80% of the population still sensitive to the coronavirus, warns a professor of Sage

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About 80% of people in the UK are still at risk of catching coronavirus, a Sage professor has warned.Professor Sir Mark Walport, who is a member of the Government’s Science Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), issued a stern warning, saying Covid-19 could be with us ‘forever’.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Sir Mark said: “We know that less than one in five people in the country have been infected, so 80% of the population is still susceptible to this virus.”

He also said that even with a viable vaccine, the virus would not be easily eradicated and may require repeat vaccines, similar to influenza.

He said: “It is a virus that is going to be with us forever in one form or another and will almost certainly require repeat vaccinations,” he said.

“So, much like the flu, people will need revaccinations at regular intervals. ”

Sir Mark added that it is “possible” for the virus to become “out of control” again, which could lead to a return to a “draconian” lockdown.

Since June, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered part of England to partially withdraw in an attempt to stop a second wave.

On Saturday, residents of Oldham and parts of Blackburn and Pendle were told not to socialize with other households, after the area saw an increase in the number of cases.

Councilor Mohammed Iqbal, the Labor leader of Pendle Borough Council told the Today program that he has had intense discussions with the government over the new rules.

He said: “The restrictions are something that as a council we have been opposing the government all week, but the government has refused to listen to us.”

Amid the lingering confusion over the rules, police are increasingly called upon to disrupt social gatherings.

Greater Manchester Police imposed a barrage of fines on homeowners on Friday for organizing illegal gatherings – including a children’s birthday party – with guests from different households.

Fines of up to £ 10,000 for those who organize illegal raves in England are expected to come into force before the holiday.

There is also growing concern about outbreaks within the police force, as officers attempt to enforce lockdown rules.

The Northern Ireland Police Service said on Saturday that 8 police officers in the Antrim and Newtownabbey area had tested positive for the coronavirus, while 50 of their colleagues were isolating themselves.

Northern Ireland Police Service Deputy Chief Constable Alan Todd said: ‘We have undertaken, and will continue to take, a series of appropriate measures, in accordance with public health advice and guidelines, to resolve the problem. problem. “

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