THIS is not the time to be complacent around lockdown easing, as doctors in North West fear second peak.

As the lockdown across the North West eases, we cannot forget that the infection rate in communities across the UK remains worryingly high.

The risk surrounding this highly infectious illness remains significant and if there is further spread thousands more families could lose loved ones before their time.

In a recent BMA survey, doctors in North West revealed fears around a second peak of Covid-19 that has the potential to overwhelm the health service.

48% of doctors in the region expressed that they were not confident in their ability to manage a second influx of Covid19 cases.

We understand the lockdown in itself has had an impact on people’s health and wellbeing.

But it remains vital that easing it must be done gradually and sensibly.

The Government must take every measure possible to support the public and employers in stopping the spread of the virus, whether that’s in outdoor places, re-uniting with friends and loved ones, or returning to work.

To prevent a second peak and avoid more loss of life in the North West, the BMA is calling on the Government to establish a widescale, accurate and systematic approach to test and trace and support the public in adhering to social distancing and infection control measures as restrictions are relaxed.

Frontline staff have worked tirelessly during this pandemic to care for patients and save as many people as possible, often putting this before their own safety, wellbeing and health.

To risk a second pandemic as a result of complacency could serve to undermine the incredible efforts they have already gone to throughout this pandemic.

Dr Tom Kane, BMA North West Chair