An expert who advises the government has warned that if the lockdown was to be lifted too early then 100,000 people will die by the end of this year.
Professor Neil Ferguson from Imperial College, said if the government send the young and healthy back to work with the elderly and vulnerable to remain in lockdown, there will be a spike in deaths.
His warning comes after US scientists have used data to predict the number of British coronavirus cases will triple by the start of August.
When asked if social distancing rules could be relaxed for the less vulnerable workers, he warned over 100,000 deaths will happen by the end of the year.
Professor Ferguson told Unherd, “In practical terms, you would require a very high level of effective shielding for that to be a viable strategy.
“If you just achieve 80% shielding, and 80% reduction in infection risk in those groups, we still project that you would get more than 100,000 deaths this year from that kind of strategy.
“The most vulnerable people are also the people who most need care and most need interaction with the health system and are least able to be truly isolated.”
New data suggests that over 60,000 deaths could happen in the current lockdown measures, and analysis from scientists predicts the UK will have 37,494 deaths by 4 August, says Seattle’s University of Washington.
An analysis conducted by the university’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, which is funded by the Bill Gates foundation, predicts the deaths will be as high as 62,500 by 4 August.
British scientists have warned that case numbers must be in the hundreds and not the thousands before there can be any end to the lockdown.
The national medical director of NHS England, Professor Stephen Powis warned, “It won’t take much for this virus to start increasing its transmission again and to spread more widely.”
He added, “It would be foolish and not right if we lost the benefits that we have gained over the last four weeks, which I know have been hard for everybody.
“So, it’s really important that despite the weather, we stay at home, we keep to the guidelines that we’ve been issued with.”
This comes as a further 813 people died from coronavirus in hospitals across the UK on Saturday, bringing the total death toll to 20,319 in just 51 days.
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