BRITS will treat Covid like flu with lockdowns unlikely to be needed again, a top medic has said.
Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said that accepting some Covid deaths was a price worth paying to allow people to live a “whole life”.
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Britain’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris WhittyCredit: Getty
He added that the Government would only “pull the alarm cord” and reimpose lockdowns if a dangerous new variant of the virus arrived in the UK that Brits had no immunity to.
Professor Whitty told a Royal School of Medicine webinar: “Covid is not going to go away.
“You’ve got to work out what’s a rational policy to this and here I would differentiate quite a lot between a pandemic environment and what you get with seasonal flu.
“Every year, somewhere between 7,000 and 9,000 citizens die of flu, most of them very elderly, and every few years you get a bad flu year where 20,000 to 25,000 die of it.
“The last time we had that was three years ago and no one noticed it.
“So it is clear we are going to have to manage it, at some point, rather like we manage the flu.
“Here is a seasonal, very dangerous disease that kills thousands of people and society has chosen a particular way round it.”
Asked by Sir Simon Wessely, professor of psychological medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, if lockdowns could be reimposed if Covid cases rose, Britain’s top medic replied: “No, I don’t think so.”
However, he added: “Society will not tolerate more than a certain number of people being ill, even if they know it’s going to go away come the spring, and the area where we’re going to have to pull the alarm cord is if a variant of concern comes in that we can see is now back to a situation of unconstrained growth because the immunological response to it is just not there.”
Yesterday 4,479 Covid infections were recorded with a further 51 deaths reported.
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