Covid pandemic in UK ‘could be largely over by September’

The Covid-19 pandemic in the UK could be largely over by the end of September, according to a leading epidemiologist.

Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, said he thinks infections are now plateauing' although warned there could still be a new peak after all restrictions were lifted last week.

But the health modeller told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that vaccines have 'fundamentally changed' the situation when it comes to fighting the virus in this country.

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He said: "“The effect of vaccines has been huge in reducing the risk of hospitalisation and death and I’m positive that by late September, October time we will be looking back at most of the pandemic.

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“We will still have Covid with us, we will still have people dying from Covid but we will (have) put the bulk of the pandemic behind us.”

This is something of a change of viewpoint from Professor Ferguson, who recently predicted that Covid infections could reach 100,000 a day or even as high as 200,000 – though he said this was unlikely.

There is some cautious hope in the country after a sustained recent fall in cases.

Cases have now fallen for six days in a row – although scientists have urged caution and said it is too soon to see the impact of the July 19 unlocking, which could create a further peak.

The government and health leaders will be watching carefully to see if coronavirus hospitalisations start to fall in coming days as this will be an important indicator of whether the virus is retreating.

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