COVID-19: PM easing England restrictions “irresponsible”, says BMA

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COVID-19: PM easing England restrictions “irresponsible”, says BMA


Boris Johnson’s decision to go ahead with easing coronavirus restrictions in England is ‘irresponsible’, senior medics said – although a government minister has admitted COVID rules could revert this winter.

The Prime Minister announced on Monday that most the last remaining restrictions in England would be removed from July 19.

This despite the fact that modeling shows that there is could be 1,000 to 2,000 hospitalizations per day, with deaths reaching between 100 and 200 per day in mid-August, when the current wave peak is expected.

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‘Not having a great jubilee’ July 19 – PM

The British Medical Association said easing restrictions risked “potentially devastating consequences.”

BMA board chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: “It is irresponsible – and frankly dangerous – that the government has decided to pursue plans to lift the remaining COVID-19 restrictions on July 19.

“The BMA has repeatedly warned of the rapid rise in the rate of infection and the crippling impact that COVID-related hospitalizations continue to have on the NHS.

“Not only pushes staff to the brink of collapse, but also increases the already long wait times for elective care.

“The Prime Minister has repeatedly stressed the importance of a slow and cautious approach.

“But in reality, the government is throwing caution to the wind by removing all regulations in one fell swoop – with potentially devastating consequences. “

However, when asked about the estimate of 200 deaths per day, Government Minister Stephen Barclay suggested lifting restrictions as schools close for summer vacation was the “optimal time to do so.”

“Reopening when schools are back in September, reopening when colder weather also brings other challenges, also brings its risks,” he told Sky News.

“So there is no ideal time to do it. What we have done is roll out the vaccine… opening up when schools are closing is considered the optimal time to do so. “

Mr Barclay, the chief secretary of the Treasury, added that the country needed to “get back to normal” and “learn to live with the virus”.

“It’s about finding the right balance, so that people come to their own judgments, are reasonable, take advice,” he said.

“But we also need to get back to normal, businesses need to restart, we need to revive the economy – that’s also important.

“Because there are consequences of not doing so, both economically and in terms of people’s health. “

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There are fears overwhelming hospitals with COVID patients will receive treatment for non-COVID conditions

The Prime Minister has previously described his roadmap for lifting lockdown restrictions as “cautious and irreversible”.

But Mr Barclay admitted it was possible for COVID restrictions to return later this year.

“We have been careful to seek irreversibility,” he added. “You never know what winter will be like. “

A German official said the decision to lift all restrictions in England was “a very risky experience”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that more people need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before restrictions can be lifted.

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Stores worried about mask conflict

Mr Johnson admitted on Monday that the pandemic ‘is not over’ and that people should always proceed with caution, as the figures showed a 34,471 other laboratory-confirmed infections in the UK within 24 hours to 9 am on Monday.

Professor Adam Finn, member of the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI), said: “I sympathize with the political message that (the restrictions) cannot last forever.

“But on the other hand, we really don’t want to get to a situation where things are going so badly that we have to reimpose restrictions and it’s a very delicate balancing act to get it right.

“The more you let the genie out of the bottle, the harder it is to put it back, although there is a great amount of uncertainty. “

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Is it the “day of freedom” or the “day of fear”?

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has warned ministers of the impact of lifting restrictions – such as the legal requirement to wear masks on public transport – on those most vulnerable to the coronavirus.

“One person’s freedom day is another’s fear day,” he told Sky News, as he questioned whether the government’s advice to people to continue wearing masks in crowded places would be enough to give vulnerable people the confidence to use trains, trams and buses.

Conservative MP and former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, now chairman of the House of Commons health and social services committee, told Sky News that the Prime Minister’s promise of an “irreversible” roadmap for Relaxing the foreclosure rules was “wrong”.

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“Things are changing and they have changed”

“It’s easy to criticize a government for the U-turns and the changes, but the fact of the matter is in a pandemic you want a government to change its mind if the data changes,” he said.

“And what we’re seeing with the Delta variant are incredibly high levels of infectivity.

“So I think it’s very reasonable to say that we have to go slowly and carefully and not use that word ‘irreversible’, which I think was not the right word to use at the start.

“Because things change during a pandemic and you have to change your approach the way they do. “

Dr David Nabarro, World Health Organization special envoy on COVID-19, urged people to continue with preventative measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

“People would be well advised to continue practicing what they have learned to do so well, which is techniques to reduce the risk of the virus spreading,” he told Today.

“But more importantly, you need public health systems that can identify people with the disease and help them self-isolate quickly and effectively and this has to be done flawlessly everywhere to prevent peaks from transforming. in outbreaks. “

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But Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, was more optimistic, saying: “Although hospitalization rates are increasing rapidly at the moment, we can expect them to slow down considerably. ‘here a week or two.

“This does not mean that easing restrictions is risk free. But I would say leaving step four (lifting the lockdown) until the fall carries a much greater risk. ”

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