Another UK Lockdown Possible During Winter ‘Second Wave’ Warns Health Secretary Hancock

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 03: Matt Hancock the UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care attends the opening of the NHS Nightingale Hospital at ExCel on April 3, 2020 in London, England. The field hospital will initially contain 500 beds with ventilators and oxygen and will have the …
Leon Neal/Getty Images

A second national lockdown may be coming down the pike in England should there be a significant “second wave” of Chinese coronavirus infections, the Health Secretary of the United Kingdom said on Friday.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, said that, under the government’s planning for a “reasonable worst-case scenario”, England may once again be plunged into lockdown.

Mr Hancock said that so-called second waves of the Wuhan virus are “clearly visible” in other countries and that “it is a very serious threat”, claiming that a second wave is “avoidable but it’s not easy”.

“But so far in the UK we are managing to keep the number of new cases flat through a combination of test and trace and local lockdowns,” he told The Times.

“This is the reasonable worst-case scenario, that we have a bad flu and a growth in coronavirus as people spend more time indoors. Cases go up again, and we have to use very extensive local lockdowns or take further national action. We don’t rule that out but we don’t want to see it,” the government minister went on.

Mr Hancock said that he believes that social-distancing regulations will be in place for the “foreseeable” future without a vaccine being approved.

“I yearn to be able to remove the restrictions on social contact but those restrictions are absolutely necessary at the moment,” he said, adding: “We’ll be keeping them in place for the foreseeable. We hope for the best and we prepare for the worst.”

Meanwhile, a government document from the SAGE scientific advisory group has predicted that there may be as many as 85,000 excess deaths this winter in the United Kingdom due to the Chinese virus.

The model predicted that there will be an additional 81,000 deaths in England and Wales and a further 2,600 in Scotland and 1,900 in Northern Ireland.

The leaked document, which was published by BBC Newsnight, was heavily criticised by Professor Carl Heneghan of Oxford University, who suggested that the model’s assumptions are “implausible” and that it is doesn’t take into account the lessons that have been learned “from the first wave of this disease”.

To date, there have been some 40,000 coronavirus-related deaths in Britain out of 330,000 confirmed cases, although some reports have suggested that the official death tolls may have to be revised down due to reporting errors.

As government officials warn of another national lockdown, thousands of people gathered in Trafalgar Square in London on Saturday to protest against lockdowns, masks, and social distancing requirements, as well as against mandatory vaccinations.

Former Brexit Party MEP Martin Daubney mused on social media: “How many people calling today’s Trafalgar Square anti-lockdown protesters ‘covidiots’ said the same about the Black Lives Matter protests during the actual lockdown?”

An estimated 18,000 anti-lockdown protestors also took to the streets of Berlin on Saturday, after winning a battle in a Berlin administrative court after the gathering was initially deemed unlawful, according to Deutsche Welle.

Police ordered that the protest in the German capital be shut down, however, claiming that the anti-lockdown protesters did not abide by the regulations mandated by the court.

“Unfortunately, we have no other option. We’ve approached the leader of the demonstration and informed him that his assembly will be dissolved by the police. All the measures taken so far have not led to compliance with the conditions,” the Berlin police force wrote on social media.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka


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