• Thursday, June 30, 2022

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‘Winter will be bumpy’, warns Covid expert as cases rise after dramatic fall

A pedestrian wearing a face mask walks across London Bridge in central London on July 27, 2021. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) via Getty Images)

By: Pooja Shrivastava

PANDEMIC is not over yet and the UK may see “bumpy” periods in the coming months,  warned on Thursday (29) as daily new numbers daily number of Covid cases rose for the second day in a row after a dramatic fall last week.

 

Calling the UK’s vaccine programme a “truly massive” success, Van-Tam warned that the pandemic is not yet over, dismissing the recent claim of an unnamed senior minister that the Covid crisis was “all over bar the shouting”.

“I wish it were so,” said Prof Van-Tam. “This is not ‘all over bar the shouting’.

“I hope the worst is behind us, but I think it’s quite possible we will have one or two bumpy periods in the autumn and winter,” he said.

Not only colder temperatures and more indoor gatherings will create better conditions for the coronavirus to spread, but it might also allow the resurgence of other respiratory viruses which normally flare up during the winter, he said, adding that it is important for people to get their flu jabs as well as booster Covid jab.

As per new official figures from Public Health England (PHE), around 60,000 coronavirus deaths and 22 million infections have been prevented by the UK’s vaccination programme. 

About 95.5 per cent of the adult population in the UK now has antibodies to Covid-19 from either infection or vaccination, PHE said recently, suggesting that the country may be moving towards “herd immunity”.

Meanwhile,  31,117 new cases were reported on Thursday (29), up from 27,734 the day before, which marked the first rise in cases since July 20.

Scientists believe that another upward spike caused by the removal of lockdown restrictions on 19 July may be about to show itself, reports said citing that there is usually a lag of around two weeks between infections and positive tests.

While factors like the impact of ever-larger numbers of people being fully vaccinated, pupils no longer in school and the hot spell causing Britons to spend more time outside were attributed to the dramatic fall, it has now emerged that the recent drop in Covid testing may also be a contributing factor.

Speaking at an online seminar,  vice-president of the RSM and clinical consultant in global public health Claire Bayntun revealed that there has been a  reduction in testing over the recent period.

“I’ve just come from a meeting with colleagues at PHE [Public Health England], and in fact, they were just confirming there’s been a 20 per cent reduction in testing over this very recent period,” The Guardian cited her in a report.

 

 

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