Covid-19 inflection rates in the UK and hospitalisations across Europe are on the rise.
Meanwhile, new omicron sub-variants are growing more prevalent.
Therefore, the Government’s panglossian messaging has undermined the public health response to a potential new Covid-19 wave, experts warn today.
Dr Chris Papadopoulos, Principal Lecturer in Public Health at the University of Bedfordshire told City A.M. this morning that “in recent months the government has pushed the idea that we are past Covid-19 and that it isn’t something to be concerned about anymore, especially if we have been vaccinated.
“The recent uptick in infections shows what an enormous mistake this government policy was.”
”One of the key reasons people take action to protect themselves during a pandemic is if they feel threatened by the disease,” Papadopoulos explained.
“If the case rates continue to increase, which they likely will, the Government will need to urgently change its messaging to reflect the realities of the situation.”Dr Chris Papadopoulos
He stressed: “It will have to admit that we aren’t past Covid-19, that these new sub-variants are dangerous for all of us – including vaccinated people – and that taking action by wearing masks, distancing in poorly ventilated areas, getting tested, isolating as necessary and being vigilant should be encouraged.”
“We know that these types of public health measures work so we should be trying to promote them, not undermine them and to do that we need to acknowledge Covid-19 is not over and is still very dangerous,” Papadopoulos continued.
“Vaccination is not enough. A key response for all future Covid-19 variants has to be to take a public health approach to managing the pandemic that is not overly reliant on vaccination and boosters.”
“The government are in danger of sleepwalking back into the bad old days of high Covid-19 infection rates and hospitalisations if we don’t put these public health protection measures back in place,” Papadopoulos concluded.