Scientific advisors are considering a short lockdown in England, possibly for October half-term and or the Christmas holiday.
This would cause minimum disruption for schools, colleges and universities and also for parents.
According to a paper drawn up by leading government scientific advisor, if the Prime Minister imposes a “short sharp” two-week lockdown during half term in October then over 7,000 deaths could be spared.
The scientific paper, which has not been peer-reviewed, suggests that a full lockdown as seen in March, which will have school closures, could reduce deaths from 19,900 to 12,100 for the rest of the year.
The paper also suggests that hospitalisations could be reduced from 132,400 to 66,500, on the assumption of a moderate growth in the coronavirus infection rate.
These shocking findings were used to support Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s warning that without a “circuit breaker” lockdown, England is “sleepwalk into a long and bleak winter.”
But, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has defended his position in not introducing a circuit breaker lockdowns across England, despite SAGE advising him to do so.
Previously Johnson said that he will follow the science, but he told the House of Commons on Wednesday that he will not “close businesses” in areas where the infection rate is low.
He said that a regional system will bring down the virus rates which will “avoid the misery of another national lockdown.”
The government’s scientific advisory group recommended that there should be a circuit breaker as early as 21 September.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused the government of “abandoning the science.” Sir Keir also back the two or three weeks lockdown.
The authors of the scientific paper said, “A precautionary break is not a lasting control measure, but effectively buys more time to put other controls in place; it takes us ‘back to a time when cases were lower’.
“The reduction in cases also allows measures which are resource limited [such as test-trace-and-isolate] to potentially have a greater impact.”
Scientists have warned that the winter months are going to be “difficult anyway” as we are entering into the flu season and there will more an uptick with more coronavirus infections.
Professor Graham Medley said the government must consider imposing short lockdown for half terms, and even plan for the Spring half term.
Professor Medley told a webinar on Wednesday, “Christmas is going to be very difficult anyway.
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