UK Covid 19 dashboard: New Zealand government adviser ‘astonished’ by mask decision


A New Zealand government adviser said he was “stunned” by the UK government’s plan to ditch masks in indoor spaces.

The English will no longer be legally required to wear a mask in indoor spaces after Monday.

Professor Michael Baker said the UK started the pandemic “with a collective immunity approach … quickly identified as unacceptable”.

He added: “It now seems, strangely, that the UK is returning to this approach, given that it has failed so miserably around the world.”

He continued: “In New Zealand we have always looked to the UK for leadership. I mean, you have a remarkable depth of scientific knowledge, you’ve been incredibly successful in the development and deployment of vaccines, remarkable clinical trials that we rely on.

“And that is why it seems so remarkable that you don’t even follow the basics of public health here. My colleagues and I in New Zealand are quite amazed that you do this, despite the incredible expertise that you are doing. you have UK. ”

Baker is among more than 1,200 scientists around the world who have condemned the Prime Minister’s decision to go ahead with the so-called Freedom Day on July 19, calling it “unscientific and contrary to the ethics ”.

Boris Johnson’s ministers appear ready to move forward with the decision to remove the masks, despite new figures showing coronavirus infections continue to rise, with one in 95 in England believed to have the virus according to the Office for National Statistics.

Some of the experts called an emergency summit on Friday, with official government advisers from New Zealand, Australia, Israel and Italy all expressing concern over the UK government’s strategy.

Professor Stephen Duckett, Secretary of the Australian Department of Health, said: ‘If you open up when either is not the case you are doomed to an exponential increase in [Covid] case.”

Professor Jose M Martin-Moreno of the University of Valencia in Spain added: “British politics does not only affect British citizens, it affects the world. We cannot understand why this [unlocking] has passed.”

READ MORE: Shops and cinemas in England urge customers to continue wearing masks after Monday

International experts were joined by some of the scientists from Britain’s Independent Sage group, which urged Downing Street to rethink ending the restrictions.

Independent Sage panel member Professor Christina Pagel said: “Due to our position as a global travel hub, any variant that becomes dominant in the UK is likely to spread to the rest of the world.”

She added, “We saw it with the Alpha variant. I am absolutely certain that we have contributed to the growth of the Delta variant in North America and Europe. UK [government] politics is not just about us, it affects everyone.

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