Dr Jenny Harries, deputy chief medical officer, said the restrictions could remain in force until September, adding that the early signs from the lockdown were promising Britain could be on lockdown for up to six months as it tries to dodge a second wave of cases, a national health chief says.
Dr Jenny Harries, deputy chief medical officer, said certain restrictions could remain in force until September.
However, she said the surge in cases should slow down by Easter.
The doctor declined to say when the peak in the epidemic would be, saying that the effects of new measures to enforce social distancing were only just being seen but signs were promising.
She said: “We may see measures of lockdown going forward over the next six months.
That would not be an implausible outcome. But I also said I think that as we’re watching the curve, it may be possible… to start moving that.
“We are starting to see some helpful movement… But we must not take our foot off the pedal.”
Professor Neil Ferguson, a virus expert at Imperial College London, reportedly said that if the measures work the demand on the NHS should peak within two to three weeks.
According to Mail Online, Dr Harries told Radio 4’s Women’s Hour: “We don’t want to lift those measures 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 lockdown 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.”
The death toll from coronavirus across the UK has increased by 113 in the last 24 hours, it was confirmed tonight.
It now stands at 578, up from 465 yesterday.
The update on deaths came after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that millions of self-employed people will be given an “unprecedented” grant worth 80% of their profits in a coronavirus bailout – but not until JUNE.
The Chancellor finally unveiled a scheme for Britain’s 5million self-employed tonight after days of frantic talks with unions.
He said the taxable grant will be worth 80% of a firm’s monthly profits over the last three years – capped at £2,500 a month.
Those figures are similar to a scheme being offered to millions of full- and part-time workers.
Yet while that scheme will be open in April, the Chancellor admitted the scheme for the self-employed will only be in force “no later than the beginning of June” – more than two months away.