Britain’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty has warned that the country is ‘not by any means out of the woods yet’ and could be forced to consider a new lockdown within weeks.
Whitty said that doctors across the country could soon be faced with ‘scary numbers again’ and that more people could be fighting the disease in hospital ‘in five, six, seven, eight weeks’ time’.
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The Mail Online reports: England’s chief medical officer told an event at the Science Museum: ‘Of course, if we get into a situation where it is unacceptable and we do need to put back further restrictions, then that of course is something the Government will look at.’
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Professor Whitty said the vaccine roll out — which has got at least one dose to nearly nine in ten Britons — had put the country in ‘much better shape’ than last year.
However, he warned there was still the risk of jab-dodging variants emerging that could take the UK ‘some of the way backwards’. Professor Whitty added the country was ‘not by any means out of the woods yet’.
But Solicitor General Lucy Frazer said today it was still the right time to unlock, although further restrictions could be put in place ‘if we get into a situation where [the daily figures] are unacceptable’.
Britain yesterday registered another 63 deaths from the virus in the highest daily toll since March, with the nation moving closer to breaching the 50,000 daily infections barrier.
Experts have warned the easing of restrictions is to blame for the rise — and some have said Euro 2020 is behind the surge.
Public Health England data yesterday showed 10,267 more young men than women were infected over the last two weeks, with the gender gap having widened since the football tournament kicked off.
Cases have remained roughly the same between men and women throughout the pandemic. But they began to diverge after June 13, when England beat Croatia 1-0 in their first match.
England is set to lift most remaining restrictions after ‘Freedom Day’ on July 19, in the final stage of Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown. The Prime Minister has said the easings are ‘irreversible’, but this week he sounded a more cautious note calling on people not to ‘go wild’ when measures are eased next week.
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