David Aaronovitch presents in-depth explainers on big issues in the news.
Manage episode 262530771 series 2682912
As the death toll continues to rise across the world, doctors are keen to learn from the spread of the virus so far and particularly how it took hold in large gatherings, with huge ripple effects across wider communities. With England on the brink of easing restrictions, the patterns of infection hold important lessons that might help keep people safe. In Britain, sporting events, concerts and even funerals held weeks ago have caused local spikes and the ripple effects continue, with patients still recovering in British hospitals. Another main difficulty facing doctors is breaking down the suspicion behind a series of fake social media reports spreading in BAME communities. In some parts of the country there are claims that non-white patients will be left to die in hospital and one doctor reveals the toll that hurtful messages is having. Dr Fozia Hayat has told police about the impact of hateful messages that falsely state she has blood on her hands. In truth she and her colleagues are working with some of the patients most seriously affected by Covid-19. This series comes from the Bradford Royal Infirmary, with recordings made by Dr John Wright, who works there. He is an epidemiologist and as he helps the hospital prepare for and cope with a huge influx of patients, he is also searching for answers about Covid-19. He is receiving important clues about when the first cases might have reached the UK and about what makes some patients far more susceptible to the impact of the virus. Winifred Robinson presents Dr Wright's recordings in which we hear from frontline NHS staff and from many patients on the Covid-19 wards. Dr Fozia Hayat is particularly upset that abusive messages continued into Ramadan, a time when it is even more important to be kind and generous towards each other. Instead she and others have been told that they will be held responsible in the court of Allah - some of the malicious messages go on to state that covid does not even exist.