Poll: Do you agree with having a 'circuit-breaker' lockdown?
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Boris Johnson is under pressure to implement a “circuit-breaker” lockdown, which scientists calculate could save thousands of lives by the end of the year.
Downing Street is understood to be keeping the idea on the table, after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said a two to three-week national lockdown over the October half term was needed to prevent a “sleepwalk into a long and bleak winter”.
A paper by members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) reportedly calculates that more than 7,000 lives could be saved if schools are closed and people are ordered to stay at home from October 24 for two weeks.
The Times said the modelling suggested that coronavirus deaths for the rest of the year could be reduced from 19,900 to 12,100, with hospital admissions cut from 132,400 to 66,500.
If schools and shops remained open, the death toll could be cut to 15,600, it reported.
The paper is authored by Professor Graham Medley and other members of the government’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling – known as SPI-M.
They are said to note that there are “no good epidemiological reasons to delay the break”.
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It comes after Sir Keir used a televised press conference to warn that Johnson was “no longer following the scientific advice” by proposing “far less stringent restrictions” than suggested by Sage.
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