British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that lifting the lockdown measures could lead to a deadly second Coronavirus outbreak, acknowledging, however, the severe impact the pandemic can have on the country’s economy.
“I can see the long term consequences of lock down as clearly as anyone … And yet we must also recognise the risk of a second spike, the risk of losing control of that virus and letting the reproduction rate go back over one, because that would mean not only a new wave of death and disease but also an economic disaster,” Johnson said.
The PM returned to Downing Street on Sunday night, after recovering from the novel Coronavirus. The foreign secretary Dominic Raab was deputising while Johnson was recovering from his hospitalisation where he also spent three nights in intensive care, after testing positive for Covid-19 in late March.
Johnson’s return to office came amid mounting pressure from his party to ease lockdown and social-distancing measures, over fears of irreparable damage to the country’s economy.
“It is still true that this is the biggest single challenge this country has faced since the war. And I in no way minimise the continuing problems we face,” Downing Street said in a statement.
“I ask you to contain your impatience because I believe we are coming now to the end of the first phase of this conflict,” Johnson added, citing that the country is currently at “the moment of maximum risk.”
The lockdown measures in the country that were imposed on March 23, are scheduled to be reviewed on May 7.