Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Continued from Page 1 Activities [...]; Top Scientist Defends UK Strategy as Critics Call for Tougher Action

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Continued from Page 1 Activities [...]; Top Scientist Defends UK Strategy as Critics Call for Tougher Action

Article excerpt

Continued from Page 1 activities by older people. "Why are we allowing visitors to care homes then?" he asked. "Travel bans are a last resort but many people could be encouraged to work from home and reduce crowding on tubes, buses and trains.

"I hope and trust we will hear more from the Government on these kinds of actions very soon, because shortterm inconvenience is infinitely better than the heartbreaking scenes we are now seeing in Italy. The clock is ticking."

Britain is out of step with many countries, including France, Germany, Ireland, America, Australia and South Korea, in not ordering measures such as school closures, limiting public transport, cancelling major events and banning flights.

Sir Patrick, though, argued that the Government's actions were, in his view, already "quite extreme".

The seven-day restriction for people with Covid-like symptoms would mean a "large number" of people remaining at home and he signalled that this advice could soon be extended to whole households in which only one person has symptoms. More measures were likely to follow, particularly to protect the elderly and individuals with underlying health conditions.

"If you completely locked down absolutely everything, probably for a period of four months or more, then you would suppress this virus," he told Sky News. "All of the evidence from previous epiraised demics suggests that when you do that and then you release it, it all comes back again. The other part of this is to make sure that we don't end up with a sudden peak again in the winter which is even larger which causes even more problems. So we want to suppress it, not get rid of it completely which you can't do anyway, not suppress it so we get the second peak and also allow enough of us who are going to get mild illness to become immune to this to help with the whole population response which would protect everybody."

He added that about 60 per cent of people would need to get the virus for herd immunity. …

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