Covid: Protective measures must be eased gradually
Ahead of Friday’s three-week review of protective Covid measures in Wales, Nesta Lloyd-Jones, assistant director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, said:
“In light of the upcoming three-week review of Covid regulations in Wales, we urge the Welsh Government to continue taking a cautious, evidence-based approach to exiting the pandemic.
“There’s no doubt we need to learn to live with Covid, but we must also understand the implications on the NHS and social care if Covid is to be given free rein in our communities.
“Scientists and clinicians have raised concerns around removing all protective measures at once - amongst other things, this comes with the risk of a surge in cases and therefore the potential for a new variant to emerge. At this stage in the pandemic, this is a risk none of us want to take.
“Being able to monitor the virus as we move from pandemic to endemic is essential, especially if the need arises for a future rapid response. At a minimum, free testing should remain in health and social care settings to ensure minimum damage is done and patients feel safe in these environments.
“A recent poll from YouGov found only one in four people would be willing to pay for a Covid test and one in six people in England would not isolate if they were confirmed to have the virus, after the legal requirement to do so was dropped last week. This will undoubtedly affect the poorest and most vulnerable in our society the most.
“A gradual, balanced approach to easing protective measures is welcomed.”