COVID-19: Christmas could be at risk for the next five years

According to experts, COVID-19 will remain a problem for at least another five Christmases.

Since a peak last month, cases and deaths in the UK appear to be declining, but the situation remains precarious. The warning comes as the NHS in England is claimed to be ‘on its knees’ due to a staffing shortage as the busy winter season approaches. Professor Tim Spector, the principal scientist and co-founder of a viral tracking app, believes that the vaccination distribution alone will not be enough to prevent infections.

His remarks come as official cases and deaths in the UK appear to be declining after peaking last month, despite precautions that the situation remains volatile. With 7 per cent of beds filled by people with COVID during the busier cooler months, it is important to make a plan of action that involves both vaccines and medicines. Failing that, it would affect Christmases in the coming five years.

NHS on its knees

According to data analysed by the King's Fund think tank, the NHS is on its knees with chronic workforce shortages adding to the system's stress. According to Deborah Ward, a senior analyst at the King's Fund,

Today's stats reveal the worst performance since current records began for ambulance calls, A&Es and waits for planned hospital care.

Realising that there is a need to control COVID-19 in a way that it does not cause much loss, she pointed out this is not something that one can be okay with

In a normal year any one of these would ring alarm bells; taken together before winter has even begun, they suggest a health and care system running hot for such a sustained period whilst still dealing with COVID-19, it is now on its knees.

Vaccines and Medicines

To ensure that COVID-19 does not cause much damage and reduce the existing casualties, experts have suggested letting go of the black and white government approach and coming up with something that is a combination of vaccines and medicines.

We have to realise we just have to in some way control COVID… and to do that is a combination of the vaccines, the medicines, etc. But also we have to keep some public health measures in place to keep those numbers down - we're not doing that.

The UK was also the first country to approve molnupiravir, a game-changing antiviral tablet that can be used at home to assist treat COVID. A second tablet could be available to the general population in the new year. This is roughly the time when frontline NHS personnel will be obliged to be COVID-vaccinated.

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