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GETTING THE BALANCE RIGHT: Solicitor General warns of consequences of prolonging lockdown

GETTING THE BALANCE RIGHT: Solicitor General warns of consequences of prolonging lockdown

Image from PA/Yui Mok


Solicitor General Lucy Frazer said that while unlocking next week would cause deaths to rise, there were “consequences” to continuing with coronavirus restrictions.

It comes after the Government’s top medic, Professor Chris Whitty, warned the number of people in hospital with coronavirus could reach “quite scary” levels within weeks.

Solicitor General Lucy Frazer told Sky News: “I don’t think that the Health Secretary (Sajid Javid) has suggested anything otherwise than the infection rate is going to rise and, as a consequence of the infection rate rising, that means, because there is a link between the two, that it follows that hospitalisations and deaths will rise as well.

“But there are also consequences for not opening up, real consequences not just to people’s jobs and the economy, but to mental health as well (and) also to people who haven’t been going to the doctor because they fear it.

“It is really important that we get the balance right between ensuring that we keep this virus under control and we take the necessary clinical measures to do that, but that we also recognise that there are consequences of not opening up and not allowing people to go about their daily lives.”

The Covid app

The Government recognises the “significant impact” that the NHS Covid-19 app is having on businesses, said the Solicitor General.

It comes after more than half a million users in England and Wales received an alert in the seven days to July 7, the highest seven-day total since data was first published in January.

Lucy Frazer said as well as relaxing self-isolation rules on August 16 for the fully vaccinated, there are pilots being undertaken which could allow people to start a testing regime rather than self-isolate.

“It (the app) is an important tool because it is important that you do isolate if you do come into contact (with a positive case), but I know this is something the Government is looking at,” she told Sky News.

“In addition to the changes in mid-August, the Government is also carrying out a number of pilots to see whether instead of isolating when you get pinged, you could take a test.

“The Government is looking at this very carefully, recognising the significant impact this is having on businesses.”

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