Responding to the announcement today by the health secretary that millions more people will move into the higher Tier 4 restrictions in England, BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said:
“With daily cases soaring to over 50,000 this week, placing the NHS under enormous strain, the decision to move millions more people into tougher restrictions across the country is a necessary step.
“As we hear more reports of hospitals declaring major incidents, ICU beds reaching 100 percent capacity in parts of the country, and patients having to be transferred to other hospitals for care, it is vital that everything possible is done to bring down the spread of the virus.
“The approval of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine for use today is a significant step in the fight against this virus, but it is still months away from enough of the population being vaccinated to reduce pressure in the NHS. Until this is widely administered, these harsher restrictions are unfortunately the only way to keep us safe and ensure that more people don’t become seriously ill or die.
“Undoubtedly, these restrictions have and continue to take a huge toll on the mental health and livelihood of many people. It is vital therefore, that they are accompanied by the appropriate financial, educational, and social support that will be needed by so many to mitigate the impact as much as possible.
“The simple fact is, that if we continue at this trajectory, the health service will struggle to get patients in urgent need of care, the care they need – we must all be able to depend upon the NHS. The message now and in the coming weeks ahead must be one of utmost caution and safety as many lives will depend upon it.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union and professional association 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.
For media enquiries please email [email protected] or call 020 7383 6448.