Covid guru Chris Whitty has put a dampener on festive celebrations after he claimed the UK should gear up another 18 months of Covid misery.

The English Chief Medical Officer's warning comes after he claimed that hospital admissions are likely to be “very high indeed” over the next few weeks as the dreaded Omicron variant takes hold.

Professor Whitty also predicted that it is "entirely possible" that the amount of people being taken to hospital per day with cornavirus will climb above the all-time high of 4,583, which was set back in January's second wave.

It echoes his comments in a government press conference earlier this week, when he said Brits should be prepared for records to be "broken a lot over the next few weeks" as infection rates continue to soar.

Speaking to MPs on the Health and Social Care Select Committee, Professor Whitty said: "If I project forward, I would anticipate in a number of years, possibly 18 months, possibly slightly less… we will have polyvalent vaccines which will cover a much wider range [of variants].

"And we will probably have several antivirals… and a variety of other countermeasures that mean that the great majority, and probably almost all of the heavy lifting, when we get a new variant, unless it is extremely different, can be met by medical means."

Striking a more positive note, the health boffin also said that he believed "Each six months will be better than the last six months" in this eighteen month timeframe, barring the appearance a mutation that is able to bypass all current treatments.

Meanwhile, the president of the Confederation of British Industry Lord Bilimoria has criticised the government for only ordering 250,000 packs of a 'miracle' anti-Covid pill that drastically reduces the risk of severe complications from the virus.

The drug, currently being trialled by Pfizer, would mean that a vulnerable person could take the tablets for five days after testing positive to fight off the infection.

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