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Lockdown ‘roadmap’ saw SAGE warn Boris extra 91,000 DEAD if rules lifted before Easter

Boris Johnson promises 'light ahead' as he plans to lift lockdown

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SAGE papers showed the advisors modelled a series of scenarios for lifting lockdown restrictions, including plans to reopen outdoor pubs and restaurants, outdoor attractions and non-essential shops in time for the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. The Prime Minister announced yesterday in his “roadmap” out of England’s third coronavirus lockdown these restrictions would be lifted on April 12 at the earliest.

The papers, published by SAGE but investigated by the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, saw a team of scientists analyse the potential effect on infections and fatalities from lockdown restrictions being lifted.

Released yesterday, one paper detailed plans for outdoor pubs, restaurants and attractions as well as non-essential shops to reopen by April 2

SAGE warned there would be another 30,000 deaths from coronavirus at least “in the most optimistic case”.

At most, SAGE predicted another 91,000 deaths by June 2022 with a dramatic spike in cases.

 

Another scenario, drawn up earlier this month, would have seen the full reopening of hospitality sectors in either April or May, as well as indoor household mixing being permitted.

Imperial College London scientists said the shorter timetable could have led to an extra 55,000 deaths.

In addition, they warned reopening schools could the rate of infection, or R rate, rise by as much as 0.5.

A Number 10 source told the Telegraph the SAGE models were never official Government policy, dismissing the shorter timetables.

They added: “Five different scenarios were modelled, and there was never a preferred outcome.”

In a Downing Street press briefing yesterday, Mr Johnson stressed the “roadmap” is being led by “data not dates”.

When asked by Jason Groves from the Daily Mail whether he had become a “gloomster” with the “cautious approach” to lockdown restrictions, he dismissed rushing an end to the measures.

He said: “I don’t think I’m being remotely a gloomster in what I say. Listening to this roadmap, it’s pretty obvious.

“The crocus of hope is poking through the frost and spring is on its way, both literally and metaphorically.

“But I won’t be buccaneering, as you put it, with people’s lives, nor will anybody in government.”

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It comes after more than 60 Tory MPs have urged the Prime Minister to lift all lockdown restrictions by the end of April.

The Covid Recovery Group (CRG), made up of party backbenchers, wrote to Mr Johnson calling on him to commit to a complete end to controls by 30 April.

Angela Rayner, deputy Labour leader, said to the Guardian: “It is deeply concerning that a group of Conservative MPs is actively campaigning for a policy that the government’s own scientific advisers warn could lead to a deadly fourth wave, a 50 percent spike in the death toll and up to 100,000 more deaths.

“If we are to ensure this is our last lockdown, he must now face down those Conservative MPs who have throughout this crisis undermined the national effort to defeat the virus.”

Yesterday saw another 10,641 cases and 178 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.

In total the UK has seen 4,126,150 cases and 120,757 deaths.

The vaccine rollout has seen 17,723,840 Brits received a first dose of a coronavirus jab, and 624,325 receiving their second.

Schools will be reopened in England on March 8, marking the first lockdown measure lfited.

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