As the number of infections across England increases, scientists have warned that the new restrictions to limit the spread of the virus are inadequate.
The delays in imposing the new Covid restrictions is “reckless “, one MP said. In the upcoming week, pubs and restaurants are expected to shut down, however, the members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) suggested that this would unlikely control the surge in cases.
Experts said if the two-week shutdown for hospitality venues in Scotland and other high-risk areas had been imposed two or three weeks ago cases would have plummeted.
An epidemiologist who sits on Sage, Prof John Edmunds said: “The epidemic is increasing and widely. It is, of course, more severe in the north and north-west but it is increasing everywhere and so we have to take action unless we want to face really large numbers of hospitalisations in the quite near term and, unfortunately, large numbers of deaths. This is still a killer virus, despite improvements in treatment.”
On Thursday, more than 17,500 new coronavirus infections were recorded, up almost 25% on the day before.
The government has been advised that “fringe” anti-lockdown epidemiologists are having too much influence on the country`s decisions.
There has been widespread criticism of the government`s new restrictions and many have argued that they lack scientific evidence.
In a statement, Lilian Greenwood, the Labour member for Nottingham South said: “We got some interesting data but questions about policy were banned.
“I asked how the science-supported delaying extra restrictions in Nottingham until next Wednesday, especially now they’ve been announced to the media so everyone knows this is their last weekend to meet friends and family indoors.”