Speaking to Sarah Brett live Sammy said:
“I think probably the first to say is don’t panic. The proportion of people who are potentially going to need hospital admission or indeed critical care is very small. We know that in 80% symptoms are self-limiting and very mild, with just 5% suffering critical symptoms, and that those people tend to be in those high-risk groups, so elderly people or those are already suffering with chronic health problems or respiratory illness. To put this into context there were over 8000 deaths from flu.
“Having said that there is concern amongst the intensive care community about how we are going to accommodate a influx of critical care patients. At the moment we know that a lot of our ICUs are running at full capacity and have been all winter. Doctors have been shouting this rooftops. We are already struggling as an NHS, we are already struggling with our critical care capacity. Therefore I think we need to see some honest discussion from the government about how on earth we are going to increase that capacity when we just don’t have enough specialised doctors and nurses.”
When asked about concerns of frontline GPs Sammy said:
“GPs are already under incredible pressure. They don’t have enough staff at all. Patients are having to wait 3 weeks to get an appointment. That is NOT the fault of GPs, its just a service under so much pressure already, how are they going to cope with a surge of patients? And I think one of the most worrying things really is that GPs, as frontline doctors, have not been provided with any personal protective equipment or PPE, despite seeing cases of suspected Coronavirus coming into the surgery. To me that’s absolutely bonkers.
Catch up with the full interview on BBC Sounds BBC Radio 5 live drive at 16:10.