Sat Jul 24th, 2021 at 07:09:28 AM EST
This article in The Guardian represents a carbon copy of the decision by Dutch PM Mark Rutte at the end of June. A decision not supported by the WOT team of scientists ... is was a grand failure as opening was way premature and many measures needed to be put in place.
Sage adviser claims ministers trying to get as many as possible infected with Covid
Ministers were made aware of scientists' concerns about reopening nightclubs and other crowded, close-contact and poorly ventilated venues without testing or other checks in place.
Putting social pressure on anti-vaxxers
"What we are seeing is a decision by the government to get as many people infected as possible, as quickly as possible, while using rhetoric about caution as a way of putting the blame on the public for the consequences," said Prof Robert West, a health psychologist at University College London who participates in Sage's behavioural science subgroup.
"It looks like the government judges that the damage to health and healthcare services will be worth the political capital it will gain from this approach," West said, adding that ministers appear to believe the strategy is now sustainable - unlike last year - because of the vaccine rollout.
A large wave of infections, coupled with mass vaccination, would push the UK closer to "herd immunity", where enough people in the population are resistant to the virus that it no longer spreads.
The threshold for herd immunity with the Delta variant is unclear, but scientists estimate that transmission would need to be blocked in about 85% of the population. Ministers have repeatedly denied that achieving herd immunity by letting cases rise is the government's goal.
Viral infection and transmission in a large well-traced outbreak caused by the Delta SARS-CoV-2 variant
We report the first local transmission of the Delta SARS-CoV-2 variant in mainland China. All 167 infections could be traced back to the first index case. The investigation on daily sequential PCR testing of the quarantined subjects indicated the viral load of the first positive test of Delta infections was ~1000 times higher than that of the 19A/19B strains infections back in the initial epidemic wave of 2020, suggesting the potential faster viral replication rate and more infectiousness of the Delta variant at the early stage of the infection.