Opinion: We must now satisfy five key tests

PUBLISHED: 08:30 09 May 2020

Iain Duncan Smith outlines five tests that must be complied with before lockdown ends. Picture: PA Images

Iain Duncan Smith outlines five tests that must be complied with before lockdown ends. Picture: PA Images

PA Archive/PA Images

Thanks to the massive collective effort to shield the NHS, we have avoided an uncontrollable and catastrophic epidemic where the reasonable worst-case scenario was 500,000 deaths.

Our thoughts go out to all loved ones lost during this awful crisis.

It does look now, that we are past the peak and on the downward trend. So the government will set out a comprehensive plan to explain how we can get our economy moving, how we can get children back to school and into childcare, and how we can travel to work and make the workplace safer.

A huge amount of work is under way on that plan.

This country has come together in a way few of us have seen in our lifetimes.

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There will be five key tests that we must satisfy before we can put the comprehensive plan for phase two into action:

• We must protect the NHS’ ability to cope – we must be confident we are able to provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment across the UK.

• We need to see a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rates from coronavirus so we are confident we have moved beyond the peak.

• We need to have reliable data from SAGE showing the rate of infection is decreasing.

• We need to be confident the range of operational challenges, including testing capacity and PPE, are in hand.

• We need to be confident any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak.

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