Boris Johnson says he is 'deeply sorry' for coronavirus losses
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The health experts also warned that the measures “will create the conditions for the emergence of new variants that could escape vaccine protection.” Earlier in the week, the Prime Minister announced the Government was planning to revoke hundreds of Covid regulations from July 19, including the mandatory wearing of face masks in public places. At a press conference on Monday, he said: “We must be honest with ourselves that if we can’t reopen our society in the next few weeks, when we will be helped by the arrival of summer and by the school holidays, we must ask ourselves: when will we be able to return to normal?”
However, with cases still rising rapidly in the UK, many scientists are worried the Government is acting prematurely.
Britain recorded 32,548 new Covid infections on Wednesday, almost double the total from two weeks ago.
At the same time there was a rise of more than 40 percent in hospital admissions and deaths.
With case numbers roughly doubling every nine days, infections could easily surpass the winter peak of 68,000 a day within a fortnight.
In a letter published in The Lancet, more than 100 global health experts warned scrapping all remaining restrictions on July 19 risks creating a generation with chronic health problems and disability from long Covid.
They urged the Prime Minister to postpone his plans until everyone eligible for a Covid jab has been vaccinated.
“We believe the Government is embarking on a dangerous and unethical experiment and we call on it to pause plans to abandon mitigations on July 19, 2021,” they wrote.
“Instead, the Government should delay complete reopening until everyone, including adolescents, have been offered vaccination and uptake is high, and until mitigation measures, especially adequate ventilation … are in place in schools.”
The scientists also cautioned that the plans posed an “unacceptable” risk to children.
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Dr Deepti Gurdasani, an epidemiologist and senior lecturer at Queen Mary University who organised the letter, told The Sun: “The Government has made a deliberate choice to expose children to mass infection, rather than protect them in schools or vaccinate them.
“This is unethical and unacceptable. Our young have already suffered so much in the past year, and are now being condemned to suffer the consequences of this dangerous experiment.”
Dr Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet, slammed the forthcoming changes as “an entirely unnecessary and self-inflicted hazard” which will cause “real harm to health.”
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