Latest news on coronavirus: dispute between Westminster and Manchester continues amid confusion over talks

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TThe UK is set to impose a two-week breaker to “weather” a rapid spike in new infections, the government testing czar says, and the closure of schools and universities is now inevitable.Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, said the coronavirus figures “are actually quite tearful in some parts of the country”, and it will be nearly impossible to reduce transmission by “biting the edges “.

“I can see very little of a way to do this without some sort of circuit breaker,” he told BBC Radio Four this morning.

Sir John added that the closure of schools and universities was perhaps now a necessity.

“I think every effort will be made to keep schools open, but just to paint the picture: there are universities in this country that have 50, 60, 70 percent of their children in quarantine. I mean, oh my gosh. What kind of a university isn’t it? It is not a good place to be.

“So if at the end we have to take the kids out for two weeks, calm it down, and then start over, ideally built into a much more rigorous testing regime, then maybe that’s what we need to do,” a- he declared.

His comments come after Britain’s largest teachers’ union backed a circuit breaker and urged high schools and colleges to close for an extended two-week semester.

Calls for a two-week breaker have been gaining momentum throughout the week, with experts suggesting it’s the only way to reduce transmission and “save time” to fix the system for testing, tracing and dying. UK’s failing isolation – which has only a “marginal impact on transmission,” according to Sage.



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