Covid winter plan 'portrays a lack of understanding in public health'

14 September 2021, 17:36 | Updated: 14 September 2021, 18:02

By Seán Hickey

This epidemiologist warns that the government is not taking a rise in Covid cases and deaths seriously enough.

Dr Deepti Gurdasani told Eddie Mair that the government's winter Covid plan "portrays a lack of understanding in public health."

Read more: Prof Chris Whitty says those who knowingly peddle anti-vaxx lies 'should be ashamed'

"The idea seems always that we can vaccinate and test our way out of this," the researcher from Queen Mary University of London noted.

"We're having 30,000 cases a day, we've had 1,000 deaths a week for a while now, and we're having 1,000 hospitalisations every day with frontline doctors telling us that they're not coping."

Read more: Everything you need to know about the Covid-19 jab booster programme

The epidemiologist said that "there's a sharp contrast in the reality of what's unfolding and the rhetoric from government that doesn't match the seriousness of the situation we're in."

Read more: 'There should be no stigma': Vaccines minister defends jabs for all children aged 12-15

Eddie wondered what measures Ms Gurdasani felt the government should be focusing on coming into winter. She told him that much better ventilation and test trace isolate services must be invested in to avoid another lockdown.

Read more: Vaccine passports 'still a potential tool' for Government, says Thérèse Coffey

She criticised the slow rollout of vaccines to children: "We're probably one of the last countries to open up vaccinations to adolescents."

"In so many aspects we've been exceptional in the lack of protection for our people."

More Eddie Mair

Yvette Cooper: 'The vast majority of rape victims are being totally let down'

Yvette Cooper: 'The vast majority of rape victims are being totally let down'

Partygate: Eddie Mair challenges caller when he says PM apologised for breaking rules

Partygate: Eddie Mair challenges caller who says PM apologised for breaking rules

Partygate: Boris Johnson 'probably committed several offences', believes Emily Thornberry

Partygate: Boris Johnson 'probably committed several offences', believes Emily Thornberry

Sir Ed Davey: Tory MPs should 'push out' Boris Johnson if he won't himself go

Sir Ed Davey: Tory MPs should 'push out' Boris Johnson if he won't himself go

Caller's mother 'locked away' for 90th birthday – during PM's party

Caller's mother 'locked away' for 90th birthday – during PM's party

'Who will investigate allegations of blackmail at the heart of Westminister?'

'Who will investigate allegations of blackmail at the heart of Westminister?'

Caller tells LBC he was a Conservative 'up until Boris Johnson took over'

Caller tells LBC he was a Conservative 'up until Boris Johnson took over'

'Aimless, feckless, hopeless': Eddie Mair explores Boris Johnson's writing

'Aimless, feckless, hopeless': Eddie Mair explores Boris Johnson's writing career

Scottish Tory leader: Boris Johnson must resign if he broke Covid rules

Scottish Tory leader: Boris Johnson must resign if he broke Covid rules

Downing Street flat refurb saga looks 'very unhappy' for Boris Johnson, LBC hears

Downing Street flat refurb saga looks 'very unhappy' for Boris Johnson, LBC hears

NHS nurse: 'I used to go into work happy – not anymore'

NHS nurse: 'I used to go into work happy – not anymore'

Eddie Mair raises questions in response to Matt Hancock briefing

Best of 2021: Eddie Mair raises questions in response to Matt Hancock briefing

Best of 2021: 'If you get £300k lobbying, being an MP is the second job'

Best of 2021: 'If you get £200k lobbying, being an MP is the second job'

Christmas on fire: Tree seller says he'll likely 'burn' stock due to fall in shoppers

Christmas on fire: Tree seller says he'll likely 'burn' stock due to fall in shoppers

A caller told Eddie Mair Allegra Stratton has been "thrown under a bus"

Allegra Stratton 'thrown under bus' by 'spineless' Prime Minister, says LBC listener

Mark Drakeford: New mask rules in Welsh schools 'imminent'

Mark Drakeford: Mask mandates in Welsh schools 'imminent'