An estimated 1 in 50 individuals in England had COVID-19 between December 27 and January 2, new official figures present, because the nation’s most senior medic mentioned some restrictions should still be wanted throughout subsequent winter.
The equal of 1.1 million individuals had the virus over the interval, in line with the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics, representing a pointy rise in U.Ok. an infection charges.
Again in September, only one in 900 had been estimated to have had COVID.
U.Ok. Prime Minister Boris Johnson pointed to the brand new figures at a Downing Avenue press convention on Tuesday as he sought to justify his determination to place England again right into a nationwide lockdown, a retreat from a localized system of restrictions.
“When everyone appears on the place [we are in], they’re going to perceive we’ve no alternative,” Johnson mentioned.
The feedback got here because the U.Ok’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, talking alongside Johnson, made clear that some COVID restrictions should still be required subsequent winter — regardless of hopes that mass vaccine roll outs will made a significant affect on the transmission of the virus by then.
Johnson has promised to evaluate England’s newest lockdown on February 15, with any modifications coming into pressure the next week. He promised day by day updates on the variety of COVID vaccinations administered would start from Monday, and confirmed that 1.3 million individuals have been vaccinated throughout the U.Ok. thus far.
However whereas Whitty mentioned the chance stage from the virus was “regularly going to lower” because the vaccines are deployed, he warned the general public to not anticipate a state of affairs the place “it is actually unhealthy after which abruptly it stops.”
Restrictions would, he mentioned, be “lifted stage by stage” primarily based on trade-offs deemed acceptable by ministers, earlier than the U.Ok. will get to “nearly no restrictions in any respect.”
“We’d need to carry just a few in within the subsequent winter, for instance, that’s doable — as a result of winter will profit the virus,” he mentioned. “However the intention of this [vaccine plan] is to de-risk it as a lot as doable … to the purpose the place really we get to the stage the place the chance is extremely low relative to the place we at the moment are.”
Whitty described the U.Ok. authorities’s acknowledged intention of vaccinating everybody in its prime 4 precedence teams by mid February — that means round 13 million individuals obtain the jab — as “real looking, however not straightforward.”
“The NHS goes to have to make use of a number of channels to get this out, however they’re very decided to do that,” he mentioned.