The emergence of the Omicron variant shows that the world is “closer to the start of the pandemic than the end”, one of Britain’s most senior scientific figures has warned, as he lamented a lack of political leadership over Covid.
Sir Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Wellcome Trust who stepped down as a government scientific adviser last month, said the progress in combatting Covid-19 since its emergence was “being squandered”.
Writing in the Observer, he said rich countries had been taking “a very blinkered domestic focus, lulled into thinking that the worst of the pandemic was behind us”. He said while he was cautiously hopeful that current vaccines would protect against severe illness from Omicron, that may not be true for future variants.
“The longer this virus…