'The Westminster Government said it would enact ‘Plan B’ to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed; as doctors working on the frontline, we can categorically say that time is now.'
The chair of the British Medical Association has slammed the government for being ‘wilfully negligent’ for refusing to take any further action to stop the rise of Covid infections.
The scathing comments by Dr Chaand Nagpaul came after health secretary Sajid Javid’s press conference yesterday, where he refused to trigger England’s plan B for the pandemic, despite warning that cases could hit 100,000 a day.
The government’s plan B measures would include mandatory face masks and working from home. Javid did however warn that more restrictions could come in place if not enough eligible people get booster jabs and if people don’t wear masks in crowded places.
He added: “It would of course make it more likely we’re going to have more restrictions.”
Dr Nagpaul said: “The Westminster Government said it would enact ‘Plan B’ to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed; as doctors working on the frontline, we can categorically say that time is now.
“By the Health Secretary’s own admission, we could soon see 100,000 cases a day and we now have the same number of weekly Covid deaths as we had during March, when the country was in lockdown.
“It is therefore incredibly concerning that he is not willing to take immediate action to save lives and to protect the NHS.”
Dr Nagpaul said the government has “taken its foot off the brake, giving the impression that the pandemic is behind us and that life has returned to normal”.
He added: “It is wilfully negligent of the Westminster Government not to be taking any further action to reduce the spread of infection, such as mandatory mask wearing, physical distancing and ventilation requirements in high-risk settings, particularly indoor crowded spaces.
“These are measures that are the norm in many other nations.”
Javid insisted at yesterday’s press conference that the UK was seeing “greater pressure” on the NHS but the Government will “do what it takes to make sure that this pressure doesn’t become unsustainable, and that we don’t allow the NHS to become overwhelmed”.
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward
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