Scientist claims ‘no reason’ to wait until June to lift UK lockdown

A scientist says the Government should scrap all lockdown rules immediately – but was shot down by another who said his claims were "wrong".

Professor Angus Dalgleish is among 22 experts who this week signed an open letter urging ministers to end all Covid restrictions on June 21.

But on Monday the consultant oncologist told Good Morning Britain that they should be lifted right away.

He said: "In my own professional capacity, we have people who've struggled and carried on with symptoms of cancer, too worried to come in to the hospital to get treatment, and now it's progressed further and their outlook is even worse.

"The fear of dying from a virus of less than one per cent, when they have got conditions which have got a far higher percentage, some cases 100 per cent chance of killing them is so out of proportion and it's so frustrating."

He added: "We've got tens of thousands of cancer patients who should have been diagnosed and treated, with a much better outcome."

However when asked about the letter Professor Stephen Reicher, from the University of St Andrews and a member of the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (Spi-B), which advises ministers, said: “We have heard from these people before, arguing that Covid isn’t a risk and that restrictions should be lifted.

“They were wrong then and they are wrong now. Indeed, it seems remarkably insular to repeat the claim in a week where infections are their highest level ever worldwide and global deaths have passed the three million mark."

Millions of Brits have now received either a Pfizer/BioNTech jab, Oxford/AstraZeneca or a dose of Moderna.

Over 33.6 million have had a first dose and 12.5 million have had a second.

The next stage of the vaccine rollout started on Monday with Brits over the age of 44 being asked to come forward for their jabs.

Prof Dalgleish added that one of the reasons restrictions should be lifted is due the economic strain the pandemic has put on businesses.

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He said: "There are more businesses going bust, lives are being ruined because of this lockdown.

"I speak and see them everyday, particularly young people who have had their hopes and aspirations snatched away from them."

His comments come after it was revealed that more than a third of NHS trusts in England have zero Covid patients in intensive care as infections continue to fall dramatically.

Just 6.6 per cent of critical-care beds are occupied by people suffering from coronavirus – in comparison to 60 per cent in January, according to NHS England data.

A Government adviser has said the calls from scientists and academics to end coronavirus restrictions are “wrong” and “remarkably insular”.

In the open letter, the scientists said “a good society cannot be created by obsessive focus on a single cause of ill-health” and that Covid-19 “no longer requires exceptional measures of control in everyday life”.

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