an open letter printed within the British Medical Journal, ministers had been warned that pressing motion could be wanted to forestall additional lack of life.

The presidents of the Royal Faculties of Surgeons, Nursing, Physicians, and GPs all signed the letter.

It comes after Boris Johnson introduced sweeping modifications to England’s lockdown.

On Tuesday, the prime minister stated pubs, eating places, cinemas and hairdressers will be capable to reopen from four July.

The 2m social-distancing rule shall be changed with a “one-metre plus” rule, that means individuals ought to keep at the least 2m aside the place potential, however in any other case ought to stay at the least 1m aside whereas taking steps to cut back the chance of transmission, akin to sporting face coverings.

The 2m rule will stay in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Eire, nonetheless.

Each the federal government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and the chief medical officer for England Professor Chris Whitty harassed Mr Johnson’s plan was not “risk-free” at Tuesday’s final daily Downing Street coronavirus briefing.

Following the prime minister’s announcement, well being leaders known as for a “speedy and forward-looking evaluation” of how ready the UK could be for a brand new outbreak of the virus.

“Whereas the longer term form of the pandemic within the UK is tough to foretell, the accessible proof signifies that native flare-ups are more and more doubtless and a second wave an actual threat,” they wrote within the letter.

“Many parts of the infrastructure wanted to comprise the virus are starting to be put in place, however substantial challenges stay.”

The authors of the letter, additionally signed by the chair of the British Medical Affiliation, urge ministers to arrange a cross-party group with a “constructive, non-partisan, 4 nations strategy”, tasked with creating sensible suggestions.

“The evaluate shouldn’t be about wanting again or attributing blame,” they stated, and as a substitute ought to deal with “areas of weak spot the place motion is required urgently to forestall additional lack of life and restore the financial system as totally and as rapidly as potential”.

The BBC has approached the Division for Well being and Social take care of remark.

In the Commons on Tuesday, Mr Johnson stated he didn’t imagine there was “a threat of a second peak of infections which may overwhelm the NHS”.

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Media captionBoris Johnson is cheered as he broadcasts English pubs can reopen from four July

Saying the most important easing of lockdown but, he stated two households in England will be capable to meet indoors and keep in a single day – with social distancing.

Whereas he warned all of the steps had been “reversible”, he confirmed the next venues would be capable to reopen:

  • Pubs, bars and eating places however solely with a desk service indoors, and homeowners shall be requested to maintain contact particulars of shoppers to assist with contact tracing
  • Resorts, vacation residences, campsites and caravan parks however shared amenities should be cleaned correctly
  • Theatres and music halls however they won’t be allowed to carry stay performances
  • In different modifications weddings shall be allowed to have 30 attendees, and locations of worship shall be allowed to carry companies however singing shall be banned
  • Hair salons and barbers will be capable to reopen however will need to have protecting measures, akin to visors, in place
  • Libraries, group centres and bingo halls
  • Cinemas, museums and galleries
  • Funfairs, theme parks, journey parks, amusement arcades, out of doors skating rinks and mannequin villages
  • Indoor sights the place animals are exhibited, akin to at zoos, aquariums, farms, safari parks and wildlife centres

Some other venues will remain closed by law, together with nightclubs, casinos, indoor play areas, nail bars and sweetness salons, swimming swimming pools and indoor gyms.

These companies set to reopen in 10 days’ time are awaiting steerage from the federal government on how they’ll function as safely as potential through the coronavirus pandemic.

Preliminary recommendation says companies ought to maintain prospects’ contact particulars for 21 days to assist help the observe and hint system.

However generally the government has told companies that extra detailed recommendation will comply with quickly.

BBC political correspondent Iain Watson stated it instructed that choices on which elements of the financial system to reopen had been made very not too long ago.

It comes as struggling retailers must pay their quarterly rent to landlords on Wednesday.

Labour is looking for NHS workers to be examined each week for coronavirus in order that affected person ready listing backlogs might be safely cleared.

Former Conservative well being secretary Jeremy Hunt backed that decision, writing within the Each day Telegraph that the “prices are small in comparison with the price of a second wave” of Covid-19.

The most recent figures present an additional 171 individuals had died after testing optimistic for coronavirus within the UK, taking the full to 42,927.


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