Chris Whitty urges citizens to take seriously “the severe threat” of the new coronavirus variants.
“An increasing number of Omicron patients will enter the healthcare system, go to hospital and intensive care. The exact proportions, yet we do not know. Still, the figure will be substantial. ” This is the reading that makes medical advisor British Government, Chris Whitty, who anticipated an increase substantial “hospitalizations following the expansion of the variant omicron of the coronavirus, after the United Kingdom today recorded 78,610 cases in a single day, a record in the pandemic. The medical advisor said that the rapid spread of the variant is “a dire threat” and considered that some data on the possible lightness of the Omicron from South Africa has been “over-interpreted.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended the need for the population to respond to the call to get a booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine, the mainline of defense that his government has established to slow down infections. 45% of adults in England are already on a booster dose, including 88% of those over 70 years of age. The United Kingdom has inoculated “twice as many booster doses per head than the European Union and more than twice that of the United States.”
Johnson this week approved the return of indoor masks and the covid passport in nightclubs but has not established other social restrictions or asked for contacts to be limited, as has been done by the Self-Government of Scotland. Questioned by journalists as to whether he plans to impose more measures, the prime minister insisted that for now, he hopes that the vaccination program and the announced limitations will slow down the infections.
The government’s medical adviser advanced that the records of figures on the spread of the virus “are going to be beaten many times in the coming weeks.” The increase in hospitalizations will begin to occur before Christmas, although the “big numbers” are expected shortly after the holiday period, Whitty said.
The medical advisor asked that the data on the spread of the Omicron variant in South Africa that point to milder symptoms be interpreted with “great caution.” “If the rate of hospitalizations were cut to half, but (infections) double every two days, in two days, we will be back to where we started,” he argued.
“The second argument, which I don’t know if everyone has fully understood, is that the amount of immunity in South Africa during this wave – due to the previous wave of the delta variant and vaccination – is much higher than in the previous one. Therefore, the fact that there are fewer hospitalizations is not surprising,” he argued.
“That does not mean that the disease is not milder to some degree. It’s possible. But I think there is a danger that people have over-interpreted this and are now saying, ‘This is not a problem, why are we worrying?'” Whitty said. “I want to be clear: I am afraid that it is going to be a problem,” he added.