Analysis Exclusive

Exclusive: health chiefs told to prepare for C19 wards to reopen early October for second wave – and risk to children upgraded

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

COVID wards set to re-open next month

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.

‘Herd immunity’

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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  1. Excellent article! Herd immunity remains Policy but the Govt is too scared to say it, it’s supposed to be some sort of secret between them and Dominic Cummings. Two rather crazy men rule the country and there’s no mechanism to enable objection let alone consultation. It’s busted, politically with a Duff opposition to boot.

  2. Yet once again,Vietnam has shown the way on dealing with the virus.We had a resurgence mostly confined to Da Nang but also HCM city and 1 or 2 other areas.Sadly,this time there was loss of life with around 35 people,but once again it is under control and life goes on pretty much as normal for the population,though mask wearing is very much in evidence,especially here in HCM though not in Dalat where I have just been,but there were no cases reported there.It shows how effective government action with the full support of the people is effective.What a contrast to the shambles that is England.

  3. John Thatcher….totally agree.I live on the borders with Vietnam and we have the same results Two hundred and forty cases ,one death and a unified approach to the virus.We all wear face masks,which has always been traditional amongst the population.and seen as “good manners” with coughs and colds,also we rarely shake hands,when a clasp of hands and a slight bow is traditional again.Our part of the Mekong delta is tropical much like HCM,but despite being a breeding ground for all sorts of disease the virus like Vietnam and Laos has passed us by….And its also true of Hanoi further north with a colder climate…meaning lows of 16c,instead of our mid 20s at night..Cambodia like many others have handled what could have been a disaster well.When government like in the UK try to exploit a virus,then the fact of high casualties and a complete disregard for the lives of ordinary people ,especially the working class is not surprising.I think I was lucky to be stuck in Cambodia and not the UK or France and am gradually becoming adapted to the way of life of a “Barrang” who has assimilated.

  4. Is there any evidence that can be provided to prove COVID wards being prepared to reopen in October?

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