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Loved ones "will catch Covid and die" if families are allowed to mingle at Christmas, says Professor


Professor Neil Ferguson has warned loved ones will "catch Covid-19 and die" if families are allowed to mingle on Christmas Day, as doctors predict that mass cancellations for routine surgeries will be "inevitable" this winter.

The scientist, whose modeling led to the original lockdown in March, said schools may have to be closed to older students if restrictions on mixing households fail to stem the rise in coronavirus infections.

He said there will be a "political judgment" on whether regulations will be relaxed over the holiday season and told BBC Radio 4's broadcast today: "There is a risk of transmission and there will be consequences." Some people will die of infection that day.

“But if it's only a day or two, the effects are likely to be limited. So this is really a political judgment about costs versus benefits. & # 39;

It follows the prospect of a family Christmas, which was further confused yesterday when Downing Street insisted that relatives gather – but a minister warned that this would not be "normal".

Professor Ferguson added, “That (ban on shuffling households) should have a significant effect, but so far we have not definitely been able to see it.

“If we go beyond that, there is a limit to what we can do to reduce contacts without, for example, reaching the older years in schools and sixth grade colleges, where we know older teenagers can convey as adults .

“Of course, nobody wants to switch even partially to virtual education and close schools. The challenge could be that otherwise we will not be able to get the gears under control. & # 39;

Professor Neil Ferguson said it was a "political judgment" on whether or not to relax rules on shuffling households over the Christmas season. Pictured: A shopper in Wrexham last night as the 6pm lock approached

Doctors have warned that the mass cancellation of routine operations

Doctors have warned that mass cancellation of routine surgeries is "inevitable". Dr. Rob Harwood, of the BMA, said NHS trusts will have no choice but to limit scheduled treatments for patients as they approach winter

Professor Ferguson said schools may have to close to older students if restrictions on household mixing fail to stem the rise in coronavirus infections (Image: an empty classroom at Manor Park School and Kindergarten in Cheshire)

Professor Ferguson said schools may have to close to older students if restrictions on mixing households fail to stem the rise in coronavirus infections (Image: an empty classroom at Manor Park School and Kindergarten in Cheshire)

In the meantime, Dr. Nick Scriven, former president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said yesterday evening that cancellations are "inevitable" in large areas of healthcare.

He said, "I think it is unrealistic to expect trusts across the country to meet electoral goals set in the current climate."

The scientist (above), whose modeling resulted in the original lockdown in March, said of the loosening of the rules: "Some people will die because they will be infected that day."

The scientist (above), whose modeling led to the original lockdown in March, said of the loosening of the rules: "Some people will die because they will be infected that day."

NHS trusts in Chesterfield, Northampton, Newcastle and Nottingham confirmed yesterday that they are postponing at least some non-urgent activities, while Rotherham, Liverpool, Bradford and Plymouth announced similar measures last week.

Dr. Rob Harwood, chairman of the British Medical Association (BMA) hospital advisory committee, said trusts had no choice but to limit the planned treatments for patients.

He told The Guardian, "As winter approaches, many trusts are likely to have no choice but to further curtail their elective care services, which is incredibly worrying for both staff and patients as the residue builds and the Health conditions may worsen. "

Dr. Nick Scriven, past president of the Society for Acute Medicine and Consultant Physician, added, “I think this will be inevitable in large areas of healthcare as the pandemic and winter coincide.

"We know that the number of beds is low compared to other countries and that with the necessary infection control processes the" functioning "of our data is slowed down on a broad front."

Emily Robertshaw spoke about the difficulties her 14-year-old son will face after his life-changing cochlear implant surgery is delayed.

The mother told Channel 4 News, “I have yet to give him the news and he'll be back later and it's going to be very difficult. He needed a lot of support to prepare for the operation.

"He has significant learning difficulties, so the preparation was enormous."

Emily Robertshaw introduced herself with her 14-year-old son, whose life-changing cochlear implant surgery has been delayed. The mother used to say, "I have yet to give him the news and he'll be back later and it's going to be really difficult."

Emily Robertshaw introduced herself with her 14-year-old son, whose life-changing cochlear implant surgery has been delayed. The mother used to say, "I have yet to give him the news and he'll be back later and it's going to be really difficult."

Normal Christmas is "wishful thinking," says SAGE consultant

The idea that "we can go on as we are" and have a normal Christmas "is extremely wishful thinking," said a government academic adviser.

Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage), said "radical measures" would be needed to contain the surge in coronavirus cases, especially in regions with high virus incidence.

Prof Edmunds, who told MPs on Wednesday that tens of thousands of deaths could occur during this wave of the pandemic, said further action was needed to end the cases.

He told PA News Agency that a circuit breaker is needed across the country, or at least in areas with high incidence.

“The only way we can have a relatively safe and normal Christmas is to take radical action now to reduce the incidence – at least in areas with high incidence – and keep the incidence low across the country by implement a package of measures to reduce social contacts, ”he said.

"The idea that we can carry on as we are and have a Christmas that we can normally celebrate with friends and family is extremely wishful thinking."

Professor Ferguson also warned that the NHS will not be able to cope with the current surge in coronavirus cases, saying that while infections were decreasing in 18-21 year olds, they continued to increase in other age groups .

He explained: “Unfortunately, in every other age group, the number of cases continues to rise at about the same rate as before.

“There is little evidence of a slowdown, for example in the North East of England, but we are not seeing the kind of slowdown we really need to get over it.

& # 39; It is a worrying situation. We now have 8,000 people in the hospital with Covid. That's about a third of what we were at the height of the pandemic in March.

& # 39; If the growth rate stays as it is, it means that in a month in March we will be above this high and that is likely not sustainable.

& # 39; We are at a critical time right now. The health system will no longer be able to cope with this growth rate. & # 39;

Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Government's Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said his own group had been studying how interventions over the winter might work, but these were not requested by the government.

Von Sage said, "We haven't been specifically asked to be honest about various policies, so no one is asking us to say," Well, what are we going to do here? "

"So these are things that we really took on ourselves and decided to look at ourselves."

There are strict restrictions on people meeting indoors in much of the UK but they asked if families should give up hope of meeting. A spokesman for Number 10 previously said: “The Prime Minister has previously made it clear that he is confident that in many ways we may be able to get some aspects of our lives back to normal by Christmas.

"As I said, it was clear to us that this year the family would be able to celebrate Christmas."

The comments contrasted with Treasury Secretary Steve Barclay's stance in a Friday morning interview.

Government scientists claimed the crucial R-rate had dropped slightly, and a number of statistics found that cases are no longer growing as fast as they used to, although the epidemic is still on the rise (Image: Boris Johnson in London yesterday).

Government scientists claimed the crucial R-rate had dropped slightly, and a number of statistics found that cases are no longer growing as fast as they used to, although the epidemic is still on the rise (Image: Boris Johnson in London yesterday).

UK Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance, Mr Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak attend a coronavirus briefing Thursday. The UK announced 20,530 more coronavirus cases yesterday

UK Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance, Mr Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak attend a coronavirus briefing Thursday. The UK announced 20,530 more coronavirus cases yesterday

The Christmas chaos, as No10 says, families MAY gather this year, but the minister warns that it will not be "normal"

The prospect of a family Christmas was further puzzled yesterday when Downing Street insisted that families gather – but a minister warned that this would not be "normal".

The mixed messages came as politicians desperately tried to control a surge in coronavirus cases – with lockdowns tightened in many areas.

There are strict restrictions on people meeting indoors in much of the UK but they asked if families should give up hope of meeting. A spokesman for Number 10 said: “The Prime Minister has previously made it clear that he is confident that we can in many ways get some aspects of our lives back to normal by Christmas.

"As I said, it was clear to us that this year the family would be able to celebrate Christmas."

The comments contrasted with Treasury Secretary Steve Barclay's stance in a round of interviews yesterday morning.

He said, "I think few people expect it to be exactly as it normally is because we will be living with this virus for some time."

He said, “I think few people expect it to be exactly as it normally is because we will be living with this virus for some time to come.

“And the chief physician and the chief scientific advisor were very clear about this.

"But your point really was the families' ability to spend Christmas together – something we all hope to be able to do."

Meanwhile, Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds said the only way to save the festive season is by imposing a circuit breaker lockdown now – something Labor has been calling for.

She told BBC Breakfast: “The animal system has not yet helped to reduce infections.

“What we are unfortunately seeing – given the government does not seem willing to change that when the halftime break comes up – what we are seeing at Christmas is an increasingly difficult situation in many parts of the country. & # 39;

Greater Manchester reached the highest alert level, Tier 3, on Friday morning and Wales put in place its two-week lockdown on "fire safety" at 6pm last night.

Coventry, Stoke and Slough entered Tier 2 today, while talks between Westminster and Heads of State in Nottingham about possible Tier 3 restrictions continued yesterday.

The UK announced 20,530 more coronavirus cases and the deaths of 224 people yesterday, but official data suggests that the country's outbreak may be slowing.

Positive tests were up 31 percent last Friday from 15,650, and deaths were up 65 percent in a week.

However, government scientists claimed the crucial R-rate had decreased slightly, and a number of statistics found that cases are no longer growing as fast as they used to be, although the epidemic is still growing.

SAGE estimates that the UK's reproductive rate fell for the first time in a month from 1.3-1.5 to 1.2-1.4. The number – the key measure in number 10's plan to fight the virus – must stay below one or the outbreak will continue to grow.

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