Winter could come early” if viruses are allowed to spread in the UK, a leading professor has said.
“I’m not sure about this thing about let’s get the epidemic over with before winter – I don’t buy it,” he told Times Radio.
“If you’re doing little to stop it and the spread of other respiratory viruses, cases of which have been very low because we’ve been in lockdown, then our winter could come early, if you like. Winter is a long way off and we might have new treatments by then. And I’d rather keep incidents as low as we can for as long as we can.”
It comes as the US State Department and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both issued on Monday their highest warnings against travel to the United Kingdom because of a rising number of Covid cases.
More than one million children in England out of school last week
More than one million children in England were out of school last week due toCovid-19 related reasons, Government figures show.
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Shadow health minister Justin Madders: ‘The Government making it up as they go along’
Shadow health minister Justin Madders said: “The Government [are] making it up as they go along.
“Ministers mix messages, change approach and water down proposals when the public and businesses need clarity and certainty.
“If this is a true change in approach on the app, why didn’t the Prime Minister set this out last night?
“Yet again there is more confusion and incompetence from the heart of government at the expense of public health. They need to get a grip.”
Downing Street doubles down on self-isolation rule
Downing Street slapped down business minister Paul Scully after he suggested that self-isolating, when pinged by the Covid-19 app should be a matter for individuals and employers to decide.
It was “crucial” to self-isolate when told and business should be supporting employees to do so, Downing Street said.
A No 10 spokeswoman said: “Isolation remains the most important action people can take to stop the spread of the virus.
“Given the risk of having and spreading the virus when people have been in contact with someone with Covid it is crucial people isolate when they are told to do so, either by NHS Test and Trace or by the NHS covid app.
“Businesses should be supporting employees to isolate, they should not be encouraging them to break isolation”
Professor Ian Young: ‘I am very concerned about the uptake of vaccination’
Professor Ian Young said he was “very concerned” about stalling vaccination rates in Northern Ireland, with almost 20 per cent of the adult population still to come forward for a first dose.
“I am very concerned about the uptake of vaccination, there’s still around 18% of adults who have not come forward for the first dose of their vaccine,” he said.
“And that means 18 per cent of people who are just as susceptible to the most severe effects of Covid as they were earlier in the epidemic and at just the same risk of severe illness, long-term illness in the form of long Covid, hospital admission and death.”
He urged those who have yet to come forward for their jab to “think really hard” about taking up the opportunity.
NI’s chief scientific adviser expresses concern at ‘rapid’ rise in Covid-19 cases
Northern Ireland’s chief scientific adviser Professor Ian Young has expressed concern at the “rapid” rise in Covid-19 cases in the country, warning of an “inevitable” increase in death rates as a result.
“We’re very concerned by the numbers of cases which are increasing rapidly, they’ve doubled in around the last eight days, as indeed have the number of patients in hospital,” he told BBC Radio Ulster.
“And this is following the same pattern or trajectory that we saw earlier in the epidemic, albeit that the proportion of individuals who are getting more severe illness and going into hospitals is less.
“So, I think we’re going to see a lot more cases before this situation improves and we’re going to see significantly more pressures in our hospitals as a result of those cases. This is not over, there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
154,334 Covid-19 deaths have now occurred in the UK – ONS
A total of 154,334 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS said.
The highest number of deaths to occur on a single day was 1,483 on January 19.
During the first wave of the virus, the daily toll peaked at 1,461 deaths on April 8 2020.
Some 20 Covid-19 related care home deaths in England and Wales
Some 20 care home resident deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales were registered in the week to July 9, up from 11 deaths in the previous week.
In total, 42,587 care home residents in England and Wales have had Covid-19 recorded on their death certificate since the pandemic began.
The ONS figures cover deaths of care home residents in all settings, not just in care homes.