Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is demanding that the British government prepares to make face masks compulsory on public transport again… or face a winter Covid wave.
His think tank the Tony Blair nstitute for Global Change appear to be concerned that another wave could put added pressure on an already stretched NHS.
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The institute said “the strategic implementation of mask mandates should be considered for this autumn and winter” on public transport and also suggested masks should be brought back for indoor events if a new variant emerges.
They have also called for a booster vaccine to be offered to every British adult over the autumn as part of its plan to avoid a meltdown of the NHS.
Yahoo News reports: A paper published by the think tank headed by Mr Blair has also called for the Covid booster vaccination campaign to be expanded to include all adults.
Current guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) says that over-50s, the clinically vulnerable and front line health and social care workers can get a booster, with all expected to get an upgraded, omicron-specific jab.
‘Winter will bring a perfect storm’
But the institute said this should be enhanced to cover all over-18s to alleviate pressure on the NHS, with experts predicting a bad year for all respiratory viruses, including flu and Covid.
“This winter will bring a perfect storm, resulting in unprecedented demand and reduced capacity, which will combine to create the worst winter crisis in the NHS’s history,” the report warns.
It also claims that if demand for health services grows because of increasing flu and Covid infections this winter “lives will be lost”.
Health officials have sounded the alarm for several weeks, warning that a viral triple threat – monkeypox, flu and Covid – could prove testing for the health service.
“The Government must do whatever it takes to support the NHS through this period and act immediately to avert an unmitigated disaster,” the report says.
“Failure to do so will result in the breakdown of the NHS as we know it, with a collapse in vital services and a rise in adverse outcomes for patients.”
Australia and other Southern Hemisphere nations in which it is currently winter are battling an unusually bad flu season, with forecasts showing it could be a similar story over the northern winter.
The Government has widened its flu jab rollout to all over-50s and will be starting it earlier than normal. It will run parallel to the Covid booster rollout.
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