'Your actions have an impact on the community as a whole' - virologist's warning

7 September 2020, 21:05 | Updated: 7 September 2020, 21:11

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

A leading virologist has warned younger people to remember their "actions have an impact on the community as a whole' amid warnings from the Health Secretary.

Dr Jeremy Rossman a Senior Lecturer in Virology at the University of Kent told LBC that as coronavirus restrictions ease and people start to "take fewer precautions" then "we are going to see an increase in cases."

He branded the on-going fight against Covid-19 as a "continuous balance" until the world was able to "eliminate the virus".

Dr Rossman said there were "risks to different groups of Covid-19" attributing this to earlier during the pandemic the focus being on "the risk to those who are high risk" and "people with other existing health conditions."

He said there was a lot of talk of lower fatalities among the younger population waning the "risks to this age group" were much higher than previously realised.

It comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock appealed to younger people to stick to social distancing measures, saying that under-25s, particularly those aged 17 to 21, accounted for a large number of positive coronavirus cases.

Speaking on LBC, he said younger people could still have a serious illness and pass on the disease to more vulnerable people.

He said: "It is important for everybody to wash their hands, to follow social distancing. It's 'hands, face, space', as in wash your hands, cover your face when appropriate and stay two metres apart where appropriate, or one-metre plus.

"We will take action if people go to big social events that are completely inappropriate, sadly, in a time of coronavirus."

Mr Hancock added: "In Spain, the number of hospitalisations has gone up by 14 times since the middle of July, in France the number of people in hospital has trebled over the last month or so."

The virology expert also highlighted the risks that the younger age group posed in spreading the virus.

When LBC presenter Iain Dale asked him what his message to a "22-year-old who's listening to us now" who thinks Covid won't affect the doctor had two points.

Firstly that "yes, you're at a low risk of dying from Covid-19 but you are at a real risk of long-Covid and long-Covid disabilities".

Adding the world does not yet understand how dangerous this could be, warning young people are still at risk.

Secondly, Dr Rossman said that "you might be at a lower risk yourself, but you can still transmit the virus."

He warned younger people that their actions have a "real impact on yourself, but on the community as a whole."

The virologist ended by urging people to think about others during this pandemic.