Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Coronavirus and Conflicting Advice



I know it's not easy to develop a successful strategy for combatting the Coronavirus pandemic because political leaders and medical experts are dealing with a complex, fast-changing problem which no one has faced before. 

But having said that, both the Scottish and UK governments  have issued confusing and, at times, conflicting advice on a wide range of issues including:
  • What level of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required in different care settings?
  • Should all care staff be wearing masks?
  • Which schools are still open for vulnerable children and the children of key workers?
  • Is developing 'herd immunity' still policy despite lockdown and social distancing measures?
  • Is the aim still to slow down the spread of the virus - or is the policy now to kill off the virus? 
  • China claims to have had no new cases - is this claim credible and has China succeed in killing off the virus?
  • The elderly and people with underlying health conditions are most vulnerable, yet healthy young people are dying - are we any closer to understanding why?
  • Some experts says mass testing is essential to get on top of the virus while others say it's a side issue - how does this crucial issue get resolved?
The Scottish Government recently changed its position on PPE and who should be wearing protective masks.

Home carers and residential care staff are now being advised to use masks, but there appears to be a shortage of this vital equipment - even though the Scottish Government has taken over responsibility for the acquisition and distribution of PPE to council, private and voluntary care providers.

Earlier in the pandemic schools were going to remain open because the risk to young children was reported as being very small, yet this advice was turned on its head in a matter of days.

So which schools are now open for 'key workers' and vulnerable children, how is this service organised and how is the safety of all school staff being managed?

What's not clear is whether public health policy is still to allow the virus to spread through the population, albeit on a manageable basis to prevent health services from becoming overwhelmed. 

Or has policy changed to killing off the virus by preventing its spread, as China claims to have done through very tough lockdown and social distancing measures.