April 2, 2020 10.48 am This story is over 17 months old

Lockdown still ‘weeks away’ from being lifted, warn health bosses

Expect it to be extended

Lincolnshire’s public health bosses have warned that lockdown restrictions are still “weeks away” from being relaxed.

Tony McGinty, assistant director of public health at Lincolnshire County Council, said people need to check their stamina for long term restriction measures.

It comes as the UK is into its second week of lockdown, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson expected to review the measures over Easter.

Follow live updates on coronavirus from around Lincoln and Lincolnshire

But, Mr McGinty said the country should expect to see the restrictions go on for longer.

Tony McGinty, assistant director or public health at Lincolnshire County Council. Photo: The Lincolnite

“Looking at the virus in other countries, we are weeks away from slacking off restrictions,” he said.

“After that, we are going to have to ask people to relieve themselves of restrictions gradually.”

Mr McGinty added that he hoped that in weeks to come people will be able to see benefits of lockdown in the virus case figures.

He said people should “take a pause” and think about their stamina and how they can get through the lockdown period.

Lincoln’s High Street deserted as city enters second week in lockdown. Photo: Joshua Bell

Meanwhile, the government has been urged by some scientists to reconsider recommending the general use of face masks in the fight against coronavirus.

The World Health Organisation is currently assessing research on whether COVID-19 can be projected further through sneezes and coughs, which could lead to a change in advice on masks.

Britain still opposes the widespread use of masks and currently recommends social distancing to tackle COVID-19.

Mr McGinty said he would wait on the WHO findings, but added he had “anxieties” about how to communicate the advice.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to review lockdown restrictions over Easter.

“We already have communicated messages on the virus out there for people,” he said.

“I am watching with great interest about what the World Health Organisation say.”

But, he added that he was concerned about overloading the public with information, particularly on how to dispose of masks properly.

“If the mask has caught virus particles and you have to take if off and manage what you do to it, it does add another layer of complexity,” said Mr McGinty.

Face masks are used in other countries to tackle coronavirus. Picture: Stock image.

It comes as Greater Lincolnshire saw an increase in cases yesterday (April 1), taking the total number to 179.

  • 133 in Lincolnshire (up from 104)
  • 23 in North East Lincolnshire (up from 21)
  • 23 in North Lincolnshire (up from 17)

Six more deaths were confirmed in the county, taking the death toll to 17.

NHS England confirmed that three patients died in Lincolnshire and three in northern Lincolnshire.

Currently, the UK death toll stands at 2,352 with 29,474 people tested positive for coronavirus.

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