PEOPLE who are deemed as being the most susceptible to COVID-19 must be protected from the virus while the rest of the country gets back to normal, a Bradford district MP has said.

Philip Davies, MP for Shipley, said people can use common sense to take necessary precautions and that imposing continuous restrictions on freedoms was not only worrying, but it could also create more problems for the future.

Mr Davies said: “We need to calm down as a nation before all the unintended – but perfectly foreseeable - further consequences of the reaction to COVID take effect.

"We are already beginning to realise the damage that has been done, but if we carry on as we are going, we will not only have to deal with the loss of our freedom, the loss of normal family life and other social interactions - along with an almost inevitable economic meltdown - but, in addition, yet more undiagnosed or worsening cancers and other terrible diseases and a possible mental health crisis.

"Of course, those in risk categories should be helped to protect themselves where appropriate, but everyone else should be allowed to carry on with life and get back to normal.”

Mr Davies pointed to figures he had obtained from the Office of National Statistics detailing deaths where pneumonia or flu was the cause of death compared to COVID being mentioned on the death certificate.

In August, there were 54 COVID deaths across Yorkshire and the Humber, according to the provisional figures, compared to 407 deaths from pneumonia or flu.

Nationally, there were 528 deaths where COVID was mentioned, compared to 4,441 with flu or pneumonia last month.

Mr Davies added: “The Government's figures also showed that, while the number of tragic deaths recorded as being related to COVID in April was very high, nearly 20,000 people died from flu or pneumonia in the same month. I was shocked to learn this.

"In fact, in Yorkshire and the Humber in April, there were 1,993 deaths recorded as relating to COVID and 1,965 deaths from flu or pneumonia.

"I think people can make their own minds up about this and the lack of reaction to all those flu and pneumonia deaths.

"I am quite sure most people have no idea about these numbers. This is just one of the reasons that I believe we need to get back to a more measured British approach to current events.”