Home Business News ‘NHS much more prepared than Italy’ to deal with coronavirus pandemic

‘NHS much more prepared than Italy’ to deal with coronavirus pandemic

by LLB Reporter
10th Mar 20 3:52 pm

On Tuesday the deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries told the BBC that the NHS are more prepared than Italy.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme Dr Harries said the UK has a “single command mechanism” to deal with a coronavirus epidemic or a pandemic crises.

Dr Harries said, “Italy clearly has a very good health system but I think I actually heard one of the advisers on the radio today noticing the lessons for other countries to learn.

“One of those was the fact that their health services are regionalised and it took them a little while to get the consistency.

“What the UK has in conditions like this, we have a single command and control mechanism which runs right through from government to all of our services across the countries and indeed in this situation all of the four UK nations are working consistently to get there and all the UK chief medical officers are working on a daily basis to get there.

“So it’s a very different scenario.”

NHS England has confirmed a sixth person has died in the UK in just five days after testing positive for coronavirus in Hertfordshire.

The Department of Health announced on Tuesday afternoon, that 54 more people across the UK have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total to 373.

The welcomed news comes as Dr Daniele Macchini candidly spoke of the huge pressures that health professionals are going through across Italy, which has now been classed as “protected zone.”

Coronavirus is spreading so fast doctors are making comparisons to war time triage medics who are deciding on who lives and who dies as there are limited numbers of beds in the intensive care unit.

In just over two weeks Italy has reported over 9,000 cases and 463 deaths from the deadly coronavirus.

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told the House of Commons on Tuesday that all GP appointments are to be held via video link “with immediate effect.”

The public will be able to access primary medical care through the use of phones and digital means as the British government are now adopting a “digital first” approach.

Hancock told the Commons, “We’re taking steps to improve access by making sure people can access primary care in the best possible way.”

Leading scientists have compared the UK is looking likely to be on the same trajectory and have compared the rate of coronavirus infections to that of Italy.

Scientists have said the UK could be similar to how Italy currently is within two weeks. On Monday evening the Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte, ordered 60m people to stay at home and must get permission for essential travel.

In a TV address to the Italian nation Conte said the “emergency measures” are to protect the vulnerable and elderly, he said, “there is no more time.”

University College London biology professor, Dr Francis Balloux said, “The trajectory of the epidemic in the UK is so far roughly comparable to the one in Northern Italy, but with the epidemic in Northern Italy two to three weeks ahead of the situation in the UK.”

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