COVID-19: How long will the virus be a cause for concern in the UK?

With the UK fully submerged into a fourth COVID wave, experts have gathered to predict how long we can expect to have to deal with the virus.

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has exponentially grown in cases since it first emerged last month in the UK. Now, the fourth wave of the virus has led scientists to believe that COVID-19 could gravely affect the UK for at least another five years.

COVID for years to come

According to a report prepared by the Scientific Pandemic Influenza group on Modelling (Spi-M), the NHS could see its hospitals be overwhelmed by the coronavirus for another half decade. The research said that that would likely be the time it would take until the virus settled 'to a predictable endemic state.'

In other words, the virus will remain in circulation for a very long time, but only after five years will we be able to anticipate it to adequately contain it. The report said that:

[It is] highly likely that continuation of active management of SARS-CoV-2 will be required for the long term. How much vaccination and boosters, and what other interventions (testing, ventilation, isolation of cases, etc) are required over the next five to ten years, will be driven by factors that are, as yet, unknown.

And added:

It is a realistic possibility that, over the next five years, there will be epidemics of sufficient size to overwhelm health and care services.

Vaccination is the only solution

It also specified that the best way to fight off the deadly virus was through repeated vaccination to eventually reach a state of immunity.

With the dangerously growing presence of the Omicron variant, the government is working on a rollout program to have all adults offered a booster jab by the end of January.

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