Dr Hilary Jones has warned that there will be more ‘hospitalisations and deaths to come’ despite the drop in R rate across some parts of the country.
Speaking to Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard on Friday’s Good Morning Britain, the TV doctor explained that we can’t get ‘complacent’ as we still haven’t seen the surge in Covid-19 cases from Christmas and New Year.
It comes after it was confirmed by scientists that the R rate has dropped to 0.6 in many areas of England.
New modelling from Cambridge University suggests the rate of transmission might be slowing down in London and the South East, where the mutant variant of the virus first began spreading.
According to the data, London’s R rate could be between 0.61 and 0.80, while in the South East it could be between 0.64 and 0.84.
Dr Hilary said it’s good news that the R rate has dropped (Picture: ITV)
‘It’s is really good news, I think we have to temper it by saying the numbers are still really high,’ Dr Hilary said about the R rate.
‘So even though the R rate is falling, which is great because of lockdown, that’s worked that’s kicking in. We have still got very high numbers, so there is no room for complacency.’
Presenter Ben then weighed in as he quizzed the GP about still ‘waiting for the figures on Christmas’.
‘The lag on that still hasn’t hit, so even though those infections are coming down seemingly across many parts and the R rate is coming down,’ Ben said.
‘We haven’t necessarily gathered the impact of everyone getting together.’
Dr Hillary Jones has warned that there are more deaths to come (Picture: ITV)
Dr Hilary went on to explain that because ‘Christmas and New Year was going to be an event that spread the virus further’, hospitals will now see a surge in cases because of it.
‘We have also got to bear in mind that there are some new variants around that seem to be more transmissible,’ he replied.
‘And the R rate will kick in first and hospitalisations and deaths will follow later.
‘So people stay in hospital for longer and whilst we have got high numbers still, that means there will be more hospitalisations and more loss of life in weeks to come.’
‘So we are not through this yet, but if we are patient, we are getting there, and it’s good news by and large,’ he added.
Kate, whose husband Derek Draper is currently in intensive care fighting complications from the virus, agreed with Dr Hilary as she said ‘this hospitalisation news is a problem’.
‘Five (hospitals) are saying that they just have no critical beds any more, which is terrible for those hospitals and immediately puts pressure on other hospitals around,’ the host continued,
‘But also 4.4 million people waiting for surgeries, all the other challenges and all the other things people are dealing with, those figures don’t look good either.’
Speaking about there not being enough beds in intensive care wards, Dr Hilary explained: ‘That’s what worries a lot of health bosses at the moment, do we have enough ITU beds, and the truth is they are full to bursting and they have expanded as far as they can.
‘So it’s absolutely imperative we keep the R rate down and hospitalisations as low as possible, and we get vaccinated.’#
Good Morning Britain airs daily at 6am on ITV.