Professor Paul Hunter told BBC Breakfast that there will be a time soon where we should re-evaluate self-isolation and maybe treat the virus like the common cold

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Covid: Professor discusses dropping isolation in the future

A professor on BBC Breakfast has said that it will soon be time to “let people go about their lives like they have a cold” as the strains of Covid becomes weaker.

Presenters Dan Walker and Luxmy Gopal were joined via video by Prof Paul Hunter from the University of East Anglia to discuss whether the threat of Covid was dying down and whether it can soon be treated like the common cold is.

Prof Hunter believes there could be a time soon where rules about self-isolating could be dropped and those that have tested positive for Covid could be allowed to continue to live like normal, as it is allowed with people suffering from a cold.

The professor began by warning that a peak in Omricon cases might be premature but there was light at the end of the tunnel.







Dan Walker speaks to Prof Hunter about Covid
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He said: “Suggestions a few days ago that we might have peaked was probably not borne out yesterday but, on the other hand, cases are not increasingly as rapidly as they were a week or so ago and we can be fairly certain that they are not doubling every few days now.”

He also added: “Hospitalisations are rising but nothing obvious in intensive care units.”

Dan Walker asked about whether the cases and data from South Africa can help with determining the UK’s future with the virus.







BBC Breakfast professor says Covid positive people ‘should be allowed to go about their lives like those with a cold’
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Prof Hunter replied: “South Africa is a younger population and has had much more disease then we’ve had but what the South Africans have found is that this epidemic of Omricon has peaked very steeply but is also very steeply coming down the other side… that is the hope what we might see in the UK but can’t guarantee that just because that is what happened in South Africa.”

He went on to say that the vaccination booster programme is having an effect: “We are already seeing the risk in people that have been boosted is less than those who haven’t and there is substantially less people who have not been vaccinated.”

Talk then turned to whether self-isolating should continue, as this is proving a bigger threat to business as people stay away from work.

Prof Hunter said: “The whole issue of how long we will have to allow people to self-isolate if they’re positive is going to have to be discussed fairly soon because I think this is a disease that is not going away, the infection is not going away though we won’t see such a severe disease for much longer.

“Ultimately, we are going to have to let people who are positive for Covid go about their normal lives as they would do with any other cold and at some point, we will have to lax this and if the self-isolation rules is what is making the pain associated with Covid, then we need to do that perhaps soon rather than later… but maybe not yet.”







The professor said that self-isolation rules need to be looked at
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Dan Walker then asked “what point do we stop talking about the daily figures and just accept that it’s here?”

Prof Hunter explained: “Covid is only one virus in a family of coronaviruses and the other coronaviruses throw out other variants typically every year or so and that is almost certainly what is going to happen with Covid, which will effectively become another cause of the common cold and we are not going to be doing daily reports on the different causes of the common cold.

“Personally, I don’t think we will do anything like that while we are still dealing with Omricon.

“Once we are past Easter, perhaps, maybe we should start to look at scaling back, depending on what the disease looks like at that time.”

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