Kate Garraway shared her reaction to the news that ‘Britain is now out of the pandemic’ after her husband Derek Draper returned home following his Covid battle.
The presenter, 53, discussed Professor Sarah Walker’s comments on Friday’s Good Morning Britain after the chief investigator on survey said the crisis has effectively become an endemic due to the fall in infection rates since vaccine rollout.
It comes after Kate’s husband Derek, 53, returned to their adapted family home earlier this month after spending a year in hospital battling Covid and the after-effects.
Reaction: Kate Garraway shared her reaction to the news that ‘Britain is now out of the pandemic’ after her husband Derek Draper returned home following his Covid battle
Talking to Dr Amir Khan, the presenter said: ‘Can we just talk about that seemingly extraordinary news that this morning Britain is now officially out of the pandemic.
‘So it was the 11 March, 2020, we officially went into the pandemic and now a leading Oxford scientist has said, having looked at the data, having gone through it all, because of the fall in infection rates… we are now out of the pandemic.
‘Dr Amir Khan, it sounds like… and it’s covered in several of the papers, the news we’ve been waiting for.’
She added: ‘They’re saying Britain has moved from a pandemic to an endemic, it’s going to make people think, “Oh thank God is this VE day, is it all over?”‘
Return: It comes after Kate’s husband Derek, 53, returned to their adapted family home earlier this month after spending a year in hospital battling Covid and the after-effects (pictured during documentary about his recovery, Finding Derek)
To which Dr Khan replied: ‘It’s a very bold statement for Professor Sarah Walker, who is the chief investigator of this study that has been in all the papers as you say.
‘What they have done, is take 1.6million swabs off people from across the UK over the last few months and compared those swabs from people who have been vaccinated, to people who haven’t been vaccinated or yet to be vaccinated.
‘What is shows is that even having one dose of vaccine reduces your risk of having the virus, getting symptoms, it can reduce your risk of symptomatic infection by 74 per cent.
‘But importantly, it can reduce your risk of having no symptoms and carrying the virus by over 50 per cent so these people would otherwise perhaps be wandering around, spreading it around, but the vaccine has reduced that risk.
News: The presenter, 53, discussed Professor Sarah Walker’s comments on Friday’s Good Morning Britain after the chief investigator on survey said the crisis has effectively become an endemic due to the fall in infection rates since vaccine rollout
‘What is also showed, which is really interesting, is that the people who did test positive for the virus who had the vaccine had much lower viral low, so again, much less risk of transmission.’
Dr Khan added: ‘Hopefully we are turning the tide on this. We still need to take caution, we’ve seen in India what happens when you lift restrictions too quickly or you don’t have any restrictions at all.
‘The vaccine is really good in bringing down the virus, but I wouldn’t say we’re yet out yet.’
It comes after experts said that ‘Britain is no longer in a pandemic’ due to the vaccine rollout reducing symptomatic Covid infections by up to 90 per cent.
She said: Talking to Dr Amir Khan, the presenter said: ‘Can we just talk about that seemingly extraordinary news that this morning Britain is now officially out of the pandemic.’
Professor Walker, from the University of Oxford and chief investigator with the national Covid infection survey, said that Britain had ‘moved from a pandemic to an endemic situation’.
She said that she was ‘cautiously optimistic’ that the vaccine rollout could help keep coronavirus under control.
Professor Walker continued: ‘Without vaccines, I don’t think getting close to zero is really feasible in the situation now in the UK where we’re effectively endemic, we’ve moved from a pandemic to an endemic situation.
‘Long-term lockdown isn’t a viable solution so vaccines are clearly going to be the only way that we are going to have a chance to control this.’
An endemic disease means it will always present in the population but circulating at low rates, like the flu.
It comes after Kate revealed that there have been ‘lots of little positives’ since her husband Derek returned home from hospital following his Covid battle.
The Good Morning Britain presenter said Derek, also 53, ‘remembered she needed flattery’, and recently commented on a new dress she was wearing.
Kate and her children Darcey, 15, and Billy, 11, were ‘over the moon’ earlier this month when Derek was able to return home after he spent more than a year in intensive care dealing with the after-effects of coronavirus.
During Thursday’s episode of GMB, Kate said she was delighted ‘on so many levels’ just days ago when he spotted she was wearing a new outfit.
When asked how everything is, she said: ‘It’s a whirligig. It’s been wonderful having Derek at home.
‘There are lots of little positives. Whether they are positives because it is genuinely helping his cognition being at home, or whether it’s just because I’m there to see the little things. Whereas I couldn’t go in before. I don’t know.
‘But it feels positive, little moments of reaction. He said something the other day. I walked in just before I left to go to Smooth [Radio] and he said, “new dress,” which was just amazing.
‘And it was [a new dress]. I thought that was amazing on so many levels because he recognised it, he realised and remembered that I need a lot of flattery, so there was some emotional collection there.
‘And it was just a little moment. And we’re back to the bits in between.’
Kate admitted it has been ‘quite an eye-opener’ looking after Derek, who is receiving 24-hour care since he returned home from hospital, alongside the experts.
And it has made her realise what an ‘extraordinary, overwhelming responsibility’ being a carer is. She added: ‘It is a relief [to have Derek home].
‘They [the experts] are an extraordinary bunch of people. We all know carers are incredible, we’ve said it so much this year. But for them it’s learning about him, learning about me.
‘It’s been quite an eye-opener. We always talk about that role of caring and support in the home, how big it is, but until you’re actually at the coalface of it it’s an extraordinary, overwhelming responsibility.
‘So far so good, but I don’t want to tempt fate.’
Kate recently joked that her kids have already started ‘deferring’ questions to their father.
She added: ‘I’ve noticed a little bit of deferring actually, like ‘should we check with dad?’. And I’m like hold on, wait a minute, hang on a minute I’m still the boss!’
Kate said the family have had ‘a few lovely moments’ when Draper ‘reacted to something Darcy has said that we haven’t seen previously’.
She said: ‘It is a very unique situation so they [doctors] are looking for unique solutions.’
The TV personality also revealed how her home has been fitted with an alarm system in case Draper needs urgent attention.
She said: ‘He can press it with his right hand if he needs us. There are people there for Derek, there is someone there for the children. It was a slightly strange feeling when I thought ‘oh my goodness’.
‘We hope this will be the future situation and he won’t have to go back to hospital.’
Derek returned home on April 7 and Kate revealed he burst into tears when he saw his kids Darcey and Billy.
She previously said: ‘As we pulled up I could see Darcey and Billy looking out of the window and they ran out and opened the door and he immediately burst into tears and there was a lot of hugging.’
Kate is said to have spent thousands transforming her home to support Derek’s ongoing recovery, including turning the couple’s living room into his new bedroom.
He will have speech and language therapy and physiotherapy at home as he continues his road to recovery.
Lobbyist Derek spent more than a year in intensive care but returned to the couple’s home in north London earlier this month.
She recently likened it to bringing home a newborn baby, saying after extensive planning she asked herself ‘what the heck do we do now?’.
Kate said: ‘Its been completely overwhelming but also wonderful.’
She added: ‘It was a medical reason for coming home as well as our desire and his desire to to encourage a more normal environment to stimulate his recovery and consciousness and they [the children] have been absolutely loving it.
‘Really helpful. It’s been great actually.
Kate has adapted their home to make it more accessible for her husband, who cannot move or talk on his own and still needs to be on a stretcher or wheelchair.
She has installed a ramp outside their property and a lift to the garden, as well as converting their garage into a wet room. She is now believed to be facing medical bills costing her tens of thousands.
Derek will work with physiotherapists and speech therapists as part of his recovery.
It has been confirmed that Derek is Britain’s longest surviving Covid hospital patient after he was first admitted with breathing difficulties on March 30 last year.
He was put on a ventilator and spent months in a form of coma before uttering his first word – ‘pain’ – in October last year.
The father of two’s body has been ‘universally affected’ by the condition, which means that it has targeted his lungs, heart, kidneys, liver and pancreas.
DEREK DRAPER’S CORONAVIRUS BATTLE
March 30, 2020: Derek is admitted to a London hospital after testing positive for the novel coronavirus COVID-19, little more than a week after Britain enters its first national lockdown
April 3, 2020: Derek is admitted to intensive care four days after his hospitalisation. As his condition steadily worsens, he falls into a coma.
May 28, 2020: Kate reveals that Derek remains in a coma and is continuing to be cared for by NHS professionals.
June 5, 2020: The presenter tells Good Morning Britain viewers that Derek is ‘Covid free’, although the family are unsure if he will ever recover from the ravages of the illness.
July 5, 2020: Kate reveals that Derek has finally woken from his coma and has opened his eyes – her first communication with her husband since March
July 13, 2020: Kate resumes her presenting role on Good Morning Britain after taking time off amid Derek’s ongoing illness.
July 14, 2020: Kate tells viewers she is preparing to visit Derek in hospital for the first time.
July 21, 2020: Derek hears Kate’s voice after nurses play Good Morning Britain in his hospital room. During her appearance on the show Kate confirms she is preparing to visit him for a second time.
August 19, 2020: After being absent for three days Kate tells viewers she has tried not to break down after being kept apart from Derek on his 53rd birthday.
September 10, 2020: Kate and Derek remain apart during their milestone 15th Wedding Anniversary , with the presenter unable to visit her husband.
September 11, 2020: Kate reveals Derek is still unable to speak but admits plans to visit him in hospital for a belated anniversary celebration.
September 29, 2020: Derek’s six-month long battle against COVID-19 becomes one of the longest known cases in the United Kingdom.
October 30, 2020: Derek is finally able to communicate verbally after 214 days in hospital. His first word – ‘pain.’
January 7, 2021: Kate reveals her two children saw Derek for the first time since he fell ill during the Christmas period
April 7, 2021: Derek returned to his and Kate’s North London family home by ambulance