Next two weeks crucial for lifting lockdown: UK scientist


London: The next two weeks will be ‘absolutely crucial’ to ensure an end to England’s month-long lockdown December 2 as planned, a UK government scientific adviser said.

Professor Susan Michie, who is on the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), said Saturday that the next two weeks will be “very challenging, partly because of the weather (and) partly because, I think, the promise of a vaccine may be making people feel complacent”, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The vaccine is very unlikely to come in until the end of the year or beginning of next year and that’s going to make no difference to the current second wave.

“So I think for the next two weeks, everybody has to really get all their resolve together,” she added.

Last week, England entered a national lockdown until December 2, the second of its kind since the onset of the pandemic in the UK, in a bid to quell the resurgence of the virus.

Another 27,301 people in the country have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total caseload to 1,317,496, according to official figures.

The death toll rose by 376 to 51,304.

The UK is the first European nation to record more than 50,000 coronavirus deaths.

It is the fifth country in the world to hit the tragic milestone, following the US, Brazil, India and Mexico.