in

Experts tell Brits to ‘order that turkey’ because infections in summer should keep cases low

Spread the love


Britain should avoid a major surge in Covid infections Christmas lockdown curbs because of its high caseload on the back of ‘Freedom Day’ this summer, experts claimed today.

Europe is currently battling a fresh wave of the Delta variant that has sent nations scuttling back into draconian shutdowns once more, raising fears that the UK could be next. 

But Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious diseases expert at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline that the  UK was in a different position to its continental neighbours because it frontloaded infections earlier in the year.

Britain was slammed as the ‘sick man of Europe’ throughout this summer and autumn, consistently recording the highest levels of infection on the continent after releasing all Covid curbs on Freedom Day in July. 

Despite fierce criticism and calls for tougher restrictions, the Government held its nerve and insisted that it was better to get cases out of the way in the warmer months when the NHS is under less pressure.

Sir John Bell, an Oxford University professor and Government adviser, said that allowing the virus to rip earlier this year ‘has given us longer-term protection’ – as he urged Brits to ‘order that turkey, because it’ll all be fine.’

However, many experts argue that the epidemic is becoming increasingly unpredictable and Britain’s daily Covid cases have been rising after children returned from half-term at the start of the month.

Experts highlight that the UK’s booster drive is also outpacing all its European neighbours who are starting to lock down again. 

Some 20 per cent of Brits are triple-jabbed, double the number in Austria – which today went into a full lockdown – and three times that in Germany, where vaccines are to set to become compulsory.

And Professor Chris Whitty backed easing restrictions this summer, warning that sticking with curbs then would likely just delay hospitalisations and deaths rather than prevent them.  

Britain’s daily Covid cases have been rising after children returned from half-term, but experts say this is unlikely to lead to a major spike.  

Britain was seen as the 'sick man of Europe' in the summer after its Covid infection rate outpaced other nations. But as the continent heads into winter many other European nations have seen their case rates storm ahead . The UK is testing up to 10 times more than its EU neighbours, which inflates its infection rate

Britain was seen as the ‘sick man of Europe’ in the summer after its Covid infection rate outpaced other nations. But as the continent heads into winter many other European nations have seen their case rates storm ahead . The UK is testing up to 10 times more than its EU neighbours, which inflates its infection rate

The above graph shows the proportion of people fully vaccinated against Covid, who have received two doses, in western Europe. It reveals that the UK has a similar jab uptake to many European nations

The above graph shows the proportion of people fully vaccinated against Covid, who have received two doses, in western Europe. It reveals that the UK has a similar jab uptake to many European nations

But its booster drive has steamed ahead of others on the continent. More than 20 per cent of Brits have now got a booster, which is almost double the level in Austria and three times that in Germany

But its booster drive has steamed ahead of others on the continent. More than 20 per cent of Brits have now got a booster, which is almost double the level in Austria and three times that in Germany

The above graph shows Covid hospital admissions per million people in Europe. It reveals that Belgium and the Netherlands are recording a rise, but that they remain flat in the UK. Austria is not included in this graph because no data was available

The above graph shows Covid hospital admissions per million people in Europe. It reveals that Belgium and the Netherlands are recording a rise, but that they remain flat in the UK. Austria is not included in this graph because no data was available

The above graph shows Covid deaths per million people from the virus. It reveals Austria and Belgium are starting to record surges

The above graph shows Covid deaths per million people from the virus. It reveals Austria and Belgium are starting to record surges

Professor Hunter told MailOnline: ‘I don’t think we are going to be seeing the sort of surge in cases much of Europe is experiencing.

‘Largely that’s down to… quite a lot of cases throughout the summer and into October, more than most other countries.

UK Covid cases rise slightly while infections sweep Europe 

Britain’s Covid infections have increased by almost 10 per cent as Sajid Javid urged people to get their booster jabs to ensure the nation can ‘look forward to Christmas together’.

Department of Health bosses reported a further 40,004 cases yesterday, a rise from the 36,517 reported last Sunday.

The number of people dying with the virus saw a three per cent drop, with 61 deaths reported compared to 63 on November 14, bringing the UK total to 143,927.  

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have been 168,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid was mentioned on the death certificate.  

It comes as Europe descended into a third day of violent carnage as tens of thousands of people in Belgium took to the streets to protest against the return of strict lockdown rules aimed at curbing a surge in Covid infections across the continent.

Nearly 40,000 people descended on the capital Brussels to protest against new anti-Covid measures banning the unvaccinated from entering restaurants and bars.

Some protesters were seen throwing projectiles at riot police and in response, officers fired water cannon and tear gas at the group.

Video footage from Brussels shows a large group of protesters shouting at police as some light flares and throw them at the officers — one man can even be seen mooning at them.

The protest came just hours after it emerged Germany is set to follow Austria’s example in making vaccinations compulsory with ministers admitting that the move is ‘unavoidable’ amid a fourth wave of the pandemic which is crippling the country’s hospitals. 

‘There are a lot of people who would have been at risk who had the infection in the last few months who, if they get it again, they will have it quite mild.

‘Within Europe, we are [also] rolling out the booster faster than any others — although Austria is rapidly catching up with us.’

He added that there was ‘no sign’ the UK would face a bad flu season this year, but warned it could still make a come back in January. 

But the scientist warned infections in children and the AY.4.2 subvariant of Delta could trigger an uptick in cases — but not a major spike.

‘There’s nothing I can see that would generate a potential surge this winter,’ he told MailOnline. 

‘A reasonable proportion of younger children are not jabbed yet, but it might be enough to generate a surge. 

‘The AY.4.2 variant [also] seems to be drifting up, although not that rapidly.’

The UK was viewed as the ‘sick man of Europe’ for months after its infection rate outpaced its continental neighbours.

Heading into Autumn Britain’s case load (458.5 cases per million people) was twice that of Austria’s, four times the rate in the Netherlands and Germany, and eight times that in Spain.

And its hospitalisations and deaths also steamed ahead with three times more daily admissions than Germany, and four times the number recorded in the Netherlands. 

But Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland now all have a higher infection rate than the UK, with Germany expected to overtake the country in the coming days.

Austria today imposed a lockdown because of low vaccine uptake, with some German states expected to follow suit in the coming days.

Figures show the UK has a similar vaccine uptake to these nations but it is not recording a surge in cases, suggesting its high caseload in summer has provided an extra layer of protection.

But the difference in fortunes may also be down to the booster drive, with the UK’s outpacing all its European neighbours.

Sir John urged Britons to prepare for Christmas, telling Times Radio: ‘My advice is, order that turkey, because it’ll all be fine. And if you’re planning a skiing holiday in Austria, things may not go so well.’

He said: ‘Back in the dark days of March, April, May 2020, everybody said, “Oh gosh, aren’t the Germans clever, they haven’t got any Covid and aren’t the Brits dumb because they’ve got lots of it?”

‘Actually I don’t think it has quite played out that way. One of the interesting things is that it may well be that the delay in lockdown in the UK, the pretty extensive level of disease, has given us longer-term protection.’

Sir John added that there may well be some truth in the fact that Britain running high levels of infection this summer may now be giving it an advantage compared to its European neighbours.

He continued: ‘They’ve been much more assidious about lockdowns, about keeping away from the virus and then they released.

‘They took their foot off the brake a month, six weeks ago, without a lot of testing in place to know what was going on. And you might argue that the exposure to the virus that we had in the first wave is now paying dividends because we’ve got a lot of people who’ve had natural infection.’

SAGE adviser Professor Peter Openshaw told BBC Breakfast he is pleased that the UK can currently avoid the measures being introduced in Europe.

The New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) member said: ‘The situation appears to have really been destabilised in some parts of Europe because of misinformation, particularly about vaccines. 

‘I think, in the UK, we had a very successful early vaccination campaign and we got very high vaccination rates, particularly amongst those who are vulnerable, but obviously that means that many people have now been vaccinated some time ago and they do need the boosters in order to raise their level of immunity back up again and make sure that, as we go into the winter season and towards Christmas, that we have very high levels of immunity again within society.’

He added: ‘I am concerned that we do have really quite high levels of transmission in the UK. My personal preference would be that we should really try to get these rates down – we know that masks do work… because there are people who are unvaccinated for various reasons, and we do need to try and reduce the level of circulation of the virus, as well as getting up vaccination rates.

‘No single measure by itself is going to be successful; we need the combination of measures, which includes re-vaccination, third doses, but also wearing masks and being very careful not to transmit the virus.’

England dropped virtually all Covid restrictions on ‘Freedom Day’ on July 19. Most restrictions have also been relaxed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 



Source link

What do you think?

Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

Celeb-Recommended Amazon Accessories – E! Online

LV bosses defend £530million sale of historic UK insurer to US private equity firm