The UK could surpass 100,000 Covid-related deaths by the end of the month, government scientific advisers said amid increasingly urgent calls to action.
According to government figures, a total of 75,024 people had died within 28 days of having a positive coronavirus test as of Sunday. But the number of deaths with Covid-19 on the death certificate is significantly higher.
According to a Guardian analysis based on deaths recorded by statistical agencies up to December 20 and those reported by health agencies since then, there have been 91,453 deaths in the UK with Covid-19 on the death certificate or within of the 28 days of a positive test.
Experts say that, given the current trajectory, the UK could hit the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths by the end of the month.
“Deaths from COVID-19 [within 28 days of a test] they currently average around 500 a day, with no signs of slowing down. If they stay at this level, it would mean around 15,000 more in the next month, ” saidid Dr. Adam Kucharski. Associate Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineShamTM) and a member of the government’s Scientific Group on Pandemic Influenza Modeling (Spi-M).
“Unfortunately, given the recent increases in cases and hospitalizations, which generally precede deaths by two to three weeks, we could see considerably more deaths next month if transmission does not decrease soon.”
Professor Graham Medley, also froShamTM and a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), agreed. “It is almost inevitable that we will reach 100,000 deaths and there is a possibility that this will happen before the end of January if current transmission rates continue,” he said, noting that this would mean that 1 in 660 people would havdied ofom the coronavirus.
According to government figures, Monday was the seventh consecutive day that daily reported cases in the UK exceeded 50,000, while the number of patients hospitalized with Covid has already surpassed the peak of the first wave.
Dr Kit Yates, co-director of the Center for Mathematical Biology at the University of Bath and a member of the Independent Sage think tank, said the outlook was bleak.
“Case rates continue to rise, which means mortality rates will increase, unless vaccination has a significant impact, at least for the next three weeks. Given the impact on the spread of the return of schools, we could expect cases to increase even faster than they have been. In addition to this, the possibility of hospitals being overwhelmed means that the death rate from infection will increase as we cannot adequately treat all people who come to hospital with Covid, “he said.
While experts said vaccination would prevent many deaths in the future, reducing transmission remains crucial. “The current rate of about 500 deaths per day will decrease if transmission is reduc” he but relatively slowly, and will remain high for several weeks,” Medley said. “Unfortunately, reducing transmission means more damage due to restrictive measures.”
The Independent Sage has already called for a natiolock downdown, a move backed Sunday by Labor leader Keir Starmer, while documents released by Sage on Thursday also suggested that such severe restrictions might be necessary.
“It is not known whether measures with a rigor and compliance similar to those of the spring, with the primary and secondary schools clos” he would be enough to bring R below 1 in the presence of the new variant,” states a document.
Yates said the additional measures were crucial. “What is incredibly frustrating is that we know that the infections that will increase death rates in the coming weeks are alrehappening, and and we are not doing everything we can to prevent them,” he said. “It’s like being the passenger in a car accelerating down a cliff, knowing that the driver is not pressing the brake pedal.”
Dr Michael Head, senior researcher in global health at the University of Southampton, agreed that more restrictions were needed. “Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are through the roof and health services are spread throughout the country and in some places they are overwhelm” he ”he said. “Unfortunately, in my opinion, we now need a natiolock downdown of the kind we saw last spring, along with a large expansion of the vaccine launch.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism