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Chris Whitty - Next Covid variant could be worse than infectious Omicron, Chris Whitty warns -
Next Covid variant could be worse than infectious Omicron, Chris Whitty warns
Boris johnson today (February 21) said that the response to the pandemic would be "vaccine led" as he announced that all lockdown restrictions will be ending by Thursday. Speaking after he announced all remaining Covid restrictions will be axed, the PM said there "may be significant resurgences" and "it's very possible that those will be worse than Omicron".Whitty said at a Downing Street press conference that new strains were to be expected and while some "will just disappear" others could escape vaccines and result in a fresh wave in hospitalisations.Prof Whitty said: “Some of those new variants will just disappear, but some of them will cause us significant problems and they could be either more vaccine escaping but as severe as Omicron, but the net effect would be actually more people end up in hospital because a lot of our protection is from vaccination, or it could be more intrinsically severe, because Omicron came from a much earlier variant.”He added we “could certainly end up with something which is more likely to lead to hospitalisations than Omicron”, adding that winters are expected to be “tricky” even in the absence of significant new variants due to the combination of Covid, flu and other respiratory problems.The Chief Medical Officer also urged Brits who test positive for Covid to self-isolate, even though they will no longer be forced to do so under law.“As we look at the next weeks, we still have high rates of Omicron and I would urge people in terms of public health advice, and this is very much the Government’s position, that people should still if they have Covid try to prevent other people getting it and that means self-isolating," he said.