BRITAIN “is” not at the stage “where we can still loosen the lock, the government said today – despite promises of a review by Monday.
Health Minister Ed Argar reiterated last night’s suggestions from Dominic Raab that the UK was not ready to consider changing the rules until the peak of the virus was over.
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This could mean that the measures will remain in place after the three weeks announced by Boris Johnson on March 23.
He told BBC News this morning, “The evidence is not there yet, which will allow a decision to be made.
“We couldn’t have wanted to judge or preempt this evidence. This is not yet a position in which we find ourselves. ”
He added, “We will examine it and we will be guided by scientific evidence when the time is right.
“We have to start seeing the numbers go down and this is where you are in the negative.
“That’s when you get the feeling that it keeps going over a period of time, that you can see it coming out of it. “
Both Raab and Professor Whitty stressed that Britain must reach the top first before seeing if the lockdowns can be changed or relaxed.
Government sources said earlier that a formal review of the foreclosure could not take place on Monday but would take place around that date.
Professor Whitty said last night, “It is really important that we get to the point where we are convinced that we are beyond the summit.
“There are a lot of different things that we have to take into account here. “
However, in the coronavirus law that was rushed to the House of Commons last month, it says that the Secretary of Health must review the lockout measures no later than April 16 – next Thursday.
Meanwhile, the mayor of London said today that the peak should not be this weekend as previously thought.
Sadiq Khan told BBC Radio 4: “We think the peak is probably still a week and a half away.
“We always see too many people losing their lives every day. “
He added that the capital was “not at all” able to lift the restrictions.
The evidence is not yet there to make a decision
Ed Argar, Minister of Health
The director of the World Health Organization in Europe, Dr. Hans Kluge, has warned countries not to relax restrictions on social distancing.
Speaking at an international press conference, he said: “Now is not the time to relax the measures.
“This is once again the time to double or triple collective efforts with the support of society.”
Yesterday, a record 786 deaths were recorded, bringing the total number of deaths above 6,000.
But yesterday, experts said the data shows some cautious optimism about the numbers and that the rate of new cases could slow.
Departments have started working on plans to end the foreclosure in the coming weeks, but no decision has been made.
Today, a minister suggested that schools may be the first thing to reopen – perhaps soon after the Easter holidays.
One of them told the Financial Times, “We have to be led by science, of course. But if we can reopen the schools after the Easter break, things could start to return to normal.
“It could boost the economy,” said a senior minister.
No10 would only say that he would be “guided by science”.
Several ministers believe that schools should reopen two weeks after the Easter holidays.
A University College London study yesterday found that school closings have a relatively small impact on the spread of the coronavirus.
Experts said a few weeks ago that they were unlikely to close schools until they needed them, as that shouldn’t have a major impact.
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It has also been suggested that the lockout could have a phased end – like allowing different sectors of workers or regions of the country to come out first.
But the key to ending the shutdown will be mass testing for everyone, said Matt Hancock last week.
However, efforts have been severely limited by the fact that no home kit test to show if someone has had the virus has not yet been found to be sufficiently accurate.
The ministers call on the industry to step up its efforts and see if it can develop a finger prick test that can be done at home.
So far, none of the tests have proven effective.
When this happens, the ministers want to ship millions so that those who have had the disease can receive immunity certificates or a bracelet to prove that they have already been and that they will likely be immunized.
PM last night spent his second night in intensive care after starting to struggle to breathe.
The Times reported that his lingering fever – which has not gone away since he fell ill – has finally started to subside.
Dominic Raab – who replaces him this morning – said he was “fine.”
He is still stable and does not yet need a ventilator to help him breathe.
PM had oxygen, but it is unknown what other treatment he received.
And he would always be in a “good mood”.
A status update is expected at noon.
Medical experts have predicted that Johnson may need several weeks off work to recover from his ordeal once he is able to leave intensive care.
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