Completely removing face masks is 'wrong' says professor
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In light of “Freedom Day”, Professor Beate Kampmann – the director of the vaccine centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – is concerned “the NHS will get into a very difficult situation again”. “To take away the masks completely… is not the right decision,” she said. “I think the regulations should come back in.” The Government’s latest report demonstrated that the number of people testing positive for coronavirus is steeply increasing. In the past seven days, 206,046 Britons tested positive for Covid.
While the link between the number of Covid cases, hospital admissions, and deaths has been weakened, the tie hasn’t been severed.
To exemplify, this week there has been 2,873 people admitted to hospital because of Covid.
In addition, 176 people have lost their lives – showing that this disease is still a threat to human life.
The success of the vaccine roll-out – nearing 46 million people who have had their first jab – is the reason why deaths haven’t been higher.
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A pre-print paper – yet to be peer reviewed – analysed the risks of the variant of interest, the Lambda Covid strain.
Identifying a worrisome L452Q mutation on the spike protein, the researchers noted it could lead to a “two-fold increase in infectivity”.
It’s possible for this mutation to increase susceptibility to re-infection or a reduction in protection from current vaccines.
Exploring these notions, the Lambda virus did show signs of higher infectivity, but current vaccines “will remain protective”.
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Dr Alicia Demirjian from Public Health England (PHE) said: “There is currently limited evidence available about this variant.”
PHE is currently “undertaking investigations to better understand the mutations on the behaviour of the virus”.
Further, more robust studies are needed to understand the full extent of the Lambda strain’s effects.
At present, there is nothing to suggest that the symptoms of infection with the Lambda variant would be any different to other strains.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) listed possible symptoms of Covid. These are:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Symptoms of coronavirus might appear between two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
People are urged to seek emergency medical attention if they experience any of the following:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Pale, grey, or blue-coloured skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone.
Is Freedom Day really going ahead?
July 19 is supposed to be the day that all coronavirus restrictions can be lifted, dubbed “Freedom Day”.
People will be encouraged to exercise their “personal responsibility” to choose whether or not to wear masks in certain situations.
Limits on social contact in England will disappear, according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
However, around 122 scientists are advocating for Freedom Day not to go ahead as planned.
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