Responding to the First Minister’s announcement of further measures to stop the spread of coronavirus, Dr David Bailey, Chair of the BMA’s Welsh Council said:
“We recognise the need to combat the rapid spread of Omicron and we fully support the First Minister’s actions to bring in more restrictions at this time.
“No one wants to introduce further measures limiting what people are able to do – particularly at this time of year - however we feel this is the best course of action to protect the public and prevent the NHS from becoming overwhelmed.
“Amid the surging case-rate, driven by the hugely transmissible Omicron variant, doctors are not only incredibly worried about the potential impact this could have on hospitalisations, but also about what it would mean for patient care across the NHS if we have vast swathes of staff off sick with the virus. We are already seeing services being affected by staff absences, and we know it could get far worse.
“The pressure on staff over the next few weeks will be immense. They are already exhausted - bearing the brunt of almost two years of unprecedented, unrelenting pressures. We are calling for FFP3 masks for all healthcare staff as standard in all hospital settings where there are Covid patients, and FFP2 masks to be available in all other settings. Staff must feel confident that they are fully protected when they are placing themselves and their families at risk to help others.
“Once again we strongly urge the public to get their booster jab as a matter of urgency and to follow the Welsh Government’s latest guidance.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.