WORLD COVID lockdown has worked but UK 'not out of the woods', says ONS chief


COVID lockdown has worked but UK 'not out of the woods', says ONS chief


21:38, March 06, 2021

LONDON, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Britain's coronavirus lockdown has been a "success" but the country is "still not out of the woods", the chief of the British Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Saturday.

Pedestrians wearing masks because of the coronavirus pandemic walk past a closed store with a sale sign on the window on the high street in Maidstone, southeast England, on February 12, 2021. (Photo: AFP)

"I think this lockdown has been a success but at the same time, while we have seen major reductions, we are still relatively high," Ian Diamond, head of the ONS, told the BBC.

"I'm in very much the view that we should do everything we can not to blow it nationally," he said. "We have done fantastically well in the last couple of months but we are not completely out of the woods yet."

Meanwhile, Diamond said it was "very difficult" to work out the difference between the lockdown impact and the effect the vaccine was having, but it was clear both were working in reducing the infections.

Another 5,947 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 4,207,304, according to official figures released Friday.

The country also reported another 236 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain stood at 124,261 on Friday. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.

The latest figures were revealed as nearly 21.3 million people in Britain have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed Friday that two-fifths of Britain's entire adult population of have now been vaccinated.

Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock gives an update on the coronavirus covid-19 pandemic during a virtual press conference inside 10 Downing Street in central London on March 5, 2021. (Photo: AFP)

England is currently under the third national lockdown since outbreak of the pandemic in the country. Similar restriction measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

On Feb. 22, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his long-anticipated "roadmap" exiting the lockdown. Schools in England will reopen from Monday next week as first part of the four-step plan, which Johnson said was designed to be "cautious but irreversible".

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.

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