• Monday, November 28, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Experts call to delay June 21 reopening as cases rise across England

Commuters, some wearing face coverings due to Covid-19, walk outside Victoria Station in central London. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pooja Shrivastava

BRITAIN should delay the June 21 reopening date by a few weeks in light of rising Covid-19 cases across the UK and also start vaccinating over-12s, the chair of Independent SAGE, Sir David King, has said. He warned that the latest numbers are “evidence of another wave appearing”.

“It will be wise for the government to announce right away a delay in opening, just so that we can all plan for the post-June 21 period,”  he told Sky News on Monday (7).

“I would give a few weeks’ delay and see how the figures are emerging. So, I don’t know how long. As the prime minister has said, it’s data, not dates, that we should be governed by, and that’s response as well.”

Calls to delay the lockdown reopening come as the latest figures show most UK authorities have seen an uptick in week-on-week cases, with the greatest numbers coming from London, northwest England and Scotland and leading to a fear of a “third wave” in the country.

Despite the vaccination roll-out reaching more than three-quarters of all adults, Downing Street’s leading scientists have warned that a third wave, triggered by the “40 per cent more transmissible” Delta variant, can cripple the NHS once again.

Similar warnings were given earlier by professor Ravi Gupta, who has advised the government’s pandemic response when he told the BBC that a delay of a “few weeks rather than months” may be needed and it is necessary to modify lockdown exit plans.

King also said the inoculation drive should be extended to over-12s as soon as possible to limit the spread of the virus.

Professor Devi Sridhar, an expert in global public health at Edinburgh University, has also warned that failing to inoculate the younger age group may lead to yet more disruption to education over the autumn term.

Britain’s medical regulator has approved the Pfizer-Biotech jab for over-12s last week though the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is yet to give a go-ahead to vaccinate the younger age groups.

Adults under the age of 30 will be invited to book their coronavirus vaccine appointment from this week.

Meanwhile, the UK government continues to maintain that they will follow the “data not dates” and will update on the development on June 14.

Eastern Eye

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