Saturday, January 29, 2022

SAGE expert warns peak of the third wave could last six weeks in threat to British summer

The summer Covid peak could last for six weeks after lockdown rules ease and put a “considerable burden” on the NHS, a Government SAGE expert has said.

Professor Graham Medley, who chairs the modelling group SPI-M, warned of the challenges facing the health service with the pinnacle of the third wave of the virus expected to continue for weeks. null

Daily deaths could soar to 100 to 200 at the peak, with between 1,000 and 2,000 hospitalisations per day, the Government’s scientific advisers have predicted.

But uncertainty about how quickly people will return to their pre-pandemic habits has left experts unsure about the size of the next wave.

Boris Johnson confirmed plans to press ahead with lifting England’s remaining lockdown rules on July 19 but the PM urged people to exercise caution with their newfound freedoms.

There is some disquiet in Westminster about the decision to axe restrictions while cases remain high, with Health Secretary Sajid Javid admitting infections could soar to 100,000 a day.

But he told MPs that vaccines had weakened the link between cases and hospitalisations and expressed confidence that the jab would protect people from a serious illness.

Prof Medley told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “We’ve never seen a peak before that hasn’t been controlled.

“The intention is not to introduce a lockdown for this peak. Then we are going to see a natural peak and that may well take long and disseminated.

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