Covid: Expert after expert are all sounding the same warning – Scotsman comment

We need to wake up to warnings by leading experts that the Covid-19 coronavirus is still a serious threat as the number of infections rises.

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 12:30 pm
Nicola Sturgeon, like Conservative Health Secretary Matt Hancock, is concerned about rising numbers of Covid-19 cases

In March, scientists at Imperial College London warned that if the UK Government took no action to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, an estimated 510,000 people would die. And if it proceeded with a ‘mitigation’ – with the hope of building up ‘herd immunity’ in the population – the death toll would still reach 250,000 and the NHS would be unable to cope.

This research, based partly on events in China, played a significant role in the decision to change the plan and instead put the country into lockdown. To date, more than 41,000 people have lost their lives in the UK because of the outbreak but it should be crystal clear to everyone that this number would have been much higher had action not been taken.

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Ministers at Westminster and Holyrood have recently been able to relax the lockdown’s restrictions because of the effect it has had on the spread of the virus.

However, this vital progess may now be undermined by the reckless behaviour of a minority and an alarming rise in the bizarre phenomenon of ‘Covid denial’ and associated conspiracy theories.

Nicola Sturgeon, English Health Secretary Matt Hancock and leading experts have all voiced concern about rising numbers of cases.

For example, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, an expert on the UK Government’s Sage advisory committee, warned on Monday “people have relaxed too much. Now is the time for us to re-engage, and to realise that this a continuing threat to us”.

Professor Jason Leitch, Scotland’s national clinical director, said prevalence of the virus was “accelerating again”, adding “you can hear from our words and our concern that we are worried about it”. And Dr David Nabarro, one of the World Health Organisation’s special Covid envoys, told Sky News that “there are going to be more spikes and, indeed, some surges of cases, because the virus hasn’t changed. It’s the same virus that came and caused so much trouble earlier this year, and it’s just been lurking.”

In contrast to fools who think they know better out of sheer arrogance, these people are all highly trained scientists who actually know what they are talking about. The question for the rest of us is who do we choose to listen to and whether we are prepared to risk the lives of hundreds of thousands of people by failing to follow the guidelines.

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