UK medical journals call for Christmas Covid rules to be revoked | World News
Plans to relax Covid restrictions on Christmas must be reversed or many lives are at risk of being lost, according to a rare joint publisher from two of the UK’s most eminent medical journals.
That call was shared by the head of the hospital’s doctors union, who described the government’s plans as “kamikaze.” Keir Starmer, the Labor leader, also urged Boris Johnson to reconsider the restrictions in a letter to the prime minister on Tuesday afternoon.
The British Medical Journal and the Health Service Journal said the government could no longer claim to protect the NHS if it goes ahead with its “hasty” plans to allow households to mingle indoors during Christmas.
“We believe that the government is about to make another big mistake that will cost many lives,” he says.
It warns that if current trends continue, there will be 19,000 Covid patients in English hospitals by New Year’s Eve, the same as at the peak of the first wave on April 12. Those numbers don’t take into account the impact of the Christmas mix between homes and the freedom to travel to see family.
The editorial says the additional Covid-19 patient burden is likely to be 40 times higher than at the beginning of the second wave.
Labor has asked the government to reconsider its decision to allow households to mingle for five days at Christmas, saying the consequences could be unthinkable. In a letter to the prime minister, Keir Starmer urged Boris Johnson to convene COBR and said Labor would support the government if the rules changed.
“This is a critical moment for our country. The failure of their tiered system to control the virus leaves us with a very small margin, “wrote Starmer. “Simply put, if you make the wrong decision now, the ramifications for our NHS and our economy in the new year could be dire.”
The joint editorial reads: “The New Year is likely to see NHS trusts face a tough choice: be overwhelmed or stop most elective and non-urgent jobs,” the editorial warned. “Rather than lift restrictions on Christmas as currently planned, the UK should follow the more cautious examples of Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.”
The change in magazines, which cover both physicians and policies and management across the health service, will increase pressure on the government to reconsider plans to allow three households to mix from December 23 to 27. .
“When the government came up with current plans to allow domestic mixing over Christmas, it assumed that the demand for Covid-19 on the NHS would be declining. But this is not the case, it is increasing, and the appearance of a new strain of the virus has introduced a greater potential danger, ”says the editorial.
“The government was too slow to introduce restrictions in the spring and again in the fall. Now it should reverse its hasty decision to allow domestic mixing and instead extend levels over the five-day Christmas period to cut the numbers in advance of a potential third wave. It should also review and strengthen the tiered structure, which has failed to suppress infection and hospitalization rates. “
The NHS is confident that the most pressured regional health systems are already having to cancel almost all elective and non-urgent care due to the resurgence of the virus, the editorial says. “Even if the NHS England manages to vaccinate all ‘at risk’ before Easter, this will not be in time to prevent hospitalization and death for many in the coming months,” he adds.
The BMJ and HSJ also criticize the NHS ‘test and trace and the government’s plan for mass testing with lateral flow testing. The tracking service, “which has almost nothing to do with the NHS, continues to waste money on failures. The same goes for mass testing of asymptomatic people using lateral flow tests that are not suitable for their purpose, ”the editorial says.
Dr Claudia Paoloni, president of the Hospital Specialists and Consultants Association (HSCA), backed the calls, noting that Germany has more beds and more staff than the NHS, but has announced a closure for Christmas.
“The failure of the UK to do the same will cause hospitals to buckle, massive cancellation of non-Covid jobs and propel us like zombies to an avoidable emergency,” he said. “If the government is again caught off guard by a new strain of Covid-19 spreading more rapidly, we risk a truly dire winter for patients and hospital staff.”
Paoloni said his comments are not alarmist, but are based on cold and harsh reality. “Inaction will mean that patients die unnecessarily and thousands of critical cases will go untreated. The government must act now, urgently, to reverse these kamikaze plans. “