Dr Hilary shared some positive data about the Indian coronavirus variant (Picture: ITV)
Dr Hilary shared a hopeful bit of news on Good Morning Britain during a discussion about the Indian coronavirus variant in the UK.
The new variant of Covid-19 first identified in India, known as B.1.617.2, is being closely monitored as fears grow about the final stage of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to ease lockdown rules by June 21.
On Thursday’s episode of the programme, the doctor shared some encouraging data, adding that Johnson’s roadmap could still be on the right track as the lower than expected rate of transmissibility could make it ‘easier to contain’.
He told hosts Kate Garraway and Ranvir Singh: ‘There’s been a huge worry about the current Indian variant. Current data suggests it may not be 50% more transmissible than the current dominant strain. It may be 20-30% which will be easier to contain.
‘They talk about something called the “founder effect” which means the Indian variant was brought into the UK by small numbers of people, living in inter-generational households where it spread rapidly.
‘So rather than it being the variant itself…[It’s] small numbers of people passing it on to large numbers of people. Not because of the transmissibility of the variant itself but because they were in contact with a large number of people which was abnormal.’
He continued: ‘So it may not be as transmissible as first thought which would be very encouraging. It would mean that we’re more likely to be able to reach the June 21 easing of lockdown restrictions.’
Dr Hilary has previously urged caution in recent weeks as lockdown restrictions continue to ease.
With people now allowed to hug close friends and family he suggested doing so while wearing a mask and not speaking to reduce the chance of transmission.
He explained: ‘Everyone is desperate to hug, I think it’s important to be selective, not to hug all and sundry but to hug people most close to you, that you have been really keen to hug.
‘It’s important to ask them, have they got any symptoms? Have they been exposed to anyone else in recent time? Have they been vaccinated?’
‘Ask them if they want to hug, get consent first, and then by all means hug,’ he went on, ‘But I would still wear a mask, I would turn your head away and not talk to them whilst you’re hugging them, because it’s aerosol contact.’
The daytime TV star also expressed frustration with Brits going on holiday abroad during an ongoing global pandemic, calling it ‘a luxury, not essential’.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.
Credit: Original article published here.