Dr Jenny Harries has warned the UK might not get back to “normal” for “six months or more”.
Speaking at the Downing Street press conference on Sunday (March 29), the deputy chief medical officer warned the coronavirus pandemic should not be viewed as something that’ll just blow over.
She said it wouldn’t be clear if the current lockdown restrictions were working for two to three weeks.
As a result, Brits face the prospect of Easter in lockdown in a bid to flatten the curve.
Dr Harries said: “The issue of the three weeks is for us to review where we are and see if we’ve had an impact on the slope of that curve.”
She added: “If we are successful we will have squashed the top of that curve, which is brilliant.”
However, she added: “But we must not then suddenly revert to our normal way of living. That would be quite dangerous.”
She went on to explain that, if we did, “all our efforts will be wasted”. She also warned that we could see a second peak.
Dr Harries said: “If we stop then we could potentially see a second peak. Probably over the next six months, we will have a three-week review.”
She explained: “We anticipate our numbers will get worse over the next week, possibly two.”
Dr Harries added: “Then we are looking to see whether we have managed to push that curve down and we start to see a decline.”
The months ahead
She added: “This is not to say we would be in complete lockdown for six months.”
However, she added we have to be “really, really responsible” going forward.
Brits will have to “keep doing what we’re all doing until we’re sure we can gradually start lifting various interventions”.
She said lockdown restrictions are likely to be “spaced” until we “gradually come back to a normal way of living”.
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