Scientists are crying out for the government to define an “acceptable” level of coronavirus deaths, its deputy chief scientific adviser has said.

Professor Dame Angela McLean, who is also chief scientific adviser for the Ministry of Defence, also said that it should become “socially unacceptable” to go to work with a cough, even after restrictions are lifted.

Appearing before the science and technology select committee, she said it was “quite unlikely” that society would return to exactly how it was before the pandemic. “I suspect we just won’t go to work if we have a respiratory illness,” she added.

Although respiratory illnesses are more common in the winter, McLean warned that this “does not mean that we can’t have a summer wave”, pointing to

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