The coronavirus will be around for decades, Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) member Jeremy Farrar told British MPs on Tuesday, contradicting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s insistence that the nation will return to normalcy by Christmas, Politico reported.
“Things will not be done by Christmas," Farrar, who also is director of the Wellcome Trust, told the House of Commons health and social care committee. “Even actually if we have a vaccine or a very good treatment, humanity will still be living with the virus for many, many years to come.”
Another expert, John Bell, Oxford University’s regius professor of medicine, was even more adamant in his remarks, saying that the “reality is that this virus will be with us forever. It is going to come and go.”
Criticism of the British government has increased for delays in implementing a lockdown, but the government’s chief medical adviser Chris Whitty defended the decision, saying it was “no more than you would reasonably expect for what are really very difficult things to operationalize and decide.”
Farrar added that it was a “mistake” to move from community testing to concentrating on patients in hospitals. “I think there was not enough urgency,” he said, referring to January and February. I regret that SAGE wasn't more blunt in its advice. But it didn't have a job in holding people to account."
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