Dr Amir clashes with Richard Madeley on GMB over whether UK is overreacting to variants

GMB: Dr Amir Khan says 'overreacting' to variants is 'best way'

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Dr Amir Khan shut down Richard Madeley after the Good Morning Britain co-host suggested that Britain has “got to learn to live” with the spread of Covid variants. Dr Khan admitted that Britain was “overreacting” to the variants, but insisted that “overreacting is the best way” to tackle Covid. This comes after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps blamed rising cases and a Covid mutation found in Portugal on the decision to remove the country from the green travel list.

Mr Madeley said: “Are we overreacting to the variants?

“Surely we are going to have to live with them at some point, otherwise we are never going to get back to normal.”

Dr Khan responded: “To be honest, Richard, overreacting is the best way.

“Over the last year, we have seen under-reacting or being reactive has caused longer, harder lockdowns.” 

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He continued: “If we overreact earlier we can prevent those long lockdowns. We can really suppress the virus.”

“This situation we are in with the Indian variant was completely preventable. Had we controlled the borders to India when we knew about the Indian variant, we wouldn’t be in this position now.

“We have go to be really clear about that because people watching this will be thinking it’s really depressing, it is stressful.

“They will look at the data and think scientists are overreacting.

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“Well, we are overreacting because we are in a vulnerable position now because borders were not controlled when they should have been.”

Fellow co-host Charlotte Hawkins suggested the green list decision was made in a trade-off to secure the 21 June lockdown easing plan.

Portugal has since questioned the UK decision to remove it from the travel green list from next Tuesday.

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Portugal said it could not understand the “logic” of the move to the amber list, which means UK tourists should not visit the country and returnees must isolate for 10 days.

The UK government said the decision followed increased concern about a mutation of the Delta variant, which was first identified in India.

The Department for Transport said 68 cases of the Delta variant have been identified in Portugal, including cases with an additional mutation, being referred to as the Nepal mutation.

In the first review of England’s traffic light list for travel, no new destinations were added to the green list.

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