A government scientific adviser has said that the next two weeks will be “absolutely crucial” if England’s lockdown is to end on December 2nd as planned.
Following on from an announcement that Wirral is to pilot a rollout of the ‘rapid turnaround’ tests, also known as lateral flow antigen tests, Prof Susan Michie, a member of ‘Sage’, said that it was too early to know what should replace the current measures when they end. With the next two weeks being crucial with respect to what happens next, she warned against complacency regarding the rules.
News of a potential vaccine, recently announced by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, would make “no difference” to the current wave but could lead to complacency, Prof Susan Michie said.
Locally, the most recent figures show that in the seven days to November 6th, Wirral had 654 positive test cases – an infection rate of 201.8 per 100,000 people, showing a reduction from 245.7 for the previous week. It is also lower than the national average rate of 245.2.
Prof Michie said everyone must continue to adhere to the current rules in order to be able to spend the Christmas period with loved ones.
“They’re going to be a very challenging two weeks, partly because of the weather, partly because, I think, the promise of a vaccine may be making people feel complacent.”
She added that data showed adherence to lockdown rules had been “pretty steady since the summer” and that the public should resist any urge to break the rules, in order to maximise the chance of leaving lockdown on December 2.
The latest figures published by Public Health England show that Wirral’s COVID-19 infection rate fallen again, whilst a record 33,470 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK government’s latest daily figure.
PM Boris Johnson had previously said that the current lockdown will end on the date planned. However, Michael Gove has stated, “We do need to get the R rate below 1.”, leaving the public with mixed messages.
Wirral Community Health & Care NHS Foundation Trust remided us of the best safe practices:
We all have a role to play in protecting each other, do your bit to keep those you care about safe:— Wirral Community Health&Care NHS Foundation Trust (@wchc_nhs) November 14, 2020
🏠 stay home
👏 wash your hands regularly
😷 wear a face covering where required
↔️ keep 2m space between others (1m+ minimum)
Think #HandsFaceSpace to #StaySafeStayWell pic.twitter.com/KvtG8VAaFC