UK is ‘closest country’ to being out of Covid pandemic first, says ex-WHO boss

A leading expert in the field of infectious diseases has claimed that the UK is best placed to exit the Coronavirus pandemic ahead of any other country in the world.

Professor David Heymann, who is also a former boss at the World Health Organisation, made the positive comments during an online briefing to a Chathan House thinktank.

It's positive news for Brits who have suffered multiple lockdowns and times away from friends and family during the two-year fight against the virus.

The man from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said: “In general, now, the countries that we know best in the northern hemisphere have varying stages of the pandemic.

“And probably, in the UK, it’s the closest to any country of being out of the pandemic, if it isn't already out of the pandemic, and having the disease as endemic as the other four coronaviruses.

“I looked at the ONS’s (Office for National Statistics’) most recent report on population immunity and they estimated about 95 per cent of the population in England, and a little less than in other parts of the United Kingdom, do have antibody to infection either from vaccination or from natural infection.

“And that antibody, as I said, is keeping the virus at bay, and it’s now functioning more like an endemic coronavirus than one that is a pandemic.

“If you look in the intensive care units, you’ll see that unfortunately the majority of those people are not vaccinated.”

The professor did, however, issue one warning, as he claimed that there would be “resurgences” of Covid in the future as more variants came into being.

He added: “We’re fortunate in that we have vaccines which can be modified very rapidly and put into production very rapidly to deal with an escapee.”

Yesterday, the UK hit 151,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic began, with 99,493 new cases reported in England over the last 24 hours.

358 people died within 28 days of testing positive, although that includes a data lag from the weekend, too.

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