London (CNN)The UK could remain under coronavirus emergency measures for as long as six months, a top health official has said, even as one expert said there were early signs that the outbreak was slowing in Britain. Curbs on normal life may need to continue through the summer and into the autumn in order to avoid progress being “wasted,” England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries said on Sunday.Harries suggested that while lockdown rules imposed last week could be relaxed once the curve of cases begins to flatten, strict social distancing guidelines will likely remain in place. But a prominent epidemiologist sounded a note of cautious optimism on Monday, suggesting that there were some early signs that the lockdown measures were working. Neil Ferguson, a professor of mathematical biology at Imperial College London whose modeling has influenced UK government policy, told BBC Radio on Monday that he believes “the epidemic is just about slowing in the UK right now.” He pointed to a slight slowdown in the rate of increase in hospital admissions as evidence. “It is the result of the actions people have taken and governments have taken,” Ferguson said, adding that admissions had not yet plateaued and that

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