Saturday, 28 Nov 2020

More coronavirus local lockdowns ‘INEVITABLE’ as expert hints at areas set to shut down

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Imperial College London’s Professor Neil Ferguson, who used to advice the Government on coronavirus measures, warned more local lockdowns were to be expected. While on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Professor Ferguson revealed other areas that could possibly go into lockdown next. He also stressed the importance of having a comprehensive data system to ensure schools can return safely in September.

Professor Ferguson said: “It is inevitable we will have further local outbreaks.

“We are relaxing lockdown rules and that means that contacts in the population are going up and that is a very variable process.

Professor Ferguson was also asked about a potential lockdown in Bradford and Doncaster, following Leicester.

He replied: “Those are areas where they are not as high as Leicester but they have some of the highest numbers of cases per 100,000 of the population.

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“This is the relevant measure so they are clearly an area of concern.”

Professor Ferguson also reflected on the difficulties the UK Government has had regarding the reopening of schools.

He warned the UK Government had a limited time to get all data systems working together to work efficiently for September.

Professor Ferguson said: “I think we haven’t got a huge amount of time, just a few weeks now to resolve those teething problems.

“We have got to get the data systems in place and get the modes of operation between local and national Government working well.

“This is because we will desperately need them to work efficiently from September onwards.”

Despite the desperate need for an adequate system quickly, Mr Ferguson praised the current work being done.

He said: “I think we need to get the systems working but I also agree that Public Health England and everybody involved is doing their best.

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“It’s a very complex system to combine data from multiple sources from across the whole country.

“I don’t think we have any time to lose but I’m not going to sit here and start criticising people at the moment.”

Professor Ferguson closed by warning the public of assuming the coronavirus pandemic was over.

He insisted that it is unlikely more than 8 percent of the population have been infected by the disease, meaning flare-ups could easily happen if guidance is ignored.

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