Another coronavirus lockdown unlikely in UK, says leading scientist

Abbianca Makoni
·2-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

The UK is on a steady course out of the pandemic and another lockdown is unlikely, a leading scientist has said.

Professor Neil Ferguson said he believed the country, which has given more than 50 million Covid vaccinations already, is on the right track.

Prof Ferguson, who sits on the government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), also said that data on falling Covid cases, hospitalisations and deaths was encouraging.

He told the BBC that while another lockdown “can’t be completely ruled out”, he has become increasingly “optimistic” over recent months.

It comes as ministers said that further lockdown easing will go ahead in England if the data supports it.

On Tuesday, the government’s coronavirus dashboard revealed that 1,946 new infections had been recorded, as well as four deaths within 28 days of a positive test across the UK.

The recorded number of deaths is often lower immediately after weekends and bank holidays due to reporting lags.

More than 50 million Covid vaccinations have been given in the UK so far, with 34,667,904 first doses and 15,630,007 second doses.

But Prof Ferguson did warn there could be a “roll back” of some freedoms if any new variants proved resistant to vaccines.

“In the worst case scenario, if we have a new variant pop up which does manage to evade the vaccines, say late summer early autumn, there may be a need to roll back on some of these measures at least temporarily until we can boost people’s immunity.

“Do I think it’s likely to happen? No, I don’t. I think we are much more likely to be on a steady course now out of this pandemic, at least in this country,” he told the broadcaster.

Covid restrictions are expected to be further eased on May 17 in England, Scotland and Wales, subject to government approval.

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