Friday, Dec 04

UK risks citizens by ending lockdown too soon, adviser says

John Edmunds, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and a member of SAGE, said the easing was risky.
31.05.2020 - 12:05

England risks losing control of the coronavirus pandemic again and is at a “very dangerous moment” as it starts to ease out of the coronavirus lockdown, senior scientific and medical advisers warned on Saturday.


One of the slowest countries to lock down, Britain is now one of the worst-hit and is just starting to take tentative steps to reopen parts of the economy, aided by a newly launched track and trace system that is designed to suppress outbreaks.

From Monday, up to six people will be able to meet outside their homes in England, some school classes will restart and elite competitive sport can resume without fans.

But four members of Britain’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) called the lifting premature, adding that the track and trace system was untested and unlikely to cope with an infection rate of around 8,000 new cases a day. “Track and trace was only launched the day before yesterday, so we can’t be sure that that is working effectively yet and yet we’re going ahead and making these changes anyway,” John Edmundse said. “I think that that is rather dangerous.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government, which has been heavily criticised for its handling of the pandemic, said the slight relaxation of the rules would ease the burden of lockdown while keeping the virus’ reproduction rate down.