Doctors say the government needs to provide more information quickly to local authorities to help them deal with the Kovid-19 spike in their local area.
The British Medical Association’s comments follow criticism about how long it took Leicester officials to get the test information.
The city experienced its first local lockdown since the outbreak of the coronavirus case.
The government stressed that it is working closely with local partners.
However, the BMA, a union representing doctors in the UK, said ministers needed to be more open and transparent about Kovid-19 information and how to manage regional spikes in future infections.
The BMA said its members expressed concern about the possibility of a second wave of the virus, “further heightened by local concerns”.
Dr Chanda Nagpal, chairman of the BMA Council, said providing up-to-date information to local leaders was “vital” in protecting against outbreaks, especially since the contact tracking app has not yet been launched.
“The Prime Minister has spoken of the ‘sesame skin’ strategy to deal with local outbreaks, but if the people are public health teams or local leaders – they are not given the most accurate, there will be no benefit if they respond to this land.” “He said.
Leicester’s seven-day infection rate was 135 cases per 100,000 people – three times the next highest in the city – but it took 11 days to decide whether to extend the lockdown, said the city’s mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby.
The lockdown is set to resume in England as well as the re-opening of bars, restaurants and hair salons on Saturday, but the BMA says the government wants to set metric “trigger points” for when it will take steps to rebuild local and national restrictions. .
The BMA says the metric should not only take into account regional breeding numbers or rates – the number of infected people, the average number of people who will be infected with the virus – but also the proportion of the population currently infected.
It also called on the government to:
- Share “timely, comprehensive and reliable information” with everyone involved in new case management at the local level
- Give people “clear, consistent direction” that strict social distance and infection control measures must be adhered to, including the use of public face masks in public places where social distance is not possible.
- Guarantees adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) in areas affected by localized spikes of infection rate and enables local healthcare providers to decide how or when to recover in case of a new wave.
An official spokesman said they were working closely with local partners, providing the resources and tools needed to take swift action to tackle any new local spikes in the infection.
This goes from the most surprising aspect of the current approach.
Local authorities have not been given regular information about their residents who have been positively tested.
Although they are internally involved in the system as the local arm of the communications service, the councils only deem the national system appropriate to what they are receiving.
They have been told to pursue so-called complex cases – where people test positive in care homes, prisons or schools – so they get that information quickly.
However, they were not given real-time information about individual residents for the positive test.
Local public health managers say this has hampered the ability to find developing patterns and clusters. Theoretically, the national system should do it, but why not have a second pair of eyes? Especially one that knows the local situation better?
This is beginning to change – data sharing agreements have been signed with local authorities and Public Health England has now developed a system that should do this in a comprehensive and speedy manner from now on.
But in reality this has not already happened, and those who have had experience on Leicester soil – where the lawsuit has been going on for several weeks – suggest that local outbreaks in the community have not yet been identified as quickly.
Asked if the response from Leicester was minimal, business editor Alok Sharma told the BBC this morning: “Local authorities have access to a digital dashboard with local information.”
He said: “The other side of it is the test and trace system and it has been running since June 1 and has been running 11,133,000 people who have been in close contact with the infected person, so the system is working and I think it’s definitely because Is working so that we can enable local lockdowns.
Labor MP Yvette Cooper tweeted that health authorities in Westfield, West Yorkshire, where she has constituencies in Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, were trying to retain local information on the results of a wide public swab test but were unable to do so.
He said: “In [a] Public health crisis, [the] The most important thing is to know where the infection is. Worrying and understandable that preliminary information was not provided. “
Scientists like Dr Bharat Pankhiya, a senior clinical lecturer at the University of Exeter, have warned of local outbreaks in other parts of the country in the next few months.
He told the BBC that such outbreaks were “inevitable” and that testing and communication should be led by local experts.
Unnecessary shops have been forced to close in Leicester as part of a local lockdown announced on Monday evening, and schools have been closed except for “critical worker” children. People are advised not to travel in or out of the city.
The measures will run until at least July 18 and will apply in the city center and several suburbs
- Leicester’s new lockdown rules at a glance
Sir Peter criticized the government and the PHE for being too slow to share testing data with city officials.
He said city officials had been trying to get statistics from the government “for weeks”.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Leicester “had 10% of all positive cases in the country last week”.
Bradford, Barnsley and Rochdale all saw 45 or more incidents out of 100,000 people last week.
The government, since May, has said it will use local lockdowns to deal with “early ups”.
The Department of Health reported as of 17:00 on Monday that 43,730 people had died of coronavirus in the UK, an increase of 155 from the previous day.
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