The chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency Dr Jenny Harries has asked people to recover at home when feeling ill
Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
A top public health official has urged people feeling unwell to stay at home – rather than “grin and bear it” and go into the office.
As the winter season creeps closer and closer, people across the UK have been experiencing what has been described as the “world’s worst cold ever”.
Experts have said cases of the common cold are surging as low levels of natural immunity are to blame, while rising coronavirus infections has led to officials considering an “immediate” rollout of Plan B restrictions.
The alleged document was sent from the UK Health Security Agency to local council leaders and directors of Public Health late last week, it is claimed, and outlines a string of measures that could be introduced under a ‘Plan B’ – including working from home, vaccine passports for nightclubs, and the return of legally mandated face masks.
And now the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency Dr Jenny Harries has urged people to recover at home when feeling ill, reports the Sun.
Dr Harries told Times Radio: “I think, particularly as we approach the flu season for example, whereas people traditionally in the UK have sort of grinned and borne their infectious disease and then gone into work and spread it around, I’m hoping that, as we go through winter, people when they are symptomatic will generally recognise that and stay away and be supported to do so.”
She said that there needs to be a balance between home and office-based working, saying a rise in covid cases was likely if everyone returned to offices immediately.
Have you got a story that you think we should feature? Email us at [email protected]
“If everybody returned immediately to work without due consideration, then I think it’s likely we would see more cases over a short period of time, depending on whether they were wearing face coverings, whether they were taking appropriate precautions,” Dr Harries continued.
“But, of course, most people are protected now, so even people who are doubly vaccinated are becoming infected, (but) they are not becoming seriously ill and they are not dying in the way that we saw previously.”
A top scientist today warned that vaccines are not enough on their own to keep Covid infections under control as pressure mounts on Boris Johnson to bring in new measures.
Professor Adam Finn, who is on the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said the NHS is already under “enormous pressure” and that, although vaccines are effective in preventing serious illness, they are not able to stop coronavirus spreading altogether.
Prof Finn said people need to make effort to avoid contact in order to slow transmission rates, adding that it was important to “stick to the science” when discussing the prospect of extending the Covid-19 booster programme to people under 50 and offering booster jabs at five months rather than six months.
So far the government has resisted calls to switch to its “Plan B”, which would see a return to mandatory mask wearing, working from home and the introduction of vaccine passports.
More than 333,000 people have tested positive for the virus in the past seven days, while 934 lives have been lost to Covid, Department of Health figures show.