Swift Headline
Latest News and Updates

Scientists optimistic that UK’s latest Covid wave has peaked

Scientists and doctors are becoming more optimistic that the current wave of UK Covid-19 infections peaked in late October, in contrast to some other European countries where cases are rising fast.

On Friday the weekly infection survey by the Office for National Statistics showed the number of people in England, Wales and Scotland testing positive for coronavirus in the week to October 30 was very similar to the previous seven days.

“For the first time in several weeks, we are seeing a decrease in infections among secondary school-aged children in England, although rates do remain high,” said Sarah Crofts, the survey’s head of analytical outputs.

At the same time, the UK Health Security Agency announced an R number for England between 0.9 and 1.1 — meaning that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between nine and 11 others. But the HSA noted that the estimate represented “the transmission of Covid-19 from two to three weeks ago, due to the time delay between someone being infected, developing symptoms, and needing healthcare”.

On Thursday two other surveys — the Zoe app that tracks Covid symptoms and Imperial College’s React study — suggested that UK infections started to fall in late October. But the incidence remains very high, with the ONS estimating that 1.1m people in England are infected.

“It would be remiss to look at the slight stabilisation of cases in recent weeks as a sign the pandemic is easing,” Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association, told the Financial Times. “The government has repeatedly said that it would act if the NHS becomes overwhelmed. The reality is that we are not even at the peak of winter pressures and the system is already under extreme strain.”

Health authorities have expressed fears that a resurgence of influenza could combine with Covid to overwhelm hospitals this winter. Therefore one reassuring finding from the HSA’s weekly surveillance report on Thursday is that “flu activity remains very low”.

The rolling weekly average of daily Covid cases in the UK peaked at about 47,000 on October 19 and is now below 40,000. Most of that decline has come among the young, who are much less susceptible to severe disease; hospitalisation and death rates have not fallen. About 1,000 people a day are admitted to hospital with Covid.

Chart showing that although UK case rates have been falling recently, this has yet to translate into a decline in hospitalisations or deaths

Over the past week, 1,197 people have died within 28 days of a positive test. At height of the pandemic in January, the daily average came close to 1,300 deaths.

But there are recent signs of decline in cases among people aged 80 and over, in what looks like a solid “booster effect” from the elderly having their third vaccine doses. If so, rates of severe outcomes are likely to turn the corner in the coming weeks.

Looking further ahead, Mark Woolhouse, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at Edinburgh university, said a big concern in the medium term would be waning protection from vaccination, particularly against hospitalisation. “We need to make sure the booster rollout goes as smoothly and as quickly as possible,” he said.

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Swiftheadline is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – admin@swiftheadline.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Facebook Notice for EU! You need to login to view and post FB Comments!

Leave a comment