Department is ready “if” there is a second wave of coronavirus.
As we pick up the pieces from the first wave of Covid 19, we cannot help but think about what could happen if there is a second wave of Coronavirus writes Kevin McAteer.
Over recent weeks lockdown restrictions have been relaxed as the public are able to enjoy trips to the pub and restaurants, go shopping and visit their families.
However with reports of social distancing guidelines being ignored and clusters of Covid 19 popping up across Northern Ireland, is the Department of Health ready for a potential second wave?
In the UK at 17 August, the total number of deaths atributed to Covid-19 stands at 41,358 with 316,371 people confirmed as positive after testing
In Northern Ireland, there has at the 7 August, been 859 deaths, due to Covid-19.
Globally, according to the World Health Organisation, there are 21,516,760 million cases of Covid-19.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: “Given that a second wave could potentially coincide with colder weather and winter pressures, it is important that there are comprehensive surge plans in place for critical care, hospital beds and care homes.
“This will includ the development of a Nightingale facility to help lift pressures from the system.
“While plans for the initial surge were carried out at a time when there was limited data available, there has been much learning drawn from the first wave and the modelling group established by the Chief Medical Officer has made it possible to track and monitor the trajectory of the pandemic much more effectively.
“This means that the Health Minister and the Executive can take early action to contain the virus should this become necessary.”
Covid 19 had a detrimental impact on society as a whole and the economy resulting in a Covid-19 recession with various Departments preparing for a second wave.
The first wave of Covid was faced with issues such as a lack of PPE and staffing problems and the Department of Health are preparing to ensure that these issues do not happen again.
Regional Surge Network Planned
“The Department is currently developing a regional surge framework, which will provide a high level overview of learning from the first wave and the regional approaches taken across key areas.
“This covers areas such as elective care, orthopaedic services and care homes, to ensure HSC is prepared for future surges.
“This will provide a strategic framework for individual Trusts to continue development of their ongoing individual surge planning.
“The Department recognises the impact on staff resilience of the first wave, a fact that was highlighted in the Rebuilding HSC Services Strategic Framework.
“Staff will continue to be supported as they deliver essential health and social care services.”
“The protection of our frontline health and safety staff is an absolute priority and we are working extremely hard to build up our PPE supplies to meet the anticipated demand.
“A regional health resource model has been developed to predict projected demand for PPE as we begin to rebuild services and prepare for a potential second surge.
“As new information and evidence becomes available, the model is updated accordingly to reflect the latest known position.”
“Every feasible route locally and indeed internationally is being pursued to ensure we have the appropriate PPE available.”
The Department of Health says it is ready for a second wave.
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