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Coronavirus: UK must prepare for second virus wave says health leaders

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Health leaders are calling for an urgent review to determine whether the UK is properly prepared for the "real risk" of a second wave of coronavirus.

In an open letter published in the BMJ, ministers were warned that urgent action would be needed to prevent further loss of life.  The presidents of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons, Nursing, Physicians, and GPs all signed the letter.

It comes after Boris Johnson announced sweeping changes to England's lockdown.

Following the prime minister's announcement, health leaders called for a "rapid and forward-looking assessment" of how prepared the UK would be for a new outbreak of the virus.

"While the future shape of the pandemic in the UK is hard to predict, the available evidence indicates that local flare-ups are increasingly likely and a second wave a real risk," they wrote in the letter.

"Many elements of the infrastructure needed to contain the virus are beginning to be put in place, but substantial challenges remain."

The authors of the letter, also signed by the chair of the British Medical Association, urged ministers to set up a cross-party group with a "constructive, non-partisan, four nations approach", tasked with developing practical recommendations.

"The review should not be about looking back or attributing blame," they said, and instead should focus on "areas of weakness where action is needed urgently to prevent further loss of life and restore the economy as fully and as quickly as possible".

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Source: BBC News, 24 June 2020

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