A first winter with a “highly permeable” Delta version could trigger a COVID surge severe enough to require new restrictions, Chris Whitty is warning.
Adding Boris Johnson to his ‘Plan B’ may not require the arrival of an even more dangerous version – one that avoids vaccine immunity, the chief medical officer said.
That package of reserve measures includes barring non-vaccinated people from crowded places, mandatory return to wearing masks and guidance from home.
“We haven’t had a cold with the Delta version,” Professor Whitty said at a Downing Street press conference.
‘So it is possible that the combination of winter events and the delta variant, which is highly transmissible, could lead to a situation where, based on the data, ministers decide they want to trigger all or some of Plan B. .
With them, the prime minister downplayed the prospect of new restrictions, emphasizing the current situation, encouraging and saying: “We are sticking with our strategy.”
Even if sanctions were needed, they were unlikely to be introduced outright, but would be “in a graduated way”. Plan B had “many different shots in the locker”, Mr Johnson said.
Professor Whitty also went further than the prime minister who said people should “consider wearing face coverings in crowded places with people you don’t know”.
The medical chief said it is his firm view that masks should be worn to “protect people” and as “common courtesy” to others who expect them to be worn.
Mr Johnson twice said he was “convinced” that Covid could be controlled without new restrictions, allowing the economy to remain open and turning jobs into jobs.
But chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance warned that the government should react quickly if necessary – following criticism that the previous lockdowns were too late.
He said in the press conference, ‘You have to go earlier than you want, you have to go harder than you think.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /