Professor Chris Whitty delivered some ‘good news’ about Omicron today with an announcement that it is likely to reach its peak and end quickly.
Speaking to the Commons Health and Social Care Committee today (December 16), the Chief Medical Officer said he anticipates the Omicron wave will fall faster than previous coronavirus peaks.
Prof Whitty said: “I think what we will see with this – and I think we are seeing it in South Africa – is that the upswing will be incredibly fast, even if people are taking more cautious actions, as they are.
READ MORE: London Covid hotspots as Omicron rips through capital – see cases in your area
“That will help slow it down, but it’s still going to be very fast.
“It’ll probably therefore peak really quite fast. My anticipation is it may then come down faster than previous peaks but I wouldn’t want to say that for sure. I’m just saying that that is a possibility.”
(Image: UK Gov)
He added that we are continuing to build our fight against coronavirus, adding that “each six months will be better than the last six months”.
“I think what will happen is the risks will gradually decrease over time. It’s incremental, it’s not a sudden thing,” he continued.
“How fast that will be… it’s always dangerous to predict science.”
“It’ll always be a problem,” he added. “Some years it will be a big problem.”
But, the professor urged that rising vaccination numbers and antiviral drugs will continue to do the “heavy lifting” in fighting the virus.
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He said: “If I project forward, I would anticipate in a number of years – possibly 18 months, possibly slightly less, possibly slightly more – that we will have polyvalent vaccines, which will cover a much wider range, and we will probably have several antivirals.
“We’ve already got two reasonable ones, and a variety of other counter-measures that mean that the great majority – and probably almost all of the heavy lifting when we get a new variant, unless it’s extremely different – can be met by medical means.
“I don’t see this as a kind of ‘we are going to have to do this repeatedly every few months’ situation.
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