Dr Hilary Jones has warned that people are ‘six times more likely’ to die if they contract both coronavirus and flu over winter.
As concerns grow about coronavirus taking a greater hold over the winter months, as cases of flu increase, Dr Hilary has warned that contracting both illnesses has a greater risk of becoming fatal.
While discussing data showing cases of coronavirus increasing across the UK, the medical professional was quizzed over new calls for those who are eligible to be vaccinated for flu.
He explained that flu vaccinations are now available for free for those over 50 and insisted it is a good idea for anyone eligible to take advantage of the vaccination because of the risk contracting both flu and Covid-19 could have.
‘The age [for free flu vaccinations] is being reduced to 50 this year, which means doubling the numbers that are eligible from 15million to 30million. It’s a really ambitious plan that the government has put into place to protect as many people as possible,’ he explained.
‘What we do know from recent studies is that if you get Covid-19 and season flu at the same time, your risk of dying is six times greater,’ Dr Hilary warned.
His comments came after he explained why a new 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants imposed by the government across the UK is necessary.
‘I suppose observationally, if you look at what goes on in popular pubs, bars and restaurants there’s a greater amount of alcohol consumed. People forget then, they hug, they kiss,’ he reasoned, as he stressed the need to limit human contract to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Dr Hilary argued that by 10pm people are still ‘relatively sober’ and less likely to go against restriction rules.
‘You have to put a time on there if you want to restrict social gatherings. You have to do something, the transmission rate is going up, hospitalisation is going up. You can’t get rid of the virus, you have to live with the virus.’
When Piers suggested that it could be an option for pubs, bars and restaurants to close down entirely, Dr Hilary disagreed and hit back: ‘Pubs and restaurants are adopting very stringent social distancing rules, the risk is very small.
‘The real risk is large groups of different households mixing.’
There are currently around 399,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the UK.
The number of deaths as a result of the virus have now reached over 41,700.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.
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