Good Morning Britain was bringing the latest advice and news about the coronavirus pandemic from experts across the country. Earlier today, hosts Piers Morgan and Charlotte Hawkins were joined by, Dr Saumya Jha an NHS General Practitioner, Professor Sarah Gilbert, a Vaccinologist from Oxford University and Doctor Saleyha Ashan an Accident and Emergency doctor all on a three-way live video call to discuss vaccine trials, working on the frontline and personal protective equipment for NHS staff. When the conversation turned to the ‘clap for our carers’ event which took place last Thursday, one of the doctors was quick to slam the method of support as thousands still flouted governmental advice over the weekend.
Dr Jha, who has just recovered from coronavirus and is going back to work, without being tested was asked her view on the government’s preparation for this pandemic.
She told GMB viewers: “I think you can’t plan for a pandemic, we never expect it and the government are trying incredibly hard, but we need PPE (personal protective equipment).
“The way I’ll feel safe is having appropriated PPE and clear protocols on how to treat patients as well as testing brought throughout so we can follow the disease and see who’s being affected – even if it’s mild we can see which one suddenly deteriorated.
“The more we know the better we feel going back on the front line,” Dr Jha added.
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As for whether or not there is going to be a vaccine anytime soon, Professor Gilbert said: “We are working as fast as we can we have a lot of procedures and stages and we need to make sure we’ve completed all of them.
“We are cutting out gaps as much as we can to get to the endpoint, but it’s really difficult to say when the vaccine is going to be available.
“It has to be tested and proved to work to stop people getting ill, it will be affected by the amount of virus spreading around the summer, when we’re looking for our results,” she added.
Discussing how every member of the public could do their bit to get the vaccine quicker, Dr Ashan told Morgan: “We have got incredible people working around the clock to create a vaccine, we need that time.
“If people are selfishly flouting governments rules and advice, you’re actually working against the NHS. There’s no point in coming out and clapping for us if you’re going to flout the rules,” she added.
Morgan replied: “I was going to mention this, it was incredibly moving I felt on Thursday when the whole country – I don’t think I’ve seen a moment of national unity like that in my lifetime, it was just an extraordinary thing to be part of, to witness.
“Very very moving, but in the end, clapping is fine, making you feel valued and imprint and I’m glad we did it, but it’s not going to help if you’re not properly protected and it’s not going to help patients if they don’t have a ventilator when they need one.”
“I haven’t been on shift for a few weeks – I’ve been off – but I’m due back in a weeks time and i that time, we’re looking to prepare the hospital.
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“We [in Bangor] are a couple of weeks behind London and the issue with PPE I think is unforgivable, there is no excuse for this,” Dr Ashan remarked.
Going back to a vaccine, Morgan said there “seems to be a lack of concerted global effort” but Professor Gilbert argued: “There is a lot of coordination and collaboration, we are being encouraged to work together”.
“We don’t know if all the vaccines will work – some will, some won’t. But the more we find out advances the whole field.”
More to follow…
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Good Morning Britain airs weekday mornings at 6am on ITV.
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