The government’s Independent scientific advisory group have made an emergency statement urging the Prime Minister to put 21 June reopening on hold.
The Independent Sage who are a group of scientists who provide independent scientific advice to the government and the public have warned that the rise of the Indian variant in the UK will soar if England lockdown ends causing a third wave.
There are further concerns over the effectiveness of vaccines against the Indian variant, now officially called Delta, as cases among school children are soaring.
Today the Independent Sage released an emergency statement before their weekly briefing.
A spokesman said in a statement, “We are currently witnessing a rapid increase in Covid-19 cases in England.
“Public Health England figures released on June 3 suggest that the Delta variant has spread widely across the UK and is continuing to spread, that it has higher infectivity than the previous circulating variant, and that it is more likely to cause disease and hospitalisation.
“There is increasing evidence that vaccine efficacy is compromised against this variant, and that individuals remain at particular risk until they receive two doses.
“There is some evidence that protection from two doses wanes after a number of months, particularly in the elderly.”
He further highlighted that cases were surging in school-aged children, and spreading into the community, especially among those yet to be fully vaccinated.
The spokesman added, “It is clear that the link between infection and hospitalisation has not yet been fully broken.
“We wish to avoid another full lockdown, which will damage education and people’s wellbeing as well as the economy. This requires reversing the growth in cases.”
The spokesman said looking to the immediate future, “The UK government will announce their plans for future pandemic control on June 14.
“As things stand, it is very difficult to justify progressing with the last stage of the roadmap, scheduled for 21 June, a point that should be made now, to modify current false hopes.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, said prior to a G7 Health Ministers’ meeting on Thursday, “It’s too early to say what the decision will be about step four of the road map, which is scheduled to be no earlier than June 21.
“Of course I look at those data every day, we publish them every day, the case numbers matter but what really matters is how that translates into the number of people going to hospital, the number of people sadly dying.
“The vaccine breaks that link, the question is how much the link has yet been broken because the majority of people who ended up in hospital are not fully vaccinated.”