A top scientist has quit the government’s SAGE committee over Britain’s ‘concerning’ Covid infection rates – saying ministers are ignoring advice and that the pandemic is ‘a long way from over’.

Sir Jeremy Farrar, also director of the Wellcome Trust’s scientific charity, resigned from the advisory board last month after warning that vaccines alone are not enough to overcome the virus. 

Sky News reports that the medical researcher was the driving force behind a plan for fighting a winter that many predict will prove difficult. It included continued testing, ventilation, increased mask wearing and more ventilated areas.

Recently, the government outlined the steps it could take to tackle the virus. This included mandatory face coverings, Covid passports at nightclubs and renewed encouragement to work from your home. However, this plan has not been activated.

Sir Jeremy Farrar, who is also director of scientific charity, the Wellcome Trust, stepped down from the advisory group last month after warning vaccines alone will not be enough for the UK to fully overcome the virus

Sir Jeremy Farrar is also the director of the Wellcome Trust scientific charity. He resigned last month from the advisory group after warning that vaccines alone would not be enough to overcome the virus in the UK.

Sir Jeremy said to Sky News: “The Covid crisis, which is still far from over, is deeply troubling.

“The high levels seen in the UK of transmission remain concerning, but I resigned from SAGE as a participant knowing that ministers had been provided most of the science advice they needed over the winter months.

“Throughout this crisis, SAGE has provided vital evidence and expert, transparent advice to support UK response, often under immense pressure.

It comes as figures today revealed that the UK’s daily coronavirus cases have started to fall again after a brief blip yesterday — but hospital admissions and deaths continue to rise. 

According to the Department of Health’s daily updates, there were 33,865 new cases of infection in the country within the last 24 hours. This is a 17.3% decrease from last Tuesday.

Covid cases were slightly overinflated last week due to a recording issue from Wales. This means that week-on week declines will be less stark. Daily infections in England dropped below 30,000 today for the first time in 4 weeks.

Yesterday was the eighth consecutive day of infection declines. This was attributed to fewer half-term tests. There is a growing hope that children’s immunity will increase, and that this will keep infections at bay as schools return.

According to the latest hospital data, there were 1,002 UK hospitalizations on October 29, marking the fifth consecutive day with four-digit admissions. 

The DOH reported that there were 293 deaths across Britain today. This is the most since March 3, which saw 315.

The department stated that today’s toll ‘potentially” includes data from England for two days, which could have skewed it. Both hospital admissions and deaths are lagging indicators.   

The Covid dashboard from the Government shows that more than 50million Britons now have their first Covid vaccination. Around 45.7 million have had their second dose, and 8.4m have received their booster third dose. 

Top experts warned today that Britain’s Covid booster jab drive is still moving too slowly despite NHS England boasting last week that it had reached a record high. 

Official figures show 1.6million people in England were given their third dose last week, a slight improvement for the sluggish drive that was only reaching 1.1million every seven days at the start of October.

Critics said that the uptake was still too low. 7.2million people are still waiting for their booster. They warned that it could take up to mid-January for the 32million eligible recipients to receive their vital immunity boost.

Dr Raghib Al Ali, an epidemiologist at Cambridge University said that the lagging rates were what ‘concerned’ him most heading into winter.

The UK’s Department of Health data shows that the average number of boosters given each day has dropped by a tenth, from around 300,000.00 per day in the week to Oct 24, to 270,000 last Week. 

Ministers stated that a quick and effective booster campaign is essential to avoid the country returning to ‘Plan B” restrictions this winter. This would include face masks, vaccination passports, and work from home guidance. If the NHS becomes unsustainable, they could reimpose ‘Plan B’ restrictions.

Sajid Javid (Health Secretary) said last month at a grim press conference that ‘if not enough people get booster jabs’ then “it would of course make more likely that we will have more restrictions.”