Planning for a second wave of coronavirus

Nice to see Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman presenting Pointless, rather than the daily Government Press Briefing on coronavirus,, with its numerous dodgy statistics, graphs and propaganda.

Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman

For those who do not know the rules of Pointless, four pairs of contestants are presented with a board of seven questions on a particular theme or subject, and the idea is to guess the most obscure answers, with the ultimate answer being zero points ie “Pointless”. All questions are presented to a studio audience of 100 people beforehand, so each question has a target score between 0-100 of their answers. Pairs of contestants with the highest score are eliminated each round.

Planning for the next wave of coronavirus

The UK’s top health leaders have written to all the political parties of the four Nations, asking them to work together to ensure the Country is ready to contain a second phase of coronavirus as Brexit approaches.

The letter says: ‘Many elements of the infrastructure needed to contain the virus are beginning to be put in place, but substantial challenges remain.’ Photograph: Maureen McLean/Rex/Shutterstock

The experts – who include presidents of the Royal College of Physicians, Surgeons, GPs and Nursing, and the chair of the British Medical Association – ask for a review of the first stage of the pandemic to learn lessons including why black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities have borne a “disproportionate burden”. They also ask for better parliamentary scrutiny and involvement of regional and local leaders and more international collaboration, “especially to mitigate any new difficulties in pandemic management due to Brexit”.

In an open letter published on the British Medical Journal website, the leaders warn that “local flareups are increasingly likely and a second wave a real risk”. They say “substantial challenges remain” despite many elements of the infrastructure needed to contain the virus “beginning” to be put in place. The job now is not only to deal urgently with the wide ranging impacts of the first phase of the pandemic, but to ensure the country is adequately prepared to contain a second phase. Click for full article.

United Kingdom National Health and Economic Pandemic Plan

Clearly there was no plan for the coronavirus pandemic, and the Government has been on the back foot from the start, cobbling together the “Roadmap” initiative and firefighting problems, lurching from one crisis to another, with numerous policy u-turns. However, now that there is a basic infrastructure in place, it makes sense that there should be a review of the last six months, strengthen the key elements of any Plan, such as “Test and Trace”, feeding into a comprehensive National Health and Economic Plan.

LIke Pointless, the Plan needs to address the NHS response to any second covid-19 wave, but also the obscure questions of the collateral backlog of non-covid-19 cases delayed as a result of the first wave will be treated in parallel with that eventuality. The Plan also needs to address the further economic disruption of regional or National lockdowns as a consequence of a second wave and any future waves.

At the time of writing, the Government is not keen on a Review, but it is important that lessons are learned and hopefully, we will have another u turn.

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