Pill worse than ill it's trying to treat: top virologist's view on UK's covid plan

7 October 2020, 08:59 | Updated: 7 October 2020, 09:30

By Fiona Jones

"The pill is very much in danger of being very much worse than the ill it is trying to treat": top virologist Dr Chris Smith explains how the UK must plan for the long-term health of the country instead of prioritising the short-term Covid cases.

The number of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus on one day has jumped by nearly a quarter in England.

The new daily cases figures soared past 14,500 on Tuesday - up by 2,000 on the previous day - with 76 new deaths, while the country’s Test and Trace system remains in turmoil.

478 people were admitted to hospital on Sunday, the largest daily figure since June 3, when it was 491. It was up from 386 admissions on Saturday.

Top virologist Dr Chris Smith told Nick Ferrari what the UK must plan for in the long-term while the virus is still rife in society.

Dr Chris said, "We really urgently need to start having a conversation where we stop calling a death a death, and we start looking at the number of life years being impacted by this.

"The sad death of an 80 year old is not equatable with the death of an 8 year old person.

"We're completely missing the point: if we bankrupt the country and make people intellectually destitute because they haven't had their education either at school or university, we are robbing those people of their health in the long-term.

"The best predictor of a person's health in the long-term is actually how well-educated they are and how much money is in their pocket. And we are depriving people who are young of both those things and that is going to have a huge health cost, not withstanding the huge health cost of people who are not being treated because we are paralysing the NHS."

The virologist continued that these are factors we must pivot towards prioritising because in the long-term "the pill is very much in danger of being very much worse than the ill it is trying to treat."