It appears the Prime Minister has yet to read the report by medical experts who warn that Britain must start “intense preparations” for a second wave of coronavirus that has the potential to kill as many as 120,000 hospital patients in a worst-case scenario
Commissioned by Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, the Academy of Medical Sciences said in their analysis, that, without urgent action, a resurgence of cases this winter could overwhelm the NHS when services are already stretched because of flu and other seasonal pressures.
When asked by Keir Starmer in Parliament yesterday if Boris Johnson had read the analysis, he replied he was ‘of course aware of the report’.
Compiled by 37 experts, the report recommends a major public information campaign in the autumn to encourage people to prevent the virus from spreading. It states hospitals and care homes will need better supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), widespread testing capacity should be implemented and there should be Covid-19-free zones.
Because a second wave may coincide with the flu season, the experts said it was crucial that health and care workers, along with school children and all vulnerable individuals, received the flu vaccine.
Dame Anne Johnson, a co-author of the report and professor of infectious disease epidemiology at University College London, said there was a need for a powerful public information campaign that targeted specific communities as well as the nation as a whole.
“Faced with these potential challenges, and after an already tough year, it would be easy to feel hopeless and powerless,” she said. “But this report shows that we can act now to change things for the better. We need to minimise coronavirus and flu transmission everywhere, and especially in hospitals and care homes. We need to get our health and social care, and the track, trace and isolate programme, ready for winter. This can be done, but it must be done now.”
I hope the Prime Minister gets around to reading the report and implementing its recommendations before it’s too late.