Many scientists including those who advise the government are urging for the 21 June lockdown exit date to be delayed, but Boris Johnson “still sees nothing in the data” to delay.
There is growing doubt among the scientific community whether Johnson will meet stage four of the roadmap out of lockdown on 21 June as the Indian variant is spreading across the UK.
Professor Ravi Gupta, a member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) warned that with the easing on 17 May, this could lead to “quite a lot” of hospital admissions.
Professor Gupta, of clinical microbiology of the University of Cambridge told Sky News, “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,” he said.
A No 10 spokesman was asked about the scientists warning over the spread of the Indian variant, he said, “I was going to point to what the PM said on Thursday.
“The Prime Minister has said on a number of occasions that we haven’t seen anything in the data but we will continue to look at the data, we will continue to look at the latest scientific evidence as we move through June towards June 21.”
Last Thursday the Prime Minister said he had not seen “anything currently in the data” to divert from the 21 June target for the next stage of exiting lockdown.
However, Johnson did concede that “we may need to wait” for more scientific data.
British Medical Association (BMA) council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said, “The Government must hold off making a final decision on whether lockdown is fully lifted on June 21 until latest data can be scientifically considered.
“The Prime Minister had pledged he would be guided by ‘data not dates,’ and it’s vital that he now honours this commitment.”