Chris Whitty says lockdown could get tougher and he is "not confident" that Tier Three alone can contain coronavirus as ministers try to balance R and harmful economy
- Prime Minister announced new "traffic light" closures on site on Monday
- Prof. Chris Whitty said he was "not confident" that the rules went far enough
- The chief medical officer said the councils need to take more aggressive steps
The chief medical officer admitted last night that he was "not confident" that Boris Johnson's three-tier lockdown measures went far enough.
The Prime Minister announced that Liverpool will be the first very high risk sector to receive the tier three measures. This means that pubs should be closed and households should not be mixed.
However, Prof. Chris Whitty said that this is an "absolute foundation" for rules to be implemented as the UK recorded an additional 13,972 Covid cases on Monday – an 11 percent increase last Monday.
Prof. Whitty said, "We have to do more, that is the whole point of what the Prime Minister has just announced, and probably much more in some areas."
UK chief medical officer Chris Whitty (pictured) warned last night that Boris Johnson's new Tier 3 lockdown measures would not go far enough and that councils would have to impose their own restrictions in order to reduce the infection rate
Prime Minister Boris Johnson listens as UK Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty speaks during a virtual press conference at 10 Downing Street in central London on Monday evening
He added, “The idea that we can do this without causing harm is an illusion. It is a balancing act between two damages: harm to society and the economy on the one hand and harm to health on the other. & # 39;
Speaking to the nation alongside Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Prof. Whitty, Mr Johnson said the options are to let the virus rip apart or destroy the economy.
A huge chunk of the country, including Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and the Northeast, is facing Tier 2 restrictions, which are expected to be covered by the top two levels after Tuesday, to allow household socializing and a total of 22 million in England fight.
Mr Johnson said the rising numbers in these areas "are flashing like warning messages on the dashboard of a passenger jet and we need to act now," but he ruled out the "extreme route" of a full national lockdown "for now".
However, Prof. Whitty risked undermining the Prime Minister's finely calibrated message by pointing out that the "professional view" was that basic level three measures were "not enough" to control the virus.
He urged local leaders to use the "flexibility" of the rules to tighten restrictions.
Prof. Whitty said, “I am not and no one is confident that the Tier 3 proposals for (areas with) the highest rates – if you were doing the absolute base case and nothing more – would be enough to get over it and therefore there is great flexibility in level 3 for the local authorities to actually increase this range so that they can achieve significantly more than the absolute base. & # 39;
The government tried to reassure people in high risk sectors that their status is checked monthly and that nothing is indefinite.
Prof. Whitty looked below: "I am extremely confident that we will do this in a remarkably better place next winter."
But he praised the efforts of people – for example, people with fewer contacts and companies trying to limit transmission by becoming Covid-proof, adding, “If we hadn't done all of the things everyone is doing right now. .. the rates we are seeing on these charts would be much higher.
“So what people are doing now is to cut the rates significantly from where they would have been.
"But we can see that we have to go further, otherwise these rates will continue to rise inexorably."
He added: “My experience as a doctor has shown that people in the UK are actually not afraid.
“They want people to give them very clear messages and know the worst.
"And then discuss what to do and then make a plan for how to do it."
He said he was “confident” that the nation would weather the crisis, but added: “It's a balancing act between two harms – harm to society and the economy on the one hand, and harm to health.
"Getting this right is critical and we're all trying to find the balance in the middle – the really narrow path between those two damages on either side, accepting whatever we do isn't going to be easy."
He added, “I cannot predict and no one can predict what combinations of vaccine diagnoses and other interventions will be available to us.
"But I am very confident that we will do this in a remarkably better place next winter."
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