UK chief medical officers say NHS could be overwhelmed within 21 days after recommending increase in coronavirus alert level
The UK’s four Chief Medical Officers have warned that the NHS could be overwhelmed within 21 days amid rising cases of the coronavirus.
Following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and in the light of the most recent data, they have recommended that the UK Covid-19 Alert Level should move from 4 to 5.
The news was announced in a statement co-signed by Wales’ Chief Medical Officer Dr Frank Atherton.
The recommended change in the UK Alert Level is different from the Welsh Alert Level system, which was put in place following since the publication of a traffic light system in December.
In a statement, the CMOs said: “Many parts of the health systems in the four nations are already under immense pressure.
“There are currently very high rates of community transmission, with substantial numbers of COVID patients in hospitals and in intensive care.
“Cases are rising almost everywhere, in much of the country driven by the new more transmissible variant.
“We are not confident that the NHS can handle a further sustained rise in cases and without further action there is a material risk of the NHS in several areas being overwhelmed over the next 21 days.
“Although the NHS is under immense pressure, significant changes have been made so people can still receive lifesaving treatment.
“It is absolutely critical that people still come forward for emergency care. If you require non-urgent medical attention, please contact your GP or call NHS111.”
The statement was signed by the Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton , Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, Dr Gregor Smith, Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, Dr Michael McBride and NHS England, National Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis.
Wales is already under a ‘stay at home’ Level 4 lockdown, and it has not yet been stated what the further action would entail.
The table detailing the UK COVID alert levels can be seen below:
Back in December, we pointed out to the First Minister that Technical Advisory Group documents state the importance of the simplicity of messaging.
We asked why there is a reluctance to call the restriction based “alert levels” “tiers” as used elsewhere.
At the time, Mr Drakeford said: “I don’t know if that is a particularly significant point, we called it a traffic light system earlier in the year, it is still a traffic light system but with one additional alert level, which is beyond the red level that we are in now.
“I’m not sure that the titles will make a great deal of difference on our ability to get people to understand them.” Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com