So-called long Covid is set to soar among younger people in England when remaining coronavirus restrictions are lifted, England’s chief medical officer warned.

Chris Whitty said that while he expected deaths to be “much lower” proportionally compared to previous waves, long Covid remains “a worry.”

“Since there’s a lot of Covid at the moment and the rates are going up, I regret to say I think we will get a significant amount more long Covid — particularly in the younger ages where the vaccination rates are currently much lower,” he said at the Local Government Association’s virtual conference Tuesday.

Long Covid refers to a wide range of health problems suffered by people who have contracted the virus which can persist for months after the infection, including fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain and cognitive disturbances.

Whitty said the U.K. must “push hell for leather” to reduce coronavirus rates and ensure everyone is vaccinated in order to prevent a major rise in long Covid. He also urged people not to expect a swift return to normal after restrictions are lifted, saying he would be “surprised” if Britain got back to the “status quo” by next spring.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans Monday to end social distancing and capacity limits at venues in England from July 19, with a final decision to be taken next week.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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