Scientists warn there WILL be more lockdowns as 'virus inevitably spills out'

SCIENTISTS have warned that there WILL be more lockdowns as coronavirus "inevitably spills out" across the population.

Professor Graham Medley, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, said England may have to consider more regional lockdown interventions to tackle the virus.

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Prof Medley said the increased lockdown measures in areas across the north-west of England were "highly unlikely" to be the "last intervention that has to be done regionally".

Greater Manchester, parts of East Lancashire, parts of West Yorkshire, and Leicester have already seen local lockdowns imposed in a bid to tackle a surge in cases.

He said: "I fully expect that there will have to be other interventions at other times but what the interventions are really depends on what happens."

The professor also said the rise in coronavirus infections appeared to be among younger people – but warned there was a danger it could "spill" over into other parts of the population.

The chairman of the SAGE sub-group on pandemic modelling told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The age distribution of infections has changed.


"It has moved down into younger age groups and so it is likely we won't see that increase in hospital admissions related to infection in the same way we did in March.

"But the big fear is the virus just gets out of control and we end up in a situation where there is so much virus that it inevitably spills out into all sections of the population."

A new government report has also warned that the army will need to be drafted in to help police if there are outbreaks of public disorder this summer.

The SPI-B report, from the Independent Scientific Pandemic Influenza group, suggested that the military will be needed to assist police in the wake of coronavirus lockdown easing.


This comes as scientists have suggested that pubs will have to shut in a trade-off with schools reopening next month.

Professor Chris Whitty said getting children back into the classroom is pivotal for the “wellbeing of our country” – and hinted that Brits will have to sacrifice other freedoms as cases rise.

When asked about Prof Whitty's prediction that the country was "near the limits" of opening up society, Prof Medley said: "I think that's quite possible.

"I think we're in a situation whereby most people think that opening schools is a priority for the health and wellbeing of children and that when we do that we are going to reconnect lots of households.

"And so actually, closing some of the other networks, some of the other activities may well be required to enable us to open schools.

"It might come down to a question of which do you trade off against each other and then that's a matter of prioritising, do we think pubs are more important than schools?"

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