Dr Jenny Harries says Covid infections at ‘a very high level’

Dame Jenny Harries, chief govt of the UK Well being Safety Company, has mentioned Covid-19 infections are at “a very high level” however that they don’t seem to be translating into hospital admissions and deaths. She informed BBC Radio 4’s In the present day programme: “There are around three-and-a-half million people in the last week up to that point, up to March 25, which is a very high level.

“But what we’re not seeing of course is a significant translation of that into serious illness, hospitalisations and most importantly, deaths. There has been a small uptick in deaths in the last week and again… some hospitals are coming under significant pressure and we shouldn’t underestimate that.

“But overall, immune defences through the vaccination programme has been really successful and of course we now have treatments”.

It comes because the Omicron variant is predicted to have a “significant wave” in England, the nation’s chief medical officer has mentioned. Professor Sir Chris Whitty mentioned he expects the BA.2 variant to reappear over autumn and winter until a brand new Covid variant takes its place.

Talking on the Science of Covid convention, hosted by the Royal Society, he mentioned: “Now we’re definitely not out of the woods. Even without a new variant we’re going to see quite a significant wave of BA.2, which I don’t think has topped out in England yet, it probably has in Scotland.

“But I’m sure it’ll run again, particularly when we get to autumn/winter, unless something else has come along. There will be multiple new variants and we may well get ones that are significantly vaccine-escaping, in which case, we’re in a very different place.”

Instances in England almost reached a document excessive on Friday, with round one in 16 individuals in non-public households in England – or 3.5 million individuals – prone to have had Covid-19 within the week to March 19.

That is up from one in 20, or 2.7 million individuals, within the earlier week and is the third week in a row that infections are estimated to have risen.

Requested if it’s the proper time to finish free Covid testing, UKHSA chief Dame Jenny Harries mentioned the UK should come to phrases with the pandemic remaining unpredictable.

She mentioned: “The pandemic takes its own course and it will remain unpredictable to a large extent for the next say 18 months to two years, I think is general consensus, and we will have to be continuously be alert to monitor those rates and to respond appropriately to any new variants.

“But as with other respiratory viruses such as flu… at some point we have to come to terms with that”.

Folks ought to proceed to take precautions, she mentioned, including that she is going to proceed to put on a masks in retailers and on public transport.

She mentioned hotter climate will possible drive down an infection charges and that there are excessive ranges of inhabitants immunity so long as individuals come ahead for booster jabs.

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