News posted 3 July, 2020

Frontline health workers urge public to continue to help stop coronavirus ahead of social distancing relaxation

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Health professionals in Greater Manchester are asking the public to take care and protect themselves and the NHS as social distancing guidelines are eased this weekend (4 July).

GPs, nurses and midwives are among the frontline staff across the city region that have come together to record video messages urging people to stay safe and to remind them that while people will be able to enjoy greater freedom from 4 July, the risk from coronavirus is still present.

These personal pleas come from those who have witnessed first-hand the impact coronavirus has had on those who’ve contracted the virus and the pressure it has placed on the NHS.

Dr David Ratcliffe, clinical lead for urgent care for Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and strategic medical advisor for North West Ambulance Service, said: “Of course, I appreciate that many people will be looking forward to this weekend and are planning trips out, it’s only natural after being cooped up for so long.

“However, please remember why we have all been living in lockdown. Coronavirus is still with us and we all have a responsibility to slow the spread of the virus. By acting sensibly and following advice you are protecting those around you, while also reducing the burden on the NHS – which means those in need can get the help they require.

“Yes, it’s been tough, and yes, it’s been hard on the NHS, but the actions taken by everyone during the pandemic have undoubtably saved lives. Remember, you still have an important role to play in this crisis and a responsibility to look after yourself.”

Also lending their voice to the call are Greater Manchester shopworkers, bar staff. people who work on public transport and members of Greater Manchester Police. They echo the sentiment that while many will welcome a relaxation in the restrictions to our lives, we must all make sure we stay safe and continue to act with caution as we begin to travel and mix more widely.

People are being advised that they must continue to take precautions to keep themselves, families and friends safe. They must still keep a safe distance and limit contact with other people, wash their hands regularly and use face covering when using public transport or in enclosed spaces.

Anyone who gets coronavirus symptoms should immediately get tested and self-isolate at home. If they test positive, they should then help the NHS trace everyone they’ve been in recent contact with. Anyone who is subsequently contacted by NHS Test and Trace and told they have been close to someone infected should also self-isolate.

The videos have been created as part of the #TogetherGM campaign, which has been running throughout the pandemic across Greater Manchester to make residents aware of the risk of coronavirus, the actions they can take to help slow the spread, and the support services available to help everyone stay safe and well.

Dougal Atkinson, Intensive Care Consultant based at Manchester Royal Infirmary, part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust said: “If you’re going to go out and support our local businesses this weekend, please remember that the Coronavirus has not gone away. Everyone can be affected and it can be fatal. Please act safely and responsibly and continue to protect our NHS and its services so that our hospitals can continue to look after you.”