The government scientific advisor says that the closures due to the Corona virus will only serve to “ postpone the problem ” rather than solve it, as he warns that it is “ completely possible ” There will be a third wave of infections next year

  • Professor Mark Woolhouse is a member of an expert Covid-19 committee in the government
  • He said it was “doubtful” that the vaccine would be ready for mass circulation within six months
  • Professor Woolhouse also warned that a third wave of infections is “quite likely” next year

A government scientific advisor said today that the closures related to the Coronavirus “ postpone the problem ” rather than solve it, as he warned that it was “ doubtful ” There will be a vaccine ready for mass deployment within six months.

Professor Mark Woolhouse of the University of Edinburgh said a third wave of infections next year was “entirely possible”.

Professor Woolhouse, who sits in the State Scientific Group on Pandemic Influenza (SPI-M), has suggested that the UK will have to live with the virus until a “ kind of cavalry ” comes to the rescue of the nation in the form of a vaccine or rapid tests.

He said that while the people involved in creating the Covid-19 strike think one might be ready by March, it will likely take longer to become widely available.

Boris Johnson last week announced new coronavirus restrictions to slow the spread of the disease as the prime minister said the new campaign could last six months.

Professor Woolhouse told the BBC’s Andrew Marsh Shaw program that the government’s strategy appeared to be to try to “keep going” until a vaccine was available.

But he urged caution about the schedule when scientists are in a position to strike an elbow.

“ The government’s strategy is to stick with this for another six months, which is what we are told, and by implication that the expectation after six months is going to be something different and the obvious thing is to have a vaccine available, ” he said.

I have to say that most of the people I spoke to who were involved in developing the vaccine believe that we might have a vaccine within six months, but it is doubtful that we will be able to roll it out widely by that time.

“So we are in a difficult situation for several months to come. I’m afraid.”

The ministers have not ruled out imposing another national lockdown, but Professor Woolhouse said that would simply “delay the problem”.

Asked if the government designed anything other than a nationwide lockdown at the start of the pandemic, he said: “ Basically no and this is a concern because when we started designing models this way in March, before the first lockdown, that was very clear from The work that my group and many others have done, is that all the lockdown ever did was postpone the problem.

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It solves an immediate crisis because it reduces transmission quickly, but it does not actually solve the problem in the long term. It does not make the virus disappear.

Professor Woolhouse suggested that the UK should live with the disease until the arrival of the “cavalry”.

When asked if there could be a third wave of infections, he said: “ It is entirely possible. The scenario I mentioned earlier actually includes this possibility and this is just another symptom of what I was saying earlier that shutting down does not solve the problem, it postpones it.

This is why we need some sort of cavalry on the horizon or alternatively if we think a vaccine will not be available in six months, 12 months, or two years, or whenever we need alternatives.

A curfew in Boris Johnson's bars and restaurants at 10 pm came into effect on Thursday last week.  Pictured is Downtown Bristol on Saturday night

A curfew in Boris Johnson’s bars and restaurants at 10 p.m. came into effect on Thursday last week. Pictured is downtown Bristol on Saturday night

The prime minister's recent coronavirus restrictions have raised fears of panic buying again.  A picture of a shop in southeast London today

The prime minister’s recent coronavirus restrictions have sparked fears of panic buying again. A picture of a shop in southeast London today

“The alternatives that have been mentioned so far are things like moonshot on the Extensive Test and there might be others on the horizon as well.”

Johnson announced his latest campaign against the coronavirus on Tuesday last week, and said the measures could be in place for six months.

He told the House of Commons: “We will spare no effort in developing vaccines, treatments and new forms of mass testing.

But unless we make tangible progress, we must assume that the restrictions that I announced will remain in place for perhaps six months.

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At the moment, this virus is a fact of our life and I have to tell the House of Representatives and the country that our fight against it will continue.