Don’t put freedom at risk on June 21 with lockdown haste – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair.

Boris Johnson still hopes to lift all lockdown restrictions on June 21 - but is he right to do so?

THE Government must hold off making a final decision on whether lockdown is fully lifted on June 21 until latest data can be scientifically considered – the Prime Minister had pledged he would be guided by ‘data not dates’, and it’s vital that he now honours this commitment (The Yorkshire Post, June 1).

We are at a pivotal moment in battling against the virus, with the June 21 date signifying an end to all legal restrictions.

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Yet, since the roadmap was announced, we have seen the emergence of a highly-transmissible new variant and significant escalation of cases – and in the last week a reversal of a downward trend into seeing increases in hospital admissions and deaths. At the same time, we know the second vaccine doses are critical to controlling the spread of the new variant.

Staff and volunteers at work at a coronavirus vaccination centre at Twickenham rugby stadium, south-west London, where up to 15,000 doses are ready to be administered at the walk-in centre which has been set up for residents of north-west London in response to an increase in the number of cases of coronavirus in the area.

A premature ending of all legal restrictions which then resulted in a surge of infections would undermine our health service’s efforts to tackle the biggest level of backlog of care it has ever faced. It would also add further demands on exhausted staff.

We have come a long way in delivering an extremely successful vaccination programme, which has allowed significant relaxation of rules and social interaction together with opening up of non-essential retail and hospitality.

It’s vital we do not undo this progress, and take a precautionary approach to easing restrictions altogether, to prevent any rebound surge in infections. Vaccinating enough of the adult population with the second dose will be key, remembering that younger adults are also at risk of developing long Covid.

It’s clear that the Government must act with maximum caution when considering whether to go ahead with lifting restrictions on June 21. We cannot afford to repeat past mistakes, which would result in greater levels of serious illness and loss of lives, including adding pressures to our overstretched NHS.

From: Steve Atherton, Wakefield.

I WRITE re your front page headlines (The Yorkshire Post, May 31) regarding complaints made regarding Matt 
Hancock. Mike Padgham states that care homes have been forgotten over decades. Forgive me for thinking this was a government care home. The NHS sent vulnerable patients to their care homes and they did not have the PPE and testing to look after them. Yet this was what they were getting paid to do. Why does Matt Hancock need to quit?

From: Henry Cobden, Ilkley.

IF Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock are unwilling to correspond, or meet, social care campaigner Mike Padgham, they’re even more unworthy to hold public office. A week in a care home would shake them out of their lethargy.

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