Easing lockdown measures? Let's be cautious, advises Boris Johnson, who fears second peak of infections
After a government meeting last Friday, the Prime Minister has been said to be very cautious regarding relaxing the lockdown restrictions, fearing it could lead to a second peak of the virus, and therefore to a second lockdown and even more damage for the economy.
Still recovering from his Covid-19 infection that led him to intensive care earlier this month, Boris Johnson is staying away from the frontline, and it is Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab who is standing in for the Prime Minister.
The government extended the lockdown for another three weeks last Thursday, Dominic Raab stating "Overall, we still don't have the infection rate down as far as we need to.", which means the lockdown will last until at least early May.
The number of deaths from Covid-19 in hospitals has now reached 16,000 in the UK, and should be much higher when deaths in care homes and communities are counted in as well - which is why it is so important to keep on being careful, and not to rush towards easing measures.
England's deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries also commented regarding figures and the recent slowing of hospital deaths, "If we don't keep doing the social distancing, we will create a second peak and we definitely won't be past it so this is no reason to consider that we have managed this. But I do think things look to be heading in the right direction."
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson went even further, saying five tests should be done before easing the quarantine. "First we must protect the NHS's ability to cope, and be sure that it can continue to provide critical care and specialist treatment right across the whole of the United Kingdom.
"Second, we need to see daily death rates from coronavirus coming down. Third, we need to have reliable data that shows the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels. Four, we need to be confident that testing capacity and PPE is being managed, with supply able to meet, not just today's demand, but future demand.
"And fifth, and perhaps most crucially, we need to be confident that any changes we do make will not risk a second peak of infections."