The NHS Confederation called for ‘mitigating actions’ to stop the spread of Covid such as not meeting people indoors and wearing masks in crowded spaces
Image: Victoria Jones/PA Wire)
Covid measures should be reintroduced in the UK to slow down the spread of the virus, health chiefs have warned.
The NHS Confederation has accused the Government of ‘abandoning any interest in Covid whatsoever’ and says hospitals are set to deal with a ‘brutal Easter as bad as any winter’.
Last week Covid cases hit the highest since February 2021 at 20,331 infections.
That is despite official tallies having plunged because of No10’s decision to axe the £2billion-a-month mass-swabbing regime.
The so-called coronavirus dashboard shows cases (and tests performed) decreasing however hospitalisations and deaths are still rising though both statistics usually lag behind infections.
It is estimated a record one in 13 people have coronavirus in England.
The NHS Confederation, which acts as a representative for hospitals and ambulance trusts, called for ‘mitigating actions’ such as not meeting people indoors and wearing masks in crowded spaces.
This would help prevent the spread of the virus, the health and wellbeing organisation told The Times.
It also said the Government needs to introduce a ‘public information campaign’ in England to ask people to stay away from A&E unless they have an emergency.
Already overcrowded A&E rooms are suffering from staff shortages as three per cent of staff in the NHS have coronavirus.
Confederation boss Matthew Taylor said: “NHS leaders report a clear disconnect between the Government’s Living with Covid plan and the realities at the NHS front line.
“We have a Government that seems to want to wash its hands of responsibility for what is occurring in plain sight up and down the country.
“No 10 has seemingly abandoned any interest in Covid whatsoever.”
Last week Boris Johnson, speaking to GB News, admitted he ‘can’t rule out’ plunging the UK into a Covid lockdown again in the future, despite only just releasing the nation from two years of crippling on-off restrictions.
But the PM has now said it would be ‘irresponsible’ for the Government not to keep a blanket shutdown in its virus-fighting playbook. He added: ‘I’m not going to take any options off the table.’
Mr Johnson added: “I want to avoid any such thing ever happening again.”
On Friday 1,475 deaths were recorded as having happened within 28 days of a positive Covid test.