A TOP doctor at the World Health Organisation has warned countries against allowing coronavirus cases to spiral – calling the strategy “epidemiological stupidity”.

Dr Mike Ryan, the executive director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, was asked about states deciding to lift restrictions at this point in the pandemic.

Earlier this week Boris Johnson announced that masks and social distancing would be scrapped in England despite cases quickly increasing and fears over the Delta variant. Legal limits of meeting will also come to an end, while large events will be able to take place again.

Sajid Javid, the UK Government’s new Health Secretary, said ministers think cases could grow to 100,000 per day over the next few weeks – but are confident that vaccination has done enough to prevent a significant number of hospitalisations and deaths. However, Johnson warned the public to expect more deaths.

Dr Ryan, who leads the WHO team responsible for the international containment of Covid-19, hit out at the “moral emptiness” of allowing coronavirus cases to grow significantly. He warned it is a “dangerous assumption to assume everything is Kumbaya” even in European countries where most people have had at least one vaccination.

Asked by a BBC journalist about the logic of allowing more people to be infected, Dr Ryan responded: “I’m not aware that that’s the logic driving our colleagues in the United Kingdom. I suspect it is not.

“I would like to verify that is the logic but the logic of more people being infected is better, is I think logic that has proven its moral emptiness and its epidemiological stupidity previously.”

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Meanwhile this morning the chief executive of NHS Providers said there are risks to the NHS if England eases coronavirus restriction this month.

Chris Hopson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We need to be realistic and we need to be open and honest about the fact that there are risks if we relax these restrictions and there will be consequences.

“The NHS won’t be able to do everything given the demand pressures it has got and the fact that we have got reduced capacity in terms of both beds and staff numbers.”

He said there would be “very significant” pressure on the NHS and “we will have to dial back on elective recovery”.