Delay decision on lifting lockdown on June 21, BMA chairman urges government
May 31, 2021, 23:09
The head of the British Medical Association has urged the government to ‘delay’ the decision to end England’s lockdown rules on June 21.
Concern is growing over the impact of increasing cases of the Indian variant of the coronavirus on hospital admissions.
Ministers want to make sure everyone over 50 gets both doses at once before so-called “freedom day” next month.
British Medical Association (BMA) Chairman of the Board Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: “The government must wait until June 21 to make a final decision on lifting the lockdown completely until the latest data can be released. scientifically examined – the Prime Minister had pledged to be guided by “data, not dates”, and it is vital that he now honor that pledge.
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“We are at a pivotal moment in the fight against the virus in the UK, and with the date of June 21 signifying the end of all legal restrictions and allowing for normal social mixing of people.
“Yet since the roadmap was announced, we have seen the emergence of a new highly transmissible variant and a significant escalation of cases – and over the past week, a reversal of the trend towards decline to see an increase in hospital admissions and deaths.At the same time, we know that second doses of vaccine are essential in controlling the spread of the new variant.
“An untimely end to all legal restrictions, which would then result in an upsurge in infections, would undermine our health service’s efforts to tackle the largest backlog of care it has ever faced. and physically. “
The Prime Minister pledged to respect “the data and not the dates” when making decisions on the roadmap outside of the lockout.
Ministers said no decision would be taken until June 14 – a week before the restrictions were lifted.
Meanwhile, the Labor Party said “ministerial incompetence” was the “biggest threat” to plans to break out of lockdown.
Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: ‘The decision to continue easing restrictions on June 21 must be made on the database to keep people safe and not overwhelm the NHS.
“The biggest threat to this is ministerial incompetence.
“Today, ministers remain engulfed and distracted by internal wrangling and the shifting of blame just as we need a laser focus on this variant.
“Weak and slow decisions on border policy let this variant come in, the continued lack of sufficient support for self-isolation and a stalemate with local public health directors on immunization policy have not succeeded. to contain it.
“For June 21 to happen, ministers must learn from their past mistakes.”