International scientists and doctors have urged UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to delay the reopening in England until more people are vaccinated, according to The Guardian.
More than 100 global experts said lifting some of the COVID restrictions in England this month is “dangerous and premature,” urging the UK government to halt the reopening for now.
The scientists wrote in the Lancet that lifting the restrictions on July 19 would lead to millions of infections, creating a generation with chronic health problems and disability from long haul COVID, which may affect people’s lives for decades.
On Wednesday, the U.K. officials reported over 30,000 new cases for the first time since January, with a 40% rise in hospital admissions and deaths.
A Whitehall source said, “I think we’d only be looking at further delay if there was an emergence of a particularly nasty new variant.”
The global experts have also mentioned that the surge in new infections will disrupt education, provide “fertile ground for the emergence of vaccine-resistant variants,” and have a significant impact on the health service and exhausted staff who have yet to recover from previous waves, per The Guardian.
The Lance letter stated, “We believe the government is embarking on a dangerous and unethical experiment and we call on it to pause plans to abandon mitigations on 19 July 2021.”
“Instead, the government should delay complete reopening until everyone, including adolescents, have been offered vaccination and uptake is high, and until mitigation measures, especially adequate ventilation … are in place in schools,” it added.
On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) delivered a blunt message for countries to lift their restrictions gradually so as “not to lose the gains that [they] have made.”
The article was published in The Guardian.