British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is one of Klaus Schwab’s Young Global Leaders, has vowed to reintroduce social distancing, working from home and mandatory masking to “ease pressure on the NHS.”
Per The Daily Mail:
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The NHS is facing record winter pressures due to rising rates of Covid and flu, staff shortages and too few beds, while experts fear an Omicron sub-variant will drive a surge in infections, piling even more pressure on the already-crippled health service.
Health chiefs and scientists have already advised adults and pupils to stay at home if they are unwell, don masks if they must go outside when sick and called for the booster rollout to be widened in a bid to ease NHS demand.
Now, ministers are said to be considering issuing fresh guidance to wear masks on public transport, work-from-home and socially distance if the health service “is at risk of collapse”. Hospital bosses have already warned the crisis will continue to Easter but said measures used in the darkest days of the pandemic are not yet needed.
Some experts are advising Britons to already start limiting their contacts, socially distance and not go into the office to limit the spread of winter viruses.
However, others have hit out at the response, warning against the NHS’s “annual winter crisis being used as an excuse to reintroduce Covid-era restrictions”.
Official sources have suggested that the Government could issue fresh advice for the public to wear face masks on public transport and work from home.
A “well-placed” source told the i that there is a “list of potential measures” under consideration. However, lockdowns and school closures are not among them and no advice is expected to be mandatory or legally enforceable.
They said: “Softer, less intrusive measures could soon be introduced if the NHS is at risk of collapse. While the guidance is for people who are ill to wear face masks if they leave their homes already, it may well be that the wearing of a mask could again be the guidance for all those using public transport.”
A separate Government source told the news website: “We’re not there yet, but guidance for everyone, ill or not, to wear face masks on public transport is not really going to inconvenience people. It would also make perfect sense to ask people who can work from home to do so if the NHS need us all to support them through this busy period of the year.”
Officials have also drawn up social distancing guidance which advises people to avoid crowded indoor spaces, according to the i.
Dailysceptic.org reports: Professor David Livermore, a microbiologist at the University of East Anglia (and Daily Sceptic contributor), told MailOnline that the public are currently more vulnerable to viruses due to prior Covid restrictions and it is a “period we have to pass through”.
Hiding away again will only delay our immune recovery and make it harder. There is absolutely no good reason to demand the return of masks. They have failed epically. Worse, they cause harm. They impede communication. They impede childhood learning. They create a scurf of poorly degradable street litter.
Nor is there good reason to reinstate other restrictions, such as social distancing and WFH. A large part of our present problems is that, through two years of restrictions, we lost our natural equilibrium — of repeated asymptomatic infection and re-boosted immunity — with other pathogens, such as flu, RSV and even Strep A.
However, Professor Sam Wilson, a virologist at the University of Glasgow, told the Guardian: “Where it is possible, taking voluntary steps to reduce transmission — reducing contacts, wearing high-quality masks in crowded indoor spaces, and isolating if you have symptoms — will help reduce the pressure on the NHS.”
And Dr. Stephen Griffin, an infectious disease expert at the University of Leeds, told MailOnline that he “fully endorses” limiting contacts.
I would advise people to limit contacts wherever possible, working from home if possible, and not mixing at all if feeling unwell. Naturally, not everyone can afford to due a lack of support for isolation at present. Testing is ideal if you can access them, which is more and more difficult nowadays as well. In areas that are poorly ventilated, including most public transport, a well fitted filtering mask is the best protection for you, and for others.
This is what we’re up against guys – and it’s not just for Covid anymore.
Professor Carl Heneghan and Dr. Tom Jefferson ask what happened to Theresa Coffey’s plan to increase 999 call handlers and add 7,000 extra hospital beds this winter? On December 24th, 99,097 General and Acute Beds were open, they note, which was
up from down from 99,364 beds on November 14th.
As for increasing the booster rollout to ease NHS demand, are minsters completely sure about that?
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