Expert in UK expects ‘problematic’ winter
London – “Very high” coronavirus (COVID-19) rates in the United Kingdom at present mean there are hard months to come, England’s deputy chief medical officer has warned.
Prof. Jonathan Van-Tam told the BBC it was a concern that COOVID-19 levels were “running this hot, this early in the autumn season”.
He said too many people believed the pandemic was now over.
Christmas and the winter months are “potentially going to be problematic”, Van-Tam warned.
The UK recorded 33 865 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and 293 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.
In a question and answer session with BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio 5 Live, Prof Van-Tam said that while cases appeared to have stabilised, they were very high, and above most of Europe.
He also said deaths were rising and there were signs infections were starting to “penetrate” older age groups.
The current levels of coronavirus meant caution was now needed, he said, adding that experts would be continuing to analyse the data over the next days and weeks.
How Christmas is affected would depend on a “whole range of behaviours”, he said.
Face coverings and the caution people took in interacting with others, along with the speed of vaccinations, would be “a big determinant between what happens now and the darkest months of the winter”.
Using a football analogy, as he has often done while commenting on the pandemic, he said: “I would say we’re kind of half-time in extra time, and I think the final whistle in terms of – I can’t predict it – but my personal view is that we’ve got a few more months to run, and I think we’ll be in a much calmer set of waters by spring.” (BBC)