British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned an effective vaccine for the novel coronavirus may be over a year and in the worst case scenario, may never be found. He discussed the UK government’s 50-page guidance and a plan to slowly reopen the economy with COVID-19 secure measures of social distancing. Mr Johnson highlighted the work being executed by the UK scientists at Oxford University and Imperial College London.
“Indeed, in a worst-case scenario, we may never find a vaccine. So our plan must countenance a situation where we are in this, together, for the long haul, even while doing all we can to avoid that outcome,” he said.
The UK has already rolled out “promising” vaccine development programmes. Vaccine or drug-based treatment is the only “feasible long-term solution” said the PM. Mr Johnson has released 388 million pound in aid funding for research into vaccines, tests and treatment.
“I must ask the country to be patient with a continued disruption to our normal way of life, but to be relentless in pursuing our mission to build the systems we need. The worst possible outcome would be a return to the virus being out of control with the cost to human life, and through the inevitable re-imposition of severe restrictions cost to the economy. We must stay alert, control the virus, and in doing so, save lives,” Mr Johnson said.
“Then, as vaccines and treatment become available, we will move to another new phase, where we will learn to live with COVID-19 for the longer term without it dominating our lives,” he added.
The UK government on Sunday declared people in the country will be allowed one-to-one contact with people other than those they live with, as long as they remain outside and two metres apart. People were advised to work from home. Construction and manufacturing sectors were advised to maintain social distancing norms.