‘UK govt should avoid setting dates for lifting lockdown’

London, Feb 6 : The UK government should avoid “setting dates” to lift the ongoing lockdown, the third of its kind since the onset of the pandemic, despite hopes that the coronavirus infection levels were falling due to vaccine rollout, an advisory scientist said.

Speaking to the BBC on Friday, Graham Medley, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), said leaders should not be “driven by a calendar”, reports Xinhua news agency.

The pandemic could still go in two directions, up or down, and “it’s up to the government to decide which of those paths it takes”, Medley told the BBC.

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The scientist suggested a strategy of “adaptive management so you actually change the control of the epidemic as it goes along rather than setting dates”.

“To actually make decisions dependent on the circumstances, rather than being driven by a calendar of wanting to do things,” the scientist added.

On Thursday, the UK’s Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi told lawmakers that almost nine in 10 over 80s and over 75s, and over half of people in their 70s, had been vaccinated in Britain.

Zahawi said the country is “getting safer every day” as more people get coronavirus vaccines, but the infection level is still “alarmingly high”.

Nearly 10.5 million people in Britain have been administered the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest official figures.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed that Britain remains “on track” to complete the vaccination of the top priority groups, which cover 15 million people, by mid-February.

The country aims to offer all adults their first dose by autumn.

As of Saturday, the UK has reported a total of 3,922,910 coronavirus cases, the fourth highest caseload in the world after the US, India and Brazil.

The country’s death toll has hovered to 111,477, the fifth largest number of fatalities after the US, Brazil, Mexico and India.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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