Senior medics warn of “Covid explosion” as restrictions lift

Dr Nick Scriven, immediate past president of the Society for Acute Medicine, has warned of his concerns ahead of the lifting of Covid restrictions next week.

He said: “With lifting restrictions there is a risk of a ‘Covid explosion’, as has been seen in the Netherlands already. Numbers of infected people could be so large hospitals will really struggle even if only 10 per cent – which is a pure guess – need admitting with Covid.

“This is on top of those for whom the vaccination has worked in preventing Covid illness but are still ‘positive’ – who also require isolation.

“I think I can speak for most on the front line in saying we are really anxious about how the next month or so will play out.

“On top of the unprecedented summer pressure we are under there is the spectre of further Covid waves building up a head of steam.

“In the north we are experiencing our fourth community wave of infections with rates comparable, if not exceeding, those seen in the winter/spring wave – luckily the vaccine programme has attenuated the demand on hospitals so far.

“We are seeing poorly Covid patients who are almost entirely aged under 45 and unvaccinated.

“Some are needing intensive care treatment but not at the levels yet that were previously seen and some units are full to capacity but not yet expanded as they did before.

“This holds as well for the ‘Covid wards’ that are rapidly filling up but not to excess yet – partly due ot the fact that some of our younger patients with Covid are staying a bit less that the eldler ones did previously as they do have more ‘reserve’ to bounce back.

“We are also seeing people of all age groups admitted with supposedly non-Covid conditions who then test positive on swabbing – both those vaccinated and unvaccinated.

“This, of course, fits in with the knowledge that the vaccines do not eliminate the disease and you can still catch Covid/carry Covid and transmit Covid after a vaccine but without any symptoms.

“This is really crucial for our infection control measures in hospital and to guide public behaviour.”