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COVID-19: UK ‘dilly-dallying into lockdown’ – take Plan B motion now, warns authorities adviser | UK Information

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The nation is “dilly-dallying into lockdown” and motion ought to be taken now to keep away from a lot harder COVID restrictions later, a authorities scientific adviser has warned.

Professor Stephen Reicher informed Sky Information that vaccines are “not fairly sufficient” on their very own and “different protections” are wanted now to deal with coronavirus.

His issues have been echoed by fellow authorities adviser, Professor Peter Openshaw, who mentioned he was “very fearful” of one other “lockdown Christmas” and urged measures resembling working from residence and masks sporting to curb the unfold of COVID-19.

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Their warning got here as the federal government continued to withstand stress from well being leaders for tighter restrictions regardless of rising ranges of an infection.

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Well being Secretary Sajid Javid mentioned this week that new cases could reach 100,000 a day, however Downing Road insisted there was spare capability within the NHS and that the fallback Plan B would solely be triggered if it got here beneath “important stress”.

This plan consists of working from residence steerage and the obligatory use of face masks in some settings.

Scientific advisers have informed the federal government preparations for Plan B restrictions ought to be made now in order that measures “can be ready for rapid deployment if required”.

Specialists on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) additionally mentioned, in minutes of a gathering printed on Friday, that early intervention “would scale back the necessity for extra stringent, disruptive, and longer-lasting measures”.

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Sajid Javid: No but time for ‘Plan B’

Chatting with Sky Information, Prof Reicher, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (SPI-B), which feeds into SAGE, mentioned: “The vaccine is great. The vaccine confers an enormous benefit and everybody ought to get vaccinated however by itself it isn’t fairly sufficient, we’d like different protections.

“If we do not have these different protections now, as occurred final yr if we wait and permit issues to run uncontrolled, we’ll want later restrictions.

“It is exceptional we’re in a scenario the place the federal government’s personal public well being leaders are giving recommendation which is at odds with what the federal government is definitely doing.

“We have to act now. If we do not defend folks now with mild measures we must limit them later with heavier measures.

“I get a way we’re moderately dilly-dallying into lockdown.”

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PM: COVID {cases} nonetheless ‘in-line’ with predictions

Prof Reicher additionally warned towards sending out the message that infections weren’t critical, mentioning that in addition to hospitalisations and deaths, the virus additionally took a toll when it comes to the debilitating situation of lengthy COVID and the elevated risk of vaccine-resistant new variants.

His feedback had been strengthened by Prof Openshaw, a member of the New and Rising Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG), who informed the BBC: “I am very fearful that we will have one other lockdown Christmas if we do not act quickly.

“We all know that with public well being measures the time to behave is instantly. There is not any level in delaying.

“If you happen to do delay then it is advisable take much more stringent actions later.”

Prof Openshaw mentioned it was “unacceptable to be letting this run in the intervening time”, and added: “I feel the hospitals in lots of elements of the nation are barely coping really.

“Speaking to folks on the entrance line, I feel it is simply not sustainable to maintain going at this charge.

“We have to decelerate transmission and actually redouble efforts to get everybody vaccinated and all of the boosters out, after which we are able to open up once more.”

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The World Well being Organisation has additionally warned the vaccine alone will be unable to elevate the world out of the pandemic.

In the meantime, the previous head of England’s coronavirus vaccine supply drive is returning to the NHS to guide the booster jabs rollout, amid rising issues about COVID-19’s impression this winter.

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