THE new rule of six introduced by the government is “catastrophic” and “should be binned”, experts have warned.
Professor Carl Heneghan, the leading scientist and director of the Centre for Evidence-Based medicine at Oxford University has said Prime Minister Boris Johnson acted with haste in introducing the new rule and said there is no evidence to support it.
Writing in The Spectator alongside senior associate Tom Jefferson, Prof Heneghan said the Prime Minister is making one “catastrophic error after the other”.
He said: “The rule of six policy should be binned.
“When Boris Johnson returned to work in April after his brush with coronavirus, he warned that lockdown restrictions must remain to prevent a second wave.
“Ever since, beset by anxieties, doubts and fear, and surrounded by a platoon of advisors, the PM has made one cautious, catastrophic error after another.”
He added that the “roll of dice” with the new rule could be a policy that “tips the British public over the edge”.
The new rule means that just six people from six different households can gather.
While some activities such as sports can continue, Prof Heneghan warned that the decision could “end up having major social consequences”.
He added: “The ‘rule of six’’ could well be the policy that tips the British public over the edge, for it is a disturbing decision that has no scientific evidence to back it up”.
The new rules also stipulate that the six people can be from different households, in an attempt to bring rules in line with outdoor gatherings.
Anyone in your support bubble counts as one household.
The rule of six also extends to gatherings organised outside.
The latest government guidelines were announced by Boris Johnson at a coronavirus press briefing on September 9.
Just two days later on September 11, Imperial College London released its research and claimed that the government used its advice, along with that of Sage, to come to decisions when it comes to policies on the virus.
So far in the UK over 41,000 people have died from the virus and cases have started to increase.
At the start of lockdown in March, businesses and offices were closed in order to stop the spread of the virus.
Then restrictions eased with pubs and restaurants opening during the summer.
Last month the government also urged people to get back to the office as businesses continue to struggle due to a lack of footfall.
Prof Heneghan questioned what outcome the government expected after increased levels of activity.
He added that increased activity at the end of summer always leads to infections and said “it’s not rocket science”.
They added that the new rule would have “minimal” impact on caseloads in the UK and said they were unaware of any study that specifically points to the number six being more beneficial than others.
They said “if it’s made up, why not make it five or seven”.
At the start of the pandemic there were around 17,000 people in hospital with the virus – this now sits at 600.
While cases are on the up, the number of people dying from the virus has remained low.
The experts admitted that cases would rise in winter for “all acute respiratory pathogens” but said that this would not necessarily translate into more deaths.
Source: | The sun