Expert says Covid trend 'does not bode well' for winter and blames Government

By Neil Shaw

An expert on one of the committees advising the Government says ministers' failure to follow the science in the summer is the reason we could now face winter lockdowns.

Professor Ravi Gupta, a member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), said current data suggest that “we’re not out of the woods” and the Covid-19 figures “do not bode well for winter”.

He told Sky News: “We can see from the figures that we’re still nearing a thousand deaths a week and thousands of hospitalised patients that are challenging capacity in our hospitals – and of course making care for non-Covid patients extremely difficult as well because of the stretch of the staff that are in those hospitals who have been under pressure for 18 months now.

“So it’s pretty clear I think, from the data and from individual sources, that we’re not out of the woods and it doesn’t bode well for going into winter at all.”

He added: “If we cast our minds back to July 19, many scientists including myself, were saying that ‘we need to take this slowly because we have the transmission rates are far too high to be removing all restrictions, and this will have a knock on effect – in other words we wouldn’t get away with this as a country moving into winter’.

“And what we’re seeing now is really the result of that advice not being heeded and now we’re in a position where we’re talking about lockdowns again.

“So I think that with the correct planning, this could have been avoided.”

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