NHS Given over £3 billion to Prepare for Coronavirus Second Wave

The NHS will be able to keep the specialist Nightingale hospitals open during the winter. image: Wikipedia

The UK government has set aside over £3bn (€3.3bn) of funding for the NHS in England to prepare for a possible second wave of coronavirus.

THE funding will allow the NHS to keep open the Nightingale hospitals and it will also help ease winter pressures on the health service, Downing Street said.

It follows warnings a second wave this winter could see around 120,000 Covid-19 deaths in UK hospitals. The PM is also expected to use a press conference on Friday to commit to a new target for testing capacity. Under the plans, capacity would be increased to 500,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of October.

Ministers are concerned that public fear about a renewed rise in coronavirus cases is deterring them from venturing out. The use of public transport has been much less than expected since services were increased.

Matt Hancock, the health and social care secretary, had already announced that face coverings in shops would be mandatory from July 24, citing the need to reassure shoppers. The move came after several days of mixed messaging from ministers on the issue.

Mr Johnson will also publish an additional chapter to the government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy ‘road map.’ Downing Street hopes that sending a decisive signal about NHS preparedness for winter will also help soothe public nerves.

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Tony Winterburn

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