14:24 GMT31 October 2020
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    In an effort to control the ongoing surge of coronavirus cases in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that a 10pm curfew for pubs, bars, and restaurants in England will come into force later this week. Other measures include suggesting that people should work from home, halting recent efforts to get workers back into offices.

    UKIP Wales leader Neil Hamilton believes that the initial lockdown in the UK proved that it was only able to delay the transmission of the virus, rather than stop it.

    Sputnik: How significant are these new measures being put forward by the government?

    Neil Hamilton: We have a hopelessly incompetent government that's thrashing around without the slightest idea of what to do which is of any practical utility. This curfew at 10pm, there's absolutely no scientific justification for this whatsoever, and nor indeed was there a scientific justification for the lockdown in the first place. What's clear from the recent rise in cases as the lockdown was relaxed is, all that the lockdown did was to delay the transmission of the virus, rather than stop it. So, unless we're going to have a permanent lockdown, where nobody's allowed to leave their house under permanent house arrest, we're not going to affect the transmission of this disease.

    The only really important statistic, which you need to bear in mind is how many people are in hospital in a serious or critical condition with coronavirus, and the latest figure is 138. 138 people. We have more people killed in road accidents in a year than currently are being killed by the coronavirus. If we look at Sweden, where there's been no lockdown at all, no compulsory lockdown at any rate; social distancing and other measures have been practised, but individuals taking decisions for themselves on their own responsibility not in response to government orders... there are five people in the entire country in a serious and critical condition with coronavirus. So, these measures are just the desperate measures of an incompetent government that's trying to be seen to do something, anything, so that they can pretend they're in charge of a crisis, which they can't in practice control.

    Sputnik: Could closing pubs across Britain early actually drive up infection rates?

    Neil Hamilton: The reality is that this disease is going to spread. It may spread more quickly if we reduce levels of social interaction and social activity; it may increase faster, but the whole point behind this is, as Professor Anders Tegnell, who runs the coronavirus programme in Sweden, said months and months and months ago that 12 months after the first outbreak of this disease, he was expecting that the experience of countries all around the world, regardless of what measures they had had in place in the meantime to control the transmission of the disease, the experience would be much the same.

    There is a proportion of the population which is immune, we don't know how big it is because we haven't had those kinds of tests carried out, and what we do know is that if you're under 65, the chances of you suffering any serious difficulties as a result of contracting the virus is very, very small - unless you've got some underlying medical condition, like asthma or diabetes or something of that kind, which weakens your immune system. We shouldn't be worried about this - the only thing that we need to be worried about - which is what justified the original lockdown - was can our health service cope with the numbers of people infected. With 138 people in the entire country in a serious condition in hospital with COVID, of course we can cope. So, the justification for locking down the entire population is zero. This government has made the biggest assault on civil liberties in peacetime in Britain in modern times. This is supposedly a conservative government that believes in people's freedoms; this government, actually, is worse than almost any government in living memory.

    Sputnik: How will the general public take to these new laws, as many of them represent a completely opposite approach from government policy released in the past weeks and months?

    Neil Hamilton: People cannot be locked down indefinitely. It's like a pressure cooker. It will eventually blow up if you increase the pressure to a certain extent. That's why the government resorts to increasingly hysterical headlines. That's what these briefings by the medics ultimately are all about; it’s creating a sense of national hysteria in order to justify their measures, and because these measures are not going to work, there's no end to this. Eventually, I think people will start to revolt. We've already seen it anyway, haven't we, at various times in the last few weeks, where these COVID marshals and others have just been overwhelmed by numbers in the streets or parties or wherever. People eventually will come to a breaking point and this will happen in localised outbreaks, but eventually, if people cease to believe the propaganda that's being beamed at them, then there's going to be mass civil disobedience and then the government will be able to do nothing. They'll have been exposed as the boy who cried wolf.


    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    measures, Prime Minister, UK, coronavirus, COVID-19
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