Nervtag Professor: 'The data simply doesn't support a delay to lockdown easing'

7 June 2021, 14:45

By Tim Dodd

The UK population will be 'massively demoralised' if the Government decides to delay the final step of lockdown easing on June 21st, Nervtag Professor Robert Dingwall tells LBC.

It comes as Boris Johnson says the data to support the easing is "still ambiguous" and "we just need to give it a little bit longer" before a firm decision is made.

Nick Ferrari asked Professor Robert Dingwall, a member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), what he thought the impact would be of delaying the June 21st lockdown easing.

Prof. Dingwall, speaking in a personal capacity, said: "I think the population will be massively demoralised frankly, and the data simply don't support a delay. The short sorts of delays that are being talked about - oh it might only be three weeks - those in practical terms make very little difference to the risk.

"The question is really, if not on the 21st June, then when?

"We're not seeing the increase in hospitalisations, as Chris Hopson the Chief Executive of NHS Providers said at the weekend. The people coming into hospital now are not desperately ill in the way that they were in January. They need a little bit of extra help with their breathing that they can only get in hospital.

"The vaccines have pushed the crisis past. What we're doing now is making a transition to 'this is what it's like to live with Covid'. It's going to pass through as waves of minor respiratory infections of the kind we've always lived with as humans."