Coronavirus UK lockdown: Former SAGE chief demands national shutdown NOW to save lives
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Former chief scientific adviser Sir David King insisted the UK Government must implement a coronavirus lockdown immediately. While speaking on Channel 4, Sir David said this was due to the test and trace system that doesn’t work. He warned more people would die as coronavirus infection numbers continue to rise across the country.
He added it would be a hard but short lockdown in order to give the Government time to fix the test and trace system to ensure further restrictions are not needed.
Channel 4 host Krishnan Guru-Murthy said: “If we don’t have the test and trace system working as we need to, are we going to end up having to have a lockdown at a later stage?
“This is given then Government is refusing to do it now.”
Sir David said: “We must have a lockdown as soon as possible.
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“At the moment we have 474 deaths per week reported in England.
“Everyone who gets the disease today and goes into hospital, because they need to in two weeks time, they will be dying in four weeks time as that is the average.
“We can say even if we were to stop the disease in its tracks now, we will have 2,000 deaths in just four weeks time.
“That will keep multiplying as we go up.”
Sir David added how he would solve the issue of test and trace and the benefits it would have against fighting coronavirus.
He said: “The only alternative is to take the responsibility of the test and trace system away from private companies and give it to the GPs and molecular virology labs and give NHS England the lead.
“Then see top tier local authority officials, directors of private health, in all regions take over control.
“If we introduced a lockdown right away, within a few weeks, we would have the whole thing capable of being tested and traced.”
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Boris Johnson is also believed to be considering a plan to reduce coronavirus quarantine down to seven days in a bid to control the virus.
Professor of Medicine Paul Hunter warned against this plan that would allow those who have come into contact with a coronavirus positive patient to leave isolation and return to work sooner.
Speaking to the Today programme, Prof Hunter said: “The average incubation period for the disease is five or six days and only about 85-90 percent of people, by seven days, will have actually developed the illness.
“If we cut that incubation period, what would happen is that 10, maybe 15 percent of people who were infectious was ultimately allowed to be back in public.”
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