BORIS JOHNSON should keep the over-50s in an extended coronavirus lockdown as part of the UK’s COVID-19 exit strategy, a leading study has suggested.
Researchers at the University of Warwick have urged the Government to implement a phased exit from the lockdown based on age and combined with continued social distancing measures. In the so-called “rolling age-release strategy” more powers would also be given to the police to fine groups of people who do not follow the rules or cannot prove their age when leaving their households.
The research found coronavirus deaths among people in their 50s are 20 times higher than those in their 20s.
Meanwhile, fatalities were approximately 50 times higher for those in their sixties.
The UK now has the third-highest coronavirus death rate in the world after fatalities surpassed 26,000.
Data trends reveal the older you are the more likely you are to die from COVID-19.
For people aged under 50 the coronavirus fatality rate is less than 0.5 percent and this almost trebles to 1.3 percent in the 50-59 age bracket.
For people in their 60s the death rate significantly increases to 3.6 percent, eight percent for those in their 70s and increasing to 14.8 percent for the over-80s.
In the paper, the researchers said: “A release of younger people might, we appreciate, cause resentment among those older than the age group released.
“Nevertheless, to reassure them, the older groups could be told when their turn would eventually arrive and they could be encouraged to check a Government-sponsored website detailing the exact risk by age pattern of the virus.”
Critics have warned lifting restrictions based on age will put the lives of the elderly at risk.
Dr Thomas House, reader in mathematical statistics at the University of Manchester said: “If younger individuals begin to mix again and we see an increase in the prevalence of coronavirus infections, that will inevitably increase the number of cases in the older individuals who are most at risk of dying once infected. “
The Government has outlined five key elements that must be achieved before any lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Boris Johnson and his Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) must be satisfied the NHS will not be overwhelmed, there needs to be sustained and consistent fall in the death and infection rate, enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline health care workers, and no risk of a second wave of infections.
This afternoon the Prime Minister will chair his first coronavirus press conference in more than a month.
Today is also the deadline for the Government to reach its target of 100,000 daily coronavirus tests set by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
The Department for Health confirmed just 52,000 tests were conducted yesterday and Justice Secretary Robert Buckland acknowledged the Government is likely to fall short.
Mr Buckland told BBC breakfast: “Even if it isn’t met, we’re well on our way to ramping this up and 100,000 is an important milestone, but frankly we need more.
“Yes, 52,000 isn’t 100,000, I know that but we are straining every sinew to get there.”
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