Ministers are under mounting scientific and political pressure to take action on the dreaded “surge” in coronavirus cases linked to Christmas, as Downing Street rejected calls for any measures to mitigate the impact.
Representatives, scholars, and doctors called for a rethink of politics Allow three families to mix Indoors during Christmas, or for schools to take longer breaks during the holidays to curb the spread of Covid, but No 10 said there were no plans for either.
But with cases in London Sharp riseFinki Ramakrishnan, a Nobel Prize-winning biologist and chair of the scientific body of the Royal Society, who recently left, has warned of the expected consequences, and infection rates have remained high in many other places.
He told the Guardian: “I understand the emotional need of families, but from a public health standpoint, loosening the rules for Christmas is just a recipe for further spread of the virus.”
“At a time when vaccines seem so promising, I think it is no exaggeration to ask people to exercise restraint this Christmas. I myself have not seen my children or grandchildren in over a year because they live in the United States, and I do not expect that until we are vaccinated or are The infection rates are very low. “
Ramakrishnan stressed that he is not seeking “to be a directive about that myself” with regard to the rules, adding, “This is for the government. I think if the restrictions are eased as planned, and people take advantage of the loosening rules, it will lead to another increase at a very bad time.” .
While plans for home mixing of up to five days over Christmas are across the UK (or seven days for Northern Ireland), Welsh Minister of Health, Vaughan Githing, said this could change in Wales.
Asked at a news conference on Monday whether Wells could revisit the Four Nations approach to Christmas, Githing said: “You can never say never … nothing off the table. It depends on the choices each of us have.” Ready to be taken. “
Downing Street said there are no plans to revise the Christmas guidelines or keep schools closed longer.
Labor on Monday called on the government to determine how they planned to avoid the National Health Service coming under heavy pressure in January.
“Areas that are growing in general are rising faster than decreasing areas,” Jonathan Ashura, the health minister in the shadows, said Matt Hancock, the health minister, in a public exchange on London relocation decision And some neighboring areas are at the highest level of coronavirus restrictions.
“As is the case now, we are heading towards the comfort of Christmas as the elevation area shrinks. The buffer zone these levels were supposed to provide is becoming much thinner.”
Sam Everington, a general practitioner in Tower Hamlets, east London, who heads the capital’s health commission, said schools are particularly concerned in terms of the virus spreading among students and then passing it on to older relatives at home.
He told the BBC: “We need to think very seriously about Christmas and New Year.” “Everyone needs to think seriously about the risks that more than one family pose.”
Boris Johnson also faces opposition from Conservative House of Representatives. Former Conservative Defense Secretary Tobias Ellwood asked Health Secretary Matt Hancock in the House of Commons to review the Christmas plan, “so we’re not starting the new year with a third wave.”
“2020 has been the most tested year for years, and 2021 should be different because of this vaccine. My concern is that giving up our guard for five days over Christmas could be very dangerous indeed,” said Ellwood.
Stephen Hammond, an MP for Wimbledon in southwest London, has separately called for urgent action on school transmission.
He told BBC Radio 4: “I’ve seen for at least a week now, looking at our local area, that schools should have closed last Friday.” “With only three days left until the end of the semester, we must make this decision today.
“I also think we should think hard about how quickly they should open after Christmas, and maybe about two weeks of online learning.”
However, Hammond did not discuss changing the Christmas rules, saying that this should be a “personal decision.”
He said, “I think a lot of people would probably decide now, in fact, that they don’t want to take the risk. So I think a lot of people will make that decision themselves, and I think that’s probably the right way.”
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