GMB's Dr Hilary uses Geronimo the alpaca to make point about Covid restrictions being abandoned

By Tianna Corbin & Phil Norris

Dr Hilary Jones has said he is 'surprised' that Covid-19 restrictions could be lifted as the Government prepares to unveil its winter plan to control the virus over the coming months.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Dr Hilary said it would be a mistake to abandon some of the controls in place as infections continue to rise.

And he contrasted the public outcry over Geronimo the alpaca, put down over TB fears, with the Covid virus that is 'potentially leath' to humans.

Read more: Winter Covid Plan latest: Masks, covid passports and travel restrictions could all change

Speaking on this morning's programme (Monday, September 13), Dr Hilary said that younger people who haven't been vaccinated are still catching the virus.

He said: "We're seeing cases rise so we're going to see hospitalisations increase. If you have more cases, you're going to have more hospitalisations you're going to see more deaths..

"The Delta variant is still out there it's not changed so the implications of serious infection with Covid-19 are worse with the more number of cases you have, simple as that.

"I am surprised that they are abandoning all restrictions across the board so quickly.

"Look at the human cry over an alpaca that might have had TB that was put down, are we saying we're going to allow people to just run about freely during a pandemic with a potentially lethal virus? I think the restrictions being abandoned this far is a mistake."

Geronimo the eight-year-old alpaca was killed on August 31 after Defra officials in hazmat suits stormed the South Gloucestershire farm after the animal tested positive twice for Bovine TB.

Dr Hilary's comments came after GMB presenter Susanna Reid compared figures from September 12, 2020 and September 12, 2021.

The presenters, including Richard Madeley, had been talking about the government's plans to control Covid-19 over the winter months with many believing that Covid passports will be scrapped and we have to 'learn to live with it'. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to outline plans tomorrow (Tuesday).

She said: "We took one day from last year, 12 September 2020 a weekday, there were 2,656 cases there were 18 deaths and there were 218 hospital admissions.

"We know that after that date, there was a lockdown in November and there was another third national lockdown in January. Take the same day this year, cases more than 10 times as many. 29,173 deaths, three times as many, 56 hospital admissions. We're looking at withdrawing the restrictions at a time when we're in a far worse position than we were this time last year."

Dr Hilary said it was important to remember that even though millions have been vaccinated, there is still a percentage of the population who have not had the jabs.

He said: "We've vaccinated 65 per cent of the population if you bear in mind that we're not vaccinating children. Which means there are millions of people who are totally unprotected, what this means is we're going to see large number of cases. We're currently seeing 13,000 cases, far more than what we saw this time last year."

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