Healthcare workers ‘terrified’ of the emerging second peak

The findings come after daily cases in the UK soared to more than 3,500 on Friday.

Laura Townsend
14 September 2020
Nurse wearing PPE

Healthcare workers believe a second peak is very likely in the next six months.

The second peak of COVID-19 is the number one concern among the medical profession, according to a survey by the British Medical Association (BMA).

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Around 7,000 doctors and medical students said that a second peak was likely or very likely in the next six months.

The findings come after daily cases in the UK soared to more than 3,500 on Friday. With the R number rising for the first time since March case numbers and ultimately deaths will rise further.

Doctors say the failure of the test and trace system, a lack of monitoring and adherence to infection control measures in public places, and mixed messages to the public are the key reasons for a second rise.

Sarah, a frontline nurse from London, told NursingNotes; “The thought of a second peak is terrifying – I am worried about my whole team. I saw how emotionally and physically draining it was the first time. I’m not sure they would be able to cope… We must do everything we can to avoid a second wave.”

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Hundreds dying every day.

It is believed over 600 health and social care workers in the UK have died of COVID-19.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said: “We, as a profession, want, above all, to avoid a return to the scenes we saw in April, when hospitals were full with Covid-19 patients, and hundreds were dying every day.

“Today’s new measures may attempt to simplify the message and increase enforcement, but it is clear that fundamental other issues urgently need to be tackled.

“This includes sorting out the test and trace debacle once and for all. It is unacceptable that people and contacts with the infection are not being identified due to failings in the system – which is resulting in the infection spreading blindly.

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“With daily cases still alarmingly high, and winter just around the corner, we are at a critical crossroads in the fight against this deadly virus. All efforts must be made to avoid a repeat of the horror and tragedy we all experienced earlier this year.”

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