'Light at end of the tunnel' for UK in Covid fight says WHO, but expect a 'bumpy journey ahead'

18 January 2022, 14:07

Leading health experts can see a "light at the end of the tunnel" in Britain's fight against coronavirus
Leading health experts can see a "light at the end of the tunnel" in Britain's fight against coronavirus. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

Leading health experts have said there is a "light at the end of the tunnel" in Britain's fight against coronavirus as hospitalisations fall for the sixth day in a row.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The World Health Organisation's (WHO) special envoy for Covid-19, Dr David Nabarro, said the UK's Covid situation "gives us grounds for hope" but urged caution stating "I think that it's going to be bumpy before we get to the end".

His encouraging comments come after hospital admissions well from 2,180 to 1,604 on Monday, making it the sixth day in a row for declining admissions

Dr Nabarro told Sky News: "Looking at it from a UK point of view, there does appear to be light at the end of the tunnel... I think that it's going to be bumpy before we get to the end.

"So even though it's possible to start imagining that the end of the pandemic is not far away, just - everybody be ready for the possibility that there will be more variations and mutations coming along, or that there will be further challenges, other surges of even Omicron coming."

Read more: Brit who took four hostages at Texas synagogue investigated by MI5 but cleared

Read more: Heartbroken children line the streets in tears at teacher Ashling Murphy's funeral

Yesterday the minimum self-isolation period for people testing positive for Covid-19 in England was cut to five full days in a bid to help ease staff shortages across the economy.

The health expert explained that Britain's goal is to live with the virus "present" but without it disrupting life.

Latest data shows a 38% drop over the last seven days across the UK in the numbers testing positive for Covid-19, with 70,924 new cases reported on Sunday.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast Dr Nabarro continued: "The situation in the UK. It gives us grounds for hope and I'm personally very pleased to see that.

Read more: Covid laws in England 'to be scrapped in March' amid PM's 'Operation Red Meat'

Read more: Rattled PM refuses to rule out resigning over No10 drinks party during lockdown

"The goal that we're all aiming for is a situation where this virus is present, but life is organised so that it is not disrupted.

"We also need to be humble, this virus is continuing to evolve and we're never quite sure that we know exactly where it's going to go next.

"We need real honesty - it's just no good anybody suggesting that the situation is rosier than it really is.

"That's why I've been careful. I'm saying I can see where the end is, I can see light at the end of the tunnel, but I really do anticipate right throughout the world a bumpy journey ahead during 2022."

He added that professionals should be cautious about "prematurely promising" the restrictions will end at a particular time.