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Jan 9, 2021

Major new TV campaign to warn public to stay at home
UK lockdown enforcement is too lax to control the spread of coronavirus and restrictions as tough as those seen in March are needed to bring down infection rates, a Sage member has warned.
Susan Michie, who sits on the governments Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, told BBC Radio 4s Today programme this morning that the combination of the winter season and the faster-spreading variant meant tougher rules were necessary.
You put those two things together, alongside the NHS being in crisis, we should have a stricter rather than less strict lockdown than we had back in March, Ms Michie warned.
It came after London mayor Sadiq Khan declared a major incident in the capital due to pressure on the NHS from Covid-19.
Data from the Office for National Statistics this week suggested that as many as one in 30 Londoners have the virus, while there were more than 7,000 people in hospital with Covid-19, as of Friday.
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Major incident in London as one in 30 have virus
London mayor Sadiq Khan has declared a major incident in the capital as data shows as many as one in 30 people have coronavirus in the city.
Mr Khan warned hospitals in London were at risk of being overwhelmed, with beds likely to run out within the next two weeks unless the spread of the virus slows dramatically.
Our political editor, Andrew Woodcock, has the full story below:
Hospitals in capital at risk of being overwhelmed, says Sadiq Khan
Conrad Duncan9 January 2021 09:02
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Current lockdown too lax and tighter rules needed, Sage member warns
The UKs current lockdown is too lax and tighter rules like those seen in March are needed to control the spread of coronavirus, a Sage member has warned.
Susan Michie, professor of health psychology at University College London, said the faster-spreading variant and worse conditions in winter meant tougher restrictions were necessary to bring infection rates under control.
When you look at the data, it shows that almost 90 per cent of people are overwhelmingly sticking to the rules despite the fact we’re also seeing more people out and about, Ms Michie told BBC Radio 4s Today programme.
I think one of the explanations for that is that actually this is quite a lax lockdown because we’ve still got a lot of household contact, people go in and out of each other’s houses.
If you’re a key nurse, a non-essential tradesperson, a nanny, you have mass gatherings in terms of religious events, nurseries being open and, really importantly, you have this wide definition of critical workers so we have 30-50 per cent of [school] classes full-up at the moment and therefore you’ve got very busy public transport with people going to and from all these things.
She added: It is definitely too lax, because if you think about it and compare ourselves with March, what do we have now?
We have the winter season and the virus survives longer in the cold, plus people spend more time indoors and we know aerosol transmission, which happens indoors, is a very big source of transmission for this virus.
And secondly we have this new variant which is 50-70 per cent more infectious. You put those two things together, alongside the NHS being in crisis, we should have a stricter rather than less strict lockdown than we had back in March.
Conrad Duncan9 January 2021 08:55
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Hello and welcome to The Independents live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic today.
Conrad Duncan9 January 2021 08:42