'We're back to March': Ex-Public Health chief fears UK-wide lockdown is imminent

10 October 2020, 11:03 | Updated: 10 October 2020, 11:53

By Seán Hickey

This former public health director tells Matt Frei the government should consider locking down the nation to prevent Covid-19 running riot.

Professor John Ashton took the opportunity to tell the Government to "act now" on the rising coronavirus cases in the UK when quizzed by Matt Frei.

"We should be moving to a general lockdown unless places have a generally low rate of the virus," the former Regional Director of Public Health for North-West England claimed.

He warned Matt that amid the rise in cases, "back to the office is dead," adding that "two metres is back on the agenda."

Matt suggested that the demands of Professor Ashton seemed to echo the original measures imposed at the beginning of the pandemic.

"We are back to March," Professor Ashton admitted.

He told Matt that "if we'd done what New Zealand did" in the initial stages of the virus "we could have got this down to almost zero."

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

Matt noted that a new national debate is on the horizon on whether or not we should wear face masks in public. Professor Ashton insisted this should be done.

He went on: "We know that face masks work. They were used in the pandemic of 1918-1919." The former public health director took aim at the slow response of the UK in imposing the wearing of face masks.

"It's a mess because of the mixed messaging of the government," he said.