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UK needs three-week lockdown for Covid-19 reset, says govt adviser

"The current tiered restrictions will not bring the transmission rates down sufficiently or prevent the continued spread of the virus," Jeremy Farrar said

Topics
UK | Britain | Lockdown

Reuters 

Hospital, Coronavirus

needs to impose a three-week period of national restrictions immediately to stop cases of Covid-19 spiralling, government scientific adviser Jeremy Farrar said, adding that current regional measures would not be effective.

"The current tiered restrictions will not bring the transmission rates down sufficiently or prevent the continued spread of the virus," he said.

"A three-week period of nationally increased restrictions, with the right levels of financial support, will allow us to reset before winter, stop transmission spiralling, protect and prepare health services, give time to get the test-trace-isolate systems fully functional, and save lives," he said.

Farrar, who is director of the Wellcome Trust and a member of the government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, said the response needed to be immediate because putting it off would only worsen and lengthen the crisis.

He told Sky News that the best time to have locked down was two to three weeks ago, but it wasn't too late now.

Senior minister Michael Gove, however, said a two- or three- week national - named a "circuit breaker" by some - was not being considered.

"The spread and the nature of the disease does not merit that approach at the moment," he told Sky News on Sunday.

Gove did concede that there were problems with the level of compliance with the rules already in place for those who tested positive for Covid-19.

He said the level of government support available for those who were required to self-isolate was kept under constant review.

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First Published: Sun, October 18 2020. 23:13 IST
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