BMA And SAGE Experts Are Queuing Up To Urge Boris To Delay Lockdown Changes By One Month
Scientists from the British Medical Association (BMA), and the government’s own SAGE advisors, are queuing up to plead with prime minister Boris Johnson to delay the June 21 plan of ending lockdown restrictions, with the BMA and SAGE experts warning on Tuesday 1 that a premature lifting of restrictions could lead to an explosion in new coronavirus cases.
The honorary secretary of the British Thoracic Society, Dr Lisa Spencer, warned that the current virus variant hotspots can be likened to volcanoes, that “could explode and send a massive gas plume across much more of the UK”, while professor Ravi Gupta, who is a member of SAGE subgroup NERVTAG, and an advisor to the government, told Sky News on Tuesday that the lockdown lifting should be delayed for “probably a month. My personal opinion is I think it’s a bit early”, according to the Mirror.
The professor continued, “I think we need at least a few weeks – probably a month until schools have closed, when the risk of transmission within schools falls during summer holidays. It then gives us another four weeks’ worth of data to collect about how the virus is growing in the population”.
Although, speaking with Times Radio, Prof Robert Dingwall, a fellow NERVTAG member, seemed to disagree, saying, “It’s not clear what the value of that would be, and the critics can’t even agree on what sort of delay they’d like. It’s a couple of weeks, three or four weeks, a couple of months. At the margins, these things make very little difference”.
Talks over the B.1.617.2 Indian variant strain are ongoing, with ministers and officials discussing whether certain aspects of lockdown, such as mask-wearing, will have to stay in place for the time being, with Conservative MP, Paul Scully telling LBC Radio, “We do just need to be careful. We need to err on the side of caution. No decisions have been made – we’ll only do that based on the latest and most accurate data”.
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