Covid Pandemic Is Not Over, Christmas May Be Difficult, Warns UK Medical Expert

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In Britain, there have been an average of around 40,000 new cases of COVID-19 every day in recent weeks

London:

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England’s deputy chief medical officer warned on Wednesday that Christmas could be difficult because the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet over, urging people to act cautiously and apply for booster doses.

Britain reported 293 deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, the highest daily number since March, and there have been an average of about 40,000 new cases each day in recent weeks.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifted restrictions in England in July, and said he plans to tackle COVID during the winter by relying on vaccinations rather than imposing masks or lockdowns.

“A lot of people think this pandemic is over now. I personally feel there are some tough months ahead in the winter and it’s not over,” Jonathan Van Tam told BBC Television, adding that behavior and booster intake would determine how harsh the winter can be.

“Christmas, and indeed all the dark winter months, is likely to be problematic.”

Johnson noted Britain’s success in rolling out initial vaccination when he lifted restrictions, but the slowdown in the rollout of boosters means that for many vulnerable people, immunity could wane.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) said taking action now could reduce the need for tougher measures later.

Jeremy Farrar, Wellcome’s director, said he has resigned from SAGE to focus on his work at the health charity, but added that the situation remains worrisome.

“The Covid-19 crisis is still far from over,” he said in a statement.

“The high levels of transmission seen in the UK remain worrisome, but I have stepped down from my position as a SAGE participant and have been provided knowledgeable ministers with most of the key scientific advice needed during the winter months.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by the NDTV crew and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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