Plans are in place for COVID-19 wards to re-open from 2 October to cope with anticipated second wave – public health chiefs say government has ignored advice on how to re-open and that the risk to children is increasing
Public health bosses around the country have prepared plans, on the instruction of the government, to cope with a ‘second wave’ of the coronavirus from early next month, according to public health sources. Cases have been rising sharply across the country as the government presses ahead with the lifting of the lockdown.
Plans are in place to re-open COVID-19 wards as early as 2 October, less than four weeks away.
Hospitality. Then hospital
The return to schools will drive up the ‘R’ rate, but public health experts say that the already-increasing number of outbreaks is also being driven by the re-opening of hospitality venues – with evidence around the world showing that a new spike appears around four weeks after pubs and restaurants re-open for indoor service – and that the Tories’ ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme was launched against expert advice.
Changed risk to children
The evidence of the impact of the virus on children has also been reassessed in light of the emergence of the COVID-related Kawasaki syndrome and international studies on the viral load and transmission among children, with experts now concluding the risk to children over the age of ten is broadly similar to the threat to adults.
Ignored advice; political decisions
The dangers of a second wave are so great that the government was advised to open schools and nothing else as a first step, but the advice was ignored in what public health specialists say could only be a political decision. Instead, the government has released lockdown across multiple fronts, throwing away the opportunity to control the spread of the virus.
But the government is doing worse, deliberately delaying a measure recommended by experts so that it can look like it’s doing something extra as the virus spikes again.
Masks held back
According to public health sources, making masks genuinely compulsory in public spaces has been held back, again for political reasons – so that the government has something additional to offer when the second wave hits.
What is not being prepared is as significant as what is. There is no intention to re-tighten lockdowns as another wave rises, in spite of claims to the contrary. The virus will be allowed to spread with minimal mitigation – and the ‘herd immunity’ plan with which the Tories entered the pandemic and which has always been pursued, with only a change of language because of public horror at the number of deaths it would cause, will continue.
The Tories secretly tripled temporary mortuary capacity in May in anticipation of an autumn second wave and have already thrown away tens of thousands of lives without even an expression of regret. The continuing preparations – and lack of them – for that second wave expose the Tories’ complete disregard for those they are supposed to protect.
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