Covid-style guidance returned to combat NHS pressures

Although a new year has just launched, health bosses are returning to rules advised in 2020 as they are encouraging people to wear a face mask to help deal with NHS pressures. 

Experts in the UK have issued new guidance, including a ‘stay-at-home’ message, and wearing a face covering outdoors to help deal with high levels of winter infections including flu, COVID-19, and invasive strep A.

man in gray crew neck t-shirt covering his face with white textile

The advice comes as people have returned to school and work after the Christmas period.

Yesterday, Professor Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor at the UK Health Security Agency, said: ‘If your child is unwell and has a fever, they should stay home from school or nursery until they feel better.

‘Adults should also try to stay home when unwell and if you do have to go out, wear a face covering.’

Healthcare professionals have warned the pressure on the NHS is ‘intolerable and unsustainable’ amid warnings that the deaths of up to 500 people each week could be caused by delays in emergency care.  

Pressures on the NHS are estimated to last until Easter, with hours-long ambulance queues and thousands of operations getting cancelled. Due to the backlog of hospital beds, patients are also struggling to receive the hospital care they need.

A new variant of COVID-19, nicknamed ‘the kraken’, is also expected to pile more pressure onto the NHS in the coming weeks. Data has displayed the strain already makes up one in 25 cases and is capable of evading any anti-bodies that were created from previous infections and vaccines.

According to the World Health Organisation, the new strain has been found in at least 70 countries, causing surges of infection in some parts of Asia, including India and Singapore. Additionally, 40% cases of COVID-19 in America are made up of the variant, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have found.

Professor Phil Banfield, Chair of the British Medical Association (BMA), has offered a stark warning about the crisis health workers are facing and is urging the government to do more.

Professor Banfield said: ‘The current situation in the NHS is intolerable and unsustainable, both for our patients and the hard-working staff desperately trying to keep up with incredibly high levels of demand.

‘The BMA has repeatedly invited the government to sit down and talk about the pressures on our health service, but their silence is deafening.’

Photo by Kobby Mendez


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