Christmas will be “robust” this yr and is unlikely to be a traditional household celebration if coronavirus infections proceed to extend, an professional has warned.
Professor Jeremy Farrar, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), mentioned the UK faces a “very, very troublesome” interval over the subsequent three to 6 months.
But the Wellcome Trust director mentioned there’s “mild on the finish of the tunnel”, as he believes a Covid-19 vaccine and efficient therapy will be prepared within the first quarter of 2021.
Prof Farrar advised Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday a circuit-breaker nationwide lockdown is now wanted, claiming there might presently be 50,000 coronavirus instances per day throughout the UK.
He mentioned: “The ONS (Office for National Statistics) survey, which is the perfect information within the nation in the mean time, exhibits that 27,000 persons are getting this an infection day by day. But that was till the tenth of October.
“Today it will be over 50,000, simply because the CMO (England’s chief medical officer) Chris Whitty and (the Government’s chief scientific adviser) Sir Patrick Vallance recommended some three weeks in the past.
“It would be at 50,000 new instances throughout the nation each single day, and that is virtually precisely the place we’re.”
Asked about Christmas, Prof Farrar mentioned he doesn’t imagine a vaccine will be prepared in time for the festive interval.
He added: “Christmas will be robust this yr. I do not assume it’ll be the standard celebration it’s and all households coming collectively, I’m afraid.
“I feel we have now to be trustworthy and life like and say that we’re in for 3 to 6 months of a really, very troublesome interval.
“The temperatures drop, we’re all indoors extra usually, we have now the opposite infections that come this time of yr.
“It’s a lot better for us to be upfront and trustworthy now, and say we’re in for a very troublesome time, however there’s mild on the finish of the tunnel.”
Prof Farrar mentioned a brief nationwide lockdown referred to as a circuit-breaker is required to cut back transmission charges, as beforehand really helpful by Sage final month.
He mentioned the “greatest time” to have launched the momentary lockdown would have been round September 20, however added “it was by no means too late”.
He mentioned: “The second greatest time to do that is now, and the worst time to do that is on the finish of November when issues would have actually received significantly worse.
“So it is by no means too late, it is higher to do it now than in a month’s time.”
In regard to a possible vaccine and efficient therapies, Prof Farrar mentioned he believes they’re “three to 6 months away”.
Meanwhile, Dr Alison Pittard, dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine in London, later advised the programme that medical doctors’ evolving understanding of the virus has dramatically upped the survival charge.
She mentioned medical doctors’ haste to mechanically ventilate sufferers in the beginning of the pandemic may need contributed to the upper charge of loss of life in spring in comparison with now.
At the beginning of the pandemic, simply 66% of individuals in hospital with coronavirus survived, in comparison with 84% in August.
Dr Pittard mentioned: “Initially we used to place sufferers straight on to mechanical air flow – so we’d convey them to intensive care, sedate them and put them on ventilators.
“But we have now slowly began to grasp that maybe we might handle some sufferers with out doing that.”