The current nationwide lockdown should be extended by 12 weeks to halt the soaring infection rate, an expert has said.
Professor Devi Sridhar, chair of public health at Edinburgh University, described the nationwide restrictions as “crude” and “catastrophic” for the economy and mental health.
But she said the measures were needed to protect the public and the NHS as she argued that a “three-phase strategy” of measures lasting “for the next 12 weeks” was needed.
“With the numbers we’re at, there’s no other choice,” Sridhar told Times Radio.
“For me, it’s a three-phase strategy – first is right now, it’s crude, it’s catastrophic for the economy and for people’s mental health, but a lockdown. Get those numbers down, protect the NHS for the next 12 weeks,” she said.
“When we get into March and hopefully numbers are low again and we get into seasonal change, get your testing and tracing and your border measures in place to really suppress.
“And then in the summer, instead of taking your foot off the gas and saying ‘let’s open up everything’, actually think ’how do we prevent this winter from happening again? How do we actually protect that low prevalence, get emergency teams in place in case there are flare ups… go in, have a quick, sharp one-week lockdown and get your testing and tracing to clear the virus.”
Read more: Professor Devi Sridhar: Lockdowns are ‘catastrophic’ for the economy and mental health, but do it anyway and lockdown for another 12 weeks. God save us from the ‘educated’ idiots of academia