Images of people fighting for breath on ventilators in overstretched intensive care units has spread fear that the NHS may not able to cope with other illnesses during the pandemic. Moreover, doctors fear people may are too scared to visit hospitals over worries of catching the virus.
These fears may mean people are ignoring early warning signs about other illnesses unconnected to coronavirus, such as cancers, early diabetes, and heart disease.
“One of the things that worries me at the minute is that there are a lot of people hiding, there are a lot of people hiding away not wanting to come in,” Dr Rob White told Sky news.
“What we don’t want to happen is for cancer diagnosis, for instance, to be missed or delayed unnecessarily because of that COVID fear.”
Many communities are worried about being a burden on an already over-stretched NHS.
In Whitstable, Kent, they have set up a two-tier system to try to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.
This has meant a huge shakeup in how they deliver their services.
This has changed how they see patients, who they see, and what they wear to see them.
Many consultations up and down the UK are now done on the telephone or via smart phone apps.
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At the centre, four huge tents have been set up with four different entry lanes.
Each patient is given a mask before they drive into the receiving area, and will not get out of their cars unless they are so unwell they must be taken away for oxygen or a more detailed examination.
This way contamination is mostly confined to the vehicle.
At each consultation, they are assessed by measuring blood pressure, oxygen saturation levels, breathing and chest examinations, as there are not tests available.
According to a Sky news reporter who visited the centre, every patient they saw on his visit were deemed to “almost certainly had COVID-19”.
Meanwhile, an expert has warned that the world must live with the threat of COVID-19 “for the foreseeable future” as there is no guarantee of a successful vaccine.
David Nabarro, a professor of global health at Imperial College London and an envoy for the World Health Organisation on COVID-19, said: “You don’t necessarily develop a vaccine that is safe and effective against every virus.
“So for the foreseeable future, we are going to have to find ways to go about our lives with this virus as a constant threat.