Professor Andrew Hayward, who is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has 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.”
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.
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.
Dr Michael Head, Senior Research Fellow in Global Health, University of Southampton, warned that the numbers projected by the LSHTM modelling group are “alarming.”
Dr Head said, “They illustrate clearly that we will be in for another difficult winter.
“It did not have to be this way. There have been national and global failures in how to manage the pandemic.
“Here in the UK, the ‘Freedom Day’ lifting of all restrictions, and the progress through the government roadmap, was highlighted by many as being too quick.”