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NOT OVER YET: Professor Jonathan Van-Tam expresses concerns over rising covid deaths

NOT OVER YET: Professor Jonathan Van-Tam expresses concerns over rising covid deaths

 

England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, has said he is worried that increasing numbers of deaths show “the infection is now starting to penetrate into older age groups”.

“Deaths are increasing – there might be some artefacts in the very latest figure – but essentially deaths are increasing,” he told BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio 5 Live.

“If you then look at hospital admissions, those have plateaued in the last four days. And if you look at the total number of patients in hospital with Covid, those have gone down in the last two or three days, but only a small bit.

“So what that tells me is that we have to just wait and see a bit longer – this could be a pause before things go up, it could be the very first signs that things are beginning to stabilise but at a high rate.

“On cases, they are now starting to fall, but that mainly reflects the fact that this big wave we’ve had in teenagers is now starting to slip away.

“But my worry is that the deaths are increasing and that shows that the infection is now starting to penetrate into those older age groups.

“And that’s why the really key thing is that if you are called for your booster, if you are called for your flu vaccine, please go and get them – this could be really very important this winter, it is not the time to be complacent.”

England’s deputy chief medical officer said: “Too many people believe that this pandemic is now over.

“I personally feel there are some hard months to come in the winter and it’s not over.

“I think a whole range of behaviours, including the use of face coverings, but generally the caution that people take or don’t take in terms of interacting with each other – that is going to be a big determinant in what happens between now and the kind of darkest months are the winter.

“The other things that are going to be really important are how people respond if they are in need of a booster, if they are in need of flu vaccine, if they are partially vaccinated, or indeed if they are unvaccinated – that will be another really important factor in terms of what happens over the next few months.”


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