Today (8th July) following the publication of a letter denouncing the Government's intention to remove all Covid-19 restrictions on 19th July; a press conference was held in London to alert the public to the serious risk of infections spiking and specifically affecting the young and non-vaccinated.
The over 100 signatories to the letter published on The Lancet website, make it abundantly clear that this decision by Boris Johnson is so grave, it will see increased deaths and long-term illnesses as well as 'Long-Covid'.
Calling the decision to open up society from all restrictions 'dangerous and premature', they state:
" As the third wave of the pandemic takes hold across England, the UK Government plans to further re-open the nation. Implicit in this decision is the acceptance that infections will surge, but that this does not matter because vaccines have “broken the link between infection and mortality”. On July 19, 2021—branded as Freedom Day—almost all restrictions are set to end. We believe this decision is dangerous and premature. "
The letter continues:
"An end to the pandemic through population immunity requires enough of the population to be immune to prevent exponential growth of SARS-CoV-2. Population immunity is unlikely to be achieved without much higher levels of vaccination than can be reasonably expected by July 19, 2021. Proportionate mitigations will be needed to avoid hundreds of thousands of new infections, until many more are vaccinated."
The scientists argue that the Government's aim of attaining immunity via natural means (herd immunity) and therefore opening up the country, 'means that immunity will be achieved by vaccination for some people but by natural infection for others (predominantly the young)."
"The link between infection and death might have been weakened, but it has not been broken, and infection can still cause substantial morbidity in both acute and long-term illness. We have previously pointed to the dangers of relying on immunity by natural infection, ....."
At the dispatch box in the House of Commons, the Health Secretary stated on 6th July, that daily cases could reach over 100,000 per day during the summer as a result of the lifting of health protection methods on 19th July; including the wearing of face masks!
The letter goes on to list 5 reasons why the 100 plus scientists, signatories to the letter; warn the Government against lifting all restrictions at this stage of the pandemic in the UK.
Briefly they are:
1. unmitigated transmission will disproportionately affect unvaccinated children and young people who have already suffered greatly.
2. high rates of transmission in schools and in children will lead to significant educational disruption, a problem not addressed by abandoning isolation of exposed children (which is done on the basis of imperfect daily rapid tests).
The root cause of educational disruption is transmission, not isolation. Strict mitigations in schools alongside measures to keep community transmission low and eventual vaccination of children will ensure children can remain in schools safely.
3. preliminary modelling data suggest the government's strategy provides fertile ground for the emergence of vaccine-resistant variants. This would place all at risk, including those already vaccinated, within the UK and globally.
4. this strategy will have a significant impact on health services and exhausted health-care staff who have not yet recovered from previous infection waves. The link between cases and hospital admissions has not been broken, ....
5. as deprived communities are more exposed to and more at risk from COVID-19, these policies will continue to disproportionately affect the most vulnerable and marginalised, deepening inequalities.
The public can sign the letter too - at the John Snow Memorandum website here
The John Snow Memorandum is the work of a group of international researchers with expertise spanning public health, epidemiology, medicine, paediatrics, sociology, virology, infectious disease, health systems, psychology, psychiatry, health policy, and mathematical modelling. We felt moved to deliver a clear and simple message about how best to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Press Conference can be watched below: (wait for a few seconds for logo to fade from vision)
Source: The Lancet / Twitter / YouTube