While I understand the Government’s decision not to test everyone suspected of having COVID-19, I would urge the Government to ensure that first responders and NHS staff are routinely tested for the virus.
Police officers, paramedics, firefighters, doctors, nurses, HCAs, radiographers, sonographers etc. are all repeatedly being exposed to people who might have the virus.
But we cannot merely tell the aforementioned to self-isolate for seven days if they get symptoms of COVID-19 because we will very rapidly run out of Police officers, paramedics, firefighters, doctors, nurses, HCA, radiographers, sonographers etc.
This could lead to dire consequences if our emergency services and NHS become so depleted in terms of staff, that they are unable to maintain an efficient or effective service.
One of my sisters is a midwife, and she has just started to develop a cough/tickly throat.
She works in a maternity unit that was already severely overstretched before COVID-19 gripped the country. Her maternity unit is no different from the others dotted around the country.
If my sister and her colleagues have to self isolate, then who will be on-hand to deliver and look after the babies?
I have another sister who is an Emergency Care Assistant working for my local NHS Foundation Trust.
She and her colleagues are repeatedly being exposed to patients who are suspected of having the virus.
If they give CPR to someone they have to then ‘scrub up’ (with hand sanitiser before going to the next 999 call.
Two of my brothers-in-law still serve in the Police.
They have two bottles of hand sanitiser for their entire police stations respectively. And that is it. They are still responding to the fights, the disorder, the domestic incidents etc. etc.
They are not being tested.
Who will respond to the cardiac arrests, the serious RTCs, the stabbings, the burglaries, the shootings etc. if there is nobody left because the majority of them are all self-isolating?
I am confident that 99% of people WILL be able to recover from COVID-19 because that is what we are witnessing in most places around the world.
What worries me the most is that our emergency services and NHS are not being protected enough from the virus and we cannot just ‘magic’ replacements out of the air while they are self-isolating.
This country cannot afford for our doctors, nurses, specialist health care professionals, police officers, medics, firefighters and search and rescue personnel to all be self-isolating just in case they have COVID-19.
The Government must act now to ensure that when somebody calls 999 because, for example, they have been involved in a life-threatening accident/incident, then there are enough people to respond.
The health care professionals on the front line must be given more protection and must be given ready and rapid access to COVID-19 tests.
Our emergency services and NHS are, in my opinion, the best in the world.
But they will not be able to do their job unless they are given more protection.
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