An earlier lockdown would have saved the lives of London bus drivers, an impartial review has concluded.
The University College London (UCL) research discovered that among the deaths of employees contaminated by Covid-19 in March 2020 “would not have occurred” if motion restrictions and measures to cease the unfold of the virus had been imposed sooner.
The analysis, commissioned by Transport for London (TfL), targeted on the 27 London bus drivers who had been working in February 2020 and died from coronavirus between March and May.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced the primary nationwide lockdown on May 23 2020, with folks solely allowed to go away dwelling for restricted causes comparable to to work or purchase meals.
UCL’s report discovered that London bus drivers had been thrice extra more likely to die from Covid-19 than the UK common.
It additionally famous that security measures comparable to hand sanitisers, enhanced cleansing and protecting holes in protecting screens had been launched too late for a lot of of those that died.
TfL insisted it “moved shortly” to make sure bus corporations took motion to cease the unfold of the virus.
The report really helpful that every one bus drivers want “continued safety” by way of social distancing and mask-wearing.
It additionally referred to as for early interventions to cut back ailing well being, monetary assist for drivers off work resulting from having Covid-19 signs to be maintained, and a review of the impression of working patterns on fatigue.
Professor Sir Michael Marmot, director of UCL’s Institute of Health Equity, stated: “It is evident that an earlier introduction of the lockdown on 23 March 2020 would have saved lives.
“However, we have no idea whether or not an earlier introduction of office preventative measures would have diminished Covid-19 an infection and mortality along with the lockdown.
“We know pre-existing well being circumstances and ethnic composition play a task in Covid-19 an infection and mortality.
“The UCL Institute of Health Equity due to this fact recommends implementing plenty of office adjustments to cut back publicity to Covid-19, forestall avoidable ailing well being and enhance the wellbeing of bus drivers.”
TfL’s chief well being, security and setting officer Lilli Matson commented: “This terrible virus has taken much-loved colleagues from us, leaving devastated household and associates behind.
“It is our obligation to do every part humanly attainable to maintain bus drivers secure on this pandemic. This report helps to strengthen what we’re doing and exhibits the place we will redouble our efforts.
“We will work intently with the bus operators to make sure that these struggling or in danger from coronavirus will proceed to obtain assist, with susceptible drivers having to defend having the ability to keep at dwelling, with sick pay for these with signs and entry to a spread of companies.
“Further measures to enhance air flow on buses are being launched, and we’re working to drive a extra proactive method to drivers’ well being and wellbeing.
“In addition, we proceed with our sturdy measures to make sure social distancing and the carrying of face coverings, and with our wider radical work alongside the mayor to enhance London’s air high quality.”