ECONOMY

Doctors’ leaders slam Johnson’s ‘irresponsible’ lockdown lifting


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octors’ leaders have condemned Boris Johnson’s “irresponsible” decision to press ahead with lockdown lifting in England despite Covid-19 infections continuing to surge.

At a Downing Street news conference, Mr Johnson acknowledged the pandemic “is not over” and appealed to people to proceed with caution.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street / PA Wire

At the same time, he said postponing the easing of restrictions into the autumn would risk reopening at a time when schools are back from their summer holidays and people are spending more time indoors as the weather turns cold.

However Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the BMA council chair, said that by going ahead on July 19, the Government was reneging on its promise to be led by the data and the impact on the NHS.

He said scrapping restrictions while a significant proportion of the population was still not fully vaccinated, would allow the virus to “retighten its grip”, driving up infections and hospitalisations and putting more lives at risk.

“It’s irresponsible – and frankly perilous – that the Government has decided to press ahead with plans to lift the remaining Covid-19 restrictions on July 19,” he said.

HEALTH Coronavirus / PA Graphics

“The BMA has repeatedly warned of the rapidly rising infection rate and the crippling impact that Covid-related hospitalisations continue to have on the NHS, not only pushing staff to the brink of collapse but also driving up already lengthy waiting times for elective care.

“The Prime Minister repeatedly emphasised the importance of a slow and cautious approach, but in reality the Government is throwing caution to the wind by scrapping all regulations in one fell swoop – with potentially devastating consequences.”

The latest daily official figures showed cases continue to surge with a further 34,471 laboratory-confirmed infections in the UK as of 9am on Monday.

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