Coronavirus infections in care homes are continuing to spill into the community and will keep daily cases steady until September, a top scientist has warned.
Professor Neil Ferguson claimed the R rate - the average number of people a Covid patients infects - would remain only marginally below 1 because staff were still carrying the disease out of the homes.
The Imperial College London scientist said he was ‘shocked’ at how badly care homes had been protected during the crisis.
He suggested that infections could spiral back out of control again in winter when the virus transmits better and restrictions are eased even more.
Professor Ferguson made the comments at a House of Lords Science and Technology Committee on Tuesday during his first public appearance since flouting stay at home rules to have secret trysts with his married mistress last month.
He told Peers: 'I, like many people, am shocked about how badly European – or countries around the world – have protected care home populations.
'The infections in care homes and hospitals spill back into the community, more commonly through people who work in those institutions. If you can drive the infection rates low in those institutional settings, you drive the infection low in the community as a whole.'
Professor Neil Ferguson claimed the Covid R rate - the average number of people a Covid patients infects - would remain only marginally below 1 because staff were still carrying the disease out of care homes and hospitals