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Covid ‘not over yet’, warns Royal Society of Medicine


Medical society president warns against complacency as UK transitions out of pandemic

UK decision makers “must not risk becoming complacent” over Covid-19 as legal restrictions come to an end across the country, the president of the Royal Society of Medicine has warned.

In a statement on 15 March, Roger Kirby praised the “huge contribution” from healthcare workers over the past two years, “not only at the coalface but by contributing to the discussion and debate about the pandemic during crucial times”.

But he cautioned leaders against ignoring scientific advice now that societies were beginning to ease out of the crisis.

“We are not out of the pandemic yet and must not risk becoming complacent,” he said. “It is critical that leaders in medicine, science and research continue to have a strong voice in UK decision-making so that we are in the best possible position to deal with any future threats.”

Kirby’s comments are made ahead of a conference hosted by the society on 31 March, which will be attended by the government’s chief and deputy chief medical officers, Chris Whitty and Jonathan Van-Tam, alongside leading disease expert Sharon Peacock, among others.

The speakers will reflect on the pandemic two years since UK governments first introduced restrictions including lockdown.

“I have no doubt that, at some point, we will be able to look back on the pandemic and take some positive learnings from it,” Kirby continued. “We must find the means to maintain our resilience for the future. This will be ever more vital if there is another pandemic.”