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Expert warns that second peak set to return early over lockdown plans

by LLB Politics Reporter
13th May 20 1:29 pm

A former World Health Organization (WHO) Professor has warned the Boris Johnson’s lockdown easing plans will bring an early second deadly wave of the virus.

Professor Anthony Costello, a member of the independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) committee, said the easing of the lockdown “will not ensure the suppression of the epidemic.”

The former WHO director accused the government of repeating their earlier mistakes in dealing with coronavirus.

SAGE is made up of a group of scientists who have been highly critical of the governments response in handling the pandemic.

Professor Costello gave a dark warning that the lockdown easing plans will see the country having a more deadly and preventable second coronavirus wave with higher deaths.

He accused the Prime Ministers easing plans as “misguided and over-centralised.” He wrote on Twitter, “The WHO ask that ‘governments refocus the whole of government on suppression and containing Covid-19’.”

“There is no refocus or commitment except to manage the spread. This is ‘herd immunity’ and ‘take it on the chin’.”

The former WHO director added, “In short, the government plans will lead to the epidemic returning early, cases rising, further preventable deaths, and no guarantee that herd immunity will ever occur.

“This is compounding the disastrous policy of March 12.”

Writing in the Guardian newspaper last month Professor Costello wrote, “The basic principles of public health, and the daily mantra of the WHO – to find the virus, test, trace and isolate, to promote social distancing, and to do it all at speed – appear to have been effectively disregarded.”

Dr Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies programme, told a press briefing in Geneva, “Humans are not herds, and, as such, the concept of herd immunity is generally reserved for calculating how many people will need to be vaccinated and the population in order to generate that effect.

“This is a serious disease, this is public enemy number one, we have been saying it over and over and over and over again.”

Herd immunity is an epidemiological term reserved to describe how the population as a whole is protected from a disease depending on the levels of people vaccinated.

He added, that “no one is safe until everyone is safe.

“So I do think this idea that ‘maybe countries who had lax measures and haven’t done anything will all of a sudden magically reach some herd immunity, and so what if we lose a few old people along the way?’

“This is a really dangerous, dangerous calculation.”

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