Home Breaking News MPs warned by UKHSA that UK will ‘need some level of restrictions in place for the next four to eight weeks’ amid Omicron

MPs warned by UKHSA that UK will ‘need some level of restrictions in place for the next four to eight weeks’ amid Omicron

by LLB Politics Reporter
14th Dec 21 3:17 pm

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA expert has told MPs on Tuesday that restrictions will be needed for one to two months to curb the spread of Omicron.

Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser for the UKHSA told the Science and Technology Committee of MPs, the UK is facing the Science and Technology Committee of MPs.

Dt Hopkins told MPs that if the Omicron modelling is correct, then England will “need some level of restrictions in place for the next four to eight weeks.”

Greg Clark, chairman of the committee, asked Dr Hopkins, “Based on the modelling that you’ve seen so far, when do you expect the restrictions to be able to be lifted?”

Dr Hopkins replied, “I think that if the modelling that the London School (of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) has done, I would expect that there’s going to be needing some level of restrictions in place for the next four to eight weeks.”

She warned that in some areas Omicron and Delta will be circulating at the same time, but the new variant will “displace Delta.”

“We are seeing increases in the total number of cases in London, so London has doubled its cases over the last four weeks,” she said and the capital now has 44% of Omicron cases.

“We expect to see Omicron displace Delta, but they are going to live together in parts of the country for longer and we are going to continue to see hospitalisations from Delta for the next two weeks baked in from the numbers that we have.

“And then we will start seeing the Omicron case numbers come into hospital.”

THE UKHSA chief medical office warned that Omicron appears to carry a higher risk of reinfection compared to previous strains.

“In less than three weeks from when we’ve identified to the first case, we are seeing reinfections and higher rates of reinfections in Omicron compared to Delta with a rate of three to eight times the reinfection risk for Omicron compared to what we’ve seen with Delta,” she said.

Dr Hopkins added, “The growth rate of the Omicron variant seems to be “shortening rather than lengthening.

“We have been studying this virus for three weeks today and in that time period we have shown that in the UK this is growing very fast, with a growth rate initially two to three days and that growth rate seems to be shortening, rather than lengthening, at the moment.”

She continued, “We are concerned with the large volume of individuals who are being infected every day in the population that we are going to have a very difficult four weeks ahead with cases in the community which will, of course, cause individuals to stay off work and school, and then those cases to transfer into admissions to hospital.”

She said that the UKHSA are “concerned” over the effectiveness of one particular drug which is used to treat Covid.

“We’ve got monoclonal antibodies, one of those monoclonal antibodies ronapreve, we are worried about the effectiveness of that, so that is actually taking away a drug that we have been using in the NHS in the past weeks and months to treat people who are antibody negative so that is a challenge,” she said.

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