Tony Blair has warned that the Coronavirus will not be eliminated in the UK and we must learn to live with it.
The former British labour prime minister has urged the Government to focus on containment measures to see the country through a second wave and also reiterated his call for a roll out of mass testing, including for those who may not realise they have coronavirus.
He said infrastructure to stop the spread of the coronavirus was critical.
AOL reports: In an exclusive interview with the PA news agency, Mr Blair described the crisis as “the biggest challenge logistically and practically” a government has ever faced, but criticised ministers for not yet putting in place an “infrastructure of containment”.
He said: “The reality is that we’re going to be living with Covid-19 – we’re not really going to be able to eliminate it.
“And when you look at what has been happening in other countries, as lockdown has been eased, then more and more problems have appeared and many countries, having gone into lockdown then easing it, are finding spikes in the disease.
“You can’t be sure of this but there’s at least a 50/50 chance that you have a resurgence of the disease in the autumn and that’s why it is absolutely essential now to prepare for that.
“And to put in place every single last bit of containment infrastructure that you possibly can to make sure that if that happens you are able to control the disease, because you’re not going to be able to go back into the lockdown that we endured in March, April and May.”
“What isn’t forgivable going forward is not to build this containment infrastructure on the basis that you are at significant risk of further spikes of the disease and possibly a resurgence in the autumn”
A new report by his think tank, the Tony Blair Institute, calls for public confidence to be rebuilt “on the knowledge that every possible step has been taken to mitigate risk” – requiring containment measures in the absence of a “game changer” vaccine or treatment.
It recommends the rollout of mass testing, mandated use of face masks in all enclosed public environments, and suggests introducing an individual risk categorisation – with A showing those most at risk, to people with low health risks and a low transmission risk in category D.
The proposed categories would correlate to measures such as participation in mass testing and mandatory mask wearing for those with low health risks and high risks of transmission. The report also recommends that the Government issue those most at risk with N95 face masks.