Covid on the increase in Cambridgeshire
Covid on the increase in Cambridgeshire

As Covid case rates continue to soar in Cambridgeshire, Gareth Wright, SE Cambs Health Spokesperson sets out his top three priorities for turning the tide

A plane crash everyday. That’s the equivalent of where we are now with Covid deaths in the UK.

If there is a plane crash there is immediate action taken to learn, to improve safety and to do our utmost to stop more crashes from happening.

Last week, the Conservative Government’s failure to do more to stop Covid spreading early in the pandemic was condemned as one of the country’s worst public health disasters. Yet, the Government is unwilling to learn. They were late to take preventative measures meaning restrictions were harsher and lasted longer. And many died who might otherwise have lived.

True, the UK made a great start with vaccinations but our programme is stalling. France, Spain and Italy all now have a higher percentage fully vaccinated.

I am a health professional. I want to see people fit and healthy. Right now, 1 in 5 of our intensive care beds locally are occupied by Covid patients.

As Dr Jenny Harries (Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency) said today: small changes applied across the whole population, such as mask-wearing, could turn the tide if allied to a strong vaccine uptake.

We need positive action, not more dither and delay leading to yet more deaths and the potential for more severe measures at a later stage.

1. Vaccinate 12-16 year olds

There’s a huge case rate in secondary school pupils and we’re also seeing a knock-on as their parents catch Covid too.

Our youngsters were promised the opportunity of a jab before half-term, The Government has let them down. We need to make it easier and simpler and let’s get creative – how about a jab on the way to see the new Dune film (certificate 12A)?

2. Put some oomph into the vaccination programme.

Mixed-messaging by the Government means that people feel that the threat has gone away. There’s much less urgency about getting a jab or a booster now which is why take-up has fallen.

Again, we could be imaginative – such as in New Zealand where they held a ‘Vaxathon’. One ‘Super Saturday’ with record numbers of people turning up for vaccination.

3. Bring in mitigations now.

Honestly wearing a mask isn’t a big deal. I do it all day, every day at work. It protects me and it protects my patients. We need mask wearing where people are close together. We need better ventilation and air filtering in our schools. And we need to pay attention to social distancing.

As the saying has it: let’s do it!



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