Experts warn against ‘unethical’ England reopening

London, Jul 16 (EFE).- The British government’s strategy to lift most of Covid-19 restrictions in England from Monday, in the midst of a surge of infections, could lead to a “disaster” with fatal consequences for the whole world, according to an international group of scientists.

Gathered online at an “emergency summit” three days before the end of the last phase of unlocking in England, experts from several countries warned on Friday of the dangers of abandoning measures in place to curb coronavirus despite the rampant spread of the delta variant.

From Monday, it will no longer be compulsory to wear a mask, keep a social distance or respect the capacity limit in indoor or outdoor meetings, a decision that has been met with alarm and skepticism among the international scientific community.

British prime minister, Boris Johnson, defended the lifting of all restrictions despite the rising infections, who has said it was “now or never” as summer is the ideal time to complete the reopening, with schools empty and social life taking place outdoors.

But scientists reject that argument, saying it is too hasty given the high rates of transmission and the fact that a significant part of the population is still not fully vaccinated.

The lifting of Covid measures will only cause a further spike in infections and make England a breeding ground for new mutations, warned researcher Christina Pagel, a member of SAGE, an independent think tank that advises the British government, at the meeting.

“Because of our position as a global travel hub, any variant that becomes dominant in the UK will likely spread to the rest of the globe,” Pagel said.

“The UK policy doesn’t just affect us. It affects everybody and everybody has a stake in what we do.”

The letter to the Lancet said: “We believe the government is embarking on a dangerous and unethical experiment, and we call on it to pause plans to abandon mitigations on July 19, 2021.”

According to data released Friday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), one in 95 people in England had Covid in the seven days prior to July 10, compared to one in 160 during the previous week.

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