Health leaders call for urgent review in preparation for "real risk" of Coronavirus second wave
24 June 2020
The presidents of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons, Nursing, Physicians and GPs have written an open letter to the leaders of all political parties, calling for a review of whether the UK is properly prepared for the "real risk" of a second wave of Coronavirus.
The letter, published in the British Medical Journal, comes in the wake of the Prime Minister's announcement that a number of lockdown restrictions are to be eased.
From 4 July, pubs, restaurants, cinemas and hairdressers will be able to reopen, while the two-metre social distancing rule will be replaced with a "one-metre plus" rule. Both the government's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and the chief medical officer for England Professor Chris Whitty stressed the plan was not "risk-free."
in the health leaders' open letter they warned that in order to prevent further loss of life "urgent action' was required, and called for a transparent rapid review of what needs to be done to prevent and prepare for a second wave. The authors added that, in order for the public to have confidence that the virus can be contained, such a review must be considered "crucial and needs to happen soon."
The authors continued: "As stakeholders and leaders of the UK’s medical, nursing, and public health professions, we urge you to establish such a review.
"We think there’s a strong case for an immediate assessment of national preparedness, with the first results available no later than August, and that all its work should be completed by the end of October. We don’t underestimate the complexities of establishing this in the required timeframe. We stand by ready to help in whatever way we can."
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine academic told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "There is a risk that transmission will take off again, so we have to be really vigilant, and this is where the Test and Trace system needs to be really working well to make sure we can stamp out any infections that occur."
The latest figures reveal that the total of people who have died after testing positive for Coronavirus in the UK, is 42,927.