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UK should expect 6 months of lockdown, warns health chief

Another six months in lockdown should be expected in order to prevent a second outbreak of the coronavirus in the UK, warned the country's deputy chief medical officer.
UK should expect 6 months of lockdown, warns health chief

London, March 28 Another six months in lockdown should be expected in order to prevent a second outbreak of the coronavirus in the UK, warned the country's deputy chief medical officer.

Jenny Harries revealed that some, but not all, draconian measures currently in place could be imposed until September, the express.co.uk said in a report on Thursday.

The lockdown has forced people to revise their lifestyles in a major way.

While speaking to the BBC, Harries said that the government did not want people to have to this for an unnecessarily long period of time.

But, she added: "We don't want to lift those measures (too soon) and find that we have a sudden upsurge and our efforts will have been wasted.

"Overall we are looking at a scenario of over a six-month period but not necessarily with a lock down of this level going on throughout that time.

"We are likely able to raise some of the measures as we go forward and keep in a very controlled pattern."

Harries suggested that the number of patients currently being infected speeding up could start to plateau as the spread of it is slowed by people staying at home, the express.co.uk reported.

In the past week alone, 6,903 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the UK. The week before saw 2,710.

Meanwhile, Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London said that the British capital was "going to be very difficult in the next two to three weeks".

"All I would say is, with the lockdown now in place, those numbers are going to start to plateau. The challenge we have is there's a lag.

"The people being admitted to hospital right now were infected a week, two weeks, even sometimes three weeks ago, so without doubt the next one (or) two weeks are going to be very difficult," he added.

On Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that he tested positive for the novel coronavirus but would continue to discharge his duties from self-isolation.

He becomes the second high-profile British leader to test positive for coronavirus in recent days after Prince Charles, the heir to the the throne.

Some ministers in the Johnson government and MPs have also tested positive for COVID-19, including Health Secretary Matt Hancock whose announcement came shortly after the Prime Minister's.

The UK has so far reported 14,751 confirmed coronavirus cases with 761 deaths.

( With inputs from IANS )

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