COVID-19 Trends Impacting Healthcare in the UK
2019 was a devastating year for the world throughout. The world came across a panic when people began suffering a deadly infection named coronavirus. From causing minor sickness to severe disorders, this novel virus triggered an unknown strain. Moreover, the inadequacy of doctors in diagnosing the patients provoked an indefinite fear. The world was in immediate need of a vaccine for COVID-19, as this virus had caused millions of deaths within no time.
Coronavirus is one of the types of viruses previously found in animals. The doctors identified it in humans when inhabitants of Wuhan city suffered from pneumonia having unknown causes.
After China, the United Kingdom was the second most suffered state. UK reported cases of COVID-19 at the end of Jan 2020. In February 2020, authorities informed that the virus spread through person-to-person transmission. Eventually, on 11th March, WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
The government took immediate actions to slow down the epidemic and enforced a National Lockdown on 23rd March. It instructed the public to go out of their homes only for specific reasons. By mid-April, authorities imposed further restrictions as this epidemic laid an acute impact on healthcare systems. Fear of infection in hospitals ceased people from taking non-COVID healthcare services. The development of a vaccine for COVID was the foremost requirement, to which nine different technology platforms went operative.
Health policy and controlling COVID-19 in the UK
Policy changes in this field were fast-moving, with the renewal of restrictions after the second wave of coronavirus. The objectives were the development of an effective vaccine for COVID and to reduce the spread of the pandemic. The government response to Covid-19 outlined in terms of three phases, which were: containment, delay, and mitigation.
Containment was the initial policy that included contact tracing with education for hand washing. Later, it lifted to the “delay” phase on 12th March. It aimed to flatten the peak of the epidemic to protect the NHS. Also, it needed time for research to develop efficacious tests, vaccines, and treatments. These health policies linked to covid viral fever advised people to self-isolate for seven days if having continuous cough or high temperature.
Later on, the policy shifted to “suppression” rather than mitigation to reverse the epidemic. Earlier, schools were to remain open, and the government advised the public to maintain social distancing. Besides, it also instructed people to avoid social activities. Afterwards, when the situation got uncontrollable, the government took stringent actions. These included shutting down schools and limiting foreign travelling. Presently, the latest updates showed that the UK government has gradually lifted the restrictions as the figure of vaccinated people has increased.
Impact of Covid-19 on NHS Services
The severe impact of Covid-19 on the National Health Services (NHS) led to an increased demand for care and, mainly, for intensive care services. Patients in intensive care units put on unprecedented demands on urgent care. It, therefore, pressured the NHS to effort for the increased availability of healthcare resources to NHS hospitals. With the reorganization of hospital facilities, NHS made intensive efforts to uplift hospital capacity. Moreover, the additional staff included recently retired as well as fresh graduates.
The increasing demands and changes affected both coronavirus patients and the healthcare services provided to the inhabitants. Hospitals offered reduced resources for non-corona virus patients. Also, delaying or cancelling treatments of non-covid patients took place. This impact of COVID-19 on healthcare delivery caused people to die at home from untreated, non-COVID-19 diseases. Consequently, it led to an excess mortality rate in the UK.
How has Covid-19 affected health?
The emergence of coronavirus disease has affected both the physical and mental health of people. This contagious virus caused by SARS-CoV-2 affected people in ways ranging from mild illness to severe diseases. Similarly, covid impact on health services also provoked many physical problems. Not only this, but it produced various mental and neurological disorders.
Social distancing and lockdowns have produced a knock-on effect on the diagnosis and treatment of other infectious diseases. Lockdowns and reduced availability of healthcare services made individuals avoid seeking help for other problems. Besides, in many cases, the hospitals had to postpone treatments for other diseases due to the abrupt threat of COVID-19 overwhelming health systems.
Vaccine for Covid-19:
Several authorized brands of covid vaccines are in use for vaccinations worldwide after the approval of the WHO. In the United States, the FDA approved and authorized Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty), Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen. The coronavirus vaccines can cause mild, short-term side effects that go away within a few days on their own. These side-effects include fatigue, fever, muscle pain, headache, diarrhoea, and chills.
Here is a list of covid vaccines approved by WHO:
Pfizer/BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine
SII/Covishield and AstraZeneca/AZD1222 vaccines
Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (Mrna 1273)
Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine
Which covid vaccine is safest?
Billions of vaccinations worldwide declare that no matter which coronavirus vaccine you take, all offer life-saving protection. WHO and regulatory authorities continuously monitored vaccines to respond to any safety issue, making them safe for use. Also, each vaccine undergoes rigorous testing clinical trials before receiving validation from WHO and regulatory authorities. Due to the differences in the clinical trials, each of these is slightly different yet effective. Here is a Covid-19 vaccine comparison chart to help you decide which covid vaccine is better to use. Similarly, PHE covid vaccine effectiveness chart has shown that these vaccines reduce the death rate among people in their 50’s by 90 per cent.
UK government has lifted restrictions and removed all counties from the Travel red list. According to the latest updates, the death toll of the UK has reduced to 40 deaths per day. To date, 40,007 people tested positive with covid-19 with daily admission of 1,090 patients to the hospital.
The impact of covid-19 UK has also shaken the UK economy with short-term effects on the financial stability of business industries. However, the UK government has successfully overcome the damage and is still at work. Also, the government still advises people to stay cautious to help protect themselves and others.