Every one of us can be a life-saver just by following the medical advice – The Sun
COUNTRIES around the world are facing the greatest health emergency since Spanish flu swept the globe in the wake of World War One.
It killed millions more than all those who perished in the fighting.
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Now, thankfully, unlike 1918, we have a better understanding of how to halt the spread of viruses. And we have a National Health Service to look after those who need care.
A mobilisation never before seen in peacetime is under way across our health service and beyond. In the NHS our dedicated staff are pulling out all the stops to treat the patients we have and prepare for the surge we know is coming.
We are now looking after more than 13,000 patients in hospital with confirmed coronavirus — a staggering increase compared with just a few weeks ago.
That is more coronavirus patients than the number of hospitalised heart attack, stroke and cancer patients combined.
And in a matter of weeks hospitals have managed to free up a further 33,000 beds, a third of all those normally available, for future patients with coronavirus.
Of course, most patients the health service is continuing to look after have some condition other than coronavirus.
And it is important that other patients still come forward for the urgent and emergency care they need without delay.
Increasing our critical care capacity for those who are sickest is a top priority.
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And we are setting up new hospitals at a rate never seen before.
The new NHS Nightingale in London is the most visible example of the extraordinary effort that is under way to tackle coronavirus.
The NHS has joined forces with the military to achieve in days what normally takes years.
More such hospitals are in train across the country — in Bristol, in Yorkshire, in Birmingham and in Manchester. I hope they won’t be needed, but we’re building them in case they are.
They are an insurance policy in case the surge plans at existing hospitals are not enough.
But these new facilities and kit are nothing without the staff that make the NHS what it is today — the institution our nation rightly holds most dear.
More than 25,000 former nurses, doctors and other NHS staff have heeded the call to re-enlist for the battle against coronavirus.
And many thousands of student nurses and medical students will be putting their skills and education into practice early as part of the enormous effort that is under way to save more lives.
NHS CANNOT WIN WAR ALONE
But the NHS cannot win this war alone. Companies and the Government are now pulling together to get us the extra equipment and supplies the NHS needs. British manufacturers are retooling production lines to turn out protective kit for doctors, nurses and other staff, giving their all on the front line.
Commercial rivalries are being put aside as firms co-operate to develop new ventilators and other vital supplies.
Labs are expanding their testing capacity, so NHS staff know if they can safely get back to work.
The public are backing our staff at this time of enormous pressure.
I know how much it means to the nurses, doctors, therapists, cleaners, pharmacists, paramedics and countless others giving their all to fight coronavirus that the whole nation is behind them in this battle.
The support of Sun readers will help sustain them in the days and weeks ahead.
Give now to The Sun's NHS appeal
BRITAIN’s four million NHS staff are on the frontline in the battle against coronavirus.
But while they are helping save lives, who is there to help them?
The Sun has launched an appeal to raise £1MILLION for NHS workers.
The Who Cares Wins Appeal aims to get vital support to staff in their hour of need.
We have teamed up with NHS Charities Together in their urgent Covid-19 Appeal to ensure the money gets to exactly who needs it.
The Sun is donating £50,000 and we would like YOU to help us raise a million pounds, to help THEM.
No matter how little you can spare, please donate today here thesun.co.uk/whocareswinsappeal
So on behalf of the NHS, a thank you too to The Sun, for throwing its weight behind the Clap for Carers campaign to give NHS heroes the recognition they deserve.
But the practical actions that individuals and families take in the weeks ahead will also make all the difference.
As other countries have shown, no health service in the world could cope with the number of patients who would need treatment if between us we failed to slow the spread of coronavirus.
That is why the Government’s measures to stop people meeting and passing on the virus are so important.
Nobody is finding this easy — whether it is missing a drink with friends in the pub, Sunday lunch with the family or uncertainty over jobs and wages this epidemic has created for so many.
There are early signs this is working but this is a marathon not a sprint.
What we need to remember is that right now every single one of us can be a life-saver just by following the medical advice.
Every time you wash your hands you could keep someone off of a ventilator. Over the coming weeks, by staying at home you save lives. It’s as simple and as profound as that. This is truly a national effort.
Each and every one of us has to play our part.
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