Covid should lead to change of attitudes with people ‘staying home to get better’ when they have a cold – Wales’ CMO
The Covid pandemic should lead to a change of attitudes with people staying home to get better when they have a viral infection like a cold, Wales’ Chief Medical Officer has said.
Speaking to Times Radio, Sir Frank Atherton said it would make society “safer” if “anybody who has a cold, or symptoms of a cold, runny nose or cough, sneezing” isolated from society “for a few days” in future.
“Is it really appropriate for you to go on a train or a plane or a bus?” he said. “Stay home, get better.”
He added: “Looking beyond the current wave, even, we need to think about how we behave as a society when we have any of these infections.
“Whether it’s flu or the common cold, or coronavirus, we probably need to move to a position where anybody who has a viral infection of that nature self-isolates, whether they’re an adult or a child, for a few days, just to stop it transmitting. I think we would be safer as a society, and probably more economically protected as a society if we all adopted that kind of measure.”
He said that after the pandemic, governments should look at what they could do to stop the spread of viruses in the community.
“It’s easier for some of us, who can work at home, to do that. And we need to think about the remuneration arrangements for people who have to self-isolate,” he said.
“So I think beyond the pandemic, there is a huge piece of work to do in public health terms and in government terms about how we can prevent these viruses from circulating in the future.”
He also said that the Welsh Government had been more cautious in its approach to Covid than that of England but that the Welsh public had welcomed that.
“Throughout the pandemic, I would say, a feature of Welsh life has been that we’ve been more cautious,” Frank Atherton said.
“We have had tighter restrictions than some of the other nations at particular moments during the pandemic. By and large, whenever we’ve asked the Welsh public what their view of that is, they’ve welcomed the fact that we are more cautious than some of the other nations.”
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