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  • we've been locked down for over five weeks now.

  • The weeks have been cold and long, but it is now clear that in that time this wave of co vid has retreated.

  • It's not just the office for National Statistics reporting before the numbers testing positive are very much down.

  • Indeed, the fall from the peak at the turn of the year is even more pronounced.

  • It's possible one reason for this might be that there are fewer infectious people coming forward for testing.

  • But we're also seeing the situation improving hospitals, so hospitalizations are now also going down, and they're going down across the country as our admission rates into intensive care.

  • And that's also probably speaking going down in all regions.

  • But it's really worth noting that still the hospital admission rates So that's the number of people, um, eso the rate of people going into hospital.

  • So the before the population going into hospital, any given week is still higher than it was at the peak in November.

  • Thea the metric his deaths, which lag behind in the first wave.

  • They exceeded 1000 in a single day.

  • Once they fell to a low of seven a day in August put it over 1300 a day in mid January.

  • There have been 21 days with over 1000 deaths in the most recent wave, but they are falling now.

  • E think deaths have now peaked, but they're still very high.

  • They are coming down on bond.

  • The it's not just deaths that are high, but what we call excess mortality, the number of people dying compared to what would be expected at this time of the year in competitive in the average over the past five years on, that's still still really very high as well.

  • So again, it's getting better.

  • Things are on the right side, but there's still a way to go to any kind of seeing any kind of normality.

  • While there have been drops, cases are still higher in some groups.

  • With the embers still burned last year, this graph shows covert infection rates.

  • According toa wealth, the Pink Line shows infections among the wealthiest 20% of the population.

  • The Green Line is for the most deprived 20% of the population.

  • We see that it is in lock down that a real gulf opens up between the groups, thoughts and our turning toe opening up.

  • Some fear that despite millions of people vaccinated, if we open up too quickly, we risk.

  • And of the locked out scientists are asking how many cases air acceptable on what does the case mean if people have been vaccinated, so potentially less likely to get sick?

  • This'd is what the chief medical officer said last month.

  • The aim of this.

  • It's a d.

  • Risk it as much as possible by the vaccine, to the point where actually we get to the stage where the risk is incredibly low relative to where we are now.

  • I mean, we just say, just as we do with flu, where every year, roughly on an average year, about 7000 people a year die in a bad year, up to 20,000 people a year die.

  • We accept there is a level of risk that society will tolerate.

  • We have.

  • We should tolerate people die.

  • That's one of the things that happens.

  • But if something like that, it's our rain.

  • When can we start coming out of lock down?

  • I would say it's far too early to be ableto start making any kind of confident judgements around that it's gonna depend on a lot of things about you get vaccinated.

  • How quickly on the impact on the benefit of that vaccine on both transmissions, the severity and on any new variants that potentially start emerging with news that the economy has slumped on the numbers of people vaccinated rapidly going up?

  • The question is, where do we need to be?

  • Toe Open up, Deb.

  • Cool.

  • Well, let's talk about that now.

  • Joining me is Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet Medical Journal on the conservative MP.

  • Damian Green, former first secretary state.

  • Good evening to both of you, Richard Horton.

  • First of all, as a society, do you think that we have grasped the impact that Corbyn will have on us on for how long?

  • I'm afraid not at all.

  • I think we've taken far too short term of perspective.

  • We are in a very good position in the near term right now.

  • We've seen over two thirds of cases cuts since January.

  • The fourth.

  • We're on target to get to very low numbers of cases by the end of February early March.

  • That does mean that if we can keep those low number of cases stable, We could see some easing of the lock down by mid March, for example, opening primary schools.

  • But that's not the real objective.

  • The real objective is going to be to get the rest of the population vaccinated and go into winter later this year.

  • Aziz protected, as we could be.

  • But we will see a spike in number of cases going into winter on.

  • We have toe have a multiyear perspective to this.

  • It's going to take 2 to 3 to four years to build up the levels of population immunity to really protective.

  • So you say the words, as protected as we can be, is that is protected.

  • We can be or is protected as we're prepared to be right, So we have broadly two choices.

  • We try and suppress transmission as much as possible.

  • This has been called Zero Cove it or we say, that that's going to be an impossible dream.

  • A mirage.

  • Aziz Jonathan Sumption has called it on.

  • Instead, we're going to have to accept a certain level off deaths, as you heard Chris Witty say.

  • In fact, the number of deaths from influenza has been asshole Aya's 30,000 in any one year in England.

  • Is that the number that we're going to have to accept?

  • That's gonna be a conversation politicians they're gonna have to have with the country.

  • Yes, well, let's have a bit of that conversation with one politician now.

  • Damien Green, do you think?

  • I mean Chris Witty did say it there.

  • But do you think that is the message of the government ought to be telling the people, even though it's hard to hear that this is about 2 to 3 years, it's about an acceptable level of deaths, and it's possibly about continuing restrictions in one form or another.

  • Well, I would take those separately I think I agree with, which is holding that the idea.

  • Zero co vid eyes probably a mirage that it is going to be with us.

  • We are going to have to live with it, but in practice, looking at that, the whole of society, if you can vaccinate large parts of the other population, particularly the most vulnerable nine groups, which we have got, you know, beat suffered from 99% of the deaths on also the one thing that hasn't been discussed yet, which I know about.

  • Hancock is talking about in tomorrow's newspapers is the fact that treatments air coming along so that that fewer people will die than have sadly died in the past.

  • The combination of the vaccination program on the treatments might mean and should mean that we can slowly, gradually, cautiously open up with the confidence that we're not going to have to lock down again, even though we we know now that winter's air more difficult than summers, you think slowly, gradually, cautiously, Damian Green.

  • But don't you think we just have to be honest and say, Look, you know, you might get into a pub, you might get to the outside of a pub.

  • By the beginning of April, you might get into a shop in me.

  • Do people have the expectation that wham bam is going to come to like the fifth of March?

  • Kids going back in school and everything is gonna open up again?

  • And when does the government say that is simply not gonna happen?

  • Well, I mean, I think the answer is the government will say the prime minister will say, broadly speaking, what his plan is on February the 22nd.

  • We know that on day and it does seem to me very likely that the sequence will be that will open up the schools in March.

  • Um, it would, I think, be sensible to give it a few weeks to see what effect that has on incidents and then say, Maybe retail, outdoor sport.

  • Some of the things that you know some of us have been arguing are relatively safe.

  • You could do that fairly quickly on then, maybe a month after that.

  • See what?

  • The fact that has moved on to hospitality, Thio, pubs and restaurants and so on.

  • So I think the key principle that we must operate under is that we should unlock sensibly so that we never have to go back into this type of lock down.

  • Richard Horton.

  • They're locked down like this would be disastrous.

  • Richard Richard Horton, the vaccine.

  • The vaccine isn't the magic bullet, is it?

  • Because it has to be a global vaccine or else one of the restrictions were going to face, presumably is not being traveling as freely as we once did.

  • That's right.

  • The unit of success here is not the United Kingdom.

  • It is the whole of the world on This is a virus that has spread across the whole of the planet.

  • So it's in our interest to make sure that vaccines are made available not just to our European neighbors, but to other countries around the world.

  • And we're a long, long, long way from that at the moment.

  • So it's great that we've got I think today the number was over 14 million who have had their first dose.

  • But it's an illusion to think that our success is going to be sufficient to protect us, because even if we do have high levels of population immunity, our borders will not be secure.

  • And we can't keep locking people up in hotels for the next five years.

  • So in that case, Damian Green, then there has to be a very direct conversation with the public, which also affects the economy, which is that travel will not be freely available throughout the world until we have a vaccine throughout the world.

  • Well, how available it is in the rest of the world, how much we can travel to other countries is up to the other countries as much as anything on.

  • But I do think I mean we know that we have with this brilliantly successful vaccination program that we have ordered Mawr than you could possibly need for the British public.

  • Well, we'll be giving our elsewhere then.

  • Presumably we'll be giving it to other countries if we get access.

  • If eventually.

  • Yes, and you know AstraZeneca have said that, you know they're going toe so that use it around the world on don't make any profit out of it, which seems to be holy laudable.

  • So yes, we will help other countries, whether our immediate neighbors or indeed, you know, I'll be quite happy to see Britain's efforts around the world in some of the problems, you know.

  • But I don't.

  • We also have to see that sooner rather than later, people who cannot afford to stay at home, people who have to go to work, people have to go to work because their jobs will be, are so insecure that they will lose them.

  • People are gonna have to do that.

  • And also the government is very keen to see and says furlough is not forever.

  • So s so the question is, how do you marry people's desperate need to go out to work when they're financially insecure with the levels of locked down release that you're suggesting, because what I'm suggesting is a e.

  • I mean, it's gradual in in terms.

  • I'm not saying that a soon as you've got the first four groups vaccinated, you open up the whole economy there.

  • There are some people like me that I don't agree with that.

  • But I think within a few months you can open up large parts of the economy on that would be if you look at wider society.

  • Obviously, Cove, it is dominating everything.

  • But we do have to look at mental health as well as economic health on DAT does argue for a gradual return to something like normal life and certainly normal economic activity.

  • Normal economic activity only presumably, if you make sure that furlough still exists for people who cannot get back to work well, if you were, the more normal you could make economic activity, the more people can get back to work on DSO.

  • Yeah, that's good all round.

  • It's better for people to do jobs than than sitting at home furloughed on.

  • Obviously, given the amount of a huge amount of support that the government has given to the economy.

  • You know, we can't carry on borrowing like that.

  • We will have to have normal economic activity back.

  • Thank you both very much indeed.

we've been locked down for over five weeks now.

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Covid UK: As virus cases drop, how can we safely ease restrictions? - BBC Newsnight

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/13
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