More than 4,000 scientists, doctors, and other health professionals have signed a petition on Wednesday calling Boris Johnson-led UK government's move to drop most COVID-19 measures from July 19, 'a dangerous experiment'. The letter was published in The Lancet medical journal.
Writing to the journal, the medical experts said, "We believe this decision is dangerous and premature."
"The UK Government must reconsider its current strategy and take urgent steps to protect the public, including children. We believe the government is embarking on a dangerous and unethical experiment, and we call on it to pause plans to abandon mitigations on July 19, 2021," they added.
The letter also said that the complete re-opening should be delayed until and unless everyone, including adolescents, are vaccinated against COVID-19.
"Until mitigation measures, especially adequate ventilation and spacing are in place in schools. Until then, public health measures must include those called for by WHO (universal mask-wearing in indoor spaces, even for those vaccinated)," they wrote.
The final decision on lifting COVID restrictions will be taken on July 12 after considering appropriate data.
The restrictions under question include maintaining a distance of one meter, usage of masks for covering the face in public, a cap on the number of attendees at weddings and funerals, closure of nightclubs, etc.
Recently, the United Kingdom had witnessed a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant. Delta is the mutated form of coronavirus, which was also responsible for the second deadly wave of COVID-19 in India
The letter that was originally written by a few researchers now bears signs of around 4200 health and medical professionals.
Apart from UK health professionals, The British Medical Association also expressed that objection against the British government's move.
On Wednesday, a senior World Health Organization (WHO) official also urged UK to be cautious in lifting the COVID restrictions.
"We would ask governments at this moment not to lose the gains you've made," Dr. Mike Ryan, head of WHO's emergencies program, told reporters during a meeting from Geneva.