It comes as care chiefs appear before MPs to detail how homes and staff are coping with the pandemic, after new data found that outbreaks have been reported in almost 40 per cent of all care homes in England alone.
Meanwhile, jobless claims under Universal Credit jumped by a record 856,000 to 2.1 million compared with the previous month, the ONS found, as it emerged that young workers would be hardest hit by the impact of lockdown restrictions.
Covid-19 ‘will not be eradicated,’ virology expert warns
Professor David Robertson, head of viral genomics and bioinformatics, University of Glasgow, told the House of Lords Science and Technology committee that coronavirus is such a “successful” virus, it will not be eradicated.
It is so transmissible, it’s so successful, we’re so susceptible, that actually it’s a little bit of a red herring to worry about it getting worse, because it couldn’t be much worse at the moment in terms of the numbers of cases.”
“If you contrast with ebola, which has very high virulence, kills many, many people, it makes it very controllable and you can very readily identify the infected people.
“Whereas this virus is infecting so many people with asymptomatic to mild symptoms that it’s almost uncontrollable.
“I think we have to be clear that we’re not going to be able to eradicate this virus.
“It’s going to settle into the human population and in several years it will become a normal virus.”
Numerous care homes were ill equipped to isolate patients coming from hospitals, Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, has explained.
He told the Health and Social Care committee:
It would have been really great to have had some kind of database which identified the care homes that had the capacity to do more isolation and and the ones that didn’t.
“We had a policy of emptying hospitals and filling care homes, but in some (other) countries when people were symptomatic they were taken out of care homes into isolation facilities.
“I do think that given the nature of the stock that we’ve got, probably we should have looked at that as an option as well, so that we could have really made sure that if there were people who had the virus they didn’t stay in their care home.”
Here’s Gordon Brown’s message to Boris Johnson:
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said the Government should set its coronavirus slogan to “get tested” as he called for officials to step up their response to the pandemic.