Relaxing lockdown rules for the summer could cause 130k deaths, scientists warn
A new report sent to the UK Government's advisers has stated that the vaccines won't be sufficient enough to allow the country to go back to normality by the summer.
Scientists have warned Downing Street of their plans to start easing lockdown rules for the summer months, stating that it could lead to the fourth wave of coronavirus.
Britain's death rate is currently one of the highest in the world, after Downing Street's tiers and curfews proved unsuccessful in keeping the transmission of the deadly virus under control, leading to three waves and three national lockdowns in less than a year.
The experts' report has now claimed that the coronavirus vaccines – which are currently being rolled out at record speed – are "insufficient" to allow life to return to normal in 2021, despite suggestions that pubs could reopen as soon as May, without any curfews or "substantial meal" restrictions.
This report, sent to the Sage group of scientists, states they predict 130,000 more deaths across the country between now and June 2021 if the easing plans go ahead.
Brits have already had to endure three lockdowns over the past 11 months as a result of the Government's ever-changing guidelines failing to prevent widespread transmission.
In 2020, guidelines went from "stay at home" to "eat out to help out" in a matter of weeks.
It has demolished the UK's high streets, entertainment and hospitality sectors, with millions of people losing their jobs, tens of thousands of businesses going under and homelessness on the rise.
Sage released the study yesterday, which also said that despite predicted dramatic fall in cases over the summer following vaccinations and a four-month nationwide lockdown, we would be back to 750 Covid-related deaths a day by November 2021.
Currently, England's R rate has fallen below 1 to between 0.7-0.9, which hasn't been the case since July 2020.
Boris Johnson is soon expected to reveal a roadmap for heading out of lockdown, which reportedly includes allowing Brits to socialise outside with pals and details the plans for pubs to re-open in May, without a curfew.
Last month, Health Secretary Matt Hancock promised that this third lockdown will be the last, with adaptations to the vaccine in order to tackle the virus' mutations will be done quickly.
However, the report has explained that while the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines are proven to cut COVID-19's transmission by 60%, there's a possibility they won't work on the more aggressive Covid mutations.
Their research contradicts the yesterday's announcement that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine does protect against the mutated Kent strain.
Warwick University researchers have revealed: "We see that even with the highest possible uptake and fastest vaccination programme, full relaxation by the time schools return in September would still result in significant further disease."
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Despite many experts pushing for total lockdown to be maintained for as long as possible in order to rid the country of Covid, many members of the Cabinet would rather see restrictions be lifted as early as May, which is only three months away.
Rishi Sunak is apparently fearing that scientists are "moving the goalposts", making it harder to ease restrictions, it has been reported.
The Chancellor, who was behind the Eat Out to Help Out campaign which saw millions make the most of the 50% off deal over the summer, wants this lockdown to be the last one.
New data has revealed that cases of COVID-19 in the UK have dropped a whopping 70% since New Year's Day, with nearly 11 million UK residents since receiving the vaccine.
However, 111,264 lives have tragically been lost to Covid since the start of the pandemic here in Britain.
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