LONDON — The U.K. government said today it is prepared to revamp policies on hospital admissions and emergency-service response if widespread exposure to the coronavirus comes inevitable.
The potential measures are included in the governments action ban for tackling the outbreak. If the country reaches the “mitigation phase,” with staff in the National Health Service contracting the virus and seriously ill patients requiring hospital admission, “non-urgent care may be delayed to prioritize and triage service delivery,” the plan says.
Health professionals who have left the health service or are retired may be called back to duty. There will also be plans to support early discharge of the relatively healthy from hospital.
The government warned that up to one fifth of employees may be absent from work during peak weeks.
The plan has four phases: contain, delay, research and mitigate. The current emphasis is on the contain and research elements, but planning for delay and mitigation are also underway.
In the mitigation phase, the police, for example, would “concentrate on responding to serious crimes and maintaining public order.”
The U.K. may also need to start using existing stockpiles of important medicines, medical devices and clinical consumables. The government is monitoring those stockpiles, with additional stock being ordered “where necessary.”
More immediately, if the coronavirus spreads in the U.K., the government will consider actions such as population-distancing strategies, which could include closing schools; encouraging telecommuting; and reducing the number of large-scale gatherings.
The action plan was agreed by the governments emergency COBRA committee on Monday, following a sharp rise inRead More – Source