What has become increasingly clear is our Government’s has to date not been moving quickly enough or decisively enough.
Urgent action now needs to be taken to save as many lives as possible, protect our NHS workers and stop the spread of the disease.
1. Clearer guidance on staying home
First, we need to introduce much clearer and stringent measures to ensure everyone that can – which is the vast majority of the population – stay at home. Only vital shops should remain open such as supermarkets and pharmacies, with only very few exceptions. People need to be advised to stay home wherever possible, avoid public transport completely and exercise at home. Dog walking and walks and runs in family groups that live together can be permitted if a safe distance is kept from others. These are the measures taken by many other countries.
2. Providing (PPE) protective equipment for our frontline NHS staff
Second, we need to contain the virus. Our NHS staff need full personal protective equipment, and we should learn the lessons from countries dealing with the virus and those that have contained it. We also need PPE for all those work8ng in contact with the public. We need full transparency as to what the gaps in our supplies are and what measures are being taken to fill those gaps.
3. Testing, tracing and data
Third, testing for COVID-19 is rolled out and tracing and testing of contacts that have come into contact with the virus is implemented comprehensively. We also need real time data on cases, hospital admissions, and fatalities for COVID-19 as well as other respiratory infections and overall figures. We need to ensure we have the best data available so we can fight the disease. Testing a small sample only puts more people at risk and would also prolong the time we need in some level of lockdown.
Parliament be conducted virtually until this crisis has abated. Our country has the technologists, innovators and creativity to make this work.
Everyone will work with the Govt to meet these challenges. This isn’t about recrimination. It’s about facing those challenges head on together. But we need Government to act clearly and decisively with the clear goal of saving as many lives as possible.