Coronavirus: This is a very different phase – we face new challenges this time round | UK News

It might feel like we are back where we started. But this is a very different phase and that is good and, potentially, bad too.

We have learned a lot about coronavirus.

And the NHS will put that knowledge to good use as we gear up for what we are told could be a huge surge in infections leading to hospital admissions and sadly, more deaths.

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Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said there could be 200 deaths a day by November

We have more effective treatments and NHS managers are now well drilled in creating capacity. It looks like this expertise will be required. That is the positive news.

But here is what is different and possibly more challenging this time round.

It is September. The virus infection rate is doubling. If it carries on like this we are looking at some 50,000 cases by the end of October. By then we are heading into the autumn/winter flu season.

Respiratory infections will be on the rise and the NHS will be under pressure.

Add to this the operating difficulties that exist as it tries to restore services to pre-pandemic levels.

Hospitals have been trying to set up COVID-free areas to minimise the risk of infection spreading inside their buildings.

And managers must also ensure social distancing guidelines are enforced.

Add to this the NHS staff impacted by sickness in their own families.

Professor Whitty also said we do not know exactly how this virus will behave during the winter season.

He was also keen to do as much myth busting as he could.

He was emphatic when he said the virus was not getting safer, the increase in cases is not just down to more testing, and the death toll will rise significantly.

He also expressed concern about the wider impact of COVID-19.

The deaths, he said, will come not just from COVID-19 itself but from the delay in treatment for other diseases.

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This echoes the concerns voiced by the many including the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Its members say operations must never be paused again and they want to see more COVID free hospitals operating throughout another crisis.

Some have even called for the Nightingale hospitals to be converted into non COVID treatment centres.

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