The Leader Times Series May 1st 2020

For the first time in weeks, the nation has been able to enjoy some relatively good news and contemplate things beginning to get better rather than worse.

As those following the daily briefings and statistical updates will know, it looks like we are past the peak of the first ‘wave’ of the virus. The number of people is critical care with Covid-19 is falling and fewer people are testing positive for the virus, despite the huge increase in the amount of testing taking place.

We’ve been able to celebrate the incredible fundraising efforts of Keighley’s Captain Tom Moore who has raised millions for the NHS ahead of his 100th birthday. Captain Tom has offered such inspiration through this difficult time, especially to others fundraising for good causes.

It was also great news when the Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned to work. He and his fiancé Carrie are also celebrating the birth of their son – remarkable given that he was in intensive care only days ago.

Crucially, the daily number of those known to have died from the disease continues to fall. Yet, every day, hundreds of people still continue to fall victim to this deadly disease, each a tragic loss for families up and down the country. We cannot rest easy until that is no longer the case and must stay vigilant to prevent the virus coming back harder.

Despite progress, huge challenges do remain. The global shortage of personal protective equipment continues to put front-line care workers at risk across the world and in our own country, especially in care homes. Over a billion PPE items have been distributed and a massive effort to build up domestic manufacturing capacity is underway, but we remain reliant on huge imports from around the world.

Meanwhile, despite 1.3 million British travellers having returned, with charter flights filling in where commercial options have dried up, around 50,000 people are still stuck overseas, needing help to get home.

Overall, we can be satisfied that the extraordinary measures we are all taking by staying at home are working and should enjoy good news where we can. However, there’s still much to do. We remain early on in managing the global Covid-19 pandemic. Life will remain very different for some time to come.