Covid is ‘all over bar the shouting’ claims senior minister amid falling cases

Covid is about to ‘drop into the background’ and won’t ‘change anything terribly’ a senior minister has claimed.

The minister said that in the wake of the mass inoculation project the virus was ‘over bar the shouting.’

It come as new infections continued to fall with 23,511 cases recorded on Tuesday, compared to more than 40,000 about a week ago.

Government figures show that new positive cases of coronavirus had fallen every day for the last seven days.

But they are still at their highest point since January when the country was plunged into lockdown and death numbers rose by 36 per cent in a week.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel
A spokesperson said the PM ‘thinks we’re not out of the woods yet’

A further 131 fatalities have been announced, more than the 96 recorded last Tuesday. It is the highest number of deaths in four months, with 141 fatalities declared on March 17.

The Daily Mail reports that Tory MPs have called on the Prime Minister to immediately scrap self-isolation rules.

A senior minister said that the vaccination programme, coupled with more than 5.7million infections, meant the virus was struggling to find new hosts.

The minister said: “It is all over bar the shouting, but no one has noticed. Of course we have to guard against the emergence of some terrible new variant. But otherwise Covid is on the point of becoming something you live with.

“It drops into the background, but it does not change anything terribly – maybe you have to take a test once in a while.”

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Meanwhile, Professor Neil Ferguson, whose models were the basis for lockdown, said he was ‘positive’ the UK would be beyond the worst of the pandemic by October.

NHS app isolation information
Some MPs have called on the PM to scrap self isolation rules

He told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme: “We need to remain cautious, especially with the potential increase in contact rates again as the weather becomes less fine and schools return.

“We’re not completely out of the woods, but the equation has fundamentally changed. The effect of vaccines is hugely reducing the risk of hospitalisations and death.

“And I’m positive that by late September or October time we will be looking back at most of the pandemic.

“We will have Covid with us, we will still have people dying from Covid, but we’ll have put the bulk of the pandemic behind us.”

A Number 10 spokesman said earlier the fall in Covid cases was “encouraging” but numbers were still expected to rise.

He said: “Throughout the pandemic we have always said it’s encouraging when cases are falling.”

But he also said the pandemic “is not over”, and “we should still expect to see a rise in case numbers given the move to Step 4 last week”.

The spokesman added: “The Prime Minister thinks we’re not out of the woods yet.”



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