Patrick Vallance warns coronavirus deaths will still rise
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the pandemic is “far from over” and will not be over by July 19, with a potential 50,000 cases detected a day by that date. But he has promised to tear up England’s coronavirus regulations at the next stage of the road map. The so-called “freedom day” is expected on July 19, with a decision on whether or not to go ahead being taken a week earlier.
Despite this, the Chief Scientific Adviser outlined deaths and hospitalisations linked to Covid are continuing to rise.
Speaking from Downing Street, Mr Vallance said: “The deaths are increasing, they’re at low levels but there’s an increase in deaths just as there has been an increase in hospitalisations.
“We would expect that to continue also as the number of cases increase.
“To reiterate, cases going up, the link between cases and hospitalisations and cases and deaths is weakened but not completely broken and we expect to see some further increase.”
A poll has suggested the majority of people want face masks to remain compulsory on public transport and in shops beyond this month.
Seven in every 10 people (71 percent) agreed that face masks should continue to be mandatory on public transport for a further period of time once restrictions are lifted, according to the YouGov survey of 2,749 British adults.
Roughly one in five (21 percent) said masks should not be compulsory.
The survey also found that 66 percent of those polled said face masks should continue to be mandatory in shops and some enclosed public places – while 27 percent disagreed.
Boris Johnson reinforces plans to end lockdown on July 19th
At a Downing Street press conference, Mr Johnson acknowledged the pandemic was “far from over” with cases rising “fairly rapidly”.
“There could be 50,000 cases detected per day by the 19th,” he said.
“We are seeing rising hospital admissions and we must reconcile ourselves, sadly, to more deaths from Covid.
“In these circumstances we must take a careful and a balanced decision – and there’s only one reason why we contemplate going ahead to Step 4 in circumstances where we would normally be locking down further and that’s because of the continuing effectiveness of the vaccine rollout.”
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He added: “We have to balance the risks. The risks of the disease which the vaccines have reduced but very far from eliminated and the risks of continuing with legally-enforced restrictions that inevitably take their toll on people’s lives and livelihoods, on people’s health and mental health.
“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, then we must ask ourselves: when will we be able to return to normal?”
Although the legal requirement to self-isolate will remain for people who have tested positive or been identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace, Mr Johnson wants contacts who are fully vaccinated to be exempt and the Government will set out further details in due course.
Later this week, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will give an update on plans to remove the need for fully vaccinated arrivals from amber list countries to isolate, while Education Secretary Gavin Williamson will set out his plans for schools amid concern about the impact of the bubble system.
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