Independent Sage warn of ‘reckless disregard for public health’ as Delta variant cases continue to surge across the UK

Independent Sage has today warned that Case rates and hospitalisations linked to the Delta variant are increasing at an alarming rate across the UK, repeating their calls for the Government to expand the vaccine rollout.

In the last seven days 146,360 people have tested positive – an increase of 71.8% on the previous week, and the group are concerned both at the risk of initial infection and also at the burden that increasing the number of Long COVID sufferers could place on the economy.

The latest report from the ONS on the prevalence of Long COVID shows that an estimated 962,000 people are already suffering from symptoms which have persisted for more than four weeks after infection.

Research published in April reveals that a significant proportion of COVID-19 with severe illness experience ongoing symptoms of breathlessness, fatigue, pain, reduced mobility, depression and reduced quality of life at 4-7 months from disease-onset.  The long term prognosis remains unknown.

Independent Sage warns that at the current rate we will see over 40,000 new cases per day by the 19th of July.   A spokesman said:

“As concerning data on the impact of  Long COVID continues to emerge, it is a reckless disregard for public health to allow millions of unvaccinated children and teenagers to become infected.”

Independent Sage repeated its call for the UK Government to expand the vaccine rollout effort to children aged 12-17.  The latest group briefing will take place today at 1.30, and anyone can view live here:

About Independent Sage

Independent SAGE is a group of scientists who are working together to provide independent scientific advice to the UK government and public on how to minimise deaths and support Britain’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Sir David King, the former Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK government, chairs the group and oversees its reports.