Jonathan Van-Tam: UK is 'running hot' with COVID-19 cases
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England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam has warned that current Covid infection rates are “higher than in most of Europe”, saying “we are running quite hot”. Mr Van-Tam admitted scientists are concerned about the growing number of fresh infections as he welcomed the fall of the death rate. The UK has had its highest number of daily Covid deaths reported since late February.
BBC’s Sally Nugent asked: “Why do you feel that the rates are so high at the moment?”
Mr Van-Tam said: “The rates are still very high at the moment.
“They are higher than in most of Europe.
“And we are running quite hot.
“I think that’s the right expression.”
He went on: “And, of course, it’s of concern to scientists that we are running this hot this early in the autumn season.
“And so from that perspective, I’m afraid it’s caution, followed by caution.
“And we need to watch these data very carefully.
“Indeed, over the next days and weeks.”
The UK has had its highest number of daily Covid deaths reported since late February, as another 293 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19.
The latest vaccine figures show 78.1 percent of over-16s are fully dosed, while more than 88 percent have received one dose.
Number 10 has yet to adopt tougher measures to curb infection rates, known as Covid Plan B.
A top scientist has quit the Government’s pandemic advisory body, SAGE, as the situation in the UK is “concerning”.
Sir Jeremy Farrar warned that the COVID-19 crisis is “a long way from over”.
He told Sky News: “The high levels of transmission seen in the UK remain concerning, but I stepped down as a participant of SAGE knowing ministers had been provided with most of the key science advice needed over the winter months.
“Throughout this crisis SAGE has provided vital evidence, and independent, expert, transparent advice to support the UK response, often under huge pressure.”
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