Shropshire hospitals boss: 'We must not be tempted to start bending the rules'

Read the latest column from Dr Arne Rose, medical director for the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

Dr Arne Rose
Dr Arne Rose

The number of patients with coronavirus that we are seeing in our hospitals continues, thankfully, to fall. But that number is falling from a very high summit.

We still have around 70 patients being treated for this disease, compared with the summer, when that figure was nearer 10.

Infection rates in Shropshire also remain high in comparison with the rest of the country. These things are a stark reminder that we are still some way from being on top of this.

The better weather, such as the glorious sunshine we experienced over the weekend, certainly helps. Being able to be outside more makes us all feel better, but we must remain cautious.

We must not be tempted to start bending the rules and meeting up with more people than we should. We should not start thinking that the two-metre rule doesn’t really apply any more, and just because nobody is talking about how many times you should sing Happy Birthday, we shouldn’t forget that washing our hands regularly and thoroughly is still an important weapon in fighting this virus.

Locally, our vaccination programme continues to go really well, as we work through the priority groups.

The vast majority of people in the top four priority groups have now received their first dose of the vaccine, along with residents in care homes.

But there is still some way to go and still a significant proportion of our population yet to receive their first jab. It is for their sake that we must continue to obey the rules of lockdown for that little bit longer.

You may have seen my colleague, Dr Tyrone Lightbody, talking about the vaccine and urging everyone who is offered it to take up that offer. I echo his sentiments.

We know there are a lot of people who think, even if they catch coronavirus, they will be fine, because it only seriously affects the elderly or those with underlying health conditions. We know from experience this is not true.

We also know that there is a lot of misinformation circulating about the vaccines. The vaccines have been subject to the same level of scrutiny as any other vaccine in circulation.

We want to see our hospital coronavirus numbers continue to fall. We can all do our bit to make this happen.

Maintain social distancing, wear a face covering when you need to, wash your hands regularly, obey the rules of lockdown and, when you are offered it, please have the vaccine.

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