U.K. Must Prepare for Second Wave of Pandemic, Doctors Warn

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Health leaders are calling on the U.K. government to prepare for a possible second wave of the coronavirus, just as Prime Minister Boris Johnson relaxes the country’s lockdown measures.

In a letter published in the British Medical Journal, doctors including the presidents of the Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Physicians warned that local flare-ups are likely and a second wave is a real risk. Preparing for that possibility is now urgent, as is a review of national preparedness, they said.

“The review should not be about looking back or attributing blame,” the letter said. “It should be a rapid and forward-looking assessment of national preparedness.”

Johnson’s government has come under increasing criticism for acting too late to control the spread of the pandemic, with Britain now suffering the highest death toll from the virus in Europe.

The medics recommend a non-partisan approach to produce recommendations. Here are the areas they say need attention:

  • The resilience of the NHS
  • Shielding of vulnerable individuals and communities
  • The disproportionate burden of the virus on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals and communities
  • Collaboration with other countries, and mitigating difficulties in managing the pandemic caused by Brexit

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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