On 19th June 2023, Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, the former Chief Deputy Medical Officer for England, has given a fascinating lecture at Middlesex University in an event celebrating close diplomatic and educational ties between the UK and Vietnam.
One of the leading public figures in the fight against Covid-19, who has Vietnamese heritage, Sir Jonathan spoke about the many challenges when tackling the deadly virus and lessons to be learned for innovation and education, a topic is highly relevant to our ongoing project “Digital Twin for Health Care Resilience.“
Referring to World Health Organisation (WHO) figures which showed over 5.42 million reported Covid-19 deaths and more than 14.91 million excess mortality globally between Jan 2020 and December 2021, Prof Van-Tam spoke about the suddenness of the disease.
“We put our testing capacity where it had to matter most which was at the doors of the hospital where we were getting the patients who were crashingly ill, and you had to know to whether they were infected or not infected to split the patient flow. So, all our testing went to the hospital so as a result of which there was no real visual Wave One in the community, and there was a Wave One, a huge Wave One and we literally walked into it.
“And that’s why it felt so sudden to go from a nearly normal world to one where you were locked down to what appeared in the public eye to be a matter of a few days.”
The event was jointly organised by Middlesex University, the Vietnamese Intellectual Society in the UK and Ireland, and the Embassy of Vietnam in the UK and Ireland.
More details on this event: https://www.mdx.ac.uk/news/2023/06/Covid-Jonathan-Van-Tam-lecture