The UK government’s decision to ease coronavirus restrictions over the festive period will lead to a third wave of infection, amounting to increased transmission, unnecessary deaths and overrun hospitals, say scientists.

Richard Murphy

Richard Murphy, a chartered accountant and political economist, shared an article on UK scientists warning of a third wave of Covid infection after Christmas. Scientists believe that the recent decision taken by the UK government to ease restrictions during Christmas will only amount to a third wave of the pandemic. The warnings came after the government announced that three-household groups of any size could gather during the festive period.

The government’s long-planned “Christmas Bubbles” concept was also brushed aside, with ministers having stated that it would require individuals to take a personal decision on risking the older populace and others, the article noted.

Some scientists, however, have strongly recommended against families meeting indoors during the winter. Two advisors to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) agreeably believe that the relaxation will overrun hospitals such as UK’s National Health Service (NHS) in the new year.

With the country already experiencing high infection rates among younger people, the decision to allow people to meet in groups for hours and with older relatives, would only enhance the risk for a disease spread and deaths, the article detailed.

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Chad Stone

Chad Stone, a chief economist, re-tweeted an article on long-term unemployment and how policy advisors were repeatedly sounding the alarms for months but have gone unheard. According to a research paper by policy advisor Elizabeth Pancotti and senior fellow at the Century Foundation, Andrew Stettner, the joblessness spell will continue in the US, leading to further erosion of workers’ skills, their confidence, and with most likely to be even discriminated by their employers.

The research also found that the long-term unemployed were likely to face successive and recurring periods of unemployment, while also having to face the risk of dropping out of the labour market for an indefinite period.

Experts believe that the new President-elect Joe Biden will face the weakest labour market ever in the US history, with rising unemployment, a deteriorating economy, and widening inequality, the article highlighted. Additionally, the solutions he has to offer such as the massive infrastructure investments, clean energy and technology, will be difficult to achieve with a divided and hostile Congress. This undercuts the central goal to rescue the nation from a grieved workforce that has been marred by layoffs during the pandemic.

David Smith

David Smith, an economics editor of The Sunday Times, re-tweeted an article on Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer having presented his Spending Review 2020 to the Parliament maintaining that his immediate priority would be to protect the lives and livelihoods of people against the coronavirus pandemic, allocating approximately $74bn to fight the virus in 2021.

The governmental process has sought to prioritise funding to support the nation’s response to Covid-19, deliver stronger public services, and invest heavily in UK’s recovery. Consequently, the review pointed towards $133bn capital spending on infrastructure, greener recovery, and the creation of new jobs.

The Chancellor also announced an increase in core departmental spending by $19.8bn in cash terms next year compared to 2020/21. This being an average growth of 3.8% from 2019/20, the fastest in 15 years, the article noted.