We are at a 'critical crossroads' to avoid 'horror and tragedy'

A second highlight of Covid-19 this winter, according to a study, is the biggest concern among physicians trying to avoid a return to the “horror and tragedy” of the early days of the pandemic.

The British Medical Association (BMA) poll found that 86% of over 8,000 doctors and medical students in England said a second peak was likely or very likely in the next six months.

When asked about the impact of measures to prevent a second spike, doctors said that an appropriate testing and tracking system that is accessible and provides timely results, as well as a coherent, fast, and consistent approach to local outbreaks were the two most common. important.

They also pointed to the need for clearer public information and more visible reporting on rules and guidelines, including those who mingle with others from outside their households.

As the “sixth rule” goes into effect Monday, the BMA said this is an opportunity for the government to end ambiguity and ensure people adhere to infection control measures.

Dr. Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said, “These results come from thousands of primary care and hospital physicians and reveal the fears of primary care physicians – fears that come from their daily experiences of treating patients with Covid and seeing them for the first time. the virus spread at an alarming rate as the government delayed efforts to overcome it.

“As a profession, we especially want to avoid returning to the scenes we saw in April, when hospitals were full of Covid-19 patients and hundreds died every day.

“Meanwhile, thousands of others missed essential appointments and procedures because routine care was delayed.”

He said that while the forecast in this study may be bleak, it is not inevitable if the government takes “decisive, robust and timely action to stop the spread of the infection.”

Dr. Nagpaul added, “In recent weeks and months, we have seen the failures of testing and tracing and continued confusing messages to the public about what they can and cannot do that have led to an escalation of the spread of the virus – this one. are both emphasized. by doctors as the top priorities for doing right if we are to have the chance to avoid a second spike this winter. “

He said Monday’s new measures could be an attempt to simplify the message and increase enforcement, but said “it is clear that fundamental other issues need to be urgently addressed”.

Dr. Nagpaul said, “This includes sorting out the test and trace debacle once and for all.

“It is unacceptable that people and contacts with the infection are not identified because of flaws in the system – causing the infection to spread blindly.

“With daily cases still shockingly high and winter just around the corner, we are at a crucial crossroads in the fight against this deadly virus.

“Every effort must be made to avoid a repeat of the horror and tragedy we all experienced earlier this year.”