A key scientific adviser to the government has said England does not need another “full-blown lockdown” this winter.
Professor Neil Ferguson, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), is “moderately optimistic” as England is yet to see a back-to-school surge in Covid infections.
This comes after the latest NHS Test and Trace figures recorded 162,000 coronavirus cases in the week to last Wednesday – the lowest count since 30 June, before almost all social distancing restrictions were lifted.
However, week-on-week there has been a 15 percent increase in deaths and cases among school children.
Professor Ferguson, who has been dubbed “Lockdown” for his work advising at the start of the pandemic, said: “We cannot rule out some need for additional measures, but I highly doubt we will need to go into lockdown again. will be required.”
He said social distancing could return if there was a “significant increase” in hospitalizations – but that a “full-blown lockdown” was unlikely.
“I am moderately optimistic as long as we can start the booster program and immunization of adolescents as soon as possible,” he said.
Professor Ferguson last week called on children to be vaccinated to boost Britain’s immunity levels and reduce the risk of a major winter wave of the coronavirus.
The epidemiologist said Britain’s immunity levels were falling behind those of other European countries such as Spain, Italy and France – but he “hoped” that the country would not need another national lockdown.
He played on BBC Radio 4s. told Today Program: “We are a little behind. We were the leaders in Europe until recently and now many countries, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Ireland have higher vaccination levels than us and this is mainly because they have rapidly started immunization of 12 to 15 year olds. has done. “
Government data published on Thursday showed that the number of coronavirus cases rose by 36,710 in a day, while another 182 Covid-related deaths were recorded.
Public Health England said that vaccination against COVID is estimated to have prevented 123,100 people from dying in England.
About 23.9 million infections have been prevented by the vaccine rollout, as well as 230,800 hospitalizations among people aged 45 and older.
According to the latest figures, more than 89 percent of people aged 16 and over in England have now received a single dose of the vaccine, while about 82 percent are fully vaccinated.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /