Covid milestone: Third wave could be ‘much less significant’ as UK levels close to ‘bottom

NHS doctor discusses coronavirus waiting list backlog

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Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said Britain is reaching the lowest levels of coronavirus cases. The Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, delivered an encouraging prediction about the pandemic during a Downing Street briefing.

He said: “We are really in very low levels that are comparable to where we were in September last year.

“We are running as a typical seven-day average at just over 2,000 people testing positive per day.

“My sense is that probably we are at or close to the bottom at the moment in terms of this level of disease in the UK.”

He added: “Most of the steady decline we have seen, the disappearance of our third wave, has been down to the efforts of the British people in following lockdown.”

Prof Van-Tam’s remarks come as Health secretary Matt Hancock announced the UK has bought a further 60 million Pfizer jabs.

He confirmed the news at a televised Downing Street briefing, and stressed that Britain is preparing to boost Britain’s protection against the virus ahead of a forecasted winter surge.

Mr Hancock said on Wednesday: “The vaccine is helping us to bring back our freedom, and we must protect this progress.

“The biggest risk to that progress is the risk posed by a new variant, so we’re working on our plans for booster shots.

“To keep us safe and free here while we get this disease across the whole world, we have been working on a programme of booster shots for over a year now.

“And we’ve backed some of the only clinical trials in the world looking specifically at booster shots.

“I’m delighted to be able to tell you that we’ve been able to secure a further 60 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that will be used alongside others as part of our booster shot programme later this year.”

The new 60 million doses brings the UK’s total number of secured jab doses up to 517 million.

So far 34 million people in Britain have taken their first dose of the vaccine, with a quarter of all adults – 13.5 million – being fully protected against the pathogen thanks to the second dose.

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