Professor Sir Ian Diamond, head of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), has said he has “no doubt” that further waves of Covid infections will occur in the autumn.
The UK’s national statistician said the impact of coronavirus vaccine rollout is “wonderful”, but that people “need to recognise that this is a virus that isn’t going to go away.”
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Sir Ian told The Andrew Marr Show that he has “no doubt that in the autumn there will be a further wave of infections.”
He also said that there is currently a lot of regional variation in terms of how many people have antibodies, which also needs to be taken into consideration.
“There is a lot of regional variation, so we find 30 per cent of London have antibodies whereas only 16 per cent in the South West, so we need to recognise that as well,” Sir Ian said.
This comes after England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said last week that there were still risks to reopening society and that the UK will experience another surge of cases in late summer or through the autumn and winter.
Prof Whitty said: “What we are going to see is, as things are opening up, what all the modelling suggests is that at some point we will get a surge in virus.
“We hope it doesn’t happen soon, it might for example happen later in the summer if we open up gradually or because of the seasonal effect it might happen over the next autumn and winter.
“All the modelling suggests there is going to be a further surge and that will find the people who either have not been vaccinated or where the vaccine has not worked.”
“Some of them will end up in hospital and sadly some of them will go on to die,” he added.
Modelling considered by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has suggested that at least a further 30,000 deaths from Covid-19 could occur.