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Christmas could be ruined for five YEARS as Britain struggles to beat Covid | UK | News

Tim Spector, a King’s College genetic epidemiology professor, has warned that the UK’s current approach to controlling the virus is “insufficient”, meaning that we should be prepared for Covid to cause problems for the next five years. Despite our impressive vaccine rollout, Prof Spector warned that Britain has become “complacent” – something which he put down to “appalling” public health messaging from the government.

So far, the government has said there will not be another Christmas lockdown, with the prime minister insisting that it is “very much not the plan”.

But last year, the government waited until December 20 to announce that the planned relaxation of lockdown rules over the Christmas period would not be going ahead.

Speaking at an online conference for the Royal Society of Medicine’s Covid-19 series, Prof Spector said that the lifting of restrictions last July gave the public the impression that the pandemic come to a “black and white” end.

The scientist, who leads the Zoe Covid Study app, said: “We have to realise we just have to in some way control (it) into something that doesn’t cause as much loss of life, doesn’t cause morbidities, and reduce that.

“And to do that is a combination of the vaccines, the medicines, etc. But also we have to keep some public health measures in place to keep those numbers down – we’re not doing that.”

“And that’s why for the last three months, we’ve had the highest rates not only of cases but also hospitalisations in western Europe.

“And I think it’s pretty unwise for a country that has such a perilous health system – even at this stage about 7 percent of hospital beds full of Covid – at a time when we’ve got massive other health needs.

“So we’re not doing enough, we are too complacent.

READ MORE: Covid: Act NOW! Boris given last-chance

“We need to extend the vaccination programme to include three shots.

“We also need to realise there will be breakthrough infections that are real, we now know that vaccinated people can still transmit the virus, and that is going to be running through our populations to some degree.

“How high we want those rates to be is highly determined by our complacency and our relaxation of some of the rules that we had in place, that last year I thought we’re actually over the top, and now this year, I think insufficient.”

Just this week, a new study revealed the number of young people in England who have died from the virus since March 2020.

The findings, which were published on Thursday in Nature Medicine, showed that sixty-one under-18s had tested positive for Covid-19 before their death.

However, overall, almost all (99.9%) of those under 18 who tested positive for Covid survived.

One of the paper’s authors, Russel Viner, who is a professor of adolescent health at UCL, said: “In terms of what this means for us now, we don’t have updated data in this form for the last six months, although we will in the future.

“Paediatricians across the country believe that these findings still broadly hold – that children are at extremely low risk of death from this virus, most deaths of children with a positive test are not related to Covid but reflect the commonality of infection in the population, and that the children at most risk are those who have always been at higher risk – those with serious other medical conditions.”

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