BRITAIN going into lockdown so late “cost a lot of lives”, a member of SAGE has claimed.
John Edmunds today insisted the lockdown should have come earlier, and warned against lifting the restrictions.
Speaking on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, the senior epidemiologist revealed regrets over how the pandemic was handled.
He said: “We should have gone into lockdown earlier, it would have been hard to do it.
“The data we were dealing with in the early part of March, and our situational awareness was really quite poor.
“It would have been really hard to pull the trigger at that point. I wish we had gone into lockdown earlier, I think that has cost a lot of lives unfortunately.”
On March 23 Boris Johnson announced a partial, three-week-long lockdown, telling Brits to stay at home to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Certain businesses and venues were ordered to close, including pubs, hair and beauty salons, places of worship and campsites.
The PM is now reported to have told ministers to lift the coronavirus lockdown as quickly as possible to help prevent a jobs bloodbath.
However, this morning Professor Edmunds warned against any further easing of restrictions.
He said: “It’s up to them, it’s their choice.
“I would still prefer to see cases come down lower than they are at the moment.”
“It’s definitely not all over, unfortunately – there is an awful long way to go.”
Coronavirus deaths in the UK have reached 40,465 after 204 more were announced yesterday.
Also appearing on the show, Matt Hancock tried to dismiss the comments.
The Health Secretary said: “I am sure, as I keep looking back on that period, I’m sure that taking into account everything we knew at that moment – my view is that we made the right decisions at the right time.”
The PM will this week chair a meeting of his Cabinet to update them on the next lockdown-easing steps for a number of sectors, which are expected to take effect from June 15.
It’s reported that the PM will unveil plans to ease restrictions on weddings and funerals from next month, as well as possible measures to reopen hairdressers before July 4.
Downing Street announced last night that churches and other places of worship are set to open for private prayer from June 15 but worship groups, weddings and other services will still not be permitted.