Boris Johnson urged not to put UK into second lockdown by MPs, business chiefs & medics despite death toll warning
BORIS Johnson has been urged not to put the UK into a second lockdown by MPs, business chiefs and medics.
The calls come despite a warning that the death toll during the second wave of Covid-19 in Britain could reach up to 85,000.
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Pret a Manger and Itsu founder Julian Metcalfe said another coronavirus lockdown would be "impossible".
He told the Daily Mail: "Society will not recover if we do it again to save a few thousand lives of very old or vulnerable people.
"The young people of this country will be paying for this for the next 20 to 30 years. It’s terrible what’s happening.
"Just because France does this with its socialist government, doesn’t mean we have to."
Josh Hardie, deputy director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, said there would be "no hiding from the potentially devastating impact on firms and and individuals if Tier Three (lockdown) is rolled out nationally".
Hotelier Sir Rocco Forte said any lockdown to stop the spread of the virus would be a "complete disaster".
He said: "The industry is already at death’s door. It would bankrupt industry and bankrupt the Government."
Pimlico Plumbers boss Charlie Mullins said the government was refusing to listen to businesses.
He said: "We can’t afford to do another national lockdown. The government’s got it all wrong – we can’t keep trying to hide from the virus, we need to find a way to work with it. Boris has lost his bottle and it’s all an overreaction."
This week, 55 Tory MPs wrote to Boris Johnson demanding he provide an exit plan for areas under strict Tier Three restrictions.
A senior Conservative MP reportedly said the group would "lose our s**t" if more businesses were closed.
A Downing Street spokesman said: "As a responsible government, we continue to prepare for a wide range of scenarios, including the reasonable worst-case scenario."
Despite Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies experts suggesting all of England should be under Tier Three lockdown by mid-December, Professor Carl Heneghan, director for the Centre of Evidence-Based Medicine blasted that idea.
Professor Heneghan said another national lockdown would be an "incredibly harmful intervention".
He said: "Lockdown should be a last resort to protect the NHS. The fundamental aim was to protect the NHS, at that time we didn't have testing and we didn't have any treatments or Test and Trace, so it was justified."
Leading cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Support warned that shutting down cancer services during the winter could cost thousands of lives.
It warned that 50,000 cancer cases have gone undiagnosed during the pandemic, and that NHS services could take two years to recover.
Chief executive Lynda Thomas said: "Cancer care is at a crossroads and services cannot be shut down this winter.
"Because of the pandemic, we estimate that an additional 50,000 people are missing a cancer diagnosis and others are having their appointments disrupted once again.
"It is simply unacceptable if they face unbearable and unprecedented delays which could affect their chances of survival."
An expert has warned that the number of coronavirus patients in hospitals could hit 25,000 within weeks.
Cases are rising in most areas in the UK, with many areas being forced into Tier Three restrictions as infections climb.
Professor Sir Mark Walport, the government’s former chief scientific adviser has now claimed that the death toll will continue to increase due to the fact that there are still “very many vulnerable people”.
The UK has had around 917,000 cases of the virus and Sir Walport, who is also a member of the scientific advisory board for emergencies (Sage) highlighted that more deaths could be on the cards as “relatively few people” have had the virus.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Prof Walport said it is "certainly not unrealistic" to think of 25,000 people being in hospital by the end of November.
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