Oxford University professor Dr Sunetra Gupta was one of three authors
Concept of herd immunity controversial because there is no proof it will work
It also overlooks complications other than death, such as 'long covid'
Scientists say people who are not at high risk should be allowed to live normally
Lockdown rules in the US and UK are causing 'irreparable damage', they argue
Published: | Updated:
More than 6,500 scientists and medics have signed an anti-lockdown petition calling for the UK and US to build herd immunity against Covid-19 by letting the virus spread in young people.
The letter, which was penned by three top scientists and has since been backed by more than 60,000 members of the public, warns that tough social distancing rules are having 'damaging physical and mental health impacts'.
Most of the population, they argue, is not at risk of dying if they catch Covid-19 and efforts should be focused on protecting those who are vulnerable, while letting everyone else get on with their lives as normal.
The letter, named the Great Barrington Declaration after the town in Massachusetts where it was written, is a rallying cry for top experts and politicians to stop running from the coronavirus and to learn to live with it. More than 2,800 scientists have signed the petition, as well as almost 3,800 medical practitioners.
'Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal,' the scientists say, adding: 'Keeping these [lockdown] measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.'
Scientists from the world's top universities have penned an open letter calling for the UK and US to build herd immunity to Covid-19 by letting it spread in young people
In other coronavirus developments:
- Universities began cancelling face-to-face teaching entirely as they stepped up attempts to curb rising infection rates on campuses;
- The leaders of four northern cities wrote to Health Secretary Matt Hancock to warn they were ‘extremely concerned about the sharp increase’ in cases;
- However, they said they did not want draconian new measures and urged him to hand powers over restrictions to regional leaders;
- Figures suggested the outbreaks in university cities were being strongly driven by students;
- Reports claimed Mr Sunak was drawing up plans for Treasury support for firms worst hit by new local lockdowns;
- Nicola Sturgeon is likely to announce ‘circuit breaker’-style restrictions today despite denying Scotland was headed for another full lockdown;
- The Royal College of Psychiatrists warned of a mental health crisis fuelled by the pandemic;
- Industry chiefs warned that pubs, restaurants and other hospitality firms were preparing to axe more than half a million jobs;
- Nearly one in five state secondary schools in England were unable to fully open their doors last week due to coronavirus.
One of the three authors is University of Oxford professor Dr Sunetra Gupta, who is now renowned for her controversial views on herd immunity.
She wrote the declaration alongside Harvard University's Dr Martin Kulldorff and Stanford's Dr Jay Bhattacharya.
But the petition has been met with concern – one scientist pointed out it doesn't take into account problems other than death, such as 'long covid', and that it overlooks the fact there is no proof that herd immunity is even possible.
Dr Sunetra Gupta, an infectious diseases expert at Oxford University, is now renowned for her controversial views in favour of trying to develop Covid-19 herd immunity
It came the same day that figures showed the number of Britons in hospital with coronavirus soared by 25 per cent in just 24 hours.
Figures show the UK has recorded 14,542 more infections - more than triple the number from a fortnight ago.
In another blow to hopes the virus is being brought under control, official NHS data shows there were 478 new hospital admissions in England on Sunday - the most recent day figures are available for.
The figure is 25 per cent increase on Saturday's data, when 386 people were admitted the hospital with Covid-19.
It also represents a four-month high, the likes of which have not been seen since June 3, when the figure was 491.
Data also shows the number of people on ventilators is on the rise, from 259 a week ago to 349 on Sunday.
The rising figures have fueled concerns that the UK could be heading for another bout of lockdown-style restrictions.
A Whitehall source said tougher measures could be imposed in parts of the North before the end of the week. Officials have also refused to rule out further national measures.
In the Great Barrington Declaration the scientists write: 'Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.
- >American Airlines cuts 46% - or 86,000 - flights from its... >Number of Britons hospitalised with coronavirus soars 25% in... >Boy, 16, is arrested after refusing to wear a mask at school... >Supreme Court sides with Republicans by overturning postal...
Share this articleShare
Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8810977/Coronavirus-Anti-lockdown-petition-calling-herd-immunity-reaches-30-000-signatures.html