Government scientists reportedly blocked plans to end the lockdown by Easter after warning of up to 91,000 excess deaths. Ministers considered reopening outdoor pubs and restaurants and non-essential shops by Easter, with all restrictions scrapped by April.
However SAGE scientists reportedly forecast thousands more deaths and hospitals being overwhelmed unless the lockdown was kept in place for months longer. Models suggested by June 60,000 people could be hospitalised if restrictions were lifted too quickly. In January over 39,000 people were in hospital with the virus.
The news comes after Boris Johnson faces a backlash from his own MPs and business leaders for his cautious approach to reopening. The prime minister announced the end of the lockdown in a four stage plan which would see almost all restrictions finally being lifted in June.
Oxford University has ranked Britain’s lockdown as being amongst the toughest in the world, despite the fact the UK has raced ahead of its rivals in vaccinating its population. The government is being criticised for moving the goalposts on when the lockdown can end, with scientists now warning vaccines are not the fast solution to ending restrictions. Already over a third of Brits have been given at least one dose of the vaccine, including the most vulnerable groups.
Read more: Plan to lift lockdown by Easter ‘was canned after Sage scientists warned it would cause 91,000 more deaths’ - www.thesun.co.uk/news/14132140/covid-lockdown-sage-scientists-easter-plan-deaths/
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