June 21 on brink: Three damning Covid stats spark third wave panic– major update THIS WEEK

Linda Bauld says June 21st restrictions ease is 'ambitious'

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Scientists are speaking out to warn against the lifting of coronavirus measures in under two weeks time due to the rapid spread of the Indian variant across the UK. The mutant strain – now officially known as the Delta variant – has led to Covid cases once again rising across Britain.

Daily reported infections have been above 3,000 for six days in a row now.

The last time the UK numbers were that higher was almost two months ago on April 4.

Ministers have repeatedly said they expected infections to rise as lockdown restrictions eased and the key was to break the link between transmission to hospitalisations and deaths.

But worryingly, both hospital admissions and virus fatalities have also begun to increase in recent days.

Over the past week the number of patients admitted to hospital has increased by 23.2 percent compared to the seven days before.

The number of deaths has almost doubled in a week.

Over the past seven days 58 fatalities with 28 days of a positive test have been recorded, a 45 percent increase in a week.

The figures have led to scientists urging the Government to push back the final easing of lockdown until more people have been vaccinated.

Professor Ravi Gupta, a member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “Even a month delay could have a big impact on the eventual outcome of this.

“As long as it’s clear to people this is not an unlimited extension of the lockdown but actually just a reassessment, that would be realistic.”

Professor Adam Finn, from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme a delay of reopening by a few weeks would be better than the need to shutdown businesses again in the future.

“A more infectious virus, which is what it looks like we’ve got, will reach people who are vulnerable – those who did not make a good response to the vaccine, those who have not yet had their doses – and that will be a problem for everyone because in the end it will be worse economically as well as for public health if we end up having to shut down again,” he said.

“There’s vulnerability across the country.

“The idea that somehow the job is done, is wrong.”

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The urge for caution comes as Boris Johnson prepares to unveil his reviews into social distancing and plans for the re-opening of large events this week.

Mr Johnson had promised to provide clarity on exactly what Stage 4 of the easing of lockdown would look like by the end of May but delayed announcing the outcomes of the reviews by a few days for more evidence to be gathered in light of the Delta variant.

This week the Government’s thinking on whether there is a need for the one metre plus rule and the compulsory wearing of face masks in indoor public settings will be announced.

A decision on whether coronavirus passports will be needed to attend large events such as music festivals and football matches is also expected to be made.

The reviews will give insight into exactly how concerned ministers are about the Delta strain of Covid.

Fears it is more transmissible than other variants could mean face masks remain in place for longer than originally hoped by ministers.

Vaccines being deployed across the country have been found to be effective against the strain but only once two doses have been administered.

So far more than 39 million first injections have been given out across the UK, 74.8 percent of the adult population.

Almost half of all adults, 48.5 percent, have received the necessary second doses to grant maximum protection.

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