Come the winter our NHS will need to tackle a backlog of care, treat Covid patients, deal with seasonal flu and prepare for further local or national outbreaks of coronavirus.
Empowering local councils to close shops, outdoor events and public spaces, while long overdue, is entirely necessary to help reduce the spread of the virus and keep the pressure off the NHS. It is crucial though that this is underpinned with adequate resources, clear local data, and a well-managed test, track and trace system. So far, the Government’s record in all these areas has not been good.
What’s more, to help our health services cope with the huge demands that still lie ahead and to avoid a second Covid-19 spike this winter, every one of us must make prevention our priority.
This means carefully adhering to physical distancing rules and wearing face coverings in all situations where it’s not possible to be more than two metres apart. This includes offices and doctors’ surgeries, as well as in shops and on public transport.
Dr Stephen Millar, BMA West Midlands Regional Council chair