By Alex Trelinski • 10 April 2020 • 10:33
BRITAIN’S coronavirus lockdown measures will have to continue for several more weeks, according to chief government adviser Professor Neil Ferguson.
Speaking to the BBC, Ferguson said that there was ‘preliminary evidence’ that the public was obeying rules better than anticipated.
“But we have still got to see that reflected in case numbers coming down,” he commented.
“Only when we can see the case numbers come down and how quickly transmissions are being reduced can we really conclude anything about what happens next and when these measures can be relaxed.”
Meanwhile, NHS England’s national medical director Stephen Powis said it is “critical” that people obey social distancing measures this Easter weekend to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
“We are beginning to see the benefits of this social distancing. We do believe the virus is spreading less. That will only continue to happen if we don’t get complacent and continue to follow those instructions.”
Professor Ferguson suggested in his BBC interview that the social distancing measures appeared to be working better than expected but they would need to see more evidence that the spread of the disease was being reduced.
Ferguson added that the measures could be lifted in stages and he said there would need to be more testing for cases of the disease.
On whether planning was being done on when and how lockdown can be eased, Ferguson said: “Both in the scientific community … and in government itself it is the number one topic and priority, every waking minute.”
As for whether the peak of the pandemic had been reached in the UK, Stephen Powis said that it was too early to make that judgement.
He commented: “It’s really difficult to predict where any peak of that plateau will be.
“There is a whole host of things we want to look at, we want to see deaths falling.
“Unfortunately I think for the next week or so they will continue to be high because it is the very last thing that changes when you introduce these measures.
“It’s still too early to really be confident that we are turning the corner.
“We need to completely and utterly make sure that we all comply with the instructions we have been given.”
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