A DOCTOR who volunteered to work on the coronavirus front line has called for the lockdown to be eased as it may be doing "more health harm than good".

Dr Raghib Ali's views were picked up on by prominent Conservative backbencher Steve Baker, who posted a link to an article by the Oxford academic on his Twitter account.

Dr Ali, a clinical epidemiologist and visiting research fellow at the University of Oxford, volunteered to work as a consultant in acute medicine as the coronavirus crisis gathered pace and has warned that tens of thousands could die from the economic impact of the shutdown and that a "balanced debate" is needed on the best way to go forward.

He said the lockdown could "do more health harm than good" as he called on the Government to release the data it had regarding the situation.

Dr Ali told the PA news agency: "Without access to the data that the Government is making decisions on it is very difficult to know what aspects of the lockdown should be lifted.

"I am certainly not calling for the whole lockdown to be lifted.

"There's two things here, immediate deaths from current causes, so people not coming in because of heart attacks, or strokes, or infections, or not attending cancer screenings.

"The general stay at home message was maybe taken a bit too far - even when they had symptoms they were not coming in.

"The second point is, if you have people losing their jobs, and that, of course, leads to adverse health outcomes in the long run, as well as stress, and mental health problems.

"I'm sure this information is being looked at by Government to weigh-up these things, but because we don't have access to it, maybe they have looked at it and they say that what we are doing now will save 100,000 lives compared to loosing 50,000 lives and, I don't know, and that would be useful to know."

Mr Baker, who is Dr Ali's constituency MP in Wycombe, told PA that "saving jobs saves lives".

He said: "He is saying that we need the data because scientists disagree.

"I think I agree withe everything he says.

"My view is I want us to be out of this lockdown at the earliest safe moment.

"That is because of the reasons that Raghib has set out, that saving jobs saves lives later, that there is a non-Covid clinical cost in foregone treatments and so on."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has relaxed some lockdown restrictions this week following concerns expressed by a number of Tory MPs that the situation needed to be eased.