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Covid cases 'could rapidly drop next month even without Plan B'
25 October 2021, 06:22 | Updated: 25 October 2021, 09:23
Coronavirus cases could rapidly drop off next month even if the Government does not implement is Plan B back-up measures.
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Reports say the Government has been shown modelling that suggests cases will plummet dramatically after an incoming peak.
The Telegraph said the London School of Hygiene and Tropic Medicine's (LSHTM) modelling showed this could happen even without Plan B – a package of contingencies that could include mandatory face masks, work from home instructions and, as a last resort, lockdowns.
The newspaper said such models, which come with experts predicting daily cases could fall to about 5,000 a day by Christmas, have led to ministers deciding to hold back on bringing back restrictions.
Should we be moving to Plan B, Health Secretary?
John Edmunds, Professor in the Centre for the Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases at LSHTM, who sits on the Government's Sage advisory group, said: "When we were doing the work about two weeks ago, the Health Secretary had made it very clear that the government was not planning to introduce Plan B in the near future."
However, he warned modelling also showed cases could begin to rise again in the spring, as immunity wanes and people socialise more.
Speaking last week, as the UK saw 50,000 cases in a day, Health Secretary Sajid Javid warned the total each day could hit 100,000.
"This pandemic is not over. Thanks to the vaccination programme, yes the link between cases and hospitalisations and deaths has significantly weakened, but it's not broken,” he said, urging people to get their booster vaccine doses.
"We won't be implementing our Plan B of contingency measures at this point but we'll be staying vigilant, preparing for all eventualities while strengthening our vital defences that can help us fight back against this virus."
Asked about a winter lockdown on Friday, Boris Johnson said: "I've got to tell you at the moment that we see absolutely nothing to indicate that that's on the cards at all."