Really good piece by Dr. Andrew Manning, president of Medical Association of Jamaica:
For me, the main messages are the following:
The implications of community spread “we are now seeing a significant increase in the numbers of cases. Sadly, we are also seeing an increase in the numbers of deaths. If we do not ‘flatten the curve’, persons will get ill at an increasingly accelerating and alarming rate.
Fortunately, the vast majority (over 90 per cent) will contract a mild form of the virus. Persons with a mild form can still, however, spread it. In fact, one person with the virus will typically spread it to two to three other individuals.
If we continue to see 200-plus persons a day getting the disease, we can conservatively expect that 10 persons a day will require hospital admission (remember that this is a conservative estimate). In terms of bed capacity to deal with COVID-19, we are already close to our maximum capacity.
Physical and mental strain on the healthcare workers, particularly those on the front line: “members of the public need to remember that the healthcare workers have feelings, too.”
“We are currently facing significant challenges in acquiring personal protective equipment (PPE), for healthcare workers and other workers on the front line. Community spread exacerbates this challenge. More healthcare workers will get COVID 19 and will have to be placed in isolation. This will lead to fewer persons being available to care for our patients. These challenges will all become worse.”
“In the face of community spread, efforts need to be stepped up. We cannot simply accept the arrival of community spread as a signal to return to business as usual. We cannot shift the narrative of COVID-19 from the identification of cases early on to looking at the number of hospital admissions as the metric to monitor. Such a move may very well result in disaster. We must still aim to identify cases early on and must fight tooth and nail, even in this phase, to slow the spread, to flatten the curve.”