Who is Jonathan Van-Tam? Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England – The Sun


PROFESSOR Jonathan Van-Tam is the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England.

But what does he do and how has he contributed to the battle against COVID-19?

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Who is Jonathan Van-Tam?

Jonathan Stafford Nguyen Van-Tam MBE is a British specialist in influenza, including its epidemiology, transmission, vaccinology, antiviral drugs and pandemic preparedness.

Van-Tam was awarded an MBE (military section) in the 1998 New Year's Honours when he was Acting Major Jonathan Stafford Nguyen-Van-Tam, Lincolnshire Army Cadet Force.

It was awarded in recognition of his work in designing a first aid kit to meet the special requirements of large groups of teenagers on camping expeditions.

On 2 October 2017 he took up the role of Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England.

What has he said about the coronavirus pandemic?

Deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam said COVID-19 will remain "in and around us in our communities" even if the country "keep the levels right down".

Most recently he described how the country was at a "tipping point".

He said the country was “at a tipping point similar to where we were in March”.

Mr Van-Tam added: “Winter in the NHS is always a difficult period, and that is why in the first wave our strategy was ‘contain, delay, research and mitigate’ to push the first wave into spring.

"This time it is different as we are now are going into the colder, darker winter months.

"We are in the middle of a severe pandemic and the seasons are against us. Basically, we are running into a headwind.”

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The Professor said he does not believe healthy people wearing them would reduce the spread of the disease in the UK, saying "what matters now is social distancing".

And on March 17, Mr Van-Tam could not rule out the strict measures having to last for a year.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that more people will catch coronavirus and become resistant with so-called herd immunity, but admitted ‘that will take time’.

What's his role during UK coronavirus crisis?

Van-Tam has a high-profile role as England's deputy chief medical officer during the coronavirus pandemic.

His job is as a medical advisor to the Government and the deputy to Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England and Chief Medical Adviser to the UK Government.

He is one of three Three Deputy Chief Medical Officers who "support the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in their role as independent adviser to government on medical matters and the Head of Profession for all directors of public health in local government," says the Gov.uk website.


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