Plans to relax Covid restrictions at Christmas must be undone or many lives could be at risk, according to a rare editorial from two of the UK’s leading medical journals.
The British Medical Journal and Health Service Journal said the government could no longer claim to be protecting the NHS if it went ahead with “reckless” plans to allow families to socialize indoors over Christmas.
“We think the government is about to make another big mistake that will cost many lives,” she says.
He warns that if current trends continue, there will be 19,000 Covid patients in English language hospitals by New Year’s Eve – as at the height of the first wave on April 12. These numbers do not affect the impact of Christmas mixing between families and the freedom to travel to see the family.
The editorial says the additional burden for Covid-19 patients is likely 40 times higher than it was at the start of the second wave.
The editorial warned that “the new year will likely see the NHS funds face a stark choice: to be overwhelmed or to stop most optional and non-urgent business.” “Instead of lifting restrictions on Christmas as currently planned, the UK should follow more cautious examples such as Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.”
The shift from journals, which cover both physicians, politics, and administration across the health service, will increase pressure on the government to rethink plans to allow three families to mix from December 23-27.
The joint editorial, the second joint attempt in the history of the 100-year headlines, said it was time to rethink Christmas restrictions in light of the current rate of infection.
“When the government put in place the current plans to allow household mixing over Christmas, it assumed that the demand for Covid-19 on the NHS would decrease. But it is not, and rather, it is rising, and the emergence of a new strain of the virus has led to more potential danger,” the editorial says .
“The government has been very slow to impose restrictions in the spring and again in the fall. His hasty decision to allow domestic mixing should now reflect and instead extend levels over the five-day Christmas period in order to lower numbers in a potential third wave advance. It should also review and strengthen the stratum structure, which failed to suppress infection rates and hospitalization. “
The NHS trusts regional health systems most under pressure that are already having to cancel nearly all elective and non-urgent care due to the virus returning, the editorial says. “Even if the NHS in England succeeds in vaccinating all” at risk “by Easter, it will not be in time to prevent hospitalization and death for many over the next few months.”
BMJ and HSJ are also criticizing the NHS Track and Trace and the government’s plan for mass testing with side-flow tests. The tracing service “, which has almost nothing to do with the NHS, continues to waste money on failing. So does group testing for asymptomatic people who use lateral flow tests that don’t fit the purpose,” the editorial says.