Home Business News Chief medical advisor warns there is ‘a big wave’ which is ‘coming straight at us’ by Boxing Day

Chief medical advisor warns there is ‘a big wave’ which is ‘coming straight at us’ by Boxing Day

by LLB staff reporter
12th Dec 21 12:43 pm

Dr Susan Hopkins the chief medical adviser for the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has raised serious concerns of the impact Omicron will have on the NHS this winter.

Shw warned that even if they see half of the severity seen with Delta then the UK is “facing a large number hospitalisations and potential deaths.”

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme, the chief medical advisor was asked if she is worried the new surge of infections could overwhelm the NHS.

Dr Hopkins told Marr, “We are worried and we’re right to be worried because we don’t have enough data to narrow those predictions and those models down to the best finest detail yet, and it takes time to do that.

“I still think it will take another two weeks before we’re clear on whether the severity that South Africa have reported in some scenarios, but not in all, is going to be reflected here.

“We have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. And I think our job is to highlight that this is a big wave.

“It’s coming straight at us.”

She added, “If we see even half the severity that we saw with Delta then we’re facing a very large number of hospitalisations and potential deaths.”

The Health Secretary Sajid Javid has been urged to adopt more “stringent” measures this Christmas as cases of Omicron could hit one million by the end of the month, leaked documents show.

The leaked document clearly warns that the government will need to implement more measures before Christmas.

In two weeks time it will be Boxing Day and the UK needs to prepare for “very large wave of infections.”

Professor Andrew Hayward, who is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) warned on Sunday the UK needs to prepare for “very large wave of infections.”

He said that Omicron is “much more infectious” than Delta and all previous Covid variants and they are nervous as they do not know this is “going to translate into hospitalisations and deaths.”

Professor Hayward from the University College London, told LBC that the variant is “maybe somewhere between twice and possibly three times as infectious.”

“What we can also see is that the vaccine, two doses of the vaccine, has relatively little impact on stopping that transmission,” he added.

“So putting those two together, and the fact that it’s already increasing, doubling every two or three days, what we can be pretty sure of is a very, very large wave of infections, bigger than the waves of infections that we’ve had before, so really the uncertainty is in how that’s going to translate into hospitalisations and deaths.”

On Saturday experts said they are “alarmed” over the new modelling from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

The LSHTM used experimental data to look at how Omicron may transmit as the country heads into 2022 with “alarming” projections that Omicron, could potentially cause between 25,000 to 75,000 deaths in England, with 175,000 in hospital.

Experts have also warned, that if no additional measures are taken beyond the current Plan B, then over the next five months then the UK could witness theses grim projections

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