Manchester’s top health chiefs have come together with personal messages of solidarity to the people of Manchester for their help with Covid test and trace work. As lockdown gradually lifts further, it is now even more important that people who think they may have coronavirus stay at home and book themselves a test as soon as possible. It’s also vital that anyone who gets a call from the NHS Test and Trace team – to say that they have been near a person who has tested positive – follows the rules around self-isolating for two weeks.
And, while the thought of another two weeks could be a daunting prospect, the city’s chiefs want to give their own personal thoughts on why it’s critical.
David Regan, Manchester’s Director of Public Health, said: “We’ve come so far already that sometimes we can lose sight of what we have already achieved working together. No-one wants to see those images again that we all remember from Italy, for example.
“If I’m identified at any point as a contact who needs to self-isolate I will do it, thinking of my colleagues who I value enormously, my family, friends and the people of this city who make me feel proud and thankful every day, especially after what we have all been through in recent months.”
Sarah Doran, Consultant in Public Health, leading on Manchester’s response to Coronavirus and contact tracing, said: “I have friends and colleagues who have lost loved ones to Covid-19, and I’ve wept for them all. And that’s because I’m not just a consultant in public health. I’m a mother, wife, daughter, friend and colleague. My Mum is over 70 and has asthma and breathing problems. I also have friends and colleagues with black, Asian and other minority group heritage who are more at risk of the disease.
“I would self-isolate if I was a contact, not just for the people I love, but for the people others love too.” You can see Sarah’s film here.
Dr Manisha Kumar, Medical Director at Manchester Health and Care Commissioning (a partnership between Manchester City Council and NHS Manchester CCG), said: “I’d do it because it’s the right thing to do to protect us all – and because I want young people like my daughter to be able to go back to school properly in September. I feel for young people who are missing out on all the things we did at that age. I remember the magic and the thrill of being a student in the city when I was 18 – and I’d like others to experience that too. We’ve got to get this right so we can get people back to all those opportunities.
“I’d also love to see my family again. On father’s day I sent my Dad a photo of him to put with his screen – because I often only see the top of his head on video calls!”
Dr Sohail Munshi, Manchester GP and Chief Medical Officer at Manchester Local Care Organisation, said: “Manchester is a great city that I love working in and we’ve worked hard to make sure that your health services are open and safe to use if you need them. If we follow these steps, we can reduce transmission even further until the virus prevalence becomes so low that we can lift some more of the precautions we are taking and get our city back towards normal even quicker.
“I speak to a lot of patients each day and a lot of people are still very worried. Please remember that some people are more at risk than others and we still need to be kind and look after each other where we can.”