Home Business News Government scientific experts want lockdown end date delayed for a ‘few more months’

Government scientific experts want lockdown end date delayed for a ‘few more months’

28th May 21 12:21 pm

Government scientific advisors are saying the next few weeks will be crucial in fully reopening England as the Indian mutant virus has now become the dominant variant.

Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown on 21 June could be delayed as the UK now has almost 7,000 cases of the Indian variant.

Hospital admissions as creeping up due to the new variant in some parts of the UK, but overall are flat.

Professor Christina Pagel, from University College London and a member of Independent Sage wants the Prime Minister to delay the 21 June date for a few months and have more of England vaccinated with both doses first.

Professor Andrew Hayward, from University College London and a member of New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) warned that people who have had just one dose can still end up in hospital.

Professor Hayward told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, “On top of that, we are seeing a doubling of cases (of the Indian variant) every week, and at a very minimum estimate it’s about 7,000 cases last week, it only takes five or six doublings for that to get up to say a quarter-million cases, and then you could set the pressure on the NHS and avoidable illnesses.”

When restrictions were lifted warned, “instead of doubling every week it’s likely to double more frequently than that of course, so I think there is a good argument for caution until such time as we’ve got a much higher proportion of the population double vaccinated.”

Professor Danny Altmann of Imperial College London warned on Friday that roadmap to freedom is now “balanced on a knife” as three quarters of all new cases are of the Indian mutant variant.

Speaking to Sky News the surge of thousands of cases of the mutant virus is “troubling” and warned that the government should “set back our clock.”

Speaking to Sky News the surge of thousands of cases of the mutant virus is “troubling” and warned that the government should “set back our clock.”

He was asked if England meets step four of the roadmap out of lockdown on 21 June, he said, “Hopefully there’s some quite careful thought and mathematical modelling being done into this.

“For my taste at the moment, that looks somewhat in doubt.

‘We really are balanced on a knife edge, but surely from all that we’ve all seen in the last 13 or 14 months we realise how unforgiving and relentless this virus is.

“And you can’t joke around with it with half measures.”

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