A professor at Oxford University says the government should now consider introducing any new national lockdown rules instead of Christmas.
Carl Heneghan told Sky News’ Sophie Ridge that the time has come for a “calm and quiet” approach to the rise of coronavirus cases.
He said it reflected other respiratory infections such as the “common cold”, which increased significantly at the end of the year.
“All we have to do now is slow down,” Professor Heneghan said.
“It’s a long winter now we can’t take drastic measures now … the impact on the economy is going to be significant because what happens is you open as soon as you take a break, there’s a tendency to come back.”
Live coverage of the latest coronavirus news and updates
The Prime Minister is thought to have unwittingly complied with the new national lockdown rules, such as curfews in large parts of England and curfews in families and pubs.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News on Sunday that the UK was facing a “tipping point” where “more preventive measures” could be taken.
But Professor Henhan, a vocal critic of the government’s approach to Oxford’s Center for Evidence-Based Medicine, said any intervention during the festival would be more effective.
“I’m looking forward to the Christmas break right now – to extend it,” he said.
“Often when we come back in January, there is a significant increase in deaths – about 5,000,000 more per week than what we see now. And that’s because of the seasonal effects.
“Therefore, if you look at a break and when we need it, you look at the middle of winter when we can get into trouble.
“This will make it easier for people to understand why we’re doing this now.”
With daily infection statistics reported on Saturday reaching 4,422, the testing system continues to fight demand and is the highest since May 8th.
However, it was still much smaller than the peak of the outbreak when trials were not even widespread in the community.
Professor Henhan told Sky News that there was no evidence of a second wave and accused the government of considering a narrow view.
“There are a lot more clinical people,” he said [are] Focusing on a single disease ”and first-line professionals didn’t get a chance to get the right input.
“Gradually – get a wide range of specialists at home so that you can make a much more balanced decision about what you’re actually doing and its effects – not just cavities – what about all the other infections? Cancer, heart disease?”
There is also a need for a “control plan” to protect people in care homes and to give a simple message about the virus, said Professor Heneghan.
“What you see in the population is a single message that is now missing: if you have symptoms, you need to differentiate.
“And I’m picking a lot of people who just don’t understand it because we weren’t clear about those messages.”
But scientists and academics have differed on the issue during the epidemic, and Sir David King, who has been criticized for simplifying the lockdown, told Sky News that he did not agree with Professor Heneghan’s suggestion of a delay in the ban.
“I clearly don’t think too much of it,” said Sir David, who was chief scientific adviser between 2000 and 200 and chairman of the Independent SJ – a rival team with a separate scientific advisory group for emergencies. Advises Downing Street.
“I think the problem that Carl Heneghan has to face is the possibility that the level of resistance in the country will not be pronounced according to his logic … I think it’s a very risky thing to do.”
He added: “What we don’t want to see is that the epidemic is starting again. Delaying all these measures will hurt our economy in the long run. If we have to go for another lockdown, it will be bad for the health of the nation.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News that people must be strict in following the rules and guidelines regarding the coronavirus, and said they were “more relieved than in the summer.”
He said he was “concerned” that many were violating the self-separation guidelines, which would result in new fines of up to 10,000 for violators.
Any new national lockdown rule, however, can be challenged in Parliament.
Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the powerful Tory Backbench 1922 Committee, wants to force the government to take a new step in the vote of MPs.
He told the Sunday Telegraph that the government would take action when it comes to renewing emergency powers under the Coronavirus Act 2020.
“There is no rationale for ministers to give verdicts without referring to general democratic processes by emergency democracy,” he told the newspaper.
Organizer. Zombie aficionado. Wannabe reader. Passionate writer. Twitter lover. Music scholar. Web expert.