Coronavirus: We will have to learn to live with COVID-19 for ‘several years’, top doctor says | UK News
18 Mayıs 2020

People could have to learn to live with the novel coronavirus for “several years”, England’s deputy chief medical officer has said.

Speaking at the government’s daily briefing, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said the UK will only be “out of this” once there is a vaccine that is “really capable of suppressing disease levels”.

“So from that perspective we may have to live, and learn to live, with this virus in the long-term, certainly for many months to come if not several years,” he said.

The study found wearing a surgical mask reduces the risk of infection by up to 75%
The UK could have to learn to live with the virus in the long-term

Mr Van-Tam warned the country will have to prepare for the virus to come back in the autumn and winter.

He cautioned that more information is needed on the seasonality of COVID-19, adding: “The data we have on other coronaviruses we have looked at very carefully, and it’s not clear that these coronaviruses are as seasonal as influenza.

“But there may be an element of seasonality and it may well be that the autumn and winter conditions provide a better environment for the virus to then do its work again.”

There have been concerns that the reintroduction of schools could lead to a second peak in coronavirus cases.

Studies have provided varying evidence on the role of children in transmitting COVID-19, but Professor Van-Tam said the “data are pretty sparse” on whether children can pass the virus on to adults.

“Children are not these kind of big high-output transmitters as they are with flu,” he said.

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He said most children have only “extremely mild” COVID-19 symptoms and the infection rate among them is “about the same” as in adults, but “possibly a little lower” in younger children.

Asked by Sky News political editor Beth Rigby if the country should have track and trace measures in place before opening schools, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said there had been “good progress” on the track and trace scheme.

There have been 61,000 downloads of the app and 21,000 people have been recruited on the Isle of Wight, where the scheme is being trialled, he said.

Mr Raab insisted the government has been “pretty cautious” with its plans to ease lockdown restrictions.

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