THE UK will “definitely” see another wave of Covid cases, warned Professor Chris Whitty today – with the virus casting a “long rain shadow”.
He predicted a third wave will sweep in eventually, despite Britain’s record-breaking vaccine blitz.
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Professor Chris Whitty has warned the UK will face another wave at some pointCredit: AFP
England’s chief medical officer was speaking on the first anniversary of the lockdown that sparked the UK’s pandemic fight.
He told the Public Health Conference 2021, reports Sky News: “The path from here on in does look better than the last year.
“There are going to be lots of bumps and twists on the road from here on in.
“There will definitely be another surge at some point whether it’s before winter or next winter, we don’t know.
“Variants are going to cause problems, there will be stockouts of vaccines and no doubt there will be multiple problems at a national level but also at a local level – school outbreaks, prison outbreaks, all those things that people are dealing with on a day-to-day basis.”
He warned the after effects of the pandemic on people who had been pushed further into states of deprivation, adding there is a “very big job of work to do in terms of recovery”.
Prof Whitty said: “These effects could, if we’re not very careful, be lifelong and that’ll be exacerbated by reductions in face-to-face learning in school and indeed in college, further education and universities, which are one of the most powerful engines for reducing deprivation over generations.
“So there’s going to be a long rain shadow to Covid.”
‘BUMPS AND TWISTS’
Boris Johnson has warned the UK could soon “feel the effects” of the rise in infections across the Continent, after a string of countries were plunged back into lockdown last week.
He said: “Previous experience has taught us that when a wave hits our friends, I’m afraid it washes up on our shores as well and expect we will feel those effects in due course.”
France, Poland and Italy are among EU nations forced to reimpose restrictions amid soaring cases and a sluggish jab rollout.
Nonetheless, the PM promised to “bash on with the roadmap we set out” – with dates on the easing of lockdown unlikely to change despite Europe’s third wave.
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) urged the Government to take a cautious approach amid the surge in infections on the continent – but has not called for a change to Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown, it was reported at the weekend.
Britain saw a huge rise in cases in late December amid the spread of the Kent variant, which now makes up a significant number of infections in Europe.
Brits have been warned not to book a foreign holiday this summer amid fears that they could prompt a fourth lockdown next winter.
Today the country held a minute’s silence at midday on Britain’s National Day of Reflection in remembrance of those who have died during the crisis.
Leading today’s tributes, The Queen said: “As we look forward to a brighter future together, we pause to reflect on the grief and loss that continues to be felt by so many people and families, and pay tribute to the immeasurable service of those who have supported us all over the last year.”
The PM added: “We should also remember the great spirit shown by our nation over this past year.
“We have all played our part, whether it’s working on the front line as a nurse or carer, working on vaccine development and supply, helping to get that jab into arms, home schooling your children, or just by staying at home to prevent the spread of the virus.
“It’s because of every person in this country that lives have been saved, our NHS was protected, and we have started on our cautious road to easing restrictions once and for all.”