Boris Johnson is being warned by scientists that an increase in vaccinations at COVID hotspots may not be enough to stop the spread of the Indian variant – and that he should not have relaxed the lockdown rules this week.
the Prime Minister said he was watching the variant closely, adding “we will know a lot more in a few days”, suggesting he won’t wait for the next review on June 14 if he needs to take further action.
This review is expected for a week before the final stage of the government’s roadmap, while it is hoped that all legal limits on social contact will be lifted on June 21.
Bolton, where the Indian variant epidemic is most severe, saw the number of cases double per 100,000 population last week.
However, the PM faces warnings from Tory MPs, including Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee of backbenchers, not to delay the final stage of lifting the lockdown next month or reimpose the restrictions.
Scientists told Sky News that the ramp-up strategy was designed to “buy as much time” as possible to increase vaccine uptake, but also warned that it may not be fast enough to contain the spread and present other dangers.
It comes as Sky News has learned that the first alarm bells over the Indian variant went off four weeks ago.
Urgent discussions were held in Whitehall nearly two weeks ago on what to do about the Indian variant, with some advisers urging ministers not to lift this week’s third stage lockdown on Monday .
Some scientists believe the decision to unlock was a mistake, while a Tory source said some ministers were in favor of the PM going too fast.
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This notice was published: 2021-05-18 19:52:00